Signs this is happening to you are:
- Customers and prospects are declining meeting requests
- You get RFPs from prospects you haven’t been talking to
- Competitors are beating your sales team consistently
- You find out about deals after the fact
You’re the CEO sitting in your office asking: What caused this?[p]
Your industry has shifted. Your customers are smarter. They are more educated. Most importantly, they are time starved. They only have time to meet with people they know and trust.
Think about the last 3 meetings you took with a sales rep. They were likely referred to you by someone you trust, not a cold call. Your sales team needs the ability to sell this way.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is a modern prospecting methodology that fills your funnel with opportunities.
What Does Social Selling Do?
Social selling generates meetings with decision makers inside your target prospects.
What Does it Mean to Use Social Selling?
It means your sales team can make its number without dependencies on other departments.
The Case for Social Selling
You may be wondering if social selling is relevant for you. Here are some statistics from trusted sources that are worth your consideration:
- 4.4% – email open rates (source: Google). Batch and blast email campaigns don’t work. Your buyers (and you) are saturated with emails every day. If you think you can outshout hundreds of others via email, good luck.
- 1-3% – cold calling appointment rate (source: American Association for Inside Sales Professionals). When was the last time you answered your desk phone? An unknown call to your mobile phone? If you’re spending on tele-prospecting, you’re better off throwing it out the window.
- 84% – # of B2B decision makers who begin their buying process with a referral (source: Edelman Trust Barometer). Ask yourself what you did the last time you entered the market with a need. Maybe a new sales or marketing leader. A potential venture capital or private equity firm. Did you take a cold call? Respond to a recruiter’s email? Or, did you pick up the phone and call someone you know for help?
The value of reps who can sell socially is going up.
A Solution in Plain Sight
The number 1 platform for B2B social selling is LinkedIn. Why?
- Over 300M subscribers
- A self-updated database with more accurate information than any other database
- A direct route to decision makers who purchase your products
The path for your sales force is unlocking this potential for your business. Your team needs to learn how to harness this potential.
There are 3 keys to best-in-class execution:
- People – The free tool will help you identify sales reps who can execute this new skill.
- Process – SBI’s 7th Annual Research Tour will teach you how to do this.
- Technology – LinkedIn is the #1 B2B resource.
To keep pace with modern buyers, your team must do all three of these well. One of the above may provide an incremental lift. Two of the 3 will get you a bit farther. The trifecta is your key to big growth in 2014.
As a buyer, you have changed. You want to meet with people you know. People who are well networked and can add value to your role as CEO. The fix for your sales team is equipping them with modern social selling tools. These tools are what’s required to get more at bats with modern buyers. Start now by downloading the 5 Traits of Social Sellers.