Digitalisation and the development of new communication methods are challenging the dynamics in sales. The use of technology is becoming commonplace and more decisions are data-driven.
We know that communication is one of the most important sales skills. And with the digital transformation, social media has become the dominant medium for communication. Therefore, salespeople have quickly adopted this technology, hoping it will support the sales process.
What Is Social Selling?
Social selling is the practice of effectively making sales using social media platforms. It is a crucial component in many sales and marketing strategies where B2B services or solutions are being sold.
When it comes to efficiency in the digital world, automation tools come to the fore. Indeed, automation tools help with the heavy lifting of repetitive and mundane tasks, enabling more time to be spent on prospects further down the funnel.
According to McKinsey & Company, automating around one-third of all sales tasks is possible. But what about the remaining two-thirds? Salespeople can focus on automation tools so much that they forget what can’t be automated.
Here are seven tips for the part of social selling that automation tools can’t reach and that relies on salesperson skills.
Tips to Supercharge Social Selling
Consider Personality Types
We all communicate and interact in our own unique way. Some of us prefer listening to ideas, while others want to drive the conversation. Of course, members of your sales team and potential buyers are also likely to have different personalities and communication styles.
When sharing content or communicating with potential buyers, salespeople should find a balance between using their unique voice and catering to their buyer’s personalities.
For example, if a client is very amiable, a salesperson needs to be relatable and make them feel comfortable. Or if they have a more analytical client, salespeople should focus on the logic and details that are important to them.
There is a meaningful sales dialogue for every personality! It’s important to be flexible and empathise.
Create an Effective Questioning Strategy
There is a unique and essential sales skill that helps speed up the sales process: asking the right questions at the right time. However, active listening is even more critical. This means not simply replying but understanding what is really being said, and this only happens when we have real conversations.
Sales teams can ask closed questions to get engagement through sales automation. For example, they may post from their social media account, “Do you struggle with converting new clients?”
The answer may be “yes,” “no,” or more detailed answers, such as “sometimes” or “in specific sectors.“
Depending on the answer, and to make the most out of the engagement your team receives, it’s crucial that they have a follow-up plan for each response.
- Yes – What do you struggle with most?
- No – That’s great, may I ask what you do?
- Sometimes – Have you spotted any trends when you struggle?
- In specific sectors – Which sectors do you struggle with?
Salespeople should always follow up if they want to build a sincere relationship with their customers.
Social channels are spaces where sales teams can communicate with their target audience without having to set up an appointment. It’s a way to reach your potential customers and make yourself visible.
Use Stories Effectively
Building trust is one of the most important factors to success in social selling. Encouraging your team to effectively use success stories can help you achieve this.
The story should not be distracting. So following this 3-step roadmap may make it easier to only provide the necessary details.
- Describe the pain points of a customer who has experienced similar challenges to your potential buyers.
- Explain how your team’s expertise in this field has played a role in solving these challenges.
- Describe the results they achieved with the solution you offer in a quantifiable way.
Using success stories, your team will show customers that they are not alone and that a better alternative is possible.
Handle Objections Carefully
When prospective customers raise objections, sales teams should see this as an opportunity. Because it means they are at least thinking about the products and services.
Objections also give sales teams a chance to collect feedback to make their product better and tweak their sales pitch moving forward. They are also opportunities to explain what other customers that had similar concerns experienced.
Sales managers can use these opportunities to their advantage by encouraging their team to ask more questions and understand potential buyers’ challenges more deeply.
Create Urgency & Maintain It Effectively
Creating urgency is a great way to draw the focus of potential customers on social media channels to your product. It gives buyers a reason to act. So your team must maintain urgency from start to end.
To succeed, salespeople must understand the buyer’s expectations and create small meaningful opportunities to build momentum and trust as they move through the sales process.
As an example, if you make a time-sensitive offer but fail to prove its value, there is no reason for the buyer to engage. Urgency requires momentum within and between sales stages.
Small commitments enable potential customers to engage in the sales process openly. This can help to build momentum and trust through the sales cycle.
Examples of small commitments through social media could be agreeing to take a survey, responding to an engaging question, asking for feedback, etc.
A combination of communication skills, emotional intelligence and responsiveness are crucial in making small commitments.
This combination enables teams to move the conversation from the virtual to the face-to-face environment and that results in the sale closing – which is the ultimate commitment.
The purpose of negotiation is to achieve a win-win outcome for the buyer and seller.
The negotiation phase should only start once the objectives are agreed upon. You must agree on the objectives and negotiate the nuances.
Through this stage, the best salespeople maintain focus, urgency and momentum but remain flexible and determined.
To be an effective negotiator, you must understand your non-negotiables, be able to trade when needed and be willing to say no.
Many salespeople are unwilling to say no, fearing that they will lose the sale. However, it’s a powerful word that sets boundaries and can help to maintain focus.
Close the Sale
Creating a connection with a potential customer is essential for the social selling process. But as your team implements all of the above tips, make sure they do the most important thing – ask for the business.
When closing the sale, make sure your sales team doesn’t assume and instead maintains momentum and urgency by formally asking for the business.
Improve Your Team’s Skills, Simplify the Process
Digitalisation and automation can assist you in social selling. However, there is an undeniable fact that the essence of sales lies in the salesperson’s understanding, abilities and mindset.
You can unlock your team’s sales mindset with LSOS sales training programmes designed with proven methods of experienced salespeople.
LSOS’ unique methodology allows your team to quickly adapt to changing sales dynamics to excel in their sales careers while increasing team productivity.
LSOS training programmes will enable your team to develop their sales skills and strategies essential for social selling. With LSOS training, they will also realise their potential to create practical solutions to daily and long-term sales challenges.
If you need further information, you can always contact us. We are more than happy to help!