How to Champion B2B Social Selling and Deliver ROI
Social media has allowed businesses to escape the conference halls and golf courses and more efficiently reach potential buyers. Social selling has been gaining significant attention helping salespeople to take advantage of social media platforms. With the power to connect with anyone, anytime and represent your brand as the master of its niche, social media can add significant value to your lead generation strategy. Social selling has been gathering momentum across industries for years, and the hype is not expected to settle down anytime soon.
However, even with a sophisticated social selling strategy backed by seasoned experts, B2B marketers still find it challenging to maximize the value of social media. In this post we are discussing how to help marketers understand how to champion B2B social selling that delivers ROI.
1. Choose your battleground wisely
First things first, join the social media platform that is best suited to your business. Since you aim to capture B2B leads, LinkedIn and Twitter are the obvious choices. However, that does not mean you should exclude platforms like Facebook, Youtube, etc. Find out where your target customers are most active and then reach out to them there.
The right platform can help you gather specific details about your prospect including their problems, types of solutions they explore, what they prefer or dislike, how they feel about your product and a lot more. Additionally, you can begin to imagine what specific content keeps them engaged and how you can add value to their experience.
2. Create a professional brand
Once you are done choosing a network that aligns with your business, it’s time to create a compelling profile to attract buyers. Creating a profile for social selling is not just a sign-up process. Look for ways inside your social profile to help highlight the key aspects of your services and its value proposition in order to highlight your expertise. Additionally, make sure to engage regularly. Keep your profile updated.
Also, if you target multiple platforms, understand that each has something unique to offer. For example, LinkedIn is more focused on business news and connecting with other professionals than Facebook. You’ll need to internalize all this before you begin any social selling campaign.
3. Hunt for the right prospects and connect
Prospect hunting is one of the vital elements of B2B social selling. After all, without prospects nothing else will matter or drive ROI. This critical part of social selling should be done intelligently and, of course, in a customer-centric way. Find users who are looking for solutions that you offer, or the ones who have the same pain-points as your current customer had prior to implementing your solution. Check out in advance which ones are talking about your industry and what keywords they use when posting online.
Connect with them and explore interests together.
4. Your customers are talking so remember to listen
No one wants to be sold to, so begin by listening. B2B customers appreciate sales reps who acknowledge their problems and works alongside them to explore solutions.
Just like everybody else, customers talk. And that’s where you can find ideas for your products, services, and content. Monitor their public conversations. Learn about their roles in the company, their pain points, buying signals or triggers, etc. If they are the decision-makers, check out who they follow and what groups they are part of.
Leverage the findings in all stages of the buying process before you begin to publish content that can help them out. By taking the time to listen you will more effectively hit the mark when it is time for you to respond.
5. Find a perfect social selling strategy that fits you
“A vision without a plan is only a dream.”
Once you have all the insights from step 4, use them strategically to create an effective social selling strategy. Answer these questions in your strategy: How are we going to find prospects online? What is our approach to them? How will we add value based simply on what our profiles say about us? Brainstorm these questions first and then prepare a social selling plan that best fits your goals.
Make sure to not just rely on social media tools during this phase. While tools definitely make your life easier, they are not a replacement for human intelligence in getting the right approach to your specific needs. Ask your sales team to research some of these questions manually on their own social media channels to ensure you have a plan and idea how to best succeed.
6.Network and connect
Deliver value to the online prospects on a consistent basis. It is much easier said than done, but is critical to ROI. Find something that’s you have in common with your prospects as a starting point to adding value. It can be an educational background, career goals, or current interests. Customize your content accordingly in order to keep them engaged. Ask questions, comment on something a prospect posted, or share their posts on your timeline to get their attention.
Follow thought leaders in your industry and contribute to the groups and posts that they write. Find out who talks about your industry and note down the keywords related to these posts for future reference. There’s a good chance that your prospects are also following these profiles so by interacting with them you will open the door to an interaction with them. In some cases, these influencers could be your competitors. Keep it friendly and get your name out to everyone in your market.
7. Educate and nurture the prospects
According to LinkedIn’s Research, B2B prospects respond to a connection request only when they perceive some value by connecting. Additionally, LinkedIn tells us that over 94% of B2B customers research thoroughly online before making a decision. It stands to reason that a buyer’s connections can influence that decision.
It is a no-brainer that a white paper/ blog post/ social media post that talks about common problems that you address and how you solve them is more valuable than your sales pitch. Deliver relevant content to your customers and they will reward you. This can include insights and discussions that shape their decision in different phases of the buyer’s journey.
Moreover, don’t just brag about your products and services. Highlight something that represents your competitive edge in the industry.
8. You’re now ready to test the waters with Sales
While you put your plan into action, it is always good to stay updated on the progress of the program. Simply rowing the boat only to learn later that you have been going in the wrong direction not only wastes time but also takes away the energy that could have been better utilized.
Find out where your team is today with social selling. It’s possible that your salespeople are already experts while you have been investing a colossal sum to get basic training. Make sure that you know your team well and stay updated on their progress to make your social selling program is successful.
Start with B2B social selling today
The potential of social selling is unprecedented in B2B. When combined with the right approach and in concert with other effective sales methods, it can yield terrific results and great business partnerships. Now that you have a great strategy and know precisely how to make the mark, let’s get started. Of course, anytime you hit a snag the team at Thought Horizon is just a click away.