From what used to be a futile idea considered to die off soon, in just over 5 years “Social Selling” has forced the most brilliant minds to shift the conversation from
“Is Social Selling worth it for my business?” to
“How can I adopt social selling for my online business?” and now in 2016
“How can my business excel at Social Selling to reach or exceed my sales quota?”
Like a game changer, Social Selling has revolutionised the way businesses are looking at their customers and vice versa. As the practice becomes more commonplace,
Social Selling in 2016 is going to be a question of how well you do it rather than to do it or not!
So what will Social Selling mean for your business in 2016? To make your Social Selling strategy easy to implement, let me explain you in my usual acronym style using the keyword SMART.
From Virtual to Face to Face
As small business’ online marketers become savvier, they understand that social selling is more than connections, followers, likes and shares. What’s important is how successfully marketers are turning their online contacts into offline contacts!
In other words, the real measurement of Return on Investment (RoI) can only be done when you know:
- How many people from your followers have you talked to on the phone?
- How many of your prospects have you actually met in person?
- How many clients have walked through your door after booking an appointment?
In 2016, the goal will be to use the internet to get off the internet!
“As a Market Research Broker, I believe that meeting clients face to face has benefits that are just not possible online! It not only reinforces the relationships of trust between my client and I, but also helps me to understand the subtleties that are absent in online communication! How I do it? Ask my prospects if they would like to join me over a cup of coffee or may be stop at an event my company is hosting! This not only helps me develop a deeper connection but also tells my prospects that I really care! Of course LinkedIn is my Social Media platform of choice” says Roma Hippolite
More About People Than Technology
With the leaps in Social Selling tools at the disposal of today’s sales professionals, it seems almost daunting to keep up with most of them and still not be everywhere your customers are. Luckily, Social Selling is more about people than technology.
In this regard, more and more businesses are expected to maximise the effectiveness of Social Selling tools by imparting the right training to their sales staff predicts Kurt Shaver from The Sales Foundry!
With a perspective process in place and with the right support, sales professionals can learn how to listen to their buyers and take genuine interest in their needs to help them make informed decisions and build trusted relationships.
Creating Genuine Conversations
As a small business owner, you want people to be talking about your brand – a wish that hardly comes true for newbies, unless their offering is too hard to resist!
By building a community you are essentially providing a platform to a small yet targeted segment of people to share their experiences with your brand. Since, you can’t have a huge follower base, you can rely on the strength of the conversations in this community to spread the word for your business!
Community building shifts the focus from broadcasting to genuine conversations, providing resources instead of pitching and be open to engagement that’s beyond our own social media channels or company website!
Entrepreneurship coach and mentor, Federico Re puts it this way!
“Being an entrepreneur myself, I believe the key to sustainability is innovation and the only way to do it is to keep giving your customers before they even know that they want it. In this regard, community building cannot give your audience access to valuable information from trusted sources (and not just the brand) but also helps you listen to genuine conversations and understand the needs of your prospects giving insights for shaping your upcoming offerings accordingly.”
Transaction of Value
Social Selling online is no longer about selling products, it’s about building strong relationships that will reward your business in the long-run. In 2016, customers will be more willing to buy the value that this relationship has to offer.
Since a strong relationship acts as the foundation for genuine social networking, the importance of sales people will also rise, as they continue to develop a loyal customer base acting as brand advocates, educators and influencers.
With insights into your prospects’ needs, businesses can sell the product or service based on the value rather than its price or features. Similarly,
Customers buy because you have convinced them with your genuine advice and expertise, and not merely pushed a sale!
A Shared Effort Between Sales And Marketing
With a greater focus on training, 2016 will experience a greater alignment of sales and marketing when it comes to Social Selling!
Sales professionals need to understand that social media is here to complement traditional sales, not to replace it!
Insolvency Practitioner from Jones Partners, Bruce Gleeson shares the benefits of social selling teamwork for his firm!
“Having our frontline management team on the same page has helped us immensely in understanding client personas, prospecting and reaching out to new clients! Our marketing team produces the messages while frontline management team leverages the power of social networking to deliver it to our prospects and increasing our leads.”
Collaboration is the key to social selling success! By working together, the social media marketers can help enhance brand awareness while assisting the sales team to reach customers, build better relationships and close more deals. On the other hand, sales people can share relevant brand content on their own social networks, boosting brands visibility and credibility at the same time.
As Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing Inc puts it:
“Social Selling works best when the sales reps are directly engaged –making themselves trusted sources of information, insights and advice.”
This is my SMART formula for sales professionals to stay ahead of the curve in 2016! No matter how much the technology advances, sales reps will still have to rely on;
- Being Sociable
- Building Strong Relationships;
- Abandoning the habit of making direct sale pitches;
- Delivering true value; and
- Working in collaboration/partnership with the digital marketing specialists.
Only then it’s possible to generate LEADS and reach or exceed your company’s sales quotas!
Grab my Presentation on SlideShare:
In order to assist SME business owners who are eager to make a difference in their niche as they enter 2016, we have just released our latest eBook on:
21 Trends That Will Transform The Digital Marketing Landscape For SMEs In 2016
You can also download this eBook for Free from our company solomoIT website.
Do you want to start 2016 with a bang by leveraging Social Selling for your online small business? Does your business lack the necessary skills and you in search of an outsourcing partner? If yes, then we can help!
At SolomoIT, we are a team of digital marketing professionals, actively implementing latest Social Selling trends to assist our clients reach their sales quotas by generating leads online. We have been serving a diverse client base comprising of small and medium business in Australia since 2004 – That’s more than decade now!
Contact us to book your free one hour consultation on how you can leverage social selling to increase your company’s bottom line in 2016 and beyond.