4 Reasons Why Your Social Selling Program Needs Content Curation

74% of buyers choose the sales representative who first adds value during the buying process.

Let that stat sink in.

The statistic is not: 74% of buyers choose the sales representative who sells first. Nor is it 74% of buyers choose the sales rep who introduces the product first. Nor is it 74% of buyers choose the sales rep who demos first.

The winners are the salespeople who add value.

And one of the easiest ways to improve your buyer’s life is through strategic content curation. Let’s take a look at what I mean by that.

What Is Content Curation?

Before we look at four ways to use content curation, let’s define what curation is.

Content curation is the process of finding content online and sharing it with your audience. Most Internet users curate content in some way, shape, or form.

Frequently, we select links to share with our friends, co-workers, and prospects, and we add our own commentary. Just think about all those links that your high school and college friends share on Facebook. That’s content curation.

But the big difference is that your Facebook friends aren’t using content curation for business purposes. They’re doing it for personal reasons.

When you’re sharing content for social selling, you have to have business objectives in mind. Below, you’ll find some tips for using content curation to warm up your leads, build trust, and educate your sales team.

1. Use Content to Start Conversations.

If you’ve done social selling, ask yourself, How do you currently break the ice with your buyers on social?

If you haven’t done social selling, ask yourself, How would you break the ice with your buyers on social media?

As a salesperson, your first instinct is to sell the product. That’s because you’re accustomed to working with people at the bottom of the sales funnel, when they’re reaching a decision.

When you’re trying to break the ice with a potential buyer, you need to fight those instincts. Think less about your product and more about each individual buyer’s needs:

  • How can you help challenge the individual buyer’s current perceptions?
  • How can you challenge the status quo in your industry?

By sending a potential buyer a blog post, an infographic, or a video dedicated to their industry, you can help your buyer understand her problems and identify her need for change.

Moreover, you set yourself apart. When you share content with your buyer, she doesn’t see you as a pushy salesperson, but rather, as a helpful salesperson – one who will be able to answer her questions.

When starting conversations, don’t just blast content across your social networks. Share helpful content picked especially for individual buyers. The personalized messages will help.

Looking for tips on breaking the ice?Check out these templates.

2. Use Content to Maintain Your Buyer’s Attention.

All right, you have a buyer’s attention. Perhaps he responded to your message or liked your post. Now what?

You should immediately go for the demo request, right?

Wrong.

You need to continue to add value. Before you can pitch your product, ask yourself where the buyer is in the sales cycle.

  • Does the buyer know he has a problem?
  • Is the buyer seeking information related to his problem?
  • Does the buyer understand how to solve his problem?
  • Is the buyer identifying and reviewing vendors?

See that last question? That’s when you should start introducing your product. Before then, focus on developing conversations. Use content related to your subject matter, your buyer’s industry, and your buyer’s job position.

And truly think of your curation as a conversation. If you are simply broadcasting links and not starting individual conversations, you’re not taking full advantage of social media’s socialness.

Are you skeptical that content matters? Think about your offline conversations. Think about how many times someone has asked you, “Did you see that video on YouTube?” Or, “Did you read that article on Topic XYZ?” Our lives – even offline – revolve around content on the internet.

So, why not give it a try online?

Need help matching content to the sales funnel? Here’s a post for you: What Your Sales Team Needs to Know about Content Marketing

3. Use Content to Educate Your Sales Team.

Thanks to the advent of Google and social media, your buyers are more informed than ever. But are your salespeople?

Your salespeople need to be subject matter experts for your buyers, which means that they need to stay on top of the latest trends.

As a sales leader, you have a couple options when it comes to your sales team’s education. You can entrust the learning process to your sales team, or you can take it upon yourself to educate your sales representatives.

The best sales enablement teams do the latter. They curate content internally for their sales force. They’ll provide articles on the following:

1. Competitors. Your sales team needs to know what your competitors are doing, and they need to know how they can position your company against your competitors. Supply them with, for example, your competitor’s press releases and indicate how that impacts them.

2. The latest trends in your industry. Industries are always changing, and there are always new research reports being produced. Supply these resources to your sales team. Indicate to them

  • Why they need to read these articles.
  • How these articles will help their buyers.

4. Use Content to Build Credibility Online.

Do you search for your buyers on social media? If so, have you ever thought that your customers might do the same and search for you?

For social selling to work, you must have a smart, informative presence on social media. When someone looks at your profile and timeline, you want them to perceive you as someone who is trustworthy and who is up on the latest trends in your industry.

Curating content is one of the best ways to bolster your professional brand online. If you’d like more tips on how to use content to build your professional brand, check out these resources:

To Sum Things up…

Without content, your sales team will be boring on social media, if not annoying and ineffective. Curating content is the key to starting and maintaining conversations, as well as educating your sales team and building credibility online.

Now that you understand content’s importance, it’s time to understand how to build the right content mix for your social selling program.

Good luck!

-Mark

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