If you have worked in sales for any length of time, you have probably dealt with the highs and lows of cold calling. From door-to-door sales to cold calls, there have been many ways sales professionals have tried to reach new customers over the years. But in 2022, there is a new method of sales that is rapidly gaining popularity: social selling.
Social selling is one of the most in-demand skills for modern sales teams. But how does it work, and how can you apply it to your B2B sales? Keep reading to learn what social selling is, how to do it the right way, and how it brings about a new era of B2B sales.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling uses the power of social media to build connections with prospects and increase engagement with potential leads. When sales teams create content for social media channels, they can start conversations and develop strong relationships with potential customers.
Social selling is an opportunity for sales teams to show their online audience the ways that their products and services can solve the problems they are facing. By showing the product’s value through promotional materials on social media, a sales team can organically attract its target audience.
Reaching Niche Demographics
The key to social selling is to find personal and creative ways to reach your target audience. You don’t want to copy and paste materials into emails and LinkedIn posts. You want to find your niche and speak directly to them, building trust and connections that eventually lead to sales.
But what do you do when you find your niche? Using tools like Facebook Ads, you can target your social media content and advertisements to very specific audiences based on geographic location, age, gender, income, and more. You don’t want to try to be everything to everyone. Simply try posting for your ideal customer. How can you help solve a specific problem in their life? What is their pain point?
By truly knowing your ideal customer and the niche demographic they exist in, you can create content that speaks to them and warms them up for future conversations and, eventually, sales.
Video Content in Social Selling
When selling to Millennials and Gen Z, video content is one of the greatest tools you have. Sites like YouTube and TikTok see billions of users every month, and 4 out of every 10 Millennials believe that their favorite YouTuber understands them better than their loved ones.
The level of connection that video content brings to sales allows for a salesperson to have a strong impact on their potential leads. It also gives a wider range of opportunities to show the value that can be found in your product or service.
You can also work with influencers on TikTok and YouTube to create sponsored content and use the advantage of that influencer’s existing following.
How to Train Your Team in Social Selling
Social media influences sales. Eighty-four percent of B2B executives use social media as a part of their research before making purchases. Seventy-two percent of salespeople who use social media to sell end up outperforming their peers. The numbers don’t lie. But for your team to reap the benefits of social selling, they need to understand how to use this method themselves.
When shifting to using social selling, the younger members of your team may be at an advantage. Don’t be afraid to work with the younger salespeople to run training sessions on video content creation, social media research techniques, and current trends and engagement practices.
Everyone on your team must understand that building trust and fostering connections is at the heart of social selling. The content they create and the conversations they have with followers work to help potential leads see the value in your products and services.
The Social Selling Index (SSI)
Once your team is trained and you are working to develop a strong online presence and platform for social selling, you can gauge your progress using the Social Selling Index (SSI). Developed by LinkedIn, the SSI is a way to determine a salesperson’s social selling skills.
By establishing your brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships, you can increase your SSI score. Using this tool can be a great way to help your team set professional goals and develop the skills they need to improve their scores for the year.
How Will Your Team Use Social Selling?
Whether your goal is to create a popular TikTok account, or you are simply trying to engage more in the comment section of your latest Facebook post, social selling has proven its effectiveness time and time again.
Social media and other online resources have opened up a world of opportunities for marketers and salespeople in all industries. How will your team make the most of these digital resources this year?