3 Social Selling Tips Your Sales Team Needs to Know
Social selling is a unique challenge, and a great opportunity. At first glance, the biggest challenge might appear to be how quickly trends change on social. Each social site is it’s a unique little ecosystem, with it’s own trends, community etiquette, and niche demographics. Appearances can be deceiving, though. While it is certainly important to understand the core values and personality of the social channels you use to sell, it’s not as if you need to become a different person on each channel you use.
Many of the same timeless tactics you use to sell in more traditional sales settings also apply to social. Be friendly to people, and learn a bit about their needs before you launch into your pitch. Contact people when you say you will. Know what you’re selling inside out before you expect other people to buy from you. None of this is groundbreaking stuff, but it’s good to remember that the sales skills your team has accumulated apply to social just like they do anywhere else.
Nothing is ever quite that simple, of course. There are also some social-specific skills your team will need to succeed. Here are three social selling tips you can start using right now to improve your team’s performance.
Make It a Habit
This is, by far, the most important social selling tip for your team to understand. Social is not a sales shortcut. It requires a real investment of time and effort on your team’s end. In short, it takes commitment. And you know that the best way to commit to something is to make it a part of your daily routine until it becomes habit.
It’s okay to start small, especially for team members who are relatively new to social. The key is to make sure that team members focus on the task at hand during whatever amount of time they carve out for social each day. You can accomplish a lot on social in even 15 or 30 minutes as long as you’re able to block out distractions.
That 15 or 30 minute block of time will quickly begin to grow longer once your team members see the benefits of social selling. You’ll also have team members who are eager to dive into social headfirst. While you don’t want to discourage their enthusiasm, make sure these team members don’t overuse social to the point of ignoring other sales channels. Balance is important.
Focus on specific tasks with each day’s block of time. Schedule time for interaction, sharing, and prospecting. You can also schedule time for specific social channels throughout the week. Just be sure not to neglect any of your main channels.
Automate for Efficiency
You can also cut down the time investment required for social success by embracing automation. We’re not talking about intrusive old school automation like robo-calling, here. Modern automation is all about giving customers the content they want, when they want it.
Marketing automation uses a customer’s stated interests and needs to send content tailored specifically to that customer. Now, you don’t have to pull those interests out of thin air. Automation also tracks key data about your social connections, so you’ll always have a finger on the pulse of your customers.
Automation is also great for scheduling purposes. Use it to schedule posts, shares, and updates, so your team members can devote their social time to building relationships and closing deals. With automation, you don’t have to be plugged in all the time to grow your social presence.
Analyze and Adapt
Social selling comes with a natural learning curve, even for tech-savvy team members. While research helps, there’s no book that will tell you exactly how to sell your product or service socially. It’s a process of trial and error, but your team doesn’t have to go through it blind, thanks to analytics.
Analytics are key to identifying problem areas in your social selling plan, but it’s important not to be too reactionary. Subtle changes over time are usually more successful than sudden, dramatic shifts. Let the data paint a complete picture before making your judgement.
Analytics also tell you what’s working well. This is good for morale, of course, but it’s also important to your social selling plan. Understanding what works and why it’s working yields lessons that are useful across the board.
Social is a tremendously valuable sales tool. It just happens to work best when your team has a clear plan and the discipline to follow it. Don’t forget that you have plenty of help as you navigate the world of social selling. From analytics to automation, technology is your team’s best friend. With the right tech and a motivated team, you shouldn’t have to wait long to start seeing positive results from social selling.