Social Selling: How Being Social Affects Your Prospects

Think that social media isn’t for B2B companies like yours? Think again. IBM did it. In fact, IBM reports “one-third of its B2B buyers were already using social media of various kinds.”

Sure, the 54-year-old executive that you negotiate with might not be using Twitter, but the 37-year-old one level below him (who has significant influencing power) is on Twitter… Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, too.

The Lesson? Start Getting Social

It’s time to start getting social.

Here’s what that doesn’t mean: creating a Facebook, Twitter, and other social media profiles just for the sake of having them.

When we say, “get social,” we want to encourage you to learn more about the power of social media in terms of sales. According to a 2012 study by the Aberdeen Group, 56% of sales representatives that used sales intelligence were able to meet or surpass their quotas. Compare that to the mere 26% of sales reps who did the same, but without using sales intelligence.

The sales people using intelligence aren’t necessarily working harder; they’re working smarter.

Of course, we don’t want to confuse “sales intelligence” with “social media” because they’re certainly not one and the same. However, as social media platforms continue to grow, the wealth of information available on these networks is becoming a bigger piece of the “sales intelligence” pie.

Here’s one last impressive fact before we cover how you can get started with social selling: According to another commentary on the Aberdeen Group study, sales reps that use social selling “are 79% more likely to attain their quota than ones who don’t.”

How Your Sales Team Can Be More Social

Here are a few ideas for encouraging social selling that are – at the very least – worth experimenting with:

  • Ask employees to perform “social research” on the buyers and decision-makers they’re targeting.
  • Offer interested employees the chance to spend the first 15-20 minutes of their day building their own professional social network and reaching out to prospective clients through social media channels.
  • Encourage company leaders and employees at all levels to contribute to a company blog. This is a great way to demonstrate thought leadership and have something to share with your online professional community.

Is your sales team using any “social selling” techniques?

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