Not only is it important to have social selling activity on a daily basis as sales professional today, it’s important to have the right social selling routine.
What often happens is sales professionals will get caught up in “random acts of social.” They feel like they’re being very productive because they’re spending several hours sending out new messages, engaging with buyers, or sending out connection requests and developing a network. What typically happens, however, is that sales professionals lack a holistic routine that actually covers all of those things in an efficient way.
In order to maximize daily social selling activity, and in doing so maximize the return (the ROI) from that activity, sales professionals need to make sure that they’re really checking four main boxes on a daily basis.
FILL YOUR FUNNEL WITH NEW BUYERS
To have an effective daily routine, you need to be regularly finding buyers to fuel your funnel. Whether those are buyers from new accounts that your company has never done business with before or new buyers at existing accounts, you’ll be able to both cross-sell and upsell more effectively if you have a routine in place for finding them. And in doing so, you’ll be also avoiding a single-threaded approach.
The key to feeding your pipeline daily comes down to prospecting activity. But you don’t want all of your social selling time spent there! There are some very key components of your social strategy that if not done on a daily basis, won’t build critical mass into delivering better results.
ENGAGE WITH NEW BUYERS
Not only can you get people on your radar through your prospecting activities, but you also need to be keeping an eye on your engagement. Some questions to ask yourself:
Who’s on my radar?
Who haven’t I messaged yet?
Who should I send my first messages to?
Who have I made one, two, or three attempts in trying to communicate with in the past, with whom haven’t I been successful yet? Can I find a different strategy to approach them?
Is it an appropriate use of time to try and re-engage them?
Do I have any conversations that were part-way through the sales process and then died on the vine? How can I re-engage them?
Can I find a way to spark conversation with them by rather saying ‘Hey you haven’t answered yet…hey you haven’t answered yet…’ Can I instead flip that on its head and say, ‘Hey Mr. Buyer, just thought back to our conversation last month. Remembered that you mentioned X, Y, Z… came across this awesome article that I thought you would find valuable. Would love to get your thoughts and/or hope you enjoy.’ This idea is re-sparking conversation simply by providing value.
So it’s a good idea to evaluate your routine on a daily basis. It’s also important to recognize the different types of engagement:
Direct engagement: phone calls, emails, and direct social messages on your LinkedIn or Twitter.
Indirect engagement: profile views, liking content, sharing content, commenting on content. If you see one of your buyers has recently written an article on LinkedIn Publisher, like and comment on it. They’ll appreciate you taking the time to do so.
Also keep in mind that many of these engagements can actually pop up on a lock screen of somebody’s mobile phone, which they usually have with them 24/7 around the world.
SHARE INSIGHTS WITH YOUR MARKETPLACE
Another key of your social selling strategy is to regularly share insights. Sharing insights (i.e. content) helps position you as a thought leader or subject matter expert, which your buyers will naturally gravitate towards during the buying journey for helpful information.
In order for your buyers to see you as an expert, you cannot present yourself as biased to your solution only. Experts need to be well-rounded by pulling industry information for many sources.
The most effective way to do this is to share third-party content around your area of expertise that supports your company’s value proposition. For instance, our value proposition is that sales professionals should use a social selling as a component of their overall sales strategy to more effectively engage their buyers at all stages of their journey. So when I’m out in the marketplace, not only do I share Sales for Life content, I also share a lot of third-party content from reputable sources like B2C Social and Hubspot. These companies write a lot of excellent content on how professionals can improve their sales process with digital resources. Sharing their content helps paint me as a more well-rounded expert.
GROW YOUR NETWORK
Lastly, it’s important to keep on top of your daily network growth. You have to keep engaging the people whom you’ve recently had conversations with via email and via phone. Maybe you’ve run a demo with them, maybe you’ve been introduced to somebody recently or you met at a party or conference.
Ask yourself, is there anyone I’ve recently engaged with professionally who I haven’t yet sent a connection request to?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had conversations with sales professionals looking to do business with a new account. They’ll talk to people at a particular company but they don’t connect with them on LinkedIn because that person isn’t a decision maker.
I say, ‘Well do you realize that when you’re looking to get in touch with other decision makers in the organization, your having connections to their employees makes you much more credible?’
If you send an email, leave a voicemail or send a social message to a decision maker at an account you’re looking to get in touch with, and they happen to take a look at your LinkedIn profile to find out if there’s potentially value here before I completely shut them down, they notice your connections. If you’re connected to someone in the company rather than having zero connections in common at all, it’s going to provide you a lot more credibility.
So there’s a huge amount of value in connecting with all of the people in an organization, even if they’re not the right people that you need to talk to. Those connections will lend you much more credibility in your business conversations when you do get in front of the right decision makers.
If you neglect to cover all of these key areas outlined above, your social selling strategy will not be nearly as success as it could be. While prospecting is very important to do on a daily basis and is probably the vast majority of your social activity, it’s far from everything. A small amount of energy and time in these other key areas can go a long way to your achieving greater levels of success.
So don’t spend all of your time on just prospecting and then say, ‘Well, I socially sold for 6 hours today,’because that’s simply not the case. If you’re only socially prospecting, you’re not really socially selling. A holistic routine is the key to social selling success!!