Social media remains a disputed channel for B2B sales even after the pandemic forced most enterprises to consider hybrid sales processes. Tech companies and sales teams spend little to no time reaching out to prospects socially, though buyers actively use platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. These channels are a great way to study target audience behavior and intention. Not to mention that they offer a direct possibility to connect to prospects and build rapport over time, so we will spend some time discussing how to do B2B social selling.
LinkedIn statistics show that 93 % of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to push content, some 90% use it for lead generation and 84% actively try to sell. So investing in your social media presence and building a specific B2B audience is to be taken seriously. The right rhythm of pushing marketing materials will certainly support a more spontaneous and engaging sales process.
What Makes B2B Social Selling Successful
It is not complexity that makes social selling successful, but precise targeting and communication strategy. As with all sales, knowing as much as possible about your targets is the very basis for closing a deal. Hence, following your target companies on social media is the first step. Analyzing their posts, products and brand messaging will allow you to see where your solution fits in their promotion efforts.
LinkedIn provides the opportunity to identify potential contacts within the target company and even study executives’ behavior, posts and interests. In parallel, you can find engaging topics and connection points with your targets.
The most important step following research and possible connection remains interaction. Translated to social selling, that means online dialogue as opposed to making a direct sales pitch. The era of elevator talk is declining, learn more about the benefits of outsourced sales. What are the most common situations?
Ideally, you are dealing with an active LinkedIn member, whose line of work can benefit from your offering. Furthering your research, you can seek common interests with the prospect and react to relevant posts if you can. In a perfect situation, you’d be able to reinforce their message demonstrating expertise that triggers curiosity.
However, many professionals on LinkedIn are not very active. Often, we are able to identify prospects who have LinkedIn profiles but don’t share thoughts and opinions and thus you have no way to engage with them to connect further. What you can do:
– Invite them to connect without any previous engagement, which usually results in nothing.
– Reach out with a personal note explaining why you are connecting and definitely if you have mutual connections.
– If you do have common contacts, ask the person in question to introduce you.
Making the connection opens your way to start the social selling process.
LinkedIn engagement means you have given reasons to your target audience to connect with you, which comes to say you should maintain your online presence by sharing useful information that furthers the conversation. Spend half an hour every day reviewing industry content and prospects’ activity. Commenting on and liking posts builds your visibility. From the other side, your own posts, comments and articles can be material you can pull into the conversation with your prospects. If you can’t create meaningful content, use expert research. Quality of conversation and consistency are paramount. Ideally, you will actively post content on LinkedIn weekly in a “primetime” for your target audience.
Social Selling for B2B is Possible
There are B2B sales executives who are still skeptical about social media sales, but for us and many of our clients social selling pays off. Our sales reps work with our marketing teams to make the most of social media prospecting, lead generation and qualification.
More than ever, social media guides the buyer’s journey in B2B. The challenge with social selling is targeting, precise messaging and consistency. One of the biggest obstacles to successful B2B sales on social media is the lack of time to position your offering and expertise properly. This is why our clients have outsourced this part of the sales process to our agency. Our digital marketing teams and inside sales reps can provide just that focus, dedication and consistency that yield results.
If you want to explore what social selling can mean for your organization, be sure to connect with us for a free consultation.