You might have already heard at least once about the social selling: this buzzword we see everywhere . What does it mean? Why and how does it change the way we do business? At the risk of disappointing you… social selling is not an innovative concept. In fact, social selling has been going on over one thousand years. At that time when internet did not exist, people used to buy only from trusted people. The bound of trust was and still is essential. Almost nothing changed, except the fact that customers use search engine before buying, and are more connected.
If there is one thing that sales teams want to accomplish it is to reach customers at the most influential moment: when they are making purchasing decisions to close deals with them. How? How can they reach customers facing a multitude of information and offers? How can customers trust a brand or a product or a service rather than another? Nowadays it is inscreasingly difficult for sales representatives to reach that goal. Figures prove it: 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine. 75% of customers say they use social media as part of the buying process. In fact, those two figures are impressive, and show that sales representatives deal with well-advised customers. This is more obvious when it comes to deal with B2B buyers. They have adopted the purchasing strategy and approach of using the internet as a primary vehicle to discover solutions and services to address their business challenges. According to LinkedIn Sales Navigator study, a sales representative face on average 5,4 B2B decision makers. Within this context, marketing, communication, and sales teams can no longer count on one decision maker, cold calling and traditional prospection methods becoming obsolete.
Social selling is…
In a few words, social selling is about leveraging your social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, WeChat…etc.) to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately achieve sales goals. This has prompted companies like, Microsoft, Allianz, IBM, Accor… and hundreds of others, to embrace social selling as an integral part of their sales process. It starts with developing a social selling ecosystem:
How to set up social selling within your company?
Three important steps are needed for the roll out of social selling: First, involve. The top management has a key role to play in demonstrating that social selling is aligned with the company’s sales representatives objectives. Secondly, structure a program and build your “dream team”. The head of sales has to act like the captain of the sales team. Like a champion, he has to inspire his peers, select the sales based on profiles and their appetite for social media, then form his team, and finally measure their social selling adoption in order to direct the social selling program. Finally, implement a proper program. The key of a successful strategy begins with convincing and mobilizing the army. Communicate up to the social selling program. This will help your team to understand, why they have to adopt the social selling, how they can use it in their daily work life, and what its benefits are. Make sure to identify the success stories. Do not hesitate to suggest and lead successful social sellers to share best practices across the company and help employees build their skills and knowledge base and get the most reluctant on board.