The market is changing continuously and with it the commercial needs of our customers. About 60-70% of the customer journey happens online, as customers independently search for services, offers and solutions. In doing so, they acquire more power than before and expect more from companies and sales professionals, who usually bombard them with generic product messages on a daily basis. The need to captivate and inspire customers forces businesses to keep developing themselves. A new and innovative way of selling is so-called Social Selling. By creating and sharing relevant content, businesses can keep attracting and informing new and existing buyers. What does it take to become and remain a professional Social Seller?
- Ongoing Innovation through Training & Education
For a Social Seller to stay top of mind with the new digital customer requires continuing education and enablement, ongoing research and a thorough understanding of the customer’s needs. This includes understanding changes to the buying process and the various channels and platforms where customers are active and where content can be shared. Changes in the buying process have profound implications for sales. During the first phase of that process, customers independently consume relevant content. Through Social Selling, sales and other activities, company employees can build a social profile based on trust and experience. By sharing relevant content, they can continue to inspire and attract current and new buyers.
- Building a Compelling Social Profile.
A Social Seller prioritizes customer needs and requirements and adopts a customer-centric approach. By identifying customers’ visible as well as less visible or latent needs, Sales continue to add value and go beyond the traditional product push. By offering real solutions that solve customer problems, they go beyond ‘order taking’ and become trusted advisors to their audience.
- Engaging in Social Listening
An effective Social Seller always seeks the best insights into the digital activities of the customer. This may include information based on the digital footprint of both owned and external channels. These insights form the basis for responses to and comments on key questions customers are asking and for sharing the most relevant content.
- Using Tools & Technology
To effectively leverage Social Selling, it is essential to consider carefully chosen tools and technologies. These allow Sales to find and engage with the right influencers and decision makers, which in turn helps organizations to get the best out of their social activities and to be more effective without becoming a robot or losing authenticity. Traditional sales methods involving just face-to-face interactions will not disappear but will evolve into a healthy balance of both live and digital engagements.
- Customer Success Portfolio
To achieve commercial success, it is vital to understand the customer success portfolio (CSP). The CSP is a way to map out the customer’s optimal or ‘dream’ solution. This solution often goes beyond the product offering of your organization. By having an open mind to a customer’s total solution, companies can gain great insights into how to add more value than their competitors.
Creating and sharing relevant and compelling content is a key component of successful Social Selling. Such content can be company owned or from third-party resources. Content sharing should derive from a content strategy centred on appealing content that continuously triggers customers in terms of their visible and latent needs. The CSP forms the basis for creating such content. Marketing and Sales need to work together so that Sales can get the best content and share it with their customers. Marketing Automation can be used to share such content at the right moment with the right target group or contact.
What would implementing a Social Selling programme mean for your organization?
Do you want to learn more about what a modern sales machine and commercial blueprint should look like? Book an inspiration session and challenge your team to find ways in which your organization can make a difference.
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