Social Selling: Treating Common Sales Problems

Social selling solves common ailments sales professionals face today. Learn the benefits to social selling and get on the path to a healthy prospect pipeline.

November 29, 2014

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When was the last time that your sales strategy had a check-up? The social selling doctors are in, and we’re ready to treat those difficult sales problems that spread across the selling profession.

Outdated selling strategies are like pesky bacteria in the sales system, and they can multiply if left untreated. Learn to diagnose and solve these common problems with social selling treatments.

Problem: Lost Connections with Decision Makers

  • Symptoms: Missing out on key connections with decision makers, having just one contact at the target company, losing connections when key contacts leave.
  • Diagnosis: On average, there are 5.4 decision makers in each purchasing deal. Connecting with just one contact is dangerous, and could risk losing momentum if that contact leaves the company.

Patient requires a multi-threading approach to sales.

  • Treatment: Sales professionals need to be better at managing multiple contacts in an organization. Multi-threading gives professionals a larger network to base their operations, and protects from losing connections when job changes inevitably occur.
  • Prescription: Getting introduced to prospects through your professional network is essential, and your co-workers can be valuable resources for expanding that network. TeamLink performs this function automatically, though it’s still important to cross-reference your network and build more than one point of contact.

Problem: Missing Customer Value

  • Symptoms: Pushing out irrelevant content without insights and continued focus on content that interests the sales professional more than the prospect.
  • Diagnosis: Customer value is critical for social selling success, and insights from the prospect’s network greatly influence their purchase decisions. The 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey found that 71% of buyers emphasized the importance of relevant information from sales professionals.

Patient requires a sophisticated social listening strategy to identify relevant content and deliver customer value at timely intervals.

  • Treatment: Train the patient to identify social selling “triggers” within LinkedIn, and learn to personalize responses for the correct audiences.
  • Prescription: Automated alerts based on industry keywords can help track activity among prospect discussions. Once you know what they are talking about, align your sales strategy by asking follow-up questions. The answers you receive will provide a direct look into what the prospect needs from a vendor.

Problem: Ineffective Sales Pitching

  • Symptoms: Cold calling,leading the conversation with a sales pitch, or asking a decision maker for a quick discovery call.
  • Diagnosis: LinkedIn’s B2B buyers study found that 59% would think less of sales professionals; and 53% would think less of their companies, if they made cold calls. Buyers have complex processes that don’t fit well with cold introductions.

Patient needs to drop the cold call and build trust with the prospect through professional branding.

  • Treatment: Social buyers have great expectations with social selling, and meeting those expectations requires targeted communications from sellers who are focused, informed, and trusted.
  • Prescription: Take these tips from Koka Sexton: Sellers should be transparent with a targeted LinkedIn profile (not an online resume), and they should develop relationships by sharing content from other subject matter experts. Nathan also believes that good sellers separate themselves with a unique selling proposition integrated in their profile content.

With remedies that range from leading with insights to establishing yourself as a thought leader, you will be set up for greater success with social selling on LinkedIn. Discover more about the new prescription for connecting with B2B buyers with our social selling eBook.

How do leading pros use LinkedIn for social selling? Download this eBook and discover their secrets.

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