7 Tools You Need To Be Successful in Social Selling
How things have changed during the past decade! Just a few years ago, outbound business-to-business (B2B) selling to the mid-market and enterprise – was mostly an exercise in cold calling. Now, with the advent of digital marketing and the evolution of CRMs and B2B list providers, the way that super-effective sales people sell today is very different. The sales process has evolved into an integrated social selling exercise, and it’s far more complicated. The question is what steps do we need to take to be effective sales persons today?
It boils down to seven critical tactics that, if they are aligned step-by-step, will increase sales effectiveness many times over... While the sales process has always been about building trust with a potential buyer who is interested in a seller offer, how that trust is built today is totally different:
- Social Networking - The first step in social selling is about building your social network. In the old days, we used to call it the Rolodex, a highly personal but time-consuming and fallible system of keeping track of contacts. LinkedIn has completely changed all that. It’s second nature to send a ‘connect’ invitation to new business acquaintances and potential prospects. But it is incredibly important to manage this network carefully, not only to maintain brand awareness, but also to stay relevant as a professional connection.
- Social Sharing - Once you have built a network, it’s tempting to share content. The question is what content is appropriate to share? What will truly interest your contacts? Do you need to write it yourself or can you share or reuse content from other sources? Sharing relevant, valuable content on a regular basis is incredibly important because it allows you to stay on top of mind and connected to your target prospect and customer base. Social sharing is the beginning of social selling. And, to do this right you need a Social Syndication capability that allows you to share relevant posts via multiple sites in a couple of clicks and track necessary metrics.
- CRM - Yes, I know. Mentioning CRM as a critical sales tool nowadays is like saying we need to drink water to survive. There are many great CRM options available to choose from and I’m not going to recommend one over another. Just pick one and truly use it. Drinking water is not enough - you have to have eight glasses a day. Learning to use your CRM tool effectively is critical for success.
- List Scrubbing - Now that you have a lead flow (from your marketing team, social networking and sharing etc.), you want to make sure that your target list is as accurate as possible. Don't spend time cleaning this list by yourself. Your time is valuable. Find a list services vendor and get your target database scrubbed a couple of times a year. In most businesses today, people change jobs every 3-5 years, so every year 20-35% of your contact database needs cleansing. You need a professional organization to do this for you.
- Email Marketing - The goal is not to make you an email marketer, but a more effective hunter-gatherer. You can’t complete your social selling process without an effective email marketing tool. An office email application like Microsoft Outlook is a terrible way to prospect! You need a state of the art email marketing tool that allows you to send emails from a set of pre-populated templates and that allows you to track open rates, click-throughs, etc. This intelligence is critical for your efficiency and success.
- Rapid Dialer - With 1-5 covered, now is the time to make sure you dial out using a modern, purpose-built sales platform that increases your connect and conversion rate. It takes a lot of effort to build a funnel of potential prospects, so make sure you reach out to them effectively. An industry-leading platform such as ZINFI's Automated Rapid Dialer, should allow you to dial out 20-30 calls an hour, leave or email pre-recorded voice mails, and send follow up emails with just a click or two.
- Analytics - Last but not least, you need to know how you are doing, what is working and where you can improve. Access to dynamic sales and prospecting reports is critical for you to keep raising the bar on your own performance.
This list of tactics and tools can seem overwhelming for a busy sales person. The good news is that there are platforms like ZINFI's Marketing Automation tools that can give you a complete end-to-end control of social selling, allow you to get up and running in just a few minutes, and even provide marketing concierge support to help you push content via your social selling network. The right processes and the right tools will help you meet your goals and stay ahead of your competitors.