How Does Social Selling Work? What is social selling?
In a nutshell Social Selling works by connecting, engaging and converting potential customers online.
There are a number of key actions that we need to understand, learn and take in order to be successful at social selling.
Social Selling for Dummies
1) What is your Social Selling Index
So this is a score provided by LinkedIn and helps to provide some guidance as to your proficiency in using the platform for the purposes of social selling.
Ideally, your score should be above "70" but don't put all your eggs in the LinkedIn basket, it is only one of the important channels for you to be using.
2) How many contacts/followers have you developed on:
While there is no magic number for any of these there are levels you need to be at to effectively drive engagement and lead generation.
3) How much time do you currently spend researching companies and contacts on Social networks?
Again, there is no perfect amount of time you should be spending but there is definitely a minimum which is very dependent on your role and objectives. For example, if you’re an inside salesperson or account manager it would be quite different than if you were focused on new business development where you could easily spend 20% of your time online researching.
4) How much time do you spend engaging with contacts online?
This is one of the most important and yet misunderstood set of sales activities. Not only do you need to be spending significant time on these, but if you are not then you are not social selling. Not surprisingly, if we don’t engage with people, nothing happens!!
In total and to be effective you should be spending an equal amount of time engaging as you are researching. Often these two activities will overlap when developing contacts with a target prospective customer but it's important to be supporting the companies you work with as well as those you would like to.
Social Selling Plan
5) Do you have a target set for new contacts made / week or / Month?
So, the answer to this question tells me how serious you take the opportunity of social selling. If you are not consistently building your networks than your market opportunity will stay small or worse, it will shrink!
What is a good number, that depends entirely on how many new customers you need to be developing? On average you should be developing "10" new contacts on each of your active channels/week.
6) Do you share content from your organization through your networks?
This is how we show our networks and more importantly all the contacts our network has, how credible we are. Further it shows our expertise and why they need to be talking to us!
Are you Social Selling on LinkedIn? then you should be sharing industry-relevant and informative content while tagging key contacts as well as hash-tagging key groups.
Primarily a B2B channel
Are you Social Selling on Facebook? then you should be sharing similar to LinkedIn but important to include even more human related content as a lot of sharing occurs here.
Very effective for both B2B as well as B2C
Are you Social Selling on twitter? then you should be liking, retweeting and sharing to those groups within twitter that match up with your industry and those of your customers.
Very effective for both B2B as well as B2C
Are you Social Selling on Instagram? then you should be sharing the same as you would on Facebook with an emphasis on B2C and social branding.
7) Do you as yet write and share your own content?
So, this is one of the tougher activities as most people simply do not want to write their own content. Think of it this way, for every piece of content you write you can skip an hour of cold calling!! Which is easier!?
Original content is our opportunity to showcase our knowledge and expertise on the subject matter.
Ideally, this content needs to be over 1200 words or more in length and needs to speak to questions being asked by your industry and customers. It's important to know what primary questions are being queried about your products or services so you can be as relevant as possible while driving activity and engagement. When done properly this is also a primary SEO activity that will help you improve your google standing.
Social Selling Employee Advocacy
8) Does your organization actively support your social sales activities
This is not in your control but is still very important. We can absolutely be successful either way, but with our organization behind us, we can be much more successful and likewise so too can the company we represent. If this is not the case you can begin to show them how powerful “Social Selling” can be by your amazing results. Worst case, let us know and we’ll help you!
Is your organization’s idea of social selling is to continually plaster their corporate message about how great they are across social media? If it is, than you need to differentiate yourself in order to gain credibility within your network.
9) How much time do you spend/week making warm calls and follow-ups/engagements?
What is a warm call?
This is a call you make once you have established a good online relationship with a contact and now it's time to develop into a lead or sale. Because this is not a cold call, you have ussually prearranged the call before hand.
- warm calls > 8 hours / week or 1.6 hours / day
- Direct messaging and emails > 8 hours / week or 1.6 hours / day
This is a measure of your success because the more skillful and proficient you get at social selling the less cold calling you’ll be doing. Now all your calls will be warm calls developed from customer interactions online.
Oh, did you think social sales meant never phoning prospects, think again!
The difference is, now they know you as you have already begun to develop a solid relationship online and you have already been able to establish their interest.
10) How many leads per week or per month are you generating via social selling?
This again is a measure of your success but is also determined by your role. If you are inside sales the measurement would be different because you are much more actively communicating with existing customers. So, the metrics here would be more around account growth and referrals via social selling. Whereas with the business development role it’s all about those new leads.
So, having answered these questions you now know what social selling is and what you need to be doing BUT just how ready for “Social sales” are you?
If you feel you need some help, reach out to me, it’s easy just click!
Rick Rea &
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