Social selling, or digital selling, or modern selling can be used throughout of the sales process. From prospecting and creating opportunities, nurturing, accelerating your sales funnel and helping closing.
We all have to create opportunities
We all know in our heart of hearts that we need to prospect, I'm prospecting by writing this blog. We also know that the sales is a "number game" the more we prospect, the better our pipeline is and the better our win rate is.
Social selling creates opportunity creation self-sufficiency
I've worked for businesses where there was discussions about the % (percentage) of how many leads were to be created by marketing. But I've always wanted to be self-sufficient in opportunity creation and I always recommend that sales people take responsibility for all their demand generation. Why outsource your success or failure to other people or another department?
Target account focus
Social selling supports your target focus regardless of if you are focused on one or a couple of accounts or if you are selling to a mass market, for example, mid-market or small to medium enterprises (SME / SMB). It also works regardless if you are selling to large accounts or small accounts. Stock market registered or owner registered. Critical as a salesperson is it allows you to grow your influence, ahead of your cold calling competition. Afterall, growing your network gives you an exponential result, where as cold calling only allows you to scale on a one to one basis.
Social selling, therefore enables you to focus on the right market segment to pursue. For example, I have one sales guy who has a territory focus of Scotland and another sales who has a focus of professional services, either way can be supported by social selling.
Social selling provides you will a clear sequence and framework of opportunity creation. Social allows you to scale faster than cold calling, which means you get coverage quicker and faster. At the end of the day we only have 200 days a year to make our number and what we need is the most efficient and effective prospecting methods. Social selling allows you to lead with "value" and be the trusted adviser, quicker, cold calling means you are leading with a pitch, which is the opposite of "value". I've never understood why cold callers lead with "pissing people off" it's a bizarre way to try and start a conversation and try and start a relationship.
Social selling, has none of the "spray and pray" that you have to do with cold calling. There is so much waste and inefficiency. I don't know what the current ratios are for calls to actually speaking to somebody, but with social it's one to one. Now that is focus and efficiency.
And to set the record straight, I NEVER take cold calls.
As part of any long-term opportunity creation process, means you need to create and nurture relationships. It's impossible, impractical and a down right annoyance if you keep having to call prospects up. Clearly it doesn't scale.
Where as social provides a nurturing platform, enabling you to lead with value, capture mindshare and with a great content strategy you will be invited to the top table.
By using social, you never stop selling and you never stop "touching your clients". Social allows you to build opportunities in accounts, to go wide and deep within an account. Just by being clever at who you target in an account, who you build relationships with and how you nurture them with content, you will end up being the only solution to your prospects problems. You will own the "why change?" narrative and start winning deals with little or no competition. We talk about teaching our clients to be digitally dominant and this is a great example of locking out your cold calling competition.
With social selling, you have the efficiency, the time saving, the focus and more importantly you will speak to the decision makers in their language, in the place where they hang out. We would expect a business to increase their revenue by 30% and reduce their sales cycle by 40% by using social selling.
Because you are "touching" your prospects every day, you will always have them time focused in terms of the challenges they face and the timescale in which they need to work to solve them.
To sum it all up
In a recent response to one of my blogs Paul Denham said the following which is worth sharing. This is from the buyer prospective, as sellers, we need to be mindful of this and be there for buyers. It's modern selling.
"The non-linear progression of buying jobs is a group activity - where the informational needs of the different roles within the decision-making group must be met in order to move the needle.
Social selling is helpful in each of the 4 primary buying jobs
1. Problem identification
2. Explore Solutions
3. Requirements Building
4. Supplier Selection, but even more so in the
6. Consensus Creation
2 additional jobs that Gartner depict as always-on, 24/7 throughout the buying process.
Validation. “We think we know the right answer, but we need to be sure.”
Consensus creation. “We need to get everyone on board.”
Linkedin is particularly strong in helping buyers validate and gain consensus – it's rich in educational information from real people who've got credibility and can be consumed by buyers whilst off the radar of vendors.
This social activity of B2B buyers helps them put together a list of vendors they want to engage with (who have helped them complete their buying jobs and shape their requirements).
Only then will the shortlisted vendors' salespeople rightly deserve the opportunity to demonstrate their sales skills close the deal with serious buyers. And that is why it's essential to be active on social, sharing helping, educational insights."
Two quotes from salespeople that have been through our social selling and influence course, which teaches salespeople a methodology to support social selling or digital selling or remote selling or virtual selling or modern selling.
"I've never felt more in control of my pipeline generation"
"Social selling is the drumbeat of large account selling"
If this article has been useful and you think it would be helpful to your network or individuals then please share it. Please also tag in the individuals.
Other articles you might be interested in ....
Articles for the CEO
Articles for Sales leadership
Articles to support sales people - sales process and sales tips