Thanks to technology that enables people to learn just about anything in a matter of seconds, the buying process has become more personal. Thanks to the fact that every online buying experience is customized to the individual, people are starting to expect the B2B buying experience to follow suit.
A salesperson who hasn’t done their research and isn’t coming to the first appointment with very specific ideas on how to provide relevant value to a prospect isn’t going to make a sale.
Why You Need Social Selling
Research quoted by Justin Scriber, Head of Marketing, LinkedIn Sales Solutions, at the 2016 Digital Growth Conference, demonstrates how social selling can help you win over those prospects who expect more.
- 46% of companies are using intent signals to target prospects (signals that demonstrate prospects are ready to buy). For example, when someone moves to a new company, he or she is likely to be more open to new products and services.
- Top performers spend 25% more time on research and preparation. You need to know who is involved in the buying process, and how they like to buy. You can’t force everyone into exactly the same process.
- Top sales and marketing pros send 148% more connection requests and send 23% more content to their prospects. You need to influence every stakeholder if you’re going to win over the decision-making team.
How Do You Do It?
- Create a personal brand online, focusing on expertise. Become known as a thought leader in your field.
- Use social media to find the right people.
- Engage these people with the insights you learn in your research. Send them articles and premium content on topics they’ve demonstrated interest in.
- Build relationships with decision makers starting on social media and moving offline as you demonstrate value and capture their interest.
B2B sales is no less personal than what you’ve come to expect as a consumer. Those salespeople who recognize this and focus on being a thought leader who does the research required to customize their interactions with their prospects and then engages with customized content and ideas will be the ones who get invited to those coveted appointments with the decision-making teams they’re pursuing.