A needle in a haystack: making sense of social selling

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The vast amount of social channels, buying signals, and information available on the internet can be overwhelming to a salesperson. So overwhelming that they may have no idea where to start.

We sat down with Jeff Gibb, an account executive at Simply Measured, to discuss his viewpoint on the overwhelming world of social selling and how a sales person can make sense of it all. Simply Measured provides easy social media analytics and measurement for data driven agencies and brands.

The phrase “crawl before you sprint” can be applied here. As Jeff outlines, it takes time to get familiar with and understand where social fits with your current strategies and how to use it to get better results.

Here are some of his helpful answers to tough questions:

Q: How have you seen social selling evolve?

A: The amount of data you can access as a sales person in the social era is nothing short of incredible. Listening to how prospects talk about their industry and problems offers much more insight into how to communicate with them. Throughout the sales cycle, social is a new channel for sales to communicate with leads, and offers another forum aside from email.

Q: What are some of the biggest misconceptions of social marketing and social selling?

A: People have a lot going on in their day, and many see social as a distraction. Many people also know that social is valuable but do not understand how to drill down into the data that matters. Using social for selling is all about being targeted and efficient.

Q: What are your best practices of social selling?

A: It is really about finding the right kind of engagement and appropriate channel. Find channels where your prospects “hang-out”. For example, Instagram is not the right channel for professional engagement. On the other hand, Twitter is a great channel to engage with prospects. Twitter provides multiple ways to interact and engage. Some options are publicized and others are not. Know the purpose of your engagement, do you want it to be public or private? You may not want competitors to see your interactions; therefore you may opt to use a private channel or private way to communicate.

Q: What are some tips you would give someone just starting to use social for social selling?

A: 1) Listen first. You can gain a lot from observing the way people communicate, 2) Use tools to focus your efforts and be efficient, 3) Make sure your clients or prospects will gain value from interacting with you on social.

Q: What tool(s) would you recommend?

A: The number one tool I would recommend is Rapportive – it is a Gmail plug in. It shows all the social information (Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile) related to the recipient, and give sales much more information than they would have had otherwise.

Q: Can you list any actions sales people may be taking that are setting themselves up for failure?

A: I see a couple of things: 1) people need to understand when to keep a conversation public and when to make it private, and 2) being too focused on self promotion. Make sure to share relevant information but keep promotion to a lower level, mix up the content, and try to add value to your audience.

Q: What excites you about this event?

A: I was actually an attendee at the last event, and took away some great insights from the speakers. I’m excited to be presenting and delivering the same value to this crowd.

Q: Can you explain what data sales teams should track? Tips for using the data? Making the information actionable?

A: Sales should be aware of the type of traffic and leads they get from social. Are specific networks or posts driving great leads? Make sure the conversation is tailored around those connection points once the lead is sales ready. A lead that starts as social will usually be open to engaging there, so sales people can help drive velocity through those channels once they’ve engaged.

Understanding how social marketing fits into your sales process and strategy is key to success. Jeff will be sharing his point of view, expertise and real life social marketing examples at the Heinz Marketing B2B FastTracks event on October 10th at the Columbia Tower Club.

To hear more of his social tips and best practices be sure to request an invite! Jeff will be joined by several other industry leaders and innovators, such as LinkedIn, Full Circle and Netprospex! The event will consist of 20 minute tracks packed with educational content focusing on social lead generation, optimizing ROI, and real life case studies – you can pick and choose which tracks will be of most value to you! Request an invitation today.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.

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