Salespeople and sales leaders: you may ask why you should bother with digital selling. Your marketing team should look after social media, and leave you with the time and freedom to sell. Right?
Well, if you are an outbound, B2B salesperson, nothing should replace your digital selling efforts. Here is seven things only salespeople – not marketers – can do on social media:
1. Get offline and onto the phone
This is number one because it is the most important. Unless you have a pre-existing relationship, sending cold messages to set meetings or sniff out opportunities will not work. So, pick up the phone, talk to the contact you met on LinkedIn, and use the information about them online to warm up the call.
2. Add a personal touch
B2B Social Media is rich with triggers for the proactive sales professional to respond to. Your contacts land new jobs, celebrate work anniversaries, birthdays, awards and professional milestones. Each of these is a chance to create a stronger connection, start a conversation, and stay in touch without a sales agenda.
3. Qualify leads
Marketing teams must set up lead scoring, serve content, and measure traffic, engagement, and conversions if they are to find leads on social media. Many people are ‘incognito’ or at least inactive online, most of the time. They will not show up in your marketing team’s funnel. But, you can use your experience and intuition to determine which businesses and contacts are worth reaching out to. You do not need to pay for a list; this information is available on LinkedIn and other social networks.
4. Turn an MQL into an Account
Most Marketing Qualified Leads (in my experience) lead nowhere in the B2B sphere. Usually because the lead starts with a low-influence contact who has been given a mandate to do some initial research and to reach out to prospective suppliers. There is only so much you can do with this lead without taking the conversation to more influential, senior people involved in the decision. And this is exactly what social allows you to do: find ‘who’s who’ in an account, engage them, and advance the sale by gathering information, building consensus, and gaining micro-commitments.
5. Educate a defined set of people, instantly
Marketing deploy brand-building and awareness campaigns, build an audience, and then re-target that audience if they are to educate and convert a specific set of buyers. This takes time. Alternatively, Community Managers can educate a pre-built social community in a Facebook or LinkedIn group, or on a forum or meetup group of some kind. Community building takes even longer than a traditional marketing campaign (and is costly in terms of hours spent, and advertising or content or events to acquire users).
On the other hand… a sales professional using a tool such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator can share a post, tag the right people and brands, and within hours acquire thousands of views – leading to traffic and engagement from precisely the right audience, all within one day.
6. Establish your personal brand
When you speak with a prospect for the first time, do they know who you are, personally? Would you like them to know your name and recognise who you are as a professional? Marketing cannot and will not build your professional brand. You must do this by developing your own professional social network, staying active in the right ways, and leveraging it for sales. And this is something every B2B sales professional can and must do. If you are educating and guiding customers in person, in the context of a meeting or presentation – you can add value to a network, and establish thought leadership through your shares and posts.
7. Drive Top of Funnel
The primary reason any sales professional should bother with LinkedIn and other social media at work is to build Top of Funnel. New opportunities are the life-blood of any B2B business, and a sales professional with an outbound play has no greater ally than the insights, triggers, and information available on B2B social networks.
Resonate and Digital Selling
What is your top reason to leverage social networks for sales?
At Resonate, digital selling is at the core of how we promote business and drive sales. If you would like to discuss how we can help you leverage social media to generate real value and results for your business, please contact us.