If you haven’t added social media to your sales process you are at a distinct disadvantage. Think back to 20 years ago, and imagine if someone told you that every company you worked for was going to issue everyone an email address and give them a computer. You would have laughed! Years before that you would have done the same. Now, you can’t even imagine these 2 items not being issued to each and every member of your sales team. Why? Because these are the optimal way to reach and communicate with your buyers.

Well I have some interesting news. Buyers are now digitally connected and are using social media one way or another. Some are using it to research, some are using it for fun, some are using it to stay in tough with their children, and some of them are using it for their own reasons. But regardless, they’re there.

Almost every executive I know uses LinkedIn in one way or another. Many of them are on Twitter, and if they are not, then many of the folks in the decision process are.

Prospect Identification

Networks like Twitter and LinkedIn allow me to identify key decision makers (or members of the committee) within a given company. Finding competitive sales reps and seeing who they might be connected to at target companies can be done with some slyness on LinkedIn but can be done extremely easily and stealthily on Twitter.

Buying Signals

Advanced searches across key social networks help sales reps identify buying signals or trigger events that give clues around when someone might be seeking information or leaving hints that they are considering a solution to a specific problem. If done correctly, searches designed to capture purchase intent or key titles can give you an entirely new channel of qualified and timely leads.

Trust and Value Building

Anytime your company creates content that is a applicable to your buyer persona or you come across insightful research that they would appreciate you cannot send them an email or call them. BUT, you can provide insight or content designed to advance the sales process and get it in front of them by using social. These micro touches and micro engagements are key to advancing things between calls and emails as well as to stay top of mind. Whether you focus on insight selling or challenger model, nothing works like social content sharing.

Increased Email and Cold Call Success

Whether your reach out method of choice is email, phone or both, there is no better strategy to increase response rates than social selling. Whether your prospects are active or not, the fact that they have a social profile built will provide you with key information about how to connect. Do they follow the Green Bay Packers on Twitter? Have they shared golfing photos on Instagram? Is there a YouTube video of them giving a presentation at a conference? These types of items if integrated into your phone and email reach outs can increase your success rates as much as 60%. Consider using them in your email subject line or to build immediate rapport on a cold call.

BONUS

Since Google Search has decided to give extremely heavy weight to quality inbound links and social signals – sharing lots of content consistently which links back to your company blog/website will give your company much better placement in Google Search. It’s a well-known fact that a lot of the buying process is done through self-research and “Googling” things, an inadvertent advantage of social selling is higher search placement for prospects that are searching about related solutions in the research phase. It also ensures that your competitors stay off the first page of search. This is the macro benefit of having a social selling culture.