Reps Struggle with Social Selling
We define B2B social selling as the ongoing process of leveraging digital channels to find, engage, and connect with ideal target clients. High performing B2B social sellers build relationships on digital platforms and turn online connections into offline sales conversations and long-term customer relationships.
Why Social Selling Matters
LinkedIn’s recent State of Sales report found that 62% of B2B decision makers look for an informative LinkedIn profile when considering talking with a sales rep. They also tout that modern selling leaders are:
There is no doubt that modern buyers are more savvy in their approach to identifying potential suppliers. Salespeople who effectively apply social selling techniques outperform their peers. The digital selling process requires a mindset shift to use online channels to provide value, develop trust, and build relationships with target buyers.
The Profile of Successful Social Sellers
Our sales management training experts know that successful digital sellers have a purposeful LinkedIn profile that uses customer-centric messaging; consistently leverages valuable digital assets such as videos, case studies, research reports, articles, testimonials, and podcasts; and establishes a regular sales cadence to engage modern buyers and to initiate more meaningful sales conversations.
The Top 10 Reasons your Sales Reps Struggle with Social Selling
In digital selling, goals are typically geared toward creating more sales conversations with more qualified buyers using tools such as InsideView, Outreach, LinkedIn, and SalesNavigator.
From a social selling perspective, clear buyer types and personas help determine the content production plan, define what clients are searching for online, and provide a framework for deciding the types of additional filters to use when developing search strings for prospecting on LinkedIn.
Effective online sales content strategies map to each unique stage of the buying process, answer key questions, provoke critical thinking, provide useful tips to avoid mistakes, address priorities, and give buyers a reason to want to consume your content and to keep you front of mind.
Other employee advocacy, video acceleration, online appointment setting, and auto text expanding tools, such as EveryoneSocial, GaggleAMP, and OneMob can increase adoption of content sharing, provide viewer metrics, and make it easy to schedule appointments.
For example, a LinkedIn Profile Makeover is typically the first playbook introduced because it includes everything needed in each sales rep’s profile. The user only needs to copy the content that was professionally written for them and paste it into their profile.
The next digital sales playbook often contains messaging templates, scripts and search strings that map to target buyer personas, and the most common interactions across the entire buying journey.
The final basic play in a digital sales playbook is sharing digital selling success stories and best practices. The stories should include how the sale was achieved, which digital tools were used in the process, and other unique variables.
Our experience tells us that sales reps struggle with social selling until they have a practical playbook that outlines exactly what to do, when they need to do it, and how they need to do it throughout the sales process.
LinkedIn profiles should showcase client case studies through rich media that relate to the buyer’s problems and should also include a clear call-to-action that drives engagement. A strong LinkedIn profile communicates value to the buyer.
While many sales leaders are skilled at coaching reps on core sales activities, few have the experience to deliver effective digital selling coaching.
Many sales teams like to build and present leader boards with incentive prizes, such as cash or non-monetary rewards like paid time off or donations to their favorite charity. Some use Slack or Salesforce Chatter to recognize high performers and to motivate desired sales behaviors.
Invest the time to ensure that content creators, marketing, sales, and social sellers are all on the same page.
The Bottom Line
When done right, social selling should help your company to build a healthier sales pipeline, close deals faster, and increase your brand awareness. Unfortunately, too many companies struggle with social selling and do not get the results that they desire.
To learn more about targeting your best clients, download 4 Steps to Define Your Ideal Target Client to Accelerate Growth
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