Did you know that 61% of marketers found social media to be an effective lead generation tool? Or that according to IBM, 40% of executives surveyed across 500 companies indicated that they could see an increase in sales and an improvement of the overall customer relationships through the use of social?
The long and the short of it is that social selling is now key in the sales process. While you probably know how effective it can be in prospecting, the truth is, social selling can actually help you close more deals and meet or exceed quota. Social sales specialist, Jim Keenan found that 54% of respondents in his report who were social selling attributed at least one closed deal to their social media use. Additionally, over 40% stated that they closed between two and five deals by social selling.
So how did these social sellers do it? How can you start closing more deals with social selling?
Here are three ways:
1. Use Social to Research Before Sales Calls
As you know, research is an essential component of sales. Sales reps have to get to know their potential customers before picking up the phone, because how else can they make an appealing pitch? The information typically acquired before a call includes standard tidbits like company size and revenue as well as any known needs. But a search through a prospect’s social feeds can turn up some interesting information. You can see what type of content your lead shares the most often. You can see if the lead has expressed public interest in the type of product or service you have to offer. Plus, you can get a general sense of what the lead is like as a person, which can help tremendously in terms of communicating in the most effective way possible.
By learning who your leads are, you can better customize your communication to suit their needs and expectations.
2. Develop an Engagement Strategy
Instead of calling a prospect over and over again and risk annoying her, you can instead keep tabs on your leads without being intrusive. Social media gives you the unique opportunity to stay informed as to what your leads are saying. You can even set up alerts to notify you when they talk about something in particular. These are called trigger events and occur right before a prospect is considering making a purchase. These are the moments when you need to leap into action and try to close the deal.
To put it more simply, social selling allows you to take a peek into the day and the life of your prospects, evaluate for the best time to engage, and reach out at the exact right moment. Whether you make contact through social media or a traditional phone call is up to you–what counts here is the fact that social media gives you this window into the world of the prospect and rather than making poorly-timed calls in the hopes that you’ll strike at the right moment, you can pinpoint the correct moment to push the conversion.
3. Establish Yourself as a Trusted Authority
Being sold to is not something many people enjoy. Why do you think telemarketers get such a bad rap? However, there is a way to make prospects more receptive to what you have to say. If you present yourself as a thought leader for your industry, you increase the likelihood that those prospects will stay on the phone with you when you call.
You can use social platforms to establish yourself as an expert by sharing links to articles that are relevant to your industry, answering questions and engaging with followers, and making a daily effort to stay visible to your leads. When you put in this effort, prospects tend to view you as more authentic and as a resource to be valued and trusted. As you can imagine, this comes in very handy when you take the opportunity to give said prospect a call.
Social selling has opened the doors for sales reps to really get to know their leads and make conversions in a more informed way than ever before. It is through a combination of enhanced research capability, an educated plan for engagement, and the ability to establish yourself as an industry expert that you can close more deals and build lasting customer relationships.
Download our Ebook the 7 Secrets to Social Selling to learn more about how sales teams are utilizing social media to close more leads.