The term “social selling’ has gained considerable popularity over the past –5-6 years. In short, social selling involves incorporating the use of social media platforms and tools into the sales process.
The adoption of social selling by sales organizations is being driven by the fact that the modern buyer has become adept at using social media in their buying process. Modern sellers are trying to catch up by learning social media as part of their sales tools as well as digital selling strategies.Today's #sales professional needs to become as good at using digital tools for selling as the modern buyer is at using these tools in the purchasing process. @stanrobinson #socialselling #digitalsellingClick To Tweet
1. Phone calls are ineffective; everyone sends calls to voicemail.
If you’re reading sales articles these days, you will inevitably come across the headline “Cold Calling is Dead.” We won’t try to unpack this argument in depth here except to mention that varying definitions of cold calling tend to cloud this ongoing debate.
I define cold calling as an unsolicited, unscheduled call to someone you hope is a decision-maker, where the caller has done little to no research on the person they are calling and their company. By this definition, cold calling should be dead, as this approach is ineffective, wastes time and reflects poorly on the sales person’s organization.
But many people equate any use of the phone with cold calling and this is where problems arise. The telephone is an essential sales tool, and unlike cold calls, it’s not going away anytime soon.#ColdCalling is not the same as using the phone as a sales tool. #SocialSelling can help warm up your calls by building trust with prospects before you reach out by phone. @stanrobinson #DigitalSelling #SellingWithSocialClick To Tweet
2. Email is dead.
Everyone complains that they get too many emails, open rates are low, and that sales emails get lost somewhere between the inbox and spam filters of decision-makers. There’s a lot of truth to these statements, but email used properly is a powerful sales tool that can’t be replaced by social media.
For example, emails are effective for targeted communications with decision-makers, sales proposals, and follow-through during the sales process—areas where social media is not as well suited.
This is an unfortunate result of a generic term like social selling, which implies that social media can be used equally well throughout the sales process. Social media is very effective for raising visibility, branding, finding and engaging with prospects, establishing thought leadership, and watching your industry and competitors.
But social media is not effective further down the sales funnel in areas such as discovery discussions, sales presentations, negotiations, and closing deals. The phone, video calls, and in-person meetings are needed once you get further into the sales process.Understand where #SocialMedia fits into your #sales process. Use social media to build visibility and credibility, and to help nurture relationships; don't rely on it when it's time to close a sale. @stanrobinson #DigitalSelling #DigitalSalesClick To Tweet
4. If you post, they will come.
Once upon a time, if you posted on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, most of your followers and fans would see your posts. Those days are long gone, having been replaced by the Age of the Algorithm. There are ways to increase the visibility of your posts by understanding (to the extent possible) and working with algorithms, but this will always be a moving target.
Social media has provided sales professionals with powerful channels for increasing their sales productivity when used correctly and in the right place in the sales process. It does not replace traditional tools such as phone calls, email and face-to-face meetings, but is an additional set of tools helping to improve sales productivity.
Master the Art of Social Selling Today
It’s a fact that buyers are now more digitally-savvy and mobile-attached. This requires salespeople to become more visible in social media. To learn more about the ins and outs of social selling, download The State of Digital Selling with LinkedIn Report now!