Three reasons why social selling is a de facto standard
Lisa Davidson is a writer and Account Manager at Thought-Horizon. Anne Kiely is a Content Operations Intern and writer at Thought Horizon.
Do you remember when sales mostly happened in person? This era is long gone. Today, online social selling is the standard in the sales world. Incorporating it into your business plan is key to staying competitive. Surveys show that 78% of social sellers are more successful than their peers who don’t use social selling. As social media and big data analytics have become part of daily life over the last 20 years, three main factors have made social selling a business necessity.
Creating meaningful online relationships
Social selling is important today because people spend more time and attention using social media. Although it can feel less personal than chatting face-to-face, there are plenty of ways to meet customers where they are and interact with them online.
Sharing content that’s genuinely useful, based on your own knowledge and experience, can draw people to you as an expert, leading to increased traffic on your website and social media spaces. Asking a thought-provoking question in a post is also a great way to start a conversation in the comments and engage people who might be interested in your work.
Social media is an excellent place to co-create products with customers. Asking people what they would like to see or holding contests for new ideas is a great way to make people feel involved. Celebrating company milestones publicly and offering deals or benefits for business partners and customers are other possibilities for building a sense of community. Even when making posts directly related to your business, it’s smart to keep focusing on the reader.
Taking a digitally savvy approach to sales
Second, the digital revolution hasn’t just affected the way we interact with one another. It has also reshaped companies’ approaches to sales. In contrast to the almost mysterious art sales once were, they are becoming a science.
Marketing and sales departments can now analyze past campaigns to optimize the content and timing of messaging to attract customers. The data collected about customer accounts includes information about users’ locations, social media interests and product searches, in addition to point-of-sale information.
Combined with AI tools that sort data, this account-based approach to marketing has made it easier to tell which users are most likely to be interested, rather than casting a net that’s too wide. It’s even possible to tailor marketing to individual users. Large organizations often have the capacity for advanced data analysis, making it all the more important for small- and medium-sized businesses to use online tools strategically.
Selling at the speed of the modern world
Digital tools have also affected the overall cadence of transactions. Organizations are at an advantage if they can keep up with fast-paced changes in the marketplace. Many companies now aim to follow up on leads just minutes after they have been generated. Social media represents the pinnacle of speed in selling.
In addition, trend forecasting and analysis of browsing patterns make it fast and simple to determine how products and services perform. Sales leaders—not to mention customers—expect a high level of responsiveness to shifts in market conditions. Social selling helps you react to new information and reach customers instantly, right where they are.
Why social selling matters
Social selling is a crucial part of any company’s strategy because relationships now happen online, marketing is largely digital and sales occur faster than ever. Even as in-person gatherings are becoming more feasible again, customers still find it hard to beat the convenience of online buying, especially in the preliminary phases of deciding where to find what they need. Social selling offers you access to a massive volume of customer traffic and abundant options for fine-tuning your strategy, making it a must-have for business.
How has social selling factored into your business strategy and influenced your industry’s future? Let me know your thoughts below.