ZoomInfo published a blog in October, 21 Important B2B cold calling statistics. In which they reported that cold calling is ineffective 90.9% of the time. In addition HubSpot recently reported that only 24% of sales emails are opened in their article 73 Mind-Blowing Sales Statistics That Will Help You Sell Smarter in 2019. There is significant publicity at present suggesting that traditional sales methods are in decline. However despite the go to market strategy being questioned the sales profession is thriving across many industries and in particular technology. This would suggest alternative methods of driving sales have been adopted and to great success. Recently there has been particular attention on the value of social selling.
Social Selling focuses on finding and engaging with prospects online. By using social media sites you can identify and connect with new prospects before interacting with them through the sharing of content or other forms of value added communication. A study conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) found that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions. Such damning statistics suggest social selling is not an option, it is a necessity. When we consider 75% of the professional workforce will be millennials by 2022 the argument to adopt it as part of your strategy is further enhanced.
We share some initial tips to help develop a successful social selling strategy:
Build a relevant network
Often we can get caught up in playing the volume game. As a result we have a tendency to focus on the easiest way to grow the size of our network. Taking this approach often leads to a network of personal relationships and colleagues from differing functions. This restricts your capacity to develop meaningful professional relationships and decreases the capacity to learn and keep up to date within your specialism. Make sure you focus your network on value added relationships.
Use the right platform
There are so many social platforms to choose from today. Whilst there can often be an assumption each has a distinct purpose this isn’t always the case. If you take a sociable industry such as fashion, often there is a need to combine personal and professional interests in your approach to selling which would suggest a platform such as Facebook would be more appropriate. In general technology typically is best served via LinkedIn, due to the nature of the professionals but also the specific accessible data requirements to identify leads. However some of the more visual elements of technology such as UX may serve a purpose on other sites like Instagram.
Share engaging content
The easy part is getting someone to be part of your network, but that is only the beginning. Social selling is seen as a less intrusive approach to the sales process. It is important to engage with your network through thought provoking content that will encourage them to interact with you or at least remember you. Failure to do this and you just disappear into their network, making future engagement even harder.
Follow companies, prospects and publications
The beauty of using social as part of your sales strategy is it can help enhance your approach by feeding information to you. The style in which you engage with prospects is one thing but the content provided must have weight. To stay up to date with your market, follow the relevant companies and thought leaders. In addition to this utilise platforms such as Buffer or Hootsuite (have free versions) to track key publications and leverage that information as apart of your sales approach and use the information you curate to build your communication strategy.
The above are some initial suggestions as to how to tackle social selling. It is however a broad subject and worth doing your own research online for what works and what doesn’t. In addition as a technology sales specialist recruiter our consultants are always on hand to provide advice and guidance around career development.
Should you require a more detailed discussion on this subject, be a technology sales professional in search of new opportunities or require technology sales professionals to add to your team please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org