B2B SOCIAL SELLING SOCIAL SALES. GET INTO IT! Social Selling is an innovative practice of identifying and reaching prospects on social media in order to: • Challenge the statusquo with engaging content • Educate clients on available solutions • Build relationships and turn them into leads
WHY SOCIAL? A QUICK FACT CHECK The Game Has ChangedThe B2B customer has officially gone digital. Today, most of B2B buying steps (up to 70%) are completed before buyers connect with a salesperson, mostly by using online resources. Thats right! The buyers complete two thirds of the journey before you even know it. Insert List Here• List your services and products here.• List your services and products here.• List your services and products here.• List your services and products here.• List your services and products here.• List your services and products here.• List your services and products here.• List your services and products here.• List your services and products here.The New Source of Influence82% of prospects can be reached "socially" via online networks. Decision makers use social networks to research and exchange information on vendors, their products and services. Social media has a significant impact on customers during all stages of the buying cycle. The Old Ways are... "Old"The effectiveness of cold calling is getting close to zero. The same goes for sending cold emails. On average 200 emails flood your prospects inbox every day, most of them unwanted. Decision makers (over 90% of them) say they absolutely will not buy from a cold call or an unsolicited email. Sales reps who have leveraged social selling in their salesprocess produce significantly better results.Are 79% more likely to attain their quota than ones who don’t!
THE NEW PURCHASE PROCESS As research shows, customers complete 60% through the sales process before engaging a sales rep, regardless of price point. Some studies suggest that this number can be as high as 70 %. That means they get through almost two thirds of the journey, without sellers even knowing that. Today customers don’t need you the way they used to. In the old days, when companies needed something they contacted suppliers for information and a suitable solution. Today, armed with troves of data, buyers can do their own research to establish their needs and define solutions for themselves, leaving suppliers to compete on price. Playing catch‐up with them means losing the game. If you dont know that someone is examining your company, you cant address and correct misconceptions that might arise during the process. And if you get yourself involved only after you received a RFP – its too late: now you have to compete with rival solutions and against customers own internal capabilities. To stay in control, companies must engage buyers earlier in the process, actively raising issues and challenging the status‐quo. AWARNESS DISCOVERY CONSIDERATION DECISION VALIDATIONCOMPLETE BY THEMSLEVES WITH YOUR SALES TEAM THE NEW PURCHASE PROCESS
ITS HARD TO ENGAGE CLIENTS THE OLD WAY It takes on average about 10 attempts to reach a prospect. And after you reached them‐ guess what? They dont want to talk to you! Almost all (more than 90 %) executives never respond to or buy from cold calls or unsolicited emails. However, most of them (more than 80 percent) do engage when referred by a connection – whether through a friend, colleague, customer or industry peer. Thats exactly what social media provides – connections. You can get a 360‐degree view on your prospects, collect business intelligence by monitoring their business, pick the right time by watching for trigger events and, finally, connect and engage them on your terms without the risk of being rejected as a nuisance. Social selling overtakes cold calling as social networks become the premier tool for B2B prospecting and lead generation.
THE NEW SOURCE OF INFLUENCE Research shows that almost all (91%) of B2B buyers are now involved in social media – at least as “spectators”. More than half of them are seeking information about products and services on social sites and would like vendors to respond using social media networks. Engaging with vendors on social networks is now a part of the decision process – almost three‐quarters of buyers are now doing that on the regular basis. It was found that communication on social media positively influences the buyers perception of the company and their likelihood to recommend the company to others. B2B buyers are significantly influenced by social media, increasingly relying on it to find information about suppliers and their solutions.
A SHORT HISTORY LESSON On September 6, 1916 in Memphis a new grocery store under the name "Piggly Wiggly" opened its doors to customers. An insignificant event at the time, it had huge consequences for it was the first truly self‐service grocery store – the predecessor of modern day supermarkets. At Piggly Wiggly customers passed through turnstiles, picked products by themselves, and were issued wooden buckets (the shopping carts would be introduced twenty years later). There were open shelves and no clerks in from of them‐ all unheard of! Its difficult to imagine that the way we shop for groceries now was a novelty once. Back at those times people were not accustomed to that – it was an innovative proposition. There was no supermarkets. Just local grocery shops where shoppers had to stand in lines, waiting at counters to be served. They told the grocer what items they need and he took them off the shelves and handed to customers. That was the only way to shop before Piggly Wigglys owner Clarence Saunders, a flamboyant and innovative man, noticed that this method resulted in wasted time and expense. Saunders was the first to realize a simple truth. People go to a store to buy things, not to have someone sell things to them. From this perspective, a middle person (the grocer) provides no real value. More than that, he can be an obstacle, making customers rely on him to do something they can do themselves. The rest is history. The idea was a hit and now we have supermarkets all around us. By understanding the changing customers behavior, Saunders set a trend for generations to follow. The same changes can be seen now in the B2B field. The B2B customers dont want to be sold to. They want to be in control and choose their own solutions. In other words, they dont want the grocer (your sales rep) to stand between them and the shelves. They have new sources of information and influence and are not affected much by what vendors tell them. Those who recognize this new reality will get a solid advantage. Those who do not inevitably will lag behind loosing their position on the market.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Sergey Gusarov B2B Social Selling and Marketing Consultant Experienced Social Selling and Business Development professional with a strong background in B2B sales and Internet marketing. Skilled in all areas of Sales 2.0, including: • identifying and reaching prospects on social media networks, • engaging them with informative and value‐ rich content, • building relationships and developing them into actionable leads. An adept networker with an extensive network of high‐level contacts, including C‐level executives in various markets and industries. Ill be glad to hear from you to discuss your experience and opportunities with social selling and other innovative B2B sales practices. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. firstname.lastname@example.org linkedin.com/in/svgusarov | Feel free to connect [email@example.com] socialsellsb2b.blogspot.com Image Credits : Nowsourcing.com Istockphoto