Social Selling Tips of the Week: How Data Creates Better Conversations

Discover why social selling data is the key to better conversations with your prospects.

May 20, 2016

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Data, metrics, and analytics are imperative for a successful marketing and sales strategy in 2016. But choosing what data to collect and figuring out how to effectively analyze and act on that data isn’t an easy job—nor is it a one-time effort.

Maybe your sales team members are hesitant about what some might consider a marketing or operations task. However, social sellers are continually finding opportunities to use data to their advantage. This week’s top content highlights the important impact of data in the social selling process.

How to Measure Your LinkedIn Activities

Digital marketing leader, Chris Raulf just published a comprehensive guide for measuring LinkedIn sales activities on Social Media Examiner this week. While much of his advice was LinkedIn-specific, he provides an excellent resource on measuring and tracking social selling activity.

Raulf focuses on awareness metrics, consideration data, and conversion rates. As we’ve seen a great deal this year, content and sales work hand-in-hand here. For social selling to thrive, team members should regularly share high-quality, relevant content. Comprehensive content metrics like shares, likes, connections, and comments can illuminate and direct your social selling efforts. Built-in tracking tools to monitor these metrics are essential to getting greater insight into your prospects’ needs—both across and within targeted organizations.

How to Use Data to Jump-Start Your Sales Conversations

Conversations are arguably the most difficult and vital part of the sales process. They require the most “homework.” While the close might be the sweetest, the conversation is the most nuanced. LinkedIn and Clearslide recently published a ten-step guide for using data as a part of a successful social selling strategy. LinkedIn’s Head of Enterprise Sales, West, Joan Foley and Clearslide’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Jeff Schmidt are the minds behind this latest must-read. These leaders implore sales teams to use data to their advantage when it comes to meaningful, productive conversations with prospects.

Several data points are highlighted, but this quote sums up a great deal of their message: “To make your initial outreach more interesting to your prospects, use relevant data that helps to personalize your message – and shows that you’ve done your homework.” While the piece is rich with detailed advice, some of the stand-out ideas include personalizing outreach with social data, using engagement analytics to make contact at the right time, and understanding who is involved in the decision making process and how they’re all connectd.

Sales is Science

While this last inclusion doesn’t directly address data on social selling platforms, it reminds us of a few time-tested sales strategies. What’s interesting about the advice from Sriram Rajan, Executive Director, Analytics Platform at IBM Singapore, is that even well-established strategies are better served by social selling metrics.

Rajan reminds the seller to be prepared, personalized, informed about decision makers, and ready to follow through at the opportune moment. Rajan gives advice on how to apply metrics to a quantifiable reality. “You will need to understand all those who will be involved in the decision making, and the role each individual could play in making a purchase decision,” he writes. Regardless of what this looked like before you began your social selling initiatives, it’s never been easier to use social selling tools to familiarize yourself with prospects, their roles, organizational needs, and sales timelines.

In sales, there’s always room to grow. Using data to improve your conversations is a sure-fire way to boost your social selling success.

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