What is social selling and does it actually work?

Charlotte Thiry
April 14, 2017
⏱ 2 min. read

So social media is not only for marketing purposes? No, it’s not. Salespeople can use it too, it’s called social selling. It’s the digital age way for salespeople to connect with highly targeted prospects and build a personal relationship with them to gain trust and close deals.

What is social selling?

Consumers today do their research on their own before turning to a salesperson or making a purchase. They are hyper-informed and use social media to for recommendations and reviews about products they’re about to buy. So, if social media is such an important part of the buyer’s decision-making, isn’t that where sales should be?

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions

Social selling is when salespeople use social media to get to know their prospects, interact with them directly, build trust and, eventually convert them into customers. The personal relationship they are building allows sales reps to better understand what their prospects’ concerns are and provide value by answering questions and sharing relevant content. This way, they can approach their prospects with the right sales offer and at the right time: when they are ready to become customers. This entire process makes cold calls and emails a thing of the past.

How is social selling different from social media marketing?

You might ask yourself: our marketers are already representing our brand on several social media platforms, so why should the sales team do the same? Well, it can be confusing but both uses of social media really are different.

The biggest difference is that when posting content on social media, marketers target their entire community (or large groups within their community), whereas the point of social selling is to build personal relationships and provide answers to individual questions.

social media marketing and sales
Marketers use social media to reach as many users as possible

Sales reps aren’t communicating with the company Facebook page of Twitter account: they send messages in their own name. Talking to real people with a real name and profile picture definitely helps creating great customer experience.

Then comes the pretty straightforward fact that social selling is selling. Yes, salespeople are using social media to engage with their prospects and gain trust, which is miles away from the old school cold sales methods, but they are still salespeople. And their goal hasn’t changed: it’s generating revenue.

Does it work?

So does it work? Is "pick up your smartphone and start sharing" the new "pick up the phone and start dialling" (cf. Wolf of Wall Street)

We only just got started with social selling at Husky, so it’s too early to make any conclusion. If you ask LinkedIn, however, their answer is loud and clear: yes. According to the LinkedIn Sales Solutions, social sellers generate 45% more opportunities and have 51% more chances to achieve their sales quota. Also: 78% of salespeople who are using social media sell more than their peers who aren’t.

We’ll let you know how it social selling works out for us, so keep in touch!

 

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