I have been in sales my entire career except I have never really been a sales person.
I have learned to create relationships that allow me opportunities to share about my company, our offering and close deals. I wrote an article on How I Launched and Grew an $18M Business Without Selling a few days ago about the strategy that I have used and continue to use 25 years later in my career.
When I was writing that article, it occurred to me exactly how perfect digital and social media are for sales. It is a platform where we can be social with other people. We can get immediate access to our ideal customers without leaving our home or office. And, it is a 24-hour, 365-day event.
We just need to be intentional with behavior and actions to accomplish our goals. Social is NOT just about going into the newsfeed or using messages to ask others to connect with you.
Social is about intentionally joining conversations with ideal customers and industry experts. It is about learning. It is about sharing information. It is about social networking and creating conversations that can lead to sales opportunities.
Consider who influences you the most in your business, industry and your role right now. Have that person in mind and answer why they are influential in your life right now. I don’t mean just what they say but how you receive information from them.
Do you get their marketing email?
Do you get phone calls from them every week?
Do you attend their coaching events or online sessions?
Do you watch their videos?
Do you read their blog?
Do you follow them on social media?
I propose that you most likely get information, or a least access points to those who influence you the most via digital and social media channels. It may not be the only place you access their information but I bet it may have been one of the first places you discovered them. Or, social media is the channel that you get the most access to their information and insights.
That is why social is absolutely the best channel for sales. In a recent Demand Generation Report, they discovered 88% of buyers said they prefer to purchase new services from a “trusted advisor.” A trusted advisor is one who shares insights, information and helps buyers think about their own situations and solutions.
To be seen or known as a trusted advisor, sales professionals need to create and provide trusted advice. If your company has a thought leadership program and your corporate blog publishing it regularly, that is good. But, that is not enough anymore.
Sales professionals, sales leaders and the C-suite need to consistently create thought leadership content and share in strategically in social media daily. There is no longer an option of only producing thought leadership content on the corporate blog. Most likely, your ideal customers and prospects are not reading it because they are not accessing it in their social newsfeeds because they do not follow or pay attention to your company’s social Page.
Going into 2022, the best competitive advantage any sales team can have is to train, equip, and enable the sales teams to use social strategically that results in becoming a known trusted advisor across their entire ideal customer network. We actually need to equip, train and enable the entire team but that is a larger conversation for another time.
When properly equipped and trained, teams experience larger pipelines, in shorter time frames, that lead to more sales wins. A 2018 SAP internal report found sales professionals who utilized social and digital channels for their daily sales activity were 90% more likely to meet or exceed quota and they had a 300% larger average deal size than their traditional sales colleagues.
With so much uncertainty, rising costs, new hire challenges and increasing sales numbers, leaders must be willing to seek new ways for success. Social and digital selling are the most cost-effective tactics that produce real results.