Making Quota Next Year Will Be a Breeze If You Make These Investments Now

Discover why inbound social selling tips are a must for your long-term sales prospecting success.

October 26, 2014


Like our sales world, marketing has seen widespread change over the last decade. Inbound marketing tactics like blogs, whitepapers, and webinars cropped up to support outbound tactics like ads and email blasts.

It's easy to see why:

  • According to Search Engine Journal, inbound leads cost 60% less than outbound leads
  • The Content Marketing Institute reports that 8 out of 10 people identify themselves as blog readers
  • 23% of all time spent online is spent on social media sites

To account for this new “self-service” buyer behavior, marketing has shifted to "inbound marketing" and selling has shifted to "social selling." And with social selling, sales pros are forced to market themselves like never before. So it makes sense to mimic our marketing peers and institute "inbound selling" tactics that regularly attract new, informed, and ideal buyers into the sales pipeline, right?

Below you’ll find a few social selling tips you can invest in now that will help you attract your ideal buyers in the months and years ahead.  The best part is new leads generated from inbound selling only add to the leads you receive from regular sales prospecting efforts. They’re the tasty icing on your lead generation cake.

Communicate regularly with your connected connections

Could you identify these connections right now if you had to? If not, you probably also have “insider” connections who work with prospects in your industry. These can be partners, VARs, or anyone else who regularly sells to, or consults with, buyers in your industry.

You don’t need to hound these people weekly or try to convince them to refer business to you. Just stay in touch and show a genuine interest in what they’re up to. This act alone will naturally spark career-centered conversations which will keep you top of mind when they’re connecting with their other peers.

Establish a helpful, expert presence where your buyers are

In case you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn recently opened up the publishing platform to everyone, meaning any sales pro can publish expert content that answers the questions prospects are asking.

Don’t want to write a blog post? No problem. Search the web for forums, groups, blog comments, Q & A sites, and any other place you can leave your mark. This is exactly how Gary Vaynerchuk built his online wine empire; with social listening and a helpful, non-salesy presence. It takes some time but it’s absolutely worth it as the results are often long lasting.

Create a rock-solid referral system

Asking for referrals is something all sales pros know they should do but few actually follow through with it. When you consider that referral business closes more than 70% of the time, it’s easy to see why 85% of sales people do not generate enough quality referrals.

There’s no need to overcomplicate it. When you satisfy a customer, ask for their help, i.e. a referral. Worst case scenario is they say no, and dealing with no is part of the job description. Your customers are more than willing to give referrals, just ask for a little bit of help, at the right time, with the importance it deserves, thank the heck out of ‘em, and repeat.  Soon you’ll be generating a sizeable chunk of your business strictly from referrals.

Expand your network

Naturally, the more people you're connected to, the better your odds of getting a quality referral or a warm introduction to a prospect. Never miss an opportunity to connect. Make it a point to send new connection requests before you call it a day to ensure you’re not letting opportunities to expand your network slip through the cracks.