According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, sellers spend only 39% of their time carrying out role specific tasks, eg. selling. Other activities, such as reading and answering emails, searching for information and internal collaboration are pulling them away and whilst email is a valuable communications tool it can also slow progress towards closing a sale.  Sales people and managers can start by assessing how much time they are giving to direct communication and restructure their day to focus at least 60% of it on selling.

Understand what is trending in your market, who are the market leaders and who are the analysts and commentators that your customers will be listening to. Profile your market and your buyers. Take a few notes and get a grasp on the companies, themes, key words, search terms and hashtags that will provide you with a daily digital picture.

The 7 things to research:

  1. Your industry and the market you are targeting
  2. Your customers’ businesses. How they make money, keep costs under control and differentiate themselves
  3. The market problems and opportunities faced by your customers
  4. Your own understanding of your solution and why it matters to your territory and your customers
  5. What would be the results of solving the problems or exploiting the opportunities for your customers
  6. Insights that you can personally offer about the problems and opportunities
  7. What are the metrics that matter to your customers and what impact can you have?

You now have a good understanding of your buyer, the company that employs them and their role. Connected buyers rarely decide alone so you will have identified multiple roles within your customers’ businesses.

Now make a note on what you know about your buyer:

  • What about your evolving market, product or service will make them rethink their status quo
  • What kind of information and news will they prefer? Whitepapers, blog posts, infographics, editorial
  • How do they find this information?
  • What search engine keywords will they use?
  • What are their preferred social platforms
  • What potential editorial and social signals will they generate when they are buying
  • How can I monitor these resources in a time effective manner

You now have a great starting point. As a social seller you will discover valuable insights each and every day that will be of value to your customers and therefore increase your value.