A Guide to B2B Social Selling
Today's B2B buyers are over-informed and very active on social media. They download white papers, watch videos, and control access to the information they need to make online purchases. They are tired of so-called "intrusive" methods of outbound marketing, such as phone calls, and prefer to maintain control over the search process.
Before deciding to make a purchase, they search the Internet, consult the recommendations of recognized experts, and finally read the opinions of users who have tested the service or product in question.
Thus, numerous studies show that the B2B buyer is 70% on his or her own customer journey without contacting a sales representative.
In the buyer's decision-making process, trust is becoming increasingly vital. According to a Salesforce survey of over 8,000 professional buyers in 16 countries, for example:
84% of shoppers say the purchasing experience is more essential than the service or product purchased;
65% of shoppers discontinue dealing with brands owing to a lack of trust.
As a result, the function of the sales manager has developed dramatically throughout time and remains "on the periphery" for the majority of the prospective customer's journey. The sales manager must supply value-added information and/or knowledge that is difficult to get online in order to be regarded useful.
According to the same report, 89% of professional buyers expect the sales manager to understand and meet their expectations right away.
In the field of consumer prospecting, we've transitioned from a multichannel to an omnichannel approach. Conversion targets can no longer be met by phone calls and e-mail mailings. Prospective consumers can now be found through professional social networks, among other places.
According to a 2022 Hubspot report,
80% of customers dislike talking on the phone and prefer to engage with businesses via email.
It takes roughly 18 phone calls to set up a meeting.
After 100 calls, there is one genuine business possibility.
This study provides an in-depth examination of the significance of prospecting for leads on social media, specifically LinkedIn and Twitter. As a result,
nearly 92% of professionals across industries say LinkedIn helps them construct their marketing approach.
LinkedIn generates 80% of leads, primarily through the formation of groups that allow serious leads to be contacted.
ATTRACTING NEW CUSTOMERS IN THE DIGITAL ERA.
With the introduction of digital technology, the buyer has assumed control of product procurement, giving them a competitive advantage in the commercial partnership. B2B Social Selling is a lead generation approach that allows the sales manager to balance this advantage. In this approach, he establishes himself at the start of the purchase cycle through an active and non-intrusive presence.
Social selling, like making a call or mailing list, is not a tool for closing a transaction; it is the simultaneous usage of these three points of contact that allows you to obtain new potential customers using the most comfortable channel of communication for them. As a result, Social Selling is a logical extension of sales managers' tactics for attracting new consumers.
Although the two approaches are complementary, Social Media Marketing (SMM) and B2B Social Selling (SS) should be distinguished:
1. The goal of SMM is to create a relationship between a brand and its target audience through content in order to boost brand awareness and potential consumer loyalty.
2. The goal of B2B Social Selling is to assist sales managers in connecting with potential clients and establishing themselves as subject matter experts in order to improve the quantity of qualifying leads.
This strategy has been employed well on Twitter and LinkedIn, in particular, because these social networks are less "personalized" and clients feel more at ease and receptive to initiating dialogues with the sales manager.
To successfully implement a B2B Social Selling plan, you must first
properly introduce yourself to your target audience;
then carefully establish a brand image and produce value-added material;
personalize content for various audience segments;
interact with customers prior to, during, and after the sale.
So, in order for sales managers to communicate effectively in professional social networks, four characteristics must be met:
1. Create their own professional brand (personal branding): When a potential customer perceives a salesman as a trustworthy professional and expert in their industry, they begin to trust them.
2. Find the relevant contacts: current customers' spheres of influence (competitors, suppliers, previous employees, etc.).
3. Use storytelling and customer stories to disseminate useful information.
4. Build trust by connecting with the target audience through important issue discussion groups.
B2B SOCIAL SELLING IS A TRUE FRIEND OF SALES MANAGERS.
Unlike SMM, which is primarily concerned with brand recognition, B2B Social Selling is a recognized strategy for discovering and developing customer loyalty, allowing you to meet your goal of producing quality leads.
One of the most significant advantages of using Social Selling as a prospecting tactic is that sales managers can reclaim their place on the B2B customer journey, engage with them, and position themselves as trustworthy contributors to that journey by providing relevant, value-added content.
Implementing a defined process can help you achieve your content production and lead-generation objectives.
The following are five phases to developing a successful action plan:
Sales managers should be trained, and their professional profiles should be updated on a regular basis.
Post unique content on a regular basis.
Find potential consumers using search engines and professional social networks.
Engage in relevant dialogue to thoughtfully engage potential customers.
Analyze the results using LinkedIn's Social Selling Index (SSI).
4 TOOLS FOR EFFECTIVE B2B SOCIAL SELLING.
LinkedIn and Twitter have both demonstrated their worth in the realm of digital company development. Aside from these two social networks, there are a number of other online platforms that track leads and provide extra benefits to sales managers:
✅ Inside View is system, which has been in use since 2005, is meant to track information about companies and their contacts that has been published in editorial sources and social networks.
✅ Tilkee is Salesforce CRM-integrated sales analytics software that helps predict, analyze, and increase sales "in a world without physical interactions."
✅ Anybiz is an all in one AI solution for generating new clients in a few clicks.
✅ Banana Content is a multi-channel communication system that aids in the distribution of editorial content via email, mailing lists, and SMS.
B2B SOCIAL SELLING AND THE TRANSPARENCY OF RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI).
As previously said, B2B Social Selling is a marketing method utilized to successfully identify and understand potential consumers' individual demands. Some B2B professionals, however, continue to assume that social media marketing initiatives are difficult to quantify.
Indeed, according to Hootsuite's analysis of social media ROI, just 20% of marketers can demonstrate the ROI of their actions. The same report provides a clear and simple way for facilitating such measurements. It entails establishing specific expectations (conversion of visitors into leads, brand recognition, user experience, and so on) as well as measurable targets (volume of marketing content downloads, speed of registration form completion, and so on).
According to the LinkedIn Social Selling Index,
78% of Social Selling devotees sell more than those who do not use social media,
and Social Selling leaders generate 45% more opportunities.
They are 51% more likely to reach their objectives.
To ensure that the Social Selling plan is on track, sales teams should monitor it on a regular basis in three steps:
Monitor the number of followers on professional social media pages.
All user interactions with content (likes, comments, reposts, etc.) should be tracked.
Analyze the lead sources (for example, using Google Analytics).
Creating qualified leads can be difficult since sales managers must place themselves in a new client's journey with very particular expectations. Sales managers must consistently demonstrate their ability to address actual client needs by providing relevant content in the appropriate format, at the right time, and via the right channel.
When combined with technology such as content marketing and incorporated into a digital omni-channel strategy, b2b social selling enables sales teams to turn website visitors into leads. As a result, a genuine content marketing plan must be created and integrated into the Social Selling process. Giving potential clients access to downloadable content like white papers, studies, and guides enables an initial engagement that creates trust in their encounters with sales staff.
The primary advantage of integrating content marketing with B2B Social Selling is that it allows potential consumers to get to know their interlocutor and openly express their interest in the firm and its services. And, as you know, there's no better way to break the ice than to start a conversation about anything!
Finally, B2B social selling is a game changer for companies looking to succeed in the digital age. Companies may uncover new avenues for growth, identify themselves as thought leaders, and ultimately drive their bottom line by applying the techniques mentioned in this guide and leveraging the capabilities of platforms like AnyBiz.io. So, whether you're a seasoned sales expert or just starting out in B2B social selling, remember to use the power of AnyBiz.io to maximize your success and produce extraordinary outcomes.