Sales reps are always looking for new ways to attract and engage new buyers. But with fewer networking events and in-person conferences, sellers are finding creative ways to engage buyers. Social media plays a role in our personal lives, but it’s also a powerful tool for every business. Maybe your organization is in the early stages of its social selling journey or looking to take things to the next level—we’d like to help you develop best practices to drive sales on LinkedIn and social media.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at the current state of play. There are countless studies that demonstrate the potential to increase sales through social selling. In a recent study, HubSpot found that 51% of marketers who leverage social media plan to increase their investment this year. Hubspot also notes that more than 65% of sales reps rely on LinkedIn social selling as a way to fill their pipeline and conversion funnel.
In most instances, your customers and competitors are engaging on social media for business. And if they aren’t yet, chances are they will be soon. In this post, we’ll help your organization understand the benefits of social selling, as well as how you can engage buyers on social media channels like LinkedIn.
What is social selling?
Social selling is the practice of leveraging social media engagement as an integral part of the sales process. Social engagement recognizes two-way communication on social media channels as a way for sellers to build and nurture relationships that may eventually turn into business opportunities. Social selling improves upon outbound techniques like cold-calling because it’s easier for your sales reps to build relationships when they can build credibility through their network and the content they share.
What are the benefits of social selling?
You’ve heard it before, but it still holds true: Social selling can help you grow your business. Social selling generates higher quality leads, increases your sales pipeline, and boosts win rates and deal size. As your organization looks to begin or improve on its social selling journey, these are four ways social selling can help your organization drive more sales:
1. Build trust at scale
Trust is an essential part of the buyer and seller relationship because buyers are looking for a long time partnership with a vendor. In order to establish trust, sales reps need to listen and provide value to buyers throughout their purchasing journey. Sales reps who use social media to contribute to conversations, answer questions, and add value can build trust at scale. By engaging in high visibility online discussions, sales reps can elevate themselves and their company as trustworthy sources.
2. Trim down the sales cycle
It takes time to close a sale and lengthy sales cycles are par for the course. Longer sales cycles require more effort and can take more time for sellers to hit their numbers. But before sales reps ever meet a prospect, those buyers are already doing their research, particularly on social media. When sales reps engage and support buyers during the early stages of their research process, they can establish themselves as trusted advisors. These early-stage interactions can ensure that your sales reps are there for buyers at key times throughout the consideration process and ultimately close deals faster and more efficiently.
3. Reach more interested buyers
Social selling is advantageous because it allows sales reps to interact with interested buyers. When buyers ask questions about sales enablement software in an Enablement Professionals LinkedIn community, they’ve already demonstrated interest. By participating in these channels and interacting with leads, sales reps can engage prospects sooner and fast-track their path to MQL. In effect, social media connects sellers with the buyers who want to hear from them, making it easier to build relationships with interested buyers.
4. Outsell your competition
If your competition isn’t already active on social media, they will be in the near future. The world is increasingly turning to digital and social media channels to market and sell to buyers. Once you’ve built within your network, you can continue to broaden your reach and connect with new prospects. By establishing your personal brand and credibility on social media, you’re already one step ahead of your competition. And if you’re not yet active on social media, the old saying holds true: the best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is now.
Social selling is a powerful tool for sellers
Modern buyers are looking for an immersive experience and increasingly turn to social media to research business solutions. When used correctly, LinkedIn and other types of social media sales can help businesses reach their sales targets. In fact, by implementing LinkedIn social selling as a part of your social media strategy, you can increase your win rate by 5% and deal size by nearly 35%.
If your organization is ready to take its social selling program to the next level, Seismic LiveSocial makes it easy to activate sellers on social media and build trust at scale. Learn more here and let us help you get started!