The issue with many B2B sales professionals attempting social selling is the struggle to set up a game plan that is effective and adheres to their schedule. Many will go all out for the first couple of weeks and quit once there are no results for their efforts. Also, many salespeople are uncomfortable in the social world because it is out of their niche and away from what they have been successfully accomplishing for most of their careers. However, social selling and utilizing trigger events is becoming increasingly crucial to sales cycles.

Sales reps that rapidly responded to trigger events via social media saw: 5.7% increase in lead conversion rate, 9.5% increase in annual revenue.

I have devised a plan that has worked wonderfully for getting salespeople comfortable in their social skin. There is no magic silver bullet. You need to find your own social selling methods. Here is a quick, effective way to become comfortable with social selling and engaging with your prospects. It’s also a lot of fun.

1. Build a Watchlist

Build a Watchlist of 10-15 Fortune 500 companies. You can find these companies online HERE. Choose large companies like Apple. Wal-Mart, Coca Cola, etc. – somewhere you’d never be able to connect with over the phone.

Sales Intelligence Power-Up! InsideView allows sales professionals to create “Watchlists” of companies and people. These Watchlists help you track and monitor a list of companies for relevant business opportunities and challenges.

2. Monitor their Social Media Outlets.

Discover news, product releases, updates, corporate challenges and acquisitions. Learn about the companies and their recent successes (or failures). Social media is a great resource for finding this type of information.

Sales Intelligence Power-Up! InsideView alerts uses Smart Agents to monitor 30,000+ online news sources, SEC publications, and job boards to alert your sales people about key trigger events. Smart Agents work on a sales rep’s behalf to minimize research and ensure that they never miss a sales opportunity.

3. Create a List of C-Level Executives with Social Profiles

Using Twitter or LinkedIn Advanced Search, locate C-level executives in the corporations with Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Build a list of these executives throughout Fortune 500 companies that have social profiles. Learn their life stories and find relevancy, then begin to engage.

Sales Intelligence Power-Up! InsideView empowers sales reps with the most accurate business data tied with social media insights. Rather than scour the Internet, sales reps are given a consolidated look at a corporate family tree so that they are aware of every decision maker within a company.

4. Tailor the message

Relevancy is key when reaching out through social media. There is a fine, fine line between being engaging and being creepy. Be personable and helpful. Social media is not the place for cold tweeting or LinkedIn inviting.

Do not kick off a tweet that border the lines of: “Hey I know what you’re doing!” If they ask a question, be helpful if you can answer it. If they post an article, compliment them for sharing it. Here are some ideas you can pick up through people’s social profiles:

  • Did you go to the same college or know someone who went to the same college as the executive
  • Do you admire their company? People love praise!
  • Are you connected to them?
  • Did they post an article? Let them know you enjoyed it.
  • Congratulate them on recent corporate successes.

5. Continue to Monitor and Engage

Add some of the people you found to a People Watchlist and continue to monitor what’s happening to them in the news and social media. I have been a part of a number of cases when a person has reached out complimenting me about my blog post or helping me out with a problem I post through Twitter which has opened up lines for business. It all started out as casual then led into business. The numbers back up my experiences:

72% of sales reps that use prospect data to drive messaging through social selling attained their sales team quota.

6. Spend the next few weeks having some fun

Have some fun trying to connect with the top executives at a Fortune 500 company. How high in the rankings can you get? Begin becoming comfortable in your own skin when it comes to social selling and apply what you learn to how you engage with prospects through social media.

Sales Intelligence Power-Up! This 6-step practice came from our latest social selling content, The Ultimate Guide: How to Use InsideView for Social Selling. Download it now!