Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed many industry evolutions and fads, but none have been as significant as the way buyers and sellers are now engaging digitally. When it comes to meeting modern B2B buyers in 2022, that meeting is happening on social networking platforms.
Buyers leverage social networking sites to connect with peers and stay updated on industry trends. Brands need to be present on these platforms. However, we can’t stop there. We must engage in a concerted social selling effort that embraces the role of both the sales and marketing departments to sell more moving forward. This post will provide tips and B2B social selling examples to help your company do that.
How can social selling help your business?
Social selling can help businesses increase brand awareness among current and future buyers, connect with prospects, customers, and influencers, establish your brand as authoritative and empathetic, and facilitate real-world conversations to build relationships and bonds.
In 2022 Social Selling is Simply Selling the Modern Way
According to LinkedIn, 84% of B2B Buyers will use social media at some point in their decision process. However, they aren’t using social media as they would Google. Buyers don’t go to LinkedIn to buy things. They go there to connect and stay informed.
To be successful on social media, your sales team needs to focus on:
- Being a teacher more than a seller
- Talking about problems customers are dealing with and solutions to their problems
- Providing real business value even if the prospect isn’t ready to buy today
- Humanizing content that comes from the marketing department
In 2022, your sales team needs to be perceived as peers and trusted advisors.
Leverage These B2B Social Selling Examples for Exponential Growth
The best way to position your sales team as trusted advisors on social networking sites is by having them share valuable content and engage with customers, prospects, and influencers. When buyers run across information from people known to them (i.e., your sale reps) rather than content posted by your company, buyers are:
- 3X more likely to trust the information
- 8X more likely to engage with the content
- 24X more likely to share the information with peers.
Additionally, only ~1% of the people on LinkedIn post regularly. You can capitalize on this by encouraging your sales reps to post just two or three times per week. Posting valuable information will put them in an elite group of power users, making them and your company stand out over your competition.
Build a content plan for your sales reps that provides information that will benefit their prospects. Good content will keep them top of mind. Consider the things your best customers know about your brand, service, and value proposition, that if other prospects knew, they would want to do business with you too. Examples include:
- Company Blogs and resources
- How-to guides
- Explainer content
- Changes that will impact your customer
- Content that highlights your POV thought leadership, or subject matter expertise
- Something that will get a laugh, inspire, or motivate
Video Resource: Watch this on-demand webinar replay to learn more about building a social media marketing plan for your business.
What Do Buyers Want From Your Sales Representatives
Buyers are looking for advisors, not sellers, somebody they can trust. According to LinkedIn, the top 3 reasons buyers decide to reach out to sellers are:
- Demonstrating an Understanding of their Business – B2B buyers think their situation is complex and unique. They are looking for reps that already understand their situation, so they don’t have to spend time bringing them up to speed.
- Exhibiting Subject Matter Expertise – Buyers have problems because they can’t solve them independently. They want to talk to reps that can speak to them about what’s broken, why it’s happening, and how to fix it.
- Providing Useful Information – Nobody likes to Google things anymore. It’s a lot of work to sort through a search result and find the answers. Today’s buyers want your reps to be the easy button for them.
Social Selling Action Plan
Check out our Digital Selling Action Plan Guide for starting a social selling program. In the guide, you will find:
- Step-by-step action plan for getting started
- Tips for optimizing LinkedIn profiles
- Steps for growing connections
- Best practices for engaging their audience
- Tips for sharing content
Goals for Social Selling
Social selling doesn’t grow your pipeline. Relationships are what grow your pipeline. Social Selling is a tool to establish relationships. Relationships come from trust. Great salespeople are already great at building trust. As marketers, we must equip them to translate their skills onto social channels. To build trust in social networks, sales reps need to focus on these four goals:
- Be found by Future Buyers living with problems and looking for solutions and Now Buyers who are vetting you against your competitors.
- Find and connect with Prospects, Customers, and Influencers.
- Establish Authority & Empathy by communicating that your company is qualified to solve the prospect’s problems and that you are interested in helping them solve their problem.
- Convert sales-ready connections into opportunities by helping prospects align their specific needs to your solution.
LinkedIn 3X5 Digital Selling Process
The 3×5 digital selling process is a guide for your sales representatives to help them find and develop valuable relationships with prospects on LinkedIn. It consists of three actions to be taken five days a week, creating structure and consistency.
Step One- Connecting with 5 New Contacts: The average buying committee has >5 stakeholders on the buyer’s side. This step will encourage sales reps to have as many connections within target accounts as possible. Have reps send requests to:
- Prospects they meet in the real world.
- Multiple contacts within targeted prospects from your ABM list.
- Influencers who have the ear of your prospects.
Step Two – Sending Direct Messages: Sending DMs to five contacts daily will strengthen and develop solid relationships. Reps should keep it casual and conversational.
- Send DMs to new connections from step one. Reps should take the time to thank them for connecting and look for some common ground to share.
- Reps should avoid the temptation to sell prematurely. Nobody wants to be pitch slapped, and that’s the fastest way to turn off your prospect.
The goal should be to nurture knowledge and offer something of value. An example might be to share a link to an article or video the prospect may find interesting.
Step Three- Engage with social posts. Commenting on five posts daily will extend a salesperson’s awareness by making them part of a more extensive conversion. These engagements need to be meaningful. A simple like or a comment like “great post!” won’t cut it. Reps should add their perspective, expand on the topic, or ask a question. Comments are a great place to “nurture with knowledge,” but NOT a place to be self-promotional.
All in all, the 3×5 process should take approximately 30 minutes a day. This allows your sales reps to grow their networks organically and open your brand to many new and exciting contacts and opportunities.
Remember that the main focus of a successful social selling program is to build trust and relationships instead of closing sales. A little daily effort can go a long way. Consistency will make a difference in your sales team’s social selling efforts. The sale will only come later, when the prospect is eventually ready, with a trusted history of helpful content from your reps.
Reps can no longer hold on to old tactics in this digital revolution and expect to win anymore. As marketers, we need to help sales reps embrace the new way buyers buy today. Those that do are the ones who are going to sell more moving forward.
Do You Need Help Launching a Social Selling Program
Vende Digital can help you launch a digital selling program for your business. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary Discovery Meeting. We’ll review your digital footprint and provide fresh ideas and actionable insights. Contact us today and let us show you how to grow your B2B traffic.
Key Social Selling Takeaways
- Meet customers where they are.
- Success in social selling requires focused, concerted effort from both sales and marketing departments.
- The best way to build a strong network of connections on social media is by sharing valuable content and engaging with others.
- Create a sales-based action plan for social selling, optimize your social profiles, make connections, and engage with others.
- The 3×5 digital selling process guides your sales representatives to help them grow their networks organically.
- Vende Digital can help you master social selling with proven methods that’ll enable you to reach modern buyers in 2022.