The “FAMEUX” Social Selling… Let’s talk about it once and for all!

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Who knows the exact definition?

Hummmm “social”, it must be people and “selling”, it must be the action to sell, so … sell something to people!

Yes… we will still check through the Wikipedia box so that everyone has the same reference in mind.

“Social

selling

is

vente sociale

the process of using

social networks

in the sales process. This type of approach involves implementing tools such as Linkedin, Twitter, Slideshare Yes Facebook, as well as inbound marketing techniques to generate leads (or leads), mainly in sales processes B2b. Indeed, traditional sales models such as email or telephone (cold calling) are less and less effective: for example, it takes 22 calls for a salesperson to arrive at a qualified discussion.”

“Sales process” already you actually have to have something to sell. You will agree with me that there are two categories, that of product or service.

In the definition, you will understand that, at first, social selling is aimed at mainly to the B to B sales process. A first question comes to mind, don’t you? It’s the one from the… I said, “Why?” Should those who do B to C deprive themselves of this method? I don’t think so. From a marketing point of view, that would be a mistake. But from a commercial point of view, if you focus on the B to B sales process which is usually much longer than the product, then I understand better. Translation, social selling, it’s not magic and it’s going to take time between implementing the action plan and converting the prospect into a customer.

Because we must not forget that social selling is the couple of two things: the implementation of tools (social networks) and techniques of inbound marketing!

A mix of Social Media Tools and Inbound Marketing

In order to save time, a quick reminder about the definition of “inbound marketing” below:

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inbound_Marketing

Inbound

marketing

is a

marketing management strategy

aimed at bringing the customer to himself rather than picking him up with traditional marketing management techniques such as outbound marketing.

Seth Godin is credited with this definition. The idea was to conquer targeted prospects in a different way, attracting them with quality editorial content on its website. This, to the delight of search engines, in terms of visibility, but also to capture attention (and intention… future consumer). These, conquered, naturally share the content appreciated on social networks.

These consumers become brand ambassadors while naturally adhering to the brand (unlike customers won over by increased exposure to advertising – which can be the same!). Thus, inbound marketing strives to take into account a complete commercial-marketing process, from the user’s first exposure to your brand, to conversion.

 

Goal: lead generation

Let’s stay focused on the issue… At the heart of social selling, the main and fundamental objective is, in the background, to work the brand’s reputation, but also and above all, to generate qualified prospects to convert them into customers.

If we dissect the method of social selling: social networks will be exclusively your communication media and inbound marketing, the technique.

From a rational point of view, knowing that the objective of inbound marketing is to win, capture and retain the attention of the prospect, through quality content, we are purely in a strategy of mediating the brand and the individual.

In order to capture your audience, it’s up to you to know first of all how to seduce it. And to do that, you need to know your prospect better. Indeed, it is by having determined their motivation, their purchasing engines, that you will be able to produce consistent content and visual to convey the right message to the right person. Except it’s not enough. Where everything gets tougher is that you also have to offer it at the right time!

To remedy this more easily, the (ultimate) secret is to develop one’s own community, that is, one’s audience. It will thus be more attentive to your message, at the desired time, or at least your messages will be better accepted by their attention, unlike another individual who would not be part of this audience and who will receive your message as spam, outright.

As long as you’ve managed to get attention, you’re identified. But being identified once won’t be enough either. It will be necessary to be identified several times in order to be known, and then, much later, to be recognized. And at what point can you admit to being recognized enough? Well, when the prospect is able to associate a brand/person with his activities. This is why it is essential that the communication department works with the sales department in order to perfect the communication strategy in correlation with the business strategy. As part of a more modest structure, you will either need to create a Business Developer position, or convert your salesperson to social selling in his sales process.

As long as you’ve managed to get attention, you’re identified. But identified once, will not suffice either. It will be necessary to be identified several times in order to be known, and then, much later, to be recognized. And at what point can you admit to being recognized enough? Well, when the prospect is able to associate a brand/person with his activities. This is why it is essential that the communication department works with the sales department in order to perfect the communication strategy in correlation with the business strategy. As part of a more modest structure, you will either need to create a Business Developer position, or convert your salesperson to social selling in his sales process.

The miracle solution that washes whiter than white

How long do you think social selling has been around? Or rather, since when did you hear about it? This year, one year, two years? Imagine that everyone gets into it at the same time, do you think it’s going to be easier and easier to be visible identified? That is, if everyone spams everyone in a certain way? In the long run, there will inevitably be a lack of interest from those who believed in this last-minute miracle solution.

“According to HubSpot’s 2016 “The State of Inbound” study, based on 4,500 respondents, 42% of customers enjoy communicating via social networks from a business perspective, with LinkedIn and Twitter as the main media. Being present on the social networks has now become a first-rate imperative for any company. Customers want to engage in conversation, contact with the company or brand, and paradoxically, digital allows companies to get closer to their customers, while being geographically distant. Finally, the figures prove, social selling is a real asset in the digital prospecting of companies: in BtoB, 78% of salespeople who integrated social selling into their digital strategy in 2012 show better results according to the American business expert Jim Keenan.”

Yes, indeed we are talking about 2012!

Believe me, those who master the art and the way of this method do not shout it from the rooftops, and practiced it long before it spread …

NO, “social networks” is nothing new!

And NO, “customers who go on the internet to find out before buying” is not new either!

For the record, Linkedin was created in 2002 (headquarters: California), Facebook in 2004 (headquarters: California), Twitter in 2006 (headquarters: California), … And the Google search engine is in 1998 (headquarters: California)! Even if it wasn’t as developed as it is today. These companies already exist for more than 10 years see almost 20 when we talk about Google …

Anyway, we’re not going to do them all either.

The strategy (always and again) at the heart of the action

If it were enough to be on social networks, it would be nice, but not … Upstream, a long reflection (fourth gear!) is necessary to prepare well his social selling actions if we want to hope for a result.

So let’s go back to the fundamentals: no social selling without a business strategy, no social selling without a brand strategy either.

So before the prospect is converted into a customer, exclusively via social networks, the road is long… And digital in the sales process leaves nothing to chance. Yes, social selling is necessary in a commercial approach but not sufficient to itself.

To those who call themselves experts (and there are, fortunately!) a little reflection on their commercial experience and their experience of commercial conquest, even if via Digital, seems indispensable, if only to know how to question themselves at every stage of social selling, test, calibrate reactions, behaviors, the attention of your audience … Paradoxically, beyond the screen filter, it is directly a matter “between humans” that is played out …

Do you still believe that social selling is a “trend”? And you, will you be able to make the most of all its possibilities?

Clovis Coqu

Expert Bordeaux My Business – Business Strategy

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