What is Social Selling?
“What is Social Selling and why do businesses increasingly need these professionals?”
This question was put to me by João Silva – B2B Digital Marketing at Microsoft – to include in an article about this subject.
The answer is obvious to a simpler question than it seems: to stay competitive!
If consumers have changed their buying habits, companies only have one solution, change/adapt the way they sell, once the sales cycle has had other intermediates: Social Networks.
Social Selling is, therefore, the use of social networks in the sales cycle, where we have a new approach to the market and to potential customers, from the form of creating contact and nurturing relations, thus allowing a greater speed and precision that the traditional channels of communication and sales do not allow in most cases.
Implementing this type of strategy requires time and ability to “educate” the sales team, it is necessary to train and prepare the employees themselves. Everyone should be aligned and realize the advantages that this process has.
Bernie Borges (Vengreso | The Digital Sales Transformation Company) refers to the following:
“During the research phase, the buyer is gathering information and wants to remain invisible. She doesn’t want to talk with salespeople yet because she hasn’t yet determined the final list of potential vendors. Talking to sales people could be a waste of time in the research phase….Unless…..You supply information to the buyer that legitimately inserts you into her research.”
It is here that brands have to take advantage of the “wave,” they must realize that EVERYONE search before making a decision, and even in the B2B world, the percentage of decision makers who research individually before opting for a brand/company has increased considerably. Therefore, the content that companies place in the digital sphere, more properly in social networks, should be something that creates impact, aimed at its target audience and where the customer sees the added value of the company. Social Selling is to define this whole strategy to opt for the best channels, message and contents to increase the sales pipeline, through influence and relationship with the decision makers.
It is only with professionals qualified to this type of strategy that it will be possible to obtain results and the companies must qualify of these people so that they do not lose their competitiveness with the time. There is data that can not be ignored, for example, “Almost 80% of business-to-business (B2B) buyers see LinkedIn as an effective source for finding potential leads.”
Given this and other data, it becomes inevitable to bet on Social Selling, especially when the B2B market is increasingly linked to Linkedin, for example. This platform is a fantastic “hangout” for customers and suppliers. If there is a capacity for dynamization and creation of content that adds value, then the Social Selling strategy is on the right track and will soon begin to bear fruit in a natural way.
The professionals with this responsibility in the companies must adopt a posture with some patience, the market is very rooted in the sellers of cold calls, that is to say, to be able to educate the team will require patience and some virtuosity so that, little by little, it becomes a process with less and less internal resistance. It will be these professionals who must align the entire content strategy and define the entire sales cycle together with the sales team, as a norm will be a convergence between the marketing and sales department.