What tools does your sales team use to develop valued customer relationships?
If you rely on CRM software to track customers, you’re not alone. A 2019 Gartner report estimates that SaaS technology will account for around 84 percent of total sales spends in CRM deployments. Automated CRM tools are essential since the opportunity to connect with customers in the digital space is constant. But while CRM tools are good, your company is also sitting on an invaluable resource for tapping into potential sales leads—just let your fingers do the talking.
Hit “Follow” for a new sales tool
It’s called social selling, and it’s a proven sales strategy to interact with buyers by leveraging social media connections. Through social media, your sales team can reach out to “friends” with one-on-one support and share real solutions that answer specific business challenges.
“Social selling is the art of using social media to find, connect with, understand, and nurture sales prospects,” explains Christina Newberry of Hootsuite. “It’s the modern way to develop meaningful relationships with potential customers so you’re the first person or brand a prospect thinks of when they’re ready to buy.” She added that for many salespeople, connecting with social media is replacing the often mind-numbing practice of cold calling.
Experts estimate that around 71 percent of all sales professionals are already using social selling tools, and 90 percent of top salespeople credit social selling for part of their success.
Members of Simplus’ parent company, Infosys, and their INK Team maintain that companies that leverage social media connections are successful, and here’s why:
Studies show companies with socially engaged employees are…
— 40 percent more likely to be perceived as more competitive.
— 57 percent more likely to get increased sales leads.
— 58 percent more likely to attract top talent.
— 62 percent of employees at large companies are more likely to strongly agree that social selling enables them to build stronger, more authentic relationships with customers and prospects.
The Infosys sales team uses five steps to sort through potential customers by way of social selling, and those stages are divided into a three-pronged unique sales cycle, which begins with reaching out to candidates, sorting through contacts for ideal customers, and ultimately focusing on the best candidates.
Like they say, if you build it. . .
By setting up social media profiles with the customer in mind, your sales team—in fact, every company employee—can promote your company’s brand. That’s right, every employee can be an asset to your sales team by presenting a qualified and capable image of your company. That often influences a buyer’s decision more than the product itself.
To launch a social selling campaign, here are four tips to set up the ideal social profile.
1. Build a professional brand
Your profile is an opportunity to share your skills and expertise as an industry thought leader by posting articles or other resources for your target audience.
2. Find a target audience
Use internal search tools on the social platform to find and connect with industry decision-makers. Then engage with those LinkedIn 2nd connection contacts, for example, to establish a relationship.
3. Engage with thoughtful insights
Identify a customer’s pain points, the offer a solution. “Post relevant content that can help you become a trusted source of insights and engage with insights from others,” says the INK team, who also suggests joining LI groups where you can engage in conversation with your connections.
4. Build and Maintain Relationships
Connect by using internal platforms likeTeamlink, then nurture those relationships to keep your services top of mind. “After connecting, develop the relationship just as you would have before social platforms like LinkedIn, for instance, existed,” advises the INK team. Then reach out periodically at appropriate times and add value by providing relevant information and solutions to your prospect’s problems.
When you optimize your staff’s selling potential through trusted social connections and networking, social selling strategies can help your sales team easily expand their reach and quickly open up new marketing opportunities. Now, that’s something to “Like.”