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How Can Social Media Deliver Bottom Line Results?

Social selling leaders create 45 percent more opportunities, are 51 percent more likely to achieve quota and 80 percent more productive, according to a recent report released by LinkedIn. My work with leading sales professionals validates those statistics.

Sales leaders who use social selling skills and leverage the capabilities of tools like LinkedIn and Twitter are higher performers. They are landing more sales than their peers.

Why does social selling make such a difference? For decades, we have known that the strong majority of a buyer’s journey is complete before that person gets to a sale. The power and information of the Internet has only accelerated that. Much of the product research is being conducted before a meeting is ever initiated. So how do you intersect? That’s where social selling comes in.

Social selling is when sales professionals use social media to interact directly with their prospects. The sales professionals provide value by offering thoughtful content and answering questions until the prospect is ready to buy.

Here are a few ways to get your feet wet as a social seller on a few common social media tools:

LinkedIn

Leveraging LinkedIn for social selling requires a multi-faceted strategy that only begins with optimizing your profile and constantly adding connections. Social sellers use LinkedIn to gain significant intelligence on prospects – the organizations, the decision makers and the leadership structure. They also build lists, set up search alerts and lead recommendations, share valuable content and send personal messages at strategic times to new connections to build the relationship. LinkedIn has paid plans with these features designed for sales professionals.

Blogs

Content marketing drives inbound leads. Results validate that again and again. Yes, blogs take time. But those who have executed them for the purpose of lead generation will tell you that they are worth the time. Blogs provide the new, valuable content that the Internet favors – and prospects hunger. They can play a key role in gaining better search engine rankings and with tools, like HubSpot, providing a funnel of qualified leads with an integrated call to action strategy. Studies show that business-to-business companies that maintain blogs generate, on average, two-thirds more leads per month than non-blogging firms.

Twitter

Connect with a world of influencers and hone in on prospects. Be source of valuable information – in real time. Twitter is a micro-blogging site. While it works well to drive traffic to your blog or company website, sales leaders also see results by consistently “blogging” tweets based on a specific content strategy. A use of the tagging feature allows a more direct communication. Sales professionals can use Twitter’s advanced search functionality to identify people on Twitter with a problem they can solve and directly responding to that tweet.

Results require the development of a focused social selling strategy. That includes sales professionals clearly identifying and understanding who their ideal clients are and what their triggers for action are. Implementing a strategy takes intention and consistently. Effective sales professionals have made social selling a natural part of their daily routine to generate a lead and seal a sale.

This was previously published in Business Central Magazine

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