Social Selling Tips of the Week: Insights from the Experts

Learn about the latest research and best practices on social selling from the experts at the top of the game.

April 1, 2016

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There’s a lot to be said for a trial-and-error approach—learning through personal experience ensures you’ll take your hard-won lessons to heart. But while trying, stumbling, and coming back stronger is commendable, you can also take a few shortcuts and bypass some pitfalls by listening to those who have been there.

Since social selling is still a relatively new practice, it doesn’t take too much to leapfrog the masses and jump to the top of the game—you just need to attend to what the experts are advising, what the latest research shows, and how you can integrate these best practices into your own day.

This week’s roundup of social selling tips offers insights into recent studies, what the future of social selling holds, and how to get the most out of your efforts.

Revealing New Research on Social Selling

Not long ago, companies were shunning the idea of employees logging into social media during work hours—some even blocked Internet access to these sites. That’s all changing, according to a new study by LinkedIn that looked at the behavior of 1,000 sales and business development professionals in the UK.

Kevin Scott, Head of LinkedIn Sales Solutions for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), teases out the insights of this study and reveals a gorgeous infographic that breaks down key findings. Among the major eye-openers is the fact that 98% of top salespeople cited social selling as “extremely critical” for closing deals.

“From this data it's clear to see that the question today isn't whether employers should be allowing their employees access to social media at work,” writes Kevin, “but why they aren't encouraging them to use it more.” The study is quickly picking up steam, with fresh coverage coming from The Telegraph, Elite Business, and B2B Marketing.

Looking Towards the Future

As the above study makes clear, social selling is gaining traction and wide-spread adoption. But where do we go from here? Amanda Nelson of SalesForce spoke to five experts—including LinkedIn’s own Koka Sexton—to pick their brains on what lies ahead for social selling.

Their five pithy insights (highlights from a recent webcast) are not to be missed. “Just as sales people are moving into the future, the buyers are already ahead of us,” says Koka. “We are going to see the application of social selling increase across every industry.” Read the highlights or watch the full webcast here.

Dispelling Common Social Selling Myths

In a young, rapidly evolving practice like social selling, misconceptions are bound to happen. It’s easy to latch on to discouraging myths like “social selling takes a lot of time,” or “only the experts can do it well.”

Fortunately, Pam Neely clears up these misunderstandings in a helpful post on Business2Community. In it, she curates infographics, best practices, and valuable strategies like the “3x3 formula” in one handy package, drawing clear and concise conclusions. “Don’t get spooked by social selling,” she writes. “You’ve already got all the essential skills you need to do it well. Learn a bit about the different messaging tactics and the etiquette of different platforms, and you’ll do fine.”

Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to learn from the masters. Not only will you gain a valuable competitive edge, but you’ll sidestep common mistakes and place yourself at the vanguard leading the rising tide of social selling.

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