“Sellers who’ve embraced social media are creating new opportunities that totally bypass traditional sales channels… It’s about good selling – using all the tools that are available to you today.” – @jillkonrath, The Rise of Social Selling
It’s a fact: Sales leaders around the globe are falling love with social selling. The old principle format of selling involved tracking down a prospect by phone or email, knowing very little about them or their interests, and finding some way to relate the product or service personally to them. But business is changing, and like many trends in the world, what was once considered traditional is now on its way out. Still a non-believer? Before I back up social selling with some research, let me stress something to you: Social media is not a fad. There will never again be a time when straight cold calling is the go-to prospect hunting tactic. We’re only moving forward. In his recent article, Ross Simmonds outlined some results from social selling research performed by top dogs such as Inside View, Social Media Examiner and Content Marketing Institute. His points were as follows:
- B2B marketers who use Twitter generate twice as many leads as those that do not. (Inside View)
- Marketers spend an average of 4-6 hours a week on social media. (Social Media Examiner)
- 74% of B2B marketing companies use Twitter to distribute content. (Content Marketing Institute)
- 55% of B2B survey respondents search for information on social media. (MediaBistro)
- 86% of IT buyers use social media in their purchase decision process. (IDG Connect) Read more at http://bit.ly/1knNaTh
So the research shows that this works, but how do you utilize it?
Targeting prospects via social media gets you the quick facts about them, such as their role in a company, their status in decision making power and their personal views. Now instead of shooting in the dark, you’re re-tweeting their last post and starting a conversation.
2. Customer Loyalty
You have to build strong relationships in sales, there is no way around it. If you want new business, you need to have a strong reputation that travels well via word-of-mouth. Take the time to develop those relationships through social media and you’ll realize you have a much stronger foundation than if you sent out a cold call or email.
3. New Opportunity
According to Simmonds’ article, 14% of marketers’ total leads stems from social networking. On social media, you are seeing the conversations happen and are able to identify a good time to step in. So, what’s keeping you from tapping into the art of social selling? Tweet us your hangups to @Xactly and let's start working through it!