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Introduction to Social Selling
 

Introduction to Social Selling

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Social Selling University is not like social media courses which are typically designed for marketing departments. Social selling is a series of content that is being developed around how social media ...

Social Selling University is not like social media courses which are typically designed for marketing departments. Social selling is a series of content that is being developed around how social media can be used to identify new opportunities and engage customers/prospects in social networks they spend the most time in. LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and other social networks are filled with people asking for advice on products and looking to engage with friends, peers and experts to make intelligent buying decisions. This is where the opportunities are being created and sales people need to be part of those conversations.

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  • What we will cover and what you can plan on taking away from this.
  • It shouldn’t be news to you that customers have disconnected from the traditional sales and marketing communications. The revolution against interruption based marketing is almost complete and in order to survive businesses need to adapt to the new customer 2.0.
  • One trend that I’ve been seeing lately is that customers have gone from listening, to an active engagement mode – before the sales cycle even begins . They are connecting with customers, reading reviews and blogs, finding people they know and essentially forming a decision before you even have a chance to engaged. This is a huge shift that requires a different approach on prospect engagement.
  • I have identified a social sales cycle that any sales person can use to connect with these new types of customers and start building relationships and creating new opportunities faster.
  • One place customers are now looking for information is in their social networks. From LinkedIn to Twitter, customers are now finding more information about what to buy from their friends than from calling the company directly and getting “sold” to. Sales people should be involved in these conversations to provide valuable insight and engagement.
  • This isnt a plug for salesforce but I found this to be an interesting quote. Salesforce.com changed the way companies manage accounts and contacts. Real time data now drives business decisions just as social media is starting to drive real time buying decisions. Knowing what to listen for and engaging a customer during the buying process can be a sales persons best strategy.
  • This is a recent poll where people were asked for a response to the question: How is twitter useful?
  • This may seem like marketing data but its really a call to action for sales teams. People are using social media as a primary tool for getting information on products and services. If from a search in Twitter or a deeper conversation in a LinkedIn group or forum, people are not asking companies for information, they are asking their peers, other customers and trusted advisors.
  • LinkedIn answers is a leader in the B2B space for people looking for information about a product or service. Sales people should be a member of as many groups as they can find that will let them see what’s being discussed and engage in a way that makes them seem to be leaders in their space. Don’t take this lightly and push it off, your competitors are already starting to do this. (50) Limit on groups
  • (Kryptonite story) Your product will be tested. As a sales person you should be aware of what's being said online about your company.
  • One clear point is that being involved in social media will force you to be more professional. (That’s not a problem right?) Your updates will be followed and people will respond based on your updates. This is an example of what NOT to say when you are meeting a Billion dollar client . These 25 words created a media frenzy when FedEx publically responded and the news picked up on the story.
  • It’s time to realize that your prospects and customers are connecting and talking to each other more than you know. Learn to be a part of these conversations .
  • As an example - At InsideView, we follow the same methodology of Social Selling to reach customer 2.0 – while at the same time being effective and productive. Social Selling consists of the following components – Listen, Connect, and Engage Listening to your prospects and customers, so that you can understand their unique needs and business challenges Connecting with them through networks that are common between you and your prospects Engaging with them in a relevant conversation about what value you can provide to address their unique needs and challenges
  • Paying attention even on a small scale will bring your attention to conversations you can be a part of. Find new opportunities Learn more about your prospects Build relationships with influencers Generate interest in your product/service Create better alignment between sales & marketing
  • Many sales teams are still using old techniques to reach prospects. Voice mail after voicemail and unanswered emails don’t get get the attention of customer 2.0. Phones were the primary tool before email and now successful sales people need to adapt new tools into their sales process in order to capture new leads, build stronger relationships and find new opportunities.
  • This is a prime example of how social selling pays off. One of the decision makers at a $4.0M company with about 130 Employees took his question to the internet. We saw it and responded in a few minutes. As you can see he was impressed that we were so engaged and even sent us a message a day later to say that he still hadn’t heard from the other company yet.
  • Remember, it all starts with a conversation. You can become a part of that conversation but as you build your network and reputation, you will also be able to ask your network to speak on your behalf. You’d be surprised that after just some small interactions with people that they are willing and able to be advocates for you and your product.
  • The first online profile you should focus on is LinkedIn. Stop thinking of it as a profile only updated when you are looking for a job. Your LI profile is being looked at by 60% or more of the people you come in contact with. Make sure your profile is updated, professional and an excellent example of YOU . I could talk for an hour on ways to enhance your LinkedIn profile but the most important points you should focus on are headline – Photo - websites - work history and summary .
  • As I already touched on, I think Twitter is an underutilized tool for sales people. There are so many conversations happening in real time that you can be a part of. At a minimum you should have a Twitter profile just so you can follow the companies you interact with. You will find people of interest and you should engage in conversations. A lot of these updates will lead you to their company blog or even their personal blogs and that gives you an even better platform to create discussions.

Introduction to Social Selling Introduction to Social Selling Presentation Transcript