And now, one of the latest buzzwords you hear around the business realm is “Social Selling.” According to surveys, it works because businesses that have adopted social selling have been outselling their competitors. But what exactly is social selling?
Social selling — definition
Social selling, simply put, is a lead generation technique that uses social media platforms. It works not just for B2C scenarios but could also significantly impact B2B sales. Social selling takes place over regular social media platforms like Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. — platforms that most people and businesses are already using daily.
Traditional marketing and sales tactics call for more physical, face-to-face interactions. Moreover, the goal of conventional selling is to close deals. When it comes to social selling, face-to-face interactions are overtaken by a virtual presence. Social selling aims to develop relationships and connections that eventually lead to long-term, recurring business relationships. Because of the virtual nature of social selling, distance does not limit the potential reach of your sales and business relationships.
Social selling is different from social media marketing, but they can work hand in hand. Companies creating virtual events to raise awareness about new products, for example, can be used to create more visibility online and become an integral part of both social selling and social media marketing strategies. Social selling is different from social media marketing because it is an individual, virtual human interaction and not straight-line advertising. It involves responding to comments, liking other people’s pages and posts, and building a personalized connection to foster a relationship with your potential customers.
Benefits of social selling for B2B sales
Increased brand visibility
More people knowing about your brand is always a positive thing for your business. Your social media presence will ensure more people see your company and begin to engage with your brand. And this does not just apply to reaching individual customers. The stronger your social media presence, the more business you are likely to get.
Because your reach is more comprehensive than ever, you have cast a wider net to catch people willing to do business with you. Considering that nearly everyone has an account on at least one social media platform, your chances of reaching company higher-ups and key decision-makers are greater than when conducting other outreach methods such as cold calling.
Because social selling means having presence online, you can leverage your social media marketing efforts to generate better quality leads. How? Because your social media team is equipped with product knowledge that you can use to educate your network of potential customers. Also, people who have tried your products will probably post about them or recommend them to their families and peers. Most customers trust reviews and feedback from the people they know. Therefore, the more people comment, review, and post about your products, the more, better quality leads you will generate.
Because one of the goals of social selling is to build relationships with your customers, social selling makes it easier for your company to build trust with your customers. Having an established relationship with you, your customers will lean more towards trusting what your company does and the services you provide. Also, empowering your social media team with the proper, up-to-date knowledge about your company and all the products and services you provide will play a significant role in establishing trust with your customers. So your team must be appropriately trained and armed with updated knowledge.
Imagine having someone on your team who is uninformed about a change in pricing, for example. A customer contacts them about a product, giving the customer the old price. Only for the customer to find out near the sale closing that the price given to them by that member of your team is not the new price. Missed details can impact your customer relationship and affect lead generation and sales.
So why is social selling important to B2B lead generation? Because social selling provides a human touch to an otherwise cold business transaction. Social selling enables your company to develop a long and trusting partnership with your customers. You can generate more leads through customer recommendations and interactions via social media platforms than if you were sending out emails and doing cold calls.