Thanks to business social networking channels like LinkedIn, it is easy to identify potential B2B prospects based on criteria such as industry, role, and seniority. Organisations that are not taking full advantage of this tool are missing out on the opportunity to generate more leads, often at a significantly lower cost than traditional outreach methods.
The key to increasing your B2B sales
LinkedIn has produced its own Social Selling Index (SSI), which gives individuals a score of 0-100 based upon their LinkedIn activities related to social selling. LinkedIn found that there is a strong correlation between achieving sales goals and users with high SSI scores, with 45 per cent more sales opportunities generated by users with high SSI scores. LinkedIn found that 78 per cent of social sellers outsell their peers who don’t use social media and that social selling leaders are also 51 per cent more likely to hit their sales quotas.
Getting started on LinkedIn
Building a reputation on social networks as an industry thought leader is a good way of gaining credibility with a sales prospect. If you are offering interesting and insightful opinions that are getting attention on a regular basis, it marks you out from the crowd as a knowledgeable and trustworthy source, and someone who can be relied upon to offer sound advice and expertise.
Establishing a connection on social media is not difficult to accomplish. Even commenting favourably on an article a person has written or shared can open up an avenue for dialogue. Finding common ground and having similar interests can be a quick and easy way to build trust, and people are more likely to do business with someone that they have an affinity and connection with. Connecting with prospective clients can remove that difficult cold calling element of sales.
Things to consider about your social selling strategy
For social selling to work best, it needs to be personalised – one-to-one rather than one-to-many – as it is about establishing trust and building relationships, which is not compatible with a one-size-fits-all, or cookie cutter approach.
To be able to do this successfully, it is also vital to understand your prospective customers. What are their pain points? What are the key drivers for their business? How can you best help them achieve their business goals? What motivates them? Without taking the time to do this, it makes building and maintaining a relationship more difficult, therefore diminishing your hopes of turning them into a customer.
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