Generating new, valuable leads is no easy task for B2B sales teams. You can send dozen of cold emails and dial hundreds of unsuspecting prospects… but the reality is, traditional cold sales techniques have gone stale.
Those calls and emails that sales teams have relied on? They’re often unwanted. Even if you do get a prospect on the phone, chances are strong they still don’t want to talk to you.
As B2B sales leaders and SDRs, we’re in for a fight. We have to find a way to stand out. To cut through the noise and overcome these challenges.
So, how can we innovate past traditional tactics and generate more leads?
By connecting social media with lead generation… I’m talking about social selling.
What Is Social Selling?
This is not just a sales-facing term for social media marketing. Instead, it directly impacts the people within your sales organization. Rather than communicating with your organization’s social media audience at large, social selling requires individuals in your sales organization to focus on building positive relationships with specific prospects.
Social selling is the practice of identifying, engaging, and ultimately nurturing prospects with social media. While it’s coined “social selling” the process rarely includes a hard sell. Instead, you are tasked with providing value through each step of the customer journey until the prospect is ready to buy.
By providing valuable insights, helpful responses, and content that fits the prospect’s needs, salespeople are able to build valuable relationships with potential customers and naturally move them through the sales funnel. These three pillars will drive your success with social selling:
The first step building a valuable B2B prospect list with social media is to listen. Build lists or prompts to pay attention to what users are saying about your industry, company, competitors, and common keywords that relate to your offering.
This will allow you to establish a list of potential buyers have who fit your ideal customer profile. by listening to your lists, you’ll also be informed of what content your audience may find valuable. Use it your advantage and become the ultimate resource for your market.
Additionally, search out users who work for companies that have mutual connections or followers. These can act as valuable common ground, or even help with introductions early in the process.
No matter the social media network, you should always aim to provide value with your posts. Help to educate your audience on topics that you intimately understand.
Consistently delivering valuable content is the first step to social selling. Doing this will build trust with your existing audience, while helping you to identify fans or followers with specific interest in your expertise. When those individuals who engage with your content overlap with your target market, you’re in prime position to begin nurturing the prospects through your funnel.
Just as important as publishing content on your own channels, effective social sellers have to engage off-channel by responding to others’ posts. This gives you a chance to intentionally interact with one individual while gaining exposure with a whole new audience.
By engaging with your individuals on your prospect list, you can build valuable relationships, showcase your expertise, and prove your commitment to helping them solve their problems. And once they’re ready to buy… you’ll be top of mind.
Why Does Social Selling Matter For Your Business?
Social Selling works. Period. The technique leads to enhanced B2B prospecting and lead generation through a process that is more natural and less intrusive to your prospects. Rather than cold calling and spam emailing, you will provide value on platforms and networks they want to spend their time on.
Like any successful sales strategy, you have to measure your team’s efforts to track success. If you can measure it, you can manage it… and that has proven true for a huge swatch of high-performing social sellers.
To provide organizations with readymade social selling tools, LinkedIn developed it’s own measurement platform, the Social Selling Index:
The Social Selling Index is scored on a scale of 0 – 100 based on your LinkedIn activities relating to the 4 pillars of social selling.
According to LinkedIn’s internal study using the Social Selling Index, high-performing social sellers achieved the following:
– 45% more sales opportunities
– 51% more likely to hit quota
– 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media
– 3X more likely to go to club
With results like these, it’s easy to see the value of implementing, measuring, and incentivizing high-performance social selling.
The LinkedIn B2B Prospecting Playbook
Are you ready to put your plan in place and start seeing results? Here’s the good news: it’s relatively straightforward. Just a few hours per week will get sales reps ahead of the game with social selling.
To show you how to get rolling, I’m sharing my tried and true playbook to B2B prospecting with LinkedIn. It has worked for me and I know it can work for you.
Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, build your list of 100 new potential buyers to connect with.
Look at “People that posted in the last 30 days.” Make a comment (the more insightful the better) on every relevant post. To get ahead, play catch up on Monday and Tuesday. After that, you’ll only have 3-5 posts per day to comment on.
Publish a post that your buyers will find relevant or valuable. Highlight a trend in the industry or a tactical insight that they can take action on.
Begin 1-1 direct messaging a recent post with no ask to 20 of your new connections. Send a post that is at least a day old so connections will see already-existing engagement.
Say: “I like to share content on the xyz space and will DM you from time to time if something seems relevant. Is that okay?”
Go back to your posts from the previous three days and send DMs to key people that liked or commented to say:
“I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It would be great to connect.”
This will be good for at least 1-3 meetings. Repeat again on Saturday for posts from Thursday and Friday for another 1-2 meetings.
Ready to start social selling? Give the playbook a shot and let me know how it goes.