In collaboration with one of our sales trainers, Sean Goldie, I recently took on the task of helping our sales team learn how to utilize social media to boost their sales. Sean and I find social selling a very important step to help our sales team and our sales figures for a variety of reasons.
Customer decision process is changing
In the past, the buyer’s process was simple, especially for the sales rep. A customer needed something, asked a few people and then had an interaction directly with a sales person. Today, the way a person learns about a product and decides to purchase is one big tornado of information. Sometimes, the information is even incorrect. Hence, the biggest competition in sales today is not a company’s competitor, but customers’ ability to learn on their own! And if that doesn’t give you the feeling of urgency to get on social media, think about this stat – 70% of a customer’s buying journey is complete by the time they even talk to a sales person. Yikes! That’s 70% of the buying journey where you can’t control the messaging. Or can you?
Teach where they learn
It’s time for sales for help generate leads, help shape the demand. Filling the demand funnel has always been a marketing function. Not anymore. Sales too can help shape demand and fill the funnel — enter social selling.
Today, customers learn about a product/service mostly by engaging in conversations either by word-of-mouth or online. It’s easy for sales to help be apart of that conversation with social media.
Build your social foundation
Social media can be intimidating at first, especially if you are looking at building a professional presence online. But, it’s easy. Just like building a house, you need to build your foundation first before you paint the walls or add any throw pillows.
Here are a few steps to get you and your sales team started on social:
- Correctly set up your profiles: Make them look professional and add personality to them. Remember, social is about H:H (Human to Human) interaction. Not sales person to prospect interaction.
- Listen: Start listening to the conversations about your brand, your clients, competitors and your industry. You can easily do that by setting up Twitter lists and joining a few LinkedIn Groups.
- Learn: Listening is just one step. Now, what have you learned? What are your customer’s real pains? How can you help them get rid of that pain?
- Engage: Don’t just stalk people. Creepy. Engage with them. Chat about life and business. It’s easier to sell to a friend than a complete stranger after all.
- Routine: Make social part of your daily routine.