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What Social Selling Looks Like, Simplified

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See social selling defined in simple terms and why it matters for companies to implement.

Social selling is an increasingly familiar term, especially with the explosion of social media in the last decade and the process taking hold at more companies. Many might have dismissed social selling as a buzz term or fad, but the full concept of social selling has only grown stronger and is certainly not going anywhere. More companies are starting to value and adopt social selling within their own strategies, especially with sales and marketing teams.

If you are new to social selling or looking for a simplified breakdown of the process, this article will cover just that.

What is social selling?

Social selling is a pretty simple concept; it’s the execution that takes some strategy and patience to master. But social selling is simply using your social networks to discover prospects and build relationships that will help you achieve your sales goals.

However, you do not go directly for the sale. Instead, you answer prospects’ questions, engage in meaningful conversations, and provide unique content and insights that will help them solve challenges and ultimately trust your knowledge. When companies take advantage of social selling, they start to generate better-quality leads, increasing their sales opportunities and overall deal sizes.

Social selling process simplified

Now that we’ve quickly covered the definition of social selling and why it matters, let’s get into a simplified process. In the steps below, we’ll use Jessica, a sales rep at a B2B software company, as the example.

Connect and stay in touch

Jessica uses LinkedIn and Twitter to connect and stay in touch with her clients and prospects. This could be engaging in their conversations by liking, commenting, sharing and generally showing interest in what they are discussing on their social accounts.

Follow industry news

On a daily basis, Jessica reads interesting content from her favorite industry blogs and news channels like Inc., AdAge, Digiday and Fast Company. This arms her with more industry knowledge and content to share outside of her company’s own articles.

Share content online

Jessica shares content on Facebook and Twitter for fun. This includes her company content and all the good third-party content she finds interesting.

Gain the attention of your network

Jessica’s industry peers, prospective customers and network come across the content she shares. Her knowledge and industry shares start to show her as a thought leader and go-to resource.

Explore ongoing conversations

Jessica comes across an interesting conversation on Twitter or in a LinkedIn discussion forum.

Consider relevant information

Jessica has read a recent article that explores the topic her prospects are discussing in social or on forums.

Discover personal connections and contribute

Jessica joins the conversation by sharing a relevant and thoughtful piece of content that has been valuable to her learning process and personal growth.

Why does social selling matter?

With popular social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, connecting with prospects and getting in front of them is easier than ever before. Yet, this also means more and more content is flooding in their direction every day, so randomly throwing out content and not driving conversations will leave you unnoticed or ignored by your connections.

As you begin to identify your prospects and know their challenges, you can easily provide the right value to them in content or online conversations. Now you are building a relationship and seen as a trusted resource without sounding like a giant sales pitch.

These are just some sample statistics of why social selling matters:

  • Social sellers create 45 percent more opportunities (SuperOffice).

  • 78 percent of sales pros using social media perform better than their peers (Forbes).

  • 62 percent of sales pros at large companies agree social selling helps them build stronger and more authentic relationships (LinkedIn).

  • Social sellers are 51 percent more likely to reach quota (SuperOffice).

Final thoughts

In a nutshell, social selling is the process of using tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to do the following:

  • Build relationships
  • Define your reputation
  • Gain visibility among your target market
  • Deliver value to that market
  • Build credibility

Essentially, the more present you are, the more relationships you will build. The less you sell, and the more you focus on delivering value, the more your business and sales will grow.

Pretty easy, right? Yet, while defining social selling is fairly simple, there is still plenty more to the process than just interacting and sharing content. You have to be strategic and care about building relationships before your sale. 

 

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