By thought-horizon | May 2, 2019
There has been considerable buzz around social selling in recent years. Cited as the “future of sales,” it has been significantly impacting lead generation and prospecting for businesses of various sizes. Since introduced, social selling has offered better ways for sales professionals to find, approach, and engage with prospects. However, the bigger picture shows a notable variation to the ideal scenario.
Sales professionals are not able to leverage social media to its full potential. As a result, social selling ends up as nothing but another failed attempt to generate leads. While many reasons can cause figures to fall, we are here to shed light on the important one: the inability to distinguish between social selling and social media marketing.
Let’s consider this through an example: Company A hires a sales professional to augment business via social media. The expert works on the organization’s social media profiles with a single-minded strategy focused on building a large fan following, blasting out messages, and encouraging buyers to opt for brand’s products with compelling CTAs. Although it looks outstanding to read, zooming into the strategy leads us to two conclusions:
1) The premise is extremely time-consuming. After all, a fan following of 1000+ is not possible in a single day.
2) The strategy is not scalable.
Here’s what we mean: sitting around, waiting for customers to come to us is not a practical solution, especially when you need to meet large, high-end targets. Secondly, if you have a big sales team of over 500 pros, you cannot expect each one to have a large following and connection database, let alone the unrealistic goal of getting business from strangers by leveraging tweets.
Arguably, audience building is a vital support to sell on social media; that is typically what marketers excel at. The purpose of social selling is not to build the audience – the idea is to engage with them and transform them into leads.
Another aspect that makes social selling different from social media marketing is its scalable attribute. Having a huge fan following for each professional in a team is an unrealistic goal. However, each one of them has convincing skills to attract buyers and buy the products. Leveraging the same, they can hunt for possibilities and pitch the offerings.
Success lies in the one-to-one approach
Social selling success primarily lies in realizing that though you can blast impersonal messages to a broader audience, you restrict it to build a one-to-one relationship by sending out personal messages to potential prospects.
Find prospects who may be interested in your products and give your best shot to convince them with a customized message. Explore their attributes: demographics, current products, goals, problems, etc. That will help you start a conversation.
Social selling has blurred the line between marketing and sales. Creating a strategy for yourself is never a bad option. As the social media executive focus on building an audience, brand awareness, and lead generation funnel, your task (as a sales expert) is to identify leads and increase conversion with a balanced approach.