In order to succeed in sales, sellers need to be able to generate as much as 70% of their own leads to make their sales numbers, according to a recent study conducted by CustomerThink and cited by Koka Sexton in his whitepaper last year, â€œ7 Ways Sales Professionals Drive Revenue with Social Selling.â€
Sellers who want to control their own destiny and exceed quota, must develop and incorporate new habits into their sales processes. From creating demand using LinkedIn posts to monitoring clients’ Twitter feeds, these activities will set you up for success in the era of social selling.
Hereâ€™s my story of how I became a micro-marketer and what you can learn from my experiences.
First, know that everything I did next came with a certain level of hesitation and an initial feeling of discomfort. Like anything new, practice and persistence are key. This was true for blogging, and regularly monitoring client posts on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Hereâ€™s how I got started. I would spend two hours per week researching my target clients and what they were posting or commenting on. Then, I started posting regularly on key industry or “best practice” groups on LinkedIn. Further, I scheduled another 30 minutes to review top sales articles. When I found good ones, I commented and shared these with my network.
The Early Results:
What initially happened was that people in my target demographic started viewing my profile or reaching out to me on LinkedIn, wanting to connect. A while ago, I closed my first deal that could be sourced to a LinkedIn interaction. I am currently working on another as I write this article. Three such deals were in my pipeline at the time. I had one win, one loss, and one still deciding currently from this group. All began as LinkedIn interactions.
Kick off 2017 with a Social Selling Bang
Get started with Social Selling in 2017 by identifying goals against which you can measure your success. For example, how many meetings would you like this to lead to, monthly? How many more leads in the pipeline would you like to see generated as a result of Social Selling activities? Once you have penciled in goals, take the next step and complete the following action items:
- Build a Social Selling Strategy Plan:
- What will you tackle first?
- How much time can you allocate?
- Where do you think your time will be best spent, given your goals and audience?
- Schedule different activities in 30 minute blocks throughout the week. This can include:
- Account planning and researching key players
- Posting on blogs and in relevant industry groups
- Reaching out to people in your LinkedIn network
- Discovering new contacts and identifying warm introductions
Build a routine of activities that you can repeat often and track results against. For example, if you start sharing content within LinkedIn, what posts receive the most engagement or comments? What type of prospects are responding most positively,Â and what commonalities do they share (i.e. title, company size, or industry)?
Your social selling activities should be methodical and connected so that you are building relationships, sharing valued information, and ultimately, leading your prospect through a story that culminates in how you can help them solve a problem. There is a right way to gain access to and influence early stage buyers, but it means behavior changes and increasing your micro-marketing activities.