The rise of Social Selling

Hoot Suite has just brought out a white paper on the rise of B2B Social Selling – which is actually very interesting.  We all know that consumers are deal hunting and researching products through social media but what’s less appreciated is the way in which business purchasers are using the very same channels.  This doesn’t spell the end of traditional selling – far from it.  More likely, it makes face-to-face encounters as well as cold calling and emails more targeted and relevant – so ultimately more likely to lead to a successful outcome.

Hard selling is still taboo through social media but sales folk can use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to identify potential customers and begin a conversation – that can then be moved on to the ker-ching stage of a sale.  They can also take a long, hard look at companies in advance and work out which individuals are likely to be the key decision makers instead of diving in and hoping they get the right person – and we all know how frustrating that can be.

When it comes to making an approach – empathy and insight will allow for small talk to be dispensed with rapidly and instead moving on to the real meat of the matter. The sales person can have a much clearer idea of what the target business wants and how their product can be tailored to meet the need.  There’s nothing worse than selling to a brick wall or launching a product that is misconceived and nobody wants.  So a much subtler process of market research and engagement can be undertaken leading to a better use of everybody’s time.

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