In a turbulent economy, social selling can significantly increase your sales. Although the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) has said the UK would likely avoid a recession this year, selling in financial uncertainty can still present enormous challenges for salespeople.
With consumers and companies looking to cut costs and reduce spending, it's no surprise that many sales teams find it difficult to close deals and hit their targets.
However, it's important to remember that challenging economic conditions can also present opportunities for those willing to adapt and innovate.
Many companies are adopting social selling into their sales strategy, and by activating their sales teams, they are seeing increased sales, even during tough economic times.
By leveraging the power of social media, businesses can extend their reach, deepen their relationships with prospects and customers, and develop a more targeted approach to marketing and sales.
This blog post will explore some of the key benefits of social selling and how businesses can use it to increase sales and revenue, even in tough economic times.
Modern Sales vs Traditional Selling Techniques
Traditional selling techniques, such as cold calling, are losing effectiveness in today's digital age. According to Harvard Business Review, in a survey of nearly 1,000 B2B buyers, 43% of surveyed respondents agreed that they would prefer a rep-free buying experience, meaning they want to research and evaluate products on their own before engaging with a salesperson.
This highlights the importance of providing valuable content and building relationships with prospects before attempting to close a sale.
More modern techniques such as social selling, referrals and peer recommendations are becoming increasingly more effective in sales.
Social selling involves using social media platforms like LinkedIn to build relationships with prospects and customers and provide them with relevant content until they are ready to buy.
Instead of simply pushing products or services onto potential customers, social selling aims to engage with them more personally and provide them with value.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a powerful tool for social selling. It allows sales teams to search for and connect with potential customers and provides valuable insights into their interests, behaviour and purchasing patterns.
In today's business environment, there is a greater desire to optimise performance and reduce overhead costs. As a result, digital solutions like Sales Navigator allow for greater leverage and efficiency and are becoming more attractive.
By leveraging social selling strategies, businesses can achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in their sales and marketing efforts, leading to increased revenue growth and profitability.
Extend Reach And Deepen Relationships: Getting The Most From LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Now we're on the topic, let's explore how you get the most from LinkedIn Sales Navigator as part of your social selling strategy.
Sales Navigator enables sales teams to share relevant content and engage with prospects in a more personalised and targeted way.
It allows you to:
- Identify and connect with the right people.
- Engage with insights about your connections and their behaviour.
- Build relationships with lead recommendations.
- Share relevant content directly with your connections.
- Monitor your target accounts for news and updates.
In addition, Sales Navigator allows sales teams to tap into the growing trend of account-based marketing (ABM), which involves targeting specific accounts and building relationships with key decision-makers.
According to Gartner, this approach is particularly effective in B2B sales, where an average of 6-10 decision makers are involved in a purchase decision in large organisations.
In today's climate, companies must shift their mindsets from ‘how many phone calls did you make?’ to being more focused on the conversations and connections. Tribal's founder Sarah Goodall explains more about this here in a Tribal Sketch.
The key with Sales Navigator is to understand and utilise it properly and do so for the long term. Here at Tribal, many businesses come to us because they have purchased sales navigator licences but miss the mark when it comes to upskilling their teams to use it effectively. It’s not enough to buy a tool and do some training, you need to combine training and enablement to embed long-term behaviour change.
A More Targeted Approach: Account-Based Marketing
As we’ve mentioned, account-based marketing (ABM) is a more targeted approach to marketing that involves focusing on specific accounts rather than casting a wider net.
It involves marketing and sales collaborating to create a personalised buying experience for accounts that have been identified as high-value.
In Tribal's LinkedIn Live interview with Ryan Almond, Global Vertical Marketing & ABM Director at Henkel, Ryan advises that you should know the account's wants and needs before creating any personas.
He explains when you understand the market, it's important to look for individual differences between accounts. Then, those differences need to be considered when you put together your marketing messaging and where you add the most value.
This more targeted approach is becoming increasingly popular among salespeople. According to Hubspot, 66% of salespeople say they get their highest quality leads from referrals from existing customers, followed by social media. They also report that 55% of sales professionals use social media to research prospects and their businesses.
They are doing this type of research to build rapport. By focusing on more personalised and targeted experiences, salespeople can use messaging that resonates with the individual, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates and revenue growth.
Accelerate Your Social Selling Strategy
To accelerate your social selling strategy, you need to activate your sales teams online so they can build stronger relationships with your prospects and customers.
Providing your sales teams with the right tools and resources will help them succeed in their social selling efforts. As we’ve discussed, LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be a powerful tool for identifying and engaging with potential customers on social media.
In addition to providing the right tools, it's important to invest in training and coaching to help your sales teams develop the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in social selling.