Successful salespeople are swift at adapting sales strategies that align with changing markets and shifting consumer behaviors. This has led most major brands including B2B companies to embrace a powerful approach known as Social Selling.
Social Selling is a strategic method for sales professionals to connect with potential leads and foster authentic relationships with them using social networking platforms. One thing to note is that social selling is not the same as social media advertising or marketing. Instead, it focuses on relationship building resulting in long-term associations.
This “buyer-centric” approach provides a way for sellers to engage and cultivate meaningful connections with their target audience on the social media platforms that their customers prefer. It empowers your business to identify potential B2B prospects on social media and build trust with a network of promising leads.
What does not comprise Social Selling?
Understanding what social selling is not can help define your B2B social selling strategies. To begin with, let’s dissociate it from the practice of bombarding strangers with unsolicited tweets and direct messages. Social selling is devoid of such spammy behavior.
Next, it’s not about rampantly expanding your contact list by sending connection requests; it’s about curating a list and connecting with those who may potentially benefit from your offering. This automatically makes your social media interactions meaningful, with a focus on presenting your brand as a solution to a problem.
The idea is to build trust and loyalty, ultimately increasing the likelihood of converting your social media connections into valuable sales when the time is right.
B2B Social Selling Strategies That Work
Regardless of the platform you choose to connect with your target audience, it’s essential to follow best practices for social selling. Here are some effective strategies to consider:
1. Build value with your brand
One of the key B2B Social Selling Strategies involves building a brand voice that provides real value and invites trust. For a new brand trying to fix its feet into the sands of social media, competitive analysis may help. If not, then sharing interesting content or links to your informative blogs can establish your brand as an industry thought leader. This shows your connections that you are providing something valuable for them and then they can look forward to doing business with you.
2. Prefer long-term relationships over short-term leads
Unless your message is falling on the right ears, even the best content will only scratch a head. Mismatch with the prospects can deem you as inauthentic and your sales reps may miss out on forming more genuine connections. Use social selling tools to identify prospects based on criteria such as function, role, or industry. Meaningful connections lead to more successful conversions.
3. Honesty is indeed the best policy
The insights you share and the content you post should keep in mind your prospect’s needs and expectations. It should properly address the prospect’s pain areas and help them in practical ways.
4. Join relevant social media groups and forums
B2B companies can leverage LinkedIn groups and Reddit forums to discover where your prospects and customers engage with and join the same. This approach helps you stay informed about industry developments and challenges your customers are facing.
5. Use social listening tools
Set up Google alerts or use social listening tools to identify prospects discussing your business or services. Connecting with an audience already interested in your offerings enhances authenticity and builds trust.
6. Stay patient
Just like every relationship-building exercise, social selling also takes some time to yield some actual results that can be measured in money! Even if some prospects you’ve reached out to may not be ready to purchase what you’re offering, stay in touch. Maintaining meaningful relationships will keep you at the top of your prospects’ minds when they’re ready to take the plunge. Many social media platforms also have built-in tools to measure the success of your social selling efforts (more on that below), so you can identify what’s working and when you may need to adjust your tactics.