What is Social Selling?

Submitted by: PGi Blogger

Social selling is more than just a buzzword – it’s a part of the new era of sales. Simply put, social selling is leveraging social media platforms and your professional brand to engage and build relationships with the right prospects.

So how can you or your team make sure they’re properly representing themselves on social media?  Here’s how to build a social selling strategy that will establish a social savvy sales team:

Create a professional brand
Eighty-one percent of buyers are more likely to engage with a strong, professional brand according to Demand Gen Report’s 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey. Your company may already have a recognizable and professional brand, but what about your individual sales reps?

Building a strong, professional brand online strengthens credibility and can often shape a prospective buyer’s first impression of your company. Through platforms like LinkedIn, ensure your team is presenting the right image with complete profiles and compelling, customer-centric messaging. Once these essentials are complete, your team can focus on utilizing the benefits of social media to generate results.

Find the right people
A great advantage of social selling is that it takes away the guesswork and time required to find the right prospect. Sales reps can now utilize social media platforms to filter prospect searches using various parameters such as title, role and industry to find the right decision makers and influential leaders in their own networks or in their extended networks.

Using tools like LinkedIn’s Advanced Search, the search for qualified potential prospects and connections becomes much easier. Examining a prospect’s profile can show mutual connections and commonalities that the sales rep and the buyer share. All of this information can help a rep qualify a potential connection as a prospect or as someone who can connect them with the right buyer.

Engage with insights
Establishing relevance and delivering value has become the core of sales. Reaching out to the right people at the right time with valuable insight and relevant content can open up various communication channels for sales reps.

By following a prospect through their posts, statuses, shares and news updates, a sales rep can gain insight on where they are in the business cycle. Through this information you and your team can use personalized messaging tools to connect in a timely, relevant and useful manner.

Build strong relationships
Social selling makes it easier for reps to provide ongoing value that builds better relationships. With the wealth of real-time information that social media networks provide, sales professionals have the opportunity to build credibility by providing valuable insight before, during and after the decision making process.

By using a prospect’s profile as a resource, reps can share their perspectives and views on relevant information, including common pain points in the industry. Sparking a genuine conversation before concentrating on the sales process can further the strength and value of relationship with the prospect.

Due to the competitive nature of sales, your sales professionals will always be on the hunt for new practices to help them gain an edge over the competition. In today’s business climate, that means relying on new technology and strategies to become more effective in bringing in new business.

Now you have an understanding of the importance of social selling and technology in today’s sales process, stay ahead of the curve and learn more about the ever-evolving sales process by downloading PGi’s free eBook, Join the Social Sales Revolution: Your Guide to The New Way to Sell.