The social media bubble has hit us hard, very hard in fact, and businesses are no exception! Yes, with around 2.77 billion people estimated to join the social media bandwagon by 2019, the number of social media users is sure to go draconian in the coming few years. Social media penetration rate is increasing at breakneck speed worldwide.
With the gigantic number of users hanging out in the social media platforms, businesses simply cannot overlook the amount of reach they can enjoy with social media marketing. Yes, today it is quite easy for sales and marketing people to connect and interact with a good number of people from different parts of the world. All this is doable with the least amount of time one can imagine. Right from getting in contact with prospects to responding to queries of customers, a business can do it all on social media.
It is clearly a win-win situation for both the businesses as well as the masses, since a sales rep no more have to disturb a prospect by ringing him up or sending an email, because social media communication can do that for you.
Whilst old-school way of generating a lead is fast becoming obsolete, it is a fact that more than 75% of cold calls go into vain and to make it worst, prospects may not even remember your call or message. This is the reason we are witnessing a steep surge in social selling, which is cost-effective and less tiring with excellent analytics at your hand.
Yes, the popularity and acceptance of social media worldwide has conceived to what many are referring to as social selling, which is assisting businesses curb and speed up their sales cycle.
What exactly is social selling?
Social selling is mainly about sales reps making use of social media channels for interacting with prospects. Here, the sales reps answer the various questions put forth by prospects whilst providing thoughtful and informative content until a prospect is ready to make a purchase.
How Social Selling is helping businesses grow by leaps and bounds?
1. Reach a greater number of audience, relevant audience
There are ample number social media channels or networks available and the key benefit of having such a gigantic network at your disposal is that each of these social platforms serve to a diverse set of people or audience, which are further divided by interests and/or preferences. That’s eureka moment for sales reps, since it makes their job a lot easier. Yes, the sales rep now has access to the right audience within the right demographics and also knows the prospects by their interests that can be used to forecast the purchasing behaviour.
Firstly, sales reps ought to create authentic profiles with their actual profile pictures and details followed by posting thoughts or content that matters to the audience. Reason being that social media is huge and offers easy access to all types of folks thereby, we come across a huge number of dummy profiles or accounts. Further, it is advisable to post blogs pertaining to the company and industry on a regular basis or though articles to achieve authentication for your social profile. Remember, engagement is the only key when it comes to interacting with potential buyers.
2. Engage the already engaged
Just as your sales reps are using social research tactics and social listening to come across potential clients, the very potential clients too are already using social search tactics and social listening to explore potential sellers/vendors. Business that does not engage in social selling is probably missing out on a good number of potential sales.
Nevertheless, good news is that more than 70% of the buyers today are ready for social media interactions with potential vendors/providers and more than 50% of B2B buyers are ready to revert to sales reps, who connect or interact with them on social media to share opportunities and insights that are in line with the business. Interestingly, more than 80$ of B2B buyers would love to engage with someone, who is a thought leader, which is a repute one can earn by regularly posting relevant and thoughtful content on social media.
Customer loyalty is something that can be achieved by a sales rep’s knack to deliver unique insights, which is a proficiency that sales reps can demonstrate via social media sharing.
3. Social CRM
Today, it is no more a hidden fact that a sales and/or marketing personnel can’t do without a CRM system when it comes to managing their customer database and contact details. It’s a good thing that sales and marketing personnel are using CRM solution, but they are often outdated. In today’s connected era, a business has to be there where its customers are i.e., social media. This is where a Social CRM software comes into picture, which not only manages customer interactions, but also helps you find out what your customers or potential customers are talking about your product/brand on social media channels. Social CRM is a modern day CRM solution, which supports social media to allow customers interact with a business via the preferred social mediums. This infers improved customer service, reach and access to advanced marketing insights accumulated from social media data.
Whilst there are ample number of ways to improve your sales and marketing campaigns when it comes to tasting social selling success, it is imperative for a business and its leaders to ensure that everyone in the company is on the same page working on a unified enterprise solution towards a common goal. For instance, evaluating and tweaking old processes/systems, identifying data duplications and other loopholes are small yet critical elements that cannot be ignored.
Lastly yet importantly, remember that social selling is a sophisticated art of using social media channels or platforms to find, interact, understand your audience and nurture sales. It is a coming-of-age means to build as well as retain meaningful and strong relationships with existing as well as potential customers. To conclude, social media has emerged from being a medium to interact with family and friends to a touchpoint or first point of contact for a business to stay in touch with its audience.
About the Author:
Anwar Shaikh writes about cloud, automation, marketing software and enterprise technology tools such as CRM, ERP, etc. A self-made writer, Anwar writes for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of cost-effective enterprise management solutions to small and mid-sized businesses in India.