One of my 3 words for 2016 was Learn and one area in particular that I wanted to focus on is social media and LinkedIn, since it’s key for B2B marketing and sales. But, I’ve also wanted to explore how marketing can help with social selling as I believe this concept has the potential to change not only how we generate qualified leads but how marketing works with sales.
As I go through the process of learning more about social selling, I’ll share those insights on this blog (see some older posts on LinkedIn here and here) which will also help me meet one of my other goals for 2016 which was to Teach ;).
As is the case with many buzz words, which I fear is what social selling is becoming, it helps to first define the term. Not surprising, there are a few different definitions:
- Wikipedia defines social selling as “the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process… Examples of social selling techniques include sharing relevant content, interacting directly with potential buyers and customers, personal branding, and social listening.”
- LinkedIn defines it as “leveraging your own professional brand and social network to gather insights and connections, then use those information to help you discover new opportunities, sell, and get business done.”
- Hootsuite on their blog says “Social Selling is the use of social media by salespeople to generate revenue. The two big keys are that it’s used by salespeople and it’s about generating results (revenue).
But regardless of the definition, I see several areas where marketing can help from content to personal branding and social listing to discovering new opportunities. That’s because many of these items have been done by marketing before and in most cases (but not all) marketing may be more savvy on social media.
However, even if marketing can and does help, many are skeptical about social selling as it’s seen as just one more thing that the sales person needs to do during the day. To address this concern, I’ll let the results speak for themselves as we see in this infographic which was recently published by PostBeyond and referenced on the Hubspot blog:
- 84% of B2B decision makers begin their buying process with a referral.
- 90% of employee’s social audience is new to the brand.
- 73% of salespeople using social selling outperformed their peers and exceeded quota 23% more often
Even after just this short overview, I think it’s clear that if you’re not considering social selling as part of your strategy then you should look into it, which is what I plan to do over the next few posts. I’ll also explore the areas where marketing can help sales with social selling in more detail.
But, in the meantime, since social selling is somewhat new, let me know if your company has started the social selling journey and if marketing is helping or is it done by sales only?