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Sales Play Social Selling

How Social Selling Fits into Your Sales Plays

Social selling is more valuable than ever before, with over half of the world’s population using social media. Sales leaders who like to stay ahead of trends rather than pursuing them should start integrating the process in their businesses.

For companies, social selling is leveraging social media to create leads and fuel your sales funnel.

This does not imply copying and pasting cold templates into LinkedIn and sending them to your connections. This is similar to spammy selling, where your odds of closing are nil.

It varies from standard sales strategies in that it places less emphasis on a quick response. Individual sales reps, on the other hand, focus on the “long game” and cultivating relationships over time.

To increase “organic” sales, sellers use social media to develop long-term connections, communicate authority and trustworthiness, and surface on decision-makers’ radars.

Data reveals that those that stay in the game for the long haul get rewarded. Top-performing sales agents, for example, consider social networking sites “extremely vital” to their performance, closing transactions 51% faster than their counterparts. Leaders in social selling also generate 45% more possibilities.

What does this look like in a business setting? Some companies have reduced their average selling process time by 20 days and increased the percentage of leads converting to prospects by 25% after implementing social selling tactics with LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator.

Social selling also makes it simpler for sales professionals to receive referrals from their LinkedIn networks, which is important because referrals account for 65 percent of new business for most businesses.

social selling is a must.

In the digital age, social selling is a must.

The development of digital technology has skewed the scales in favor of purchasers in business transactions. They’ve regained control of goods sources. Social selling is a prospecting method that returns power to the seller while maintaining a personal touch. Thanks to an active and non-intrusive presence, the seller has been able to return to the beginning of the purchasing cycle.

Social selling, like telephone or email marketing, is not a closing tactic. It’s the blend of the points of contact that allows you to reach out to new prospects in the places where they’re most comfortable. Social selling is a logical progression of sales professionals’ prospecting strategies.

Even if the two techniques are complementary, social media marketing must be separated from social selling:

  • The goal of social media marketing is to cultivate and maintain a relationship between a business and its audience through content to raise brand recognition.
  • To boost quality leads, social selling enables sellers to engage with their prospects and be acknowledged as experts in their professions.

Because there are fewer “personal” networks on Twitter and Linkedin, this strategy is easier to implement, and consumers are more comfortable and receptive to the concept of engaging in a dialogue with a vendor.

How can social selling help your company

How can social selling help your company?

You already know how to perform social selling if you’ve spent time on social media conversing with friends, sharing images, publishing status updates, and so on. You may be already aware of it.

So here are a few pointers to help you improve your social selling skills and start connecting with prospects:

Make a listening station.

You may “listen” for hashtags because individuals love to use them in their social media posts. Create a column in Twitter’s Tweetdeck program, for example. Create columns for phrases pertinent to your industry. Help out whenever someone shares anything you can help with, whether it’s a query or an article they created. Respond to their queries and promote their articles with your social media accounts. This establishes a rapport with that individual, and you become a valuable resource.

You may also look for hashtags on LinkedIn and follow them on Instagram. Pay attention to them as well, and engage in similar dialogues with others.

Make your material.

You already have industry knowledge and skills, so share it! Don’t merely wait for opportunities to sell. Write blog posts that assist individuals in resolving a specific issue. Take pictures of your solution in action and share them with us. Hold webinars to educate people about a specific topic. Bring potential clients on as guests to your podcast and invite them to share their knowledge.

If you provide enough material, you’ll ultimately get the credibility and a reputation, which will aid you in your sales calls.

Social selling allows you to develop your knowledge so that you don’t have to prove it every time you meet with a new prospect. The evidence element of the sales process is complete if they contacted you because of your social media post. They are aware of your abilities and have self-qualified to join your sales funnel.

Conclusion

Because it is based on true sales concepts such as creating connections and trust, social selling works in sales. However, it’s a time-consuming and intricate procedure. Rather than a race to the finish line, social selling is a relationship-driven marathon.

You may open the floodgates to bigger transactions, quicker sales cycles, and recurring referrals and sales once you’ve created crucial contacts and earned confidence.

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Sales Play

Working with Other Departments to Build Winning Sales Plays

It’s no secret that departments, such as sales and marketing, may struggle to communicate and collaborate successfully. To resolve this, the connection between these departments must shift from competitors to routine partners for a business to work successfully and productively.

How to Improve Communication Among Departments

There are several methods and tactics that a business may employ to improve communication between its departments. Here are some tips to think about.

Working in silos isn’t a good idea

The first issue to consider is the significance of functioning as a cohesive unit, which is especially vital when departments are working remotely, as many do these days.

The fact that animosity can often arise between the PR, marketing, and sales departments is a difficulty. This frequently occurs when one party believes their contribution is undervalued or when the other department fails to keep half of the contract.

In some cases, sales and marketing departments can actively work against one another. Therefore, systems used by all departments must be integrated to ensure a harmonious sales process. Marketing and PR departments must believe that the marketing qualified leads (MQL) they pass on are being followed up on, and sales must believe that marketing is assisting in the development of the appropriate sales funnel.

This is why you’ll see more and more mid-sized enterprise companies combining sales, public relations, and marketing operations under the leadership of a chief revenue officer or chief growth officer. The CRO is in charge of all revenue-generating activities. They are responsible for teams such as marketing/public relations, sales, channel sales, and customer success.

Even if you are unable to reorganize, basic efforts such as agreeing on what constitutes a sales qualified lead (SQL) upfront and working collaboratively to set lead and income objectives may make a significant difference. It’s a fantastic approach to bring departments together so they all benefit from their efforts.

And, let’s face it, this is a great opportunity for everyone to rethink how we collaborate. For certain companies, team structures and established ways of doing business may alter. Make regular (video) calls to ensure that everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction.

Communicate in the same language

Communicate in the same language

Define your funnel as the first step in getting departments to speak the same language. Make sure to explicitly define each team’s function in the funnel with important department stakeholders.

It’s now important to define the phases, determine what qualifies customers for each level of the funnel, and make sure your departments are aware of this information.

This is how the final product should appear. Everyone in your company should be aware of the distinctions between a prospect/visitor, lead, SQL, MQL, prospect, and client. All subsequent phases in getting the departments to collaborate and unify their processes at your company are built on this foundation.

Set consistent objectives

Misalignment among departments can cause gaps in the conversion of leads to clients and block sales funnels. This imbalance may be exacerbated by segregating your department goals. If both divisions work toward a common set of objectives, you’ll have a better chance of meeting your revenue targets.

Prospecting is one of the most difficult phases of the sales process for sellers, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 study, but the problems may be lessened when sales and marketing departments communicate. When the two teams can work together toward the same objective, the goal is more likely to be achieved.

Define your sales funnel stages clearly

Define your sales funnel stages clearly

A company’s funnel stages must be precisely defined so that marketing and sales departments speak the same language when it comes to prospective clients.

An imbalance might result in lost opportunities, preventing businesses from converting leads to consumers. Qualified leads can fall through the cracks if a company doesn’t comprehend how leads are defined at each point of the pipeline and how the handoff procedure goes.

Create a Service-Level Agreement

In the Hubspot study, turning leads into customers is one of the top marketing goals for the next 12 months for 69% of respondents. This conversion is supported by a full service-level agreement.

SLAs may be a useful tool for establishing clear and direct communication routes between marketing and sales departments. There is less possibility for error or misinterpretation when a roadmap or blueprint is presented. SLAs frequently contain details such as the ideal customer profile, lead definitions, objectives, and how to manage and assess success.

SLAs are also an excellent tool for ensuring a smooth transition from marketing to sales. Processes are in place, for example, to calculate an expected follow-up timetable for MQLs that have been forwarded to sales.

Closed-loop reporting can also benefit from an SLA. While marketers have data on how prospects have reacted to marketing messages, such as opening an email, completing a form, or visiting the website frequently, sellers have the chance to learn even more about prospects through one-on-one discussions.

Sales can be tasked with gathering crucial campaign details and informing marketers as to what worked in terms of client acquisition through these more customized interactions or even provide little pieces of information that the marketer may be unaware of, such as a blog article being referenced in a webinar on a different webpage. This new information is valuable since it will assist marketing in fine-tuning initiatives to improve their chances of success.

From 'competition' to 'collaboration'

From ‘competition’ to ‘collaboration’

It takes a lot of teamwork to guide a prospect through the purchase process. It would be irresponsible to argue that one department is more vital than another because they all must work together to achieve total organizational success.

For example, it is not only the responsibility of marketers to attract the desired prospects, but it is also the responsibility of sales to assist marketers in better understanding their clientele and which leads have successfully converted into clients in previous encounters.

Marketers pique clients’ attention, while sellers keep them engaged. Working together, departments do not erase the inherent disparities in their roles; rather, they create a more efficient and cohesive task force within the company.

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Account Based Sales Development Blog Sales Play

The 5 Sales Plays Every Account-Based Seller Should Know

Different customers consume content in different ways. Some prefer videos, some prefer infographics, while some prefer well-written copy. And that’s why there’s no singular magic bullet-type of messaging that will have the same effect on all your customers.

The best sales processes use several stories and touch points for each account. These are designed using storyboards, taking into consideration various messaging themes, data points, and engagement mediums.

At Sales for Life, we recommend developing multiple storyboards for your account engagements, or sales plays. By applying a variety of themes, styles, engagement strategies, you’ll have more chances of providing value to your customers during the activation cycle.

Here are five sales plays you can try:

1. The Sphere of Influence connection

The Sphere of Influence is a process we use to determine social proximity.

It starts by identifying existing customers and advocates, thinking outwards from inside of your customer base to map the companies and people that have the highest social proximity to your best success stories. These people or companies could be past employees of your customers, former colleagues, vendors, partners, fellow alumni, or other key social connections to your best advocates.

A high social proximity implies a stronger relationship, increasing a seller’s chances of winning the account.

Deploying the Sphere of Influence Connection sales play accomplishes two things:

  1. It humanizes the seller and
  2. It demonstrates the high social proximity that you and the customer share.

It gives the illusion of familiarity, decreasing the prospect’s apprehension of an unsolicited engagement.

2. Stack-Ranking the Account Against its Peers

This sales play pits the account against its competitors to objectively highlight the target account’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats.

One example of this is Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, which rates several vendors based on their completeness of vision and their ability to execute. A vendor’s score will determine its placement in one of four quadrants: Leaders, Visionaries, Niche Players, and Challengers.

Leaders have the highest total score for both completeness of vision and ability to execute, and they often dominate the market. Challengers have strong products and sizable market share, but they still lack the influence that Leaders possess.

Visionaries deliver innovative products, but haven’t quite captured the market yet or exhibited sustainable profitability. Niche Players are usually focused on specific verticals or markets, or are in the process of developing new or existing products for a new market. 

By ranking an account against its competition, it will have a better idea of its current performance, as well as a clearer view of areas they should improve on.

3. Applying Market Intelligence and Trends

In this sales play, the seller assumes an advisory role to strengthen their relationship with the customer.

By providing industry secrets and relevant business advice, the seller becomes a trusted source of reliable, useful information.

4. Envision Success

One way to sway a customer’s decision is to help them visualize how successful they could be if they were to become your client.

Show them the results they can get in a quarter, in half a year, and one year later. You can accomplish this via case studies, white papers, and trial programs. 

Think about how Dorothy was persuaded to go to Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz. She saw herself in Emerald City, and she got a glimpse of the flying monkeys and talking trees she would eventually see. By doing the same thing for your customer, you can reduce their apprehension over purchasing.

5. Focus on the People Instead of on the Account

Sometimes, even the best sellers forget that they’re not selling to companies, but to people—human beings with feelings and needs.

Always remember that you’re trying to win over accounts by winning the people within it.

Instead of focusing on account-centric messaging, think about how your product can benefit your prospect in their role. How can you help them, and what value can you offer?

Keep in mind that sincerity goes a long way. By exhibiting a genuine desire to help your prospects, you can create customers for life.

Read The Essentials of Account-Based Sales to learn more about what an account-based sales strategy can do for your business. 

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Blog Sales Sales and Marketing sales cycles Sales Enablement sales for life Sales Leadership Sales Play sales strategy salespeople Social Selling Tools

Long Sales Cycles Require “Learning Paths” to Align the Buying Committee

Does your sales team have 6-18 months sales cycles? Is the buying committee involves 5-10 people on every customer transaction? Does it feel like your sales team needs to draw from everything they’ve learnt in The Challenger Sale, Customer Centric Selling, and Value Selling… insert sales methodology here?

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Account Based Sales Development Blog Sales Play

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