A Look into 2017: Social Selling for all?

Social Selling has been a hot topic during 2016 and will continue to be into 2017

January 3, 2017

  • 2017-social-selling

Social Selling has been a hot topic during 2016 and will continue to be into 2017, as more and more organizations jump on the high speed train of Digital Sales Transformation and as best practices transcend the IT sector and become mainstream in Professional Services and other sectors.

Today, it is the Management/Consulting Services and Financial Services sectors that are blossoming. We are seeing unprecedented demand of consulting and training services in those sectors. The Private Wealth Management sector is also leading this second wave.

Only a few visionaries in the manufacturing sector are jumping on social as a lead generation and sales channel.

What we all haven't realized yet is the power of social in developing and closing the sale as well as account management.

We believe in the high potential of social to help move along the sale in its different stages.

Social Helps Develop and Close the deal

After a first presentation meeting, our client is most likely not yet ready to buy. There are many causes for that. Nothing wrong on your end. The question is: How we can nurture the relationship and keep the communication line open? How can we stay top of mind? Sometimes we even sent a proposal and suddenly...radio silence? How can social keep the communication bridge open and help the deal move forward? It is normal for the client to be not ready to buy. In cases where there are many stakeholders (average size of a decision team is 5.4 people), social helps us understand who and why, and to stay top of mind when these periods are long. All of these factors help develop the sale.

Closing is (at least it should be) a function of development. If the development is done well, then the closing isn’t so much an activity as it is a result of good deal development with the client.

Social really helps move the deal forward and close the sale.

Social Helps with Key Account Management

Large accounts are complex to manage and often, we dedicate a team to better serve them. According to LinkedIn research, 1in 6 contacts in your account will change jobs within a year. How can we be informed of those changes? How can we be on top of organizational realignments or new director appointments?

More and more we also see that our clients do not accept the "just checking in" line. We need a relevant business reason to check-in. How can we gain actionable insights on the account like large mergers and acquisitions, new product launches, new management appointments and other relevant information about our clients?

We are often stuck with our peers in the procurement, IT or buying departments when the decision makers are often in other business units. How do we move beyond who we deal with today? Many services, technology, logistics, and manufacturing firms have this problem and need to move from farming accounts with the contacts that they have to growing accounts with access to the business units and senior decision makers that they don’t work with today. This approach is especially good to help establish more senior interactions.

Social helps with managing key accounts.

To sum up, in 2017, we see opportunities for social to:

·         Generate opportunities in new accounts

·         Turn opportunities into done deals

·         Generate new business within existing accounts

We will see the use of social across all divisions of sales and all sectors. It’s just a matter of time.