Market musings

5 Essential Tools for Social Selling And How to Use Them

by Sasha Viasasha
August 22, 2017

Great news! Old selling techniques don’t work anymore. The latest sales statistics on customer sentiment reveal that:

  • 97% of cold calls just don’t go anywhere
  • 48% of buyers are irritated by aggressive sales tactics
  • 39% of buyers can see right through scripted sales pitches and hate them

Why is this great news? If you are a small business that's ready to grow, these trends signal that you have an enormous market advantage over old-fashioned sales teams. 

Social selling is the relationship-based approach to syour business by solving problems and growing a fan base. It’s the exact opposite of transaction-based, high pressure sales.

Prioritize customer experience

Does social selling work? The numbers speak for themselves.

  • 90% of the nation’s top salespeople, as identified by LinkedIn, are using social selling
  • 6% of social sellers outperformed their peers in terms of revenue
  • Social sellers exceeded their quota 23% more often than their peers

Social selling operates on the same principle as the “water wears away stone” rule. Steady persistence and genuine interactions will always win over sales tactics that merely prioritize closing the sale. The old methods of transaction-based selling can still deliver great conversion metrics or revenue numbers in the short term, but the long-term cost of churn and damage to brand reputation will eventually sink your company. Now everyone is connected and the internet has very long memory. Your company’s reputation matter more than ever.

5 tools for social selling

Social selling prioritizes a positive customer experience and the result is that companies that excel at it are enjoying the benefits of brand advocates as an costless, permanent secondary sales force.

Social selling involves more than just putting up a profile on Twitter, though. Here are five fundamental tools of social selling along with some suggestions on what to do with them.

1. Lead generator

Leads are the heart of social selling. Spend at least 10 minutes every day investigating new connections. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one of the best tools for doing that. Various packages allow you to send a specified number of InMail messages each month to potential matches, but your team is likely to run up against that ceiling pretty quickly. You could upgrade, but before you do, search for prospects with “Open Profiles.” You can connect with them without using your limited InMails. 

2. Contact automation

Smaller businesses are expected to provide better customer service than large enterprises because they have smaller customer base. Keep that personal touch, but scale up your contacts with a combination of personalization and automation. A sales enablement tool like Outreach.io demonstrates the beauty of simplicity for ramping up sales. This is how you’ll deliver tailored messages on specific pain points and services that add value to each prospect across multiple channels – email, phone calls, social networks, etc.

3. Smarter smartphones

The cold call is dead, but the warm call is a cornerstone of social selling. In fact,

New research indicates that phone calls are exponentially more effective than email, as long as those prospects are warmed up by social selling techniques.  

Phone-based outreach averages an 8.21% response rate, compared to 0.03% response to email blasts. Over the phone, you build more relationships, which grow into customers and referrals.

The Spoke app enables salespeople to turn any smartphone into a social selling engine. All the essential features needed for successful sales are built right in, including an AI attendant, voice-not-VoIP call clarity, local numbers anywhere, easy conferencing, hunt groups, callback tracking, and data for improving sales productivity. Try Spoke for free to see all the ways it will work for your business.

4. Content aggregator

The most direct path to finding new contacts that share an interest with you is to keep track of who engages with the stories and comments you post. Content aggregators search the web for attention-grabbing images and articles centered on the keywords you choose. EpicBeat is a good example of a low-cost tool to help you spark conversations everywhere. Just type in a phrase related to what you do or a pain point for your customers and you can see which stories you can curate across various networks.

5. Social listening

If you can’t be everywhere at once, hire someone who can: an AI app that keeps track of how life is changing for your prospects. The Artesian app is one of the new generation of tools that can alert you when an prospect changes jobs or a big news story impacts an entire industry. It allows your sales team to respond faster than the competition and be fully prepared before meeting with potential customers.

Buyers seize control

In one sense, the tools for social selling are new but the ideas behind them are ancient. Relationship-building has long been a basic building block of sales, but in the past it took a back seat to information control. The sales department used to be in control of presenting information and answering questions. The internet turn all that into self-serve.

Now buyers control the information flow about you and your competition. Buyers seek out they answers they need online or in their networks. The companies that survive will those that transform their sales teams into customer-oriented problem solvers, not the process-oriented information keepers.

Visit our FAQ page to discover more about how Spoke makes it easier to stay in touch you're your customers and share insights instantly with everyone in your company.

Selecting and Implementing a Business Phone System
A Simplified Guide to Choosing A New Business Phone System