Most sales leaders and practitioners are starting to take social media serious as a way to get visible and valuable to their buyers in the sales process. Even so, there still seems to be a degree of uncertainty about “how” sales can use social media efficiently to ensure they aren’t wasting time.
Infusing Social Into the Sales Process
A true social selling process infuses social media into the traditional process, giving more visibility and access to buyers on more channels. Building a mini social selling stack will allow sales to identify opportunities for targeted conversations and ensure they are continuously happening with your buyers.
In the B2B SaaS environment, LinkedIn and Twitter seem to be the two social channels where sales is finding the most success from an ROI perspective. It’s imperative that sales is only spending time on social channels that are going to give them maximum access to their buyers.
Hirevue found that it takes anywhere from sixteen to twenty two touches on average to get a demo set at the mid-market and enterprise level. Email and phone played a crucial role in this process, but social media also played a big part. A true social selling process still includes email and phone as touches but incorporates social media as the “value” touches in the process. A multi-channel approach is key in today’s buyer/seller communication.
After infusing social media into their sales process, Hirevue had astounding results. They generated almost ten million in pipeline in just seven short months. As an added bonus, they were tracking the whole process inside their CRM in order to get multi-channel revenue attribution data.
The Social Value Touch
What is a “social value” touch? Just like traditional methods of connecting with your buyer, adding social media into the process allows sales to have a “value” tool that is buyer-focused. This makes a lot more sense if you break down the touches in your sales process as “value” vs “ask” from the buyer’s point of view.
An example: If you call into an account, you are most likely giving an elevator pitch and asking for the appointment. If you send an email, you are creating messaging around your value prop, asking for their time. Social media is the tool sales should be using as the “value” tool in tandem with phone and email.
[Tweet “Social media is the tool sales should be using as the “value” in tandem w/ phone and email.”]
The infusion of social media into this process would allow for sales to give some type of business value instead of the standard ask to the buyer on the front end. If sales is working on getting into an account, they can use social media as a touch to advocate for the buyer in some way.
For example, you see the decision-maker in the account has a webinar coming up. Taking action and sharing that webinar to their social network is considered a value touch. We are all fighting for visibility and data. What’s more valuable than helping the prospective buyer get more sign-ups?
Conversation Drives Sales
Everything we do in sales on a daily basis starts and ends with a conversation. Using social data appropriately allows sales to have more personalized conversations, targeted conversations, and ones that start higher on the decision-maker totem pole.
Now, as we all know, social selling is not a substitute for selling. Conversations have to be happening online and then moved offline into the sales process. If there is no offline conversation happening, then you are doing social marketing.
The conversion for social selling happens when offline conversations are created, opportunities are created, and revenue is created that’s attributed to online conversation transitioning to offline close.
[Tweet “If there is no offline conversation happening, you are doing social marketing. Not selling.”]
Stuffing Conversation Pipeline
Now, with all the noise going on in social media, it can be very confusing and time consuming to find the right conversations and get results on the bottom line.
It’s imperative that sales is using the right social technologies in order to efficiently find, engage, and nurture the right conversations.
Download eBook, “6 Best Social Techniques to Help You Move the Conversation Needle“.