Social selling is one of the main tools in the sales arsenal. When our ability to interact in person is limited, online interaction bridges the gap. Our previous posts shared how to build a strong brand and make connections on LinkedIn. In this post, we’ll explain how to build relationships through interactions with your network.

 

Set a goal

Your social selling strategy should be built around a goal. If you’re going after an account, consider the customer lifetime value. Map the prospect, understanding the key players, their degree of influence, and the connection between them. What content can you use to nurture them?

When identifying opportunities, make sure your approach comes from a place of helping, not just selling. What indicators identify a potentially profitable prospect?

 

Focus where you can win

Define criteria for whether connections are Champions or Obstructers, Skeptics, or Supporters. Champions demonstrate high receptivity and high interaction. If you’re doing lead scoring, Champions must score higher than others. Target them and keep nurturing others.

 

Create value for both parties

Focus on your MVP (Most Valuable Proposition)—the one or two capabilities that are most relevant to your clients. Understand the prospect’s purchase process and nurture interactions based on buy cycles, who makes the decision, and who signs the check. (Creating Smart Links with content for each stage in the funnel can help.)

Social selling is about quality, not quantity.

 

Distribute content

Share content to foster interaction. Make 70% of it about your industry, 20% about your company, and 10% personal. Share information and expertise, user experiences, success stories, or questions and answers. Use visual media to make your content more appealing and relevant keywords to help it get found by the right people. Tools like Paper.li make it easy to publish relevant content automatically.

When sharing content or commenting on others’ content, be sensitive to client needs and the current situation. Focus on information that adds value. Don’t use themes that divide or scandalize; avoid spreading false facts. Don’t pitch. Your focus should be connecting, not selling.  

Align sales and marketing

For social selling to succeed, sales and marketing must be in alignment.  

  • Agree on what a lead is to the business, beyond MQLs and SQLs. Sales and marketing should plan an integrated business strategy together. 
  • Agree on specific KPIs to clarify how many leads the team has to identify and qualify, as well as how and when those leads will be acted on.
  • Go beyond buyer personas. Based on research and competitive benchmarking, discuss a portfolio of value propositions that are valuable to the end-user and can lead to a long-term relationship. 
  • Develop playbooks with key messaging in marketing communication and sales enablement materials to align the team during the buying cycle.
  • Integrate sales and marketing information so teams can focus on both new business opportunities and existing clients.

Generate leads with social selling

Once you’ve identified prospects, carry out social selling by: 

  • Creating short 1- to 2-minute videos and upload them to your profile to promote a good conversation. 
  • Presenting educational webinars or live online events. Try a new and entertaining event format, such as playing trivia or conducting a survey to get responses from prospects. 
  • Turning prospects into business opportunities. Qualify prospects creatively and progressively to make the process more efficient.
  • Follow up in real-time. Since potential clients are probably working virtually, it’s essential to ensure that qualification isn’t working after the marketing activity.

By regularly interacting with connections thoughtfully, you’ll strengthen relationships and drive results. An enterprise marketing agency can help execute your strategy and take your social selling efforts to the next level.

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