As the digital age and social media have matured, what it means to buy, sell and market in the B2B world has changed almost beyond recognition.
B2B buyers now spend more time online and on social media platforms like LinkedIn self-educating and researching B2B products and services, comparing notes with online communities, and turning to reviews and peer recommendations. All of this happening before they come anywhere close to engaging with a salesperson.
What’s the answer?
Social selling. It’s by no means a new phenomenon (you’ve likely heard it mentioned here and there) however, many still don’t know what it is, how it works, and why it is the answer to many of their woes.
Essentially, social selling is the practice of a salesperson using a platform such as LinkedIn to find, connect and engage with prospective leads and sales. And despite its name, it is not really focused on selling. Instead, the goal of social selling is to build real and meaningful relationships with potential customers to place your business and product at the front of their mind when they are ready to buy. And the good news is if you already have a LinkedIn profile then you’ve already completed the first step of social selling.
None of this is meant to imply that there is no longer any place or need for more traditional methods of selling (such as email, phone calls and meetings). Instead, it is more accurate to think of the former supporting the latter, making those interactions more meaningful and likely to succeed.
You’ve got to start somewhere…
Although social selling can be practised on any social media platform, there is a reason why LinkedIn has become the go-to social network for B2B companies.
Like with many things in life and work, if you want to succeed then you need a plan that can be easily followed. Having reflected on our experiences here at Gold-Vision from when we began our social selling journey, we’ve gathered together everything we learned into a series of easy-to-follow steps:
- Bring sales and marketing together
- Build a strategy
- Set objectives
- Conduct profile audits
- Run a series of pilots
- Review results
- Don’t forget about existing customers
Gold-Vision’s Head of Customer Experience and social selling guru, Jiggy Patel, has written a brilliant eBook that explores each of these steps in detail, explaining how you too can get started with social selling, leading to better relationships and better lead generation. Download your free copy today.
Jiggy also joined forces with Daniel Disney, a world-leading LinkedIn expert on social selling, to deliver an incredibly interesting webinar filled with tips on how to succeed with social selling and CRM. Watch the webinar now.