How B2B can leverage social selling in digital era
The digital transformation has shaken up the codes and revolutionized the traditional methods of sales and communication in Business to Business (B2B). New purchasing processes, modes of communication and prospecting have emerged. Professional social networks are now playing a leading role in the digital market. In the face of increased competition, can social selling constitute a new lever?
What is social marketing in B2B?
In the context of Business to Business (B2B), social selling refers to all practices that involve using professional social networks for sales development. Many studies, however, show that social selling is more part of a global strategy and intervenes at several levels. Social selling offers a new approach between professionals based on listening, expertise and the exchange of good processes. Salespeople adapt their offer to their customers or prospects and accompany them in their reflection.
The assets of Social Selling in B2B
Social selling is a formidable communication tool that places the prospect at the heart of the exchange. A direct relationship exists between the buyer and the seller through professional social networks. The ease of use allows interacting in several ways.
Business prospecting tool
In a commercial prospecting approach, social selling is an undeniable asset, thanks to the social networks which provides granular data. The seller has upstream information on his prospects allowing him to customize and adapt his business approach according to each prospect. The seller engages in the conversation and listens to the difficulties encountered. At this stage, it identifies the needs of the prospect and becomes its preferred interlocutor.
In the domain of B2B, the use of social networks is pre-eminent. More than 65% of potential buyers use social networks to learn about sellers. Each contact or subscriber is a potential customer and therefore represents an opportunity to sell. Two-thirds of the purchase process is initiated by the customer and the salesman concludes the sale.
It costs 75% less to generate leads via social networks. Your customers, peers, competitors and peers are also on social networks. Get to know and generate leads through your network. Engage them in your thinking and in your analysis. For example, mapping relationships within companies to determine what decision makers and target influencers.
The major role of LinkedIn, a network dedicated to social selling in B2B
LinkedIn is an exponential database for your prospects provided you to make good use of it. Many LinkedIn and social selling experts encourage you to build quality relationships with your network, rather than multiplying contacts.
Create and join professional communities
Read the interests of your interlocutors. Read their publications and join common groups to build your network. Interact with your clients or prospects on common or cross-cutting issues. Dare to express your points of view and share your sources of information!
The salesperson becomes an advisor
The multiplicity of modes of communication and the wealth of information on the web make the potential buyer connoisseur. In some cases, it may even do without a salesman. The commercial player plays a more advisory role. It must therefore add value to its offer.
Social marketing arouses curiosity, interest or skepticism. Does it fit into a new trend or is it a reflection of the paradigm shift in our societies? For my part, I am convinced that the consumer has taken the power and that it is up to us professionals to adapt. Adopting social selling involves breaking down the boundaries of marketing, sales and communication by working hand in hand towards a common goal.
Vivek Gururani has been a blogger, content strategist and social media expert. Over the years, he has been helping small businesses and startups in improving website design, building social media presence and user experience.