Social Sales and Customer 2.0
All selling is social. Always has been. Always will be.Before Facebook, before LinkedIn, before the web in fact, people bought from people in social ways. They asked for advice from friends, they gave their opinions over the garden fence and they wrote strident letters to manufacturers when products failed to live up to their promises
There is a growing amount of buzz about a concept called “social selling” (often used synonymously with Sales 2.0). What many people call social selling is, in reality, social marketing, which is why it’s more effective in the mass B2C market than B2B. While it has a role in B2B, it is a role, not the entire sales process, as some might suggest. There are definitely times when social helps a sale. The operative words in social media are “connect,” “follow,” “like,” or “friend.” In B2B selling, the focus is on direct contact: relationships, personal interaction, and occasionally intimate interaction between two people is crucial to success.
A sound strategy to segmenting and targeting your market, then executing your plan with a combination of traditional marketing and social marketing, will take you further and faster than going strictly social. As with most trends, it’s not a question of one versus the other, but how to leverage the best of both.
Here are 5 plays from the new Sales Playbook (from salesforce.com)
1. Build credibility and trust by sharing quality information on social media about your prospects problems – don’t always point to your organization’s products as the solution.
2. Build a following by engaging in conversations with industry thought leaders, influencers and potential customers – don’t sell, just be helpful.
3. Engage current prospects in the sales pipeline on social media – again be helpful.
4. Promote industry thought leaders, influencers, partners, and suppliers on social channels – this will show potential customers that you’re a generous and quality person.
5. Turn your competitor’s customer complaints into new sales opportunities – be careful here, but there’s no harm in helping someone in need.