10 Principles for B2B Social Selling


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Learn the 10 key principles to making social media a productive and efficient source of B2B sales prospecting and lead generation.

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  • Great post. Thanks for sharing. We're using a lead gen tool right now called www.found.ly - basically, we do our prospecting through LinkedIn, and the tool then finds the professional email address in real time. We can also do email automation through it as well which is great. It's such a powerful tool for us but would love to hear if anyone else has experience of this tool so I can compare your experience?
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10 Principles for B2B Social Selling

  1. 1. Social Media Sales Strategy 10 Principles for B2B Sales
  2. 2. 1. Objective Have a social media plan. Lacking a purpose and clear objectives social media will be a waste of time. Here are a few things to consider in building your social media B2B sales strategy: 1. Who do you want to target? 2. What do you want them to do? 3. How are you going to encourage them to do it? "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." -Lewis Carroll
  3. 3. 2. Listen Having a plan makes listening a lot more productive. A social media monitoring plan is the surest way to avoid wasting time in these social venues. In fact, a well structured listening plan will help you gain time for sales. Once established, your social media listening will do the majority of your prospect research and deliver you regular opportunities to engage. I like to listen for: 1. Personnel changes, 2. Chatter between competitors and their customers, 3. Hints at ongoing or future product or service evaluation.
  4. 4. 3. Community The real power of social media is the power of online communities. However, this is probably the number one failure of most social media programs. This failure and resulting frustration with social media comes largely from the lack of community in most programs. Why is that? Because most try to build community in the wrong way. Here are the steps B2B sales should use to build community: 1. Don't try to build your own 2. Find and engage (contribute) to existing communities 3. They will come and surround you--You Win!
  5. 5. 4. Etiquette Social media etiquette is really "dinner party" etiquette--we are socializing, not pitching. Here are a few guidelines to remember: 1. Listen before you speak 2. Introduce yourself (not an elevator pitch) 3. Wait for an opportunity to add value to the discussion 4. Ask questions. Seek to learn 5. Make it easy to find out more about you These are guidelines, but the only way to really get it right is to practice. Engage. Make mistakes. Apologize. Grow.
  6. 6. 5. Practice Practice makes perfect, and no where is this more true than in social networking. It's a body of technology and methodology completely driven by the whims and behaviors of people. That means it's unpredictable. The silliest things will soar and the most clever will crash. Have a practice plan: 1. Try different social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook 2. Try different methods: blog posts, links, questions, polls 3. Design campaigns and measure results
  7. 7. 6. Track Chances are you're not going to improve without monitoring your impact and results. Like any great athlete will tell you logging and tracking your training and personal bests are critical to winning the big competitions. Social media is no different. You need to set-up a monitoring program to see and capture opportunities. It can be difficult to see all the reactive ripples without good monitoring. Here are a few monitoring recommendations: 1. Free: Google Alerts and Search Twitter 2. Paid: Kaleidico's Eavesdropper
  8. 8. 7. Measure Measuring is closely tied to tracking, but I think there is an important distinction to be made. Tracking or monitoring is watching the flow and grabbing opportunities--maybe even using reactions and impacts to motivate you. However, to really nail a consistent flow of sales from your social media efforts you need to step back and up a level. When you are designing your measurements makes sure you are capturing the big picture, as it's tied to your goals and objectives. Each measurement should be tied directly to an outcome you are trying to achieve and a tool that gives you the numbers.
  9. 9. 8. Adjust Nothing ever works perfectly the first time (even if you think it did). Program in specific time to analyze your monitoring and measurements. Figure out where you are losing opportunities from your funnel. Here are some places I look for clues to adjust: 1. Blog posts that are low visits, top exits, high bounce rates 2. Blog posts with few or no comments 3. Tweets with low RTs, low click-through, no response 4. LinkedIn Answers without good or relevant responses 5. Social networking that brings little engagement return
  10. 10. 9. Efficiency At this point, social media for sales sounds like a lot of extra work. That's the secret! Your prospective clients and partners should get exactly that impression. You want them to perceive that your engagement is prolific and personal. But, you know efficiency increases margins so let's look at some automation: 1. Tweetspinner: Automating daily management of Twitter 2. Twitterfeed: Syndicating regular, high-value content 3. Hootsuite: Scheduling that social media plan
  11. 11. 10. Creativity I've given you all of the mechanics, but that won't get you to where you want to be. The first nine principles will simple get you on par (maybe a slight edge) on the competition. The big successes will go to the ones with the most creativity. The ones that figure out how to really inspire reaction and passion in their communities. I can't give you the formula for this--it has to come from YOU! Good luck and let me know if I can help you brainstorm up some of your own social selling magic.
  12. 12. Bill Rice www.kaleidico.com Twitter: @billrice LinkedIn: BillRice Cell: 734.775.4487 More resources & inspiration: http: //delicious.com/kaleidico/socialmedia+b2b