If a business can outline their social selling meaning in relation to the overall sales process, they are ahead of the curve in becoming a social business. In other words, they see social selling and digital selling as an integral part of their sales strategy.
Many sales leaders still struggle to put into words their social selling meaning or may just not understand the role social selling now plays in everyday sales interactions. Well, social selling is social by nature and remember that buyers are human, and humans are social by nature. All of us as consumers like to get opinions and advice from those we trust when it comes to making purchases. The same now goes for the way we buy and sell in the B2B world. The reality is that social media has given us the resources (buyer or seller) to expand out how we get opinions and advice, making us all more savvy and educated in our buying decisions.
Social selling meaning
The first thing to accept is that both “Digital selling” and “Social selling” are becoming increasingly vital sales tactics for a business to engage more prospects or customers. So, let’s look at a social selling meaning.
It starts with a vision that every salesperson will use social selling as a tactic which is baked into every aspect of the company’s sales DNA. To be used to make smarter decisions on how to target, who to prospect and who to sell to. But a social selling meaning is much more than that, it means to engage and connect with people in a much less interruption manner, to share and engage in discussions without the sales pitch plus to recognize that the next wave of buyers are digital native, social channels will be their communication channel of choice. It’s already happening, look at the influence Facebook, Amazon, eBay, Google searches and review sites have on our own buying habits.
A social selling meaning to use:
For the sales teams and salespeople to use social selling to build a communication channel directly with customers that connects the businesses social media marketing activity and the sales engagement. To extend out the sheer volume of buyer connectivity and interactions that promotes the business far greater than traditional sales channels.
Social selling opens up the opportunity for salespeople to connect, share and communicate on a one to one basis with a set of customers or prospects. This allows them to have personalized conversations, to form a level of value and trust with each connection by providing insights, information and answering questions.
This is why companies are integrating social selling into the DNA of their sales strategy.
Social Selling Means Being Connected
Having a social selling meaning includes have metrics and measures of success. It’s about getting it to deliver real and measurable results from the one-to-one social conversations the salespeople are having with a targeted set of buyers. The dawning of the digital native B2B buyer is here, so the ability to connect and influence them via social media will be vital to every businesses success no matter what they sell.
Also, it is important to be able to tell the difference between social selling and social marketing. Social marketing is tasked with increasing brand exposure and driving website traffic using content or offers to a mass market in a one to many approach. Social selling is 100% focused on a personalized one to one approach.
Social selling does require training and a plan just the same as every other sales tactic. Salespeople need to learn how to build influence and authority on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. They need to understand how to research and engage a new customer, how to tap into triggers and signals plus how to build a communication plan that leads from contact to customer.
When we discuss a social selling meaning, we are also talking about building a sales team comfortable with being social salespeople. They must learn new sales skills, skills such as personalized marketing, content expert and social storytelling. Social selling as part of a sales strategy also requires a mindset change, one that requires sales management or sales leadership to let go of the traditional constant sales pitching towards having salespeople build relationships and connections online.
There is no silver bullet as to what is social selling meaning, but it does comprise of many different sales activities that work in unison with other sales activities.
I don’t believe there is any business leader who does not accept that the buyer to seller relationship has changed due to the influence of social media. Research after research into buyer behavior (B2B and B2C) clearly shows that they are self-educating and influenced by reviews or opinions they see online. This move to a social first interaction model will give forward thinking companies a great opportunity to grow faster, while for others it will pose a risk to their ability to re-purpose their sales force.
Social selling and digital selling will put customer value at the heart of your sales strategy, to share content, provide insights, answer questions, create value, build credibility which will lead to many more meaningful sales conversations that any other sales channel.