Does using social selling techniques make sense when it’s late in the quarter and you need to achieve your quota? Especially when your sales manager is telling you to do everything to close your deals? Aberdeen Group research states that 31% more sales teams achieve quota when they use social selling techniques, so it makes sense. Well, social selling is good, but not THAT good that it can be instantly turned into sales. It’s no silver bullet when it comes to helping you close sales today, over the next five days, or whatever your timeline is. However, if you implemented a solid social selling strategy during the previous 90 to 180 days, then your last-minute calls today might be more successful. Or, those last-minute calls could even have been avoided! You see, the payout of your social selling strategy is more long-term than short-term.
A good analogy is being hungry and addressing that urge. In the short term, you can run to the fast food restaurant to solve your hunger. However, that short-term solution is costly and is not sustainable. Alternatively, with proper planning, you can create a shopping list so you can visit a grocery store to buy healthier, less expensive and more food to eat for weeks. No, it’s not as convenient as running to McDonalds or Red Lobster, but it pays out in the long run for you – more food, cheaper food, more convenient food.
Social selling has its place in each part of the sales cycle. To maximize social media at the end of a quarter, you need to have been using it well before you need to close the deal!
5 Things To Do With Social Selling To Help You Meet Your Sales Quota
- Improve Your Curbside Appeal Before You Try To Sell The House! Face it, when people meet you for the first time they check you out on social media. Whether they further investigate the credibility of your LinkedIn Group posts, emails, blog post or Tweets they check out the source, which is usually your LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile and Google search results. Make sure you tune up your profiles to your social brand’s curbside appeal is the best that it can be so you can advance your social selling customer relationship.
- Establish Your Credibility As A Solver, Saver or Revenue Generator. Yes, you can try to meet you entire quota by sending emails and making phone calls. But he buyer journey has changed. 70% of the buying decision is made before a customer ever engages with you. They use blogs, tweets, LinkedIn and their network to help make this decision. And, 89% of them start their buying process using a search engine. So, you need to be present to win. And by winning I mean that you need be establishing you credibility with your current and future customers by delivering relevant content for which they are searching.
- Connect With Your Customers On Their Terms And Show Them That You Get It. Your customers are on LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs, so you need to be there, too! There is no excuse that you do not know how to tweet, or how to use tools to find where your customers are engaging on social media. Put on you CSI hat and fire up your social selling forensic skills to surprise your cusTtomers to be where they are with a relevant and solving content. If they use Twitter, then be on Twitter. If they are a contributing member of a LinkedIn Group, then find and engage, in a non-selling way, in that Group. And if they blog, be a regular reader and commenter on that blog.
- Get Your Customers To Do Something That Gets Them Closer To Making A Decision. Social media is the secret sauce of selling tools. It is a non-intrusive way to pass on customer-centric calls-to-action. Here are give things you can do to get your customer to move closer to a decision, whether it’s attending an event, a webinar or accessing content:
- Send a Twitter mention to a customer with a link to a registration page or blog post
- Reference a content or event link in your LinkedIn Group messaging
- Send a link to a blog post via a direct message on Twitter
- Use your two daily LinkedIn updates with a direct call to action to your followers
- Mention your customer in your tweets that reference content that will be helpful to your customers.
- Help To Support Your Customer’s Decision With Social Selling Content. Once your customers are close to making a decision, they are still doing their last-minute vetting by checking blogs, communities and their personal network. Customers are searching for specific answers to specific requirements. They are asking questions to help them validate that they are making the best decision. Social sellers need to forward blog posts, tweets and any other socially delivered content on channels other than email and telephone to show them that they are making the best decision. Think of this content pass-along as a gentle reminder that will break through the barriers that standard communications channels pose.
Do you have another end-of-quarter tip to use social media to help others close on their quota? If so, then please share your idea below. Or, contact me directly on MarketingThink.com or @GerryMoran on Twitter.
If you found this social selling advice helpful, then you might also want to add these tools to your social selling tool kit:
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Social selling is not selling better; it’s selling differently. With the buyer journey changing, sellers need o be changing too and relying less on the stressful quarter-end tactics of phone calls and emails. Connect with your customers and prospects with social media early in the process and you will lay the foundation to your social selling success!