Solving Two Common Sales Challenges with Social Selling

Many sales teams are struggling to make their quotas. Reaching potential buyers has become increasingly tough, and it seems that, when you do get ahold of your buyers, your competitors already have their ear.

Sound familiar? Let’s take a look at a couple ways that you can use social selling to solve the challenges that you and your team face.

Problem 1: Who Should Generate the Leads?

By now, you’re familiar with the blame game. The sales team says to the marketing team, “You’re not giving me enough leads!” The marketing team retorts, “You’re not following up on the leads I’m giving you!”

So, let’s settle this argument once and for all – with some cold, hard facts. In a study by CustomerThink, they found that marketing teams typically produce between 15% and 30% of a company’s new leads. In fact, according to CustomerThink, “a world-class marketing team will trend toward 30%.”

Talk about putting pressure on your sales representatives. At best, they can expect to generate 70% of their own leads, but some sales teams have to generate upwards of 85% of their own leads.

Problem 2: Cold Calls Are Ineffective.

To add insult to injury, not only do sales teams need to generate their own leads, but old sales techniques no longer work.

In a not-so-distant past, it was much harder for prospects to obtain information about a company. Potential buyers had to use the phone book, request brochures, and speak with sales representatives.

But with search engines and social media at their fingertips, prospects can do their own research before making a purchase. As a result, 57% of every buying decision is already made before a sales representative becomes involved (CEB).

Plus, prospective buyers no longer feel the need to answer the phone to speak with sales representatives. Cold calls are ineffective 97% of the time (IBM’s preference study).

So, what are sales representatives supposed to do? They face quite the dilemma:

  • Their potential buyers are more informed.
  • Cold calling is effective only 3% of the time.
  • But they still need to generate between 70% and 85% of their own leads.

The Solution: Social Selling

What is social selling? It’s the use of social media to build relationships so that you can increase your company’s top line.

Don’t think of social selling as a replacement for traditional techniques. You will still exchange e-mails and phone calls, and you will still have face-to-face meetings. Instead, think of social selling as a way to remove the ineffective parts of the sales process.

Social selling works because you are engaging with prospects where they are. Did you know that…

  • Americans spend more time on social media than any other Internet activity, including e-mail (Business Insider)?
  • 100% of B2B decision-makers use social media for work purposes (Forrester)?
  • The majority (57%) of B2B IT buyers use social networks as part of their purchase process (IDG Connect)?

As a sales representative, you want to be wherever your buyers are, and if they are on social media, you want to be on social media, too.

Engaging with prospects on social media is not merely a fad. It actually works! Sales teams that use social selling tend to come closer to attaining their sales goals than sales teams that do not use social selling.

  • 64% of sales teams that use social selling attain their sales quota (Aberdeen Group).
  • 73% of salespeople who used social selling techniques meet or exceed quota (Aberdeen Group).
  • 54% of salespeople close business as a direct result of social media (McKinsey & Company).

Sound good?

If you want to learn more about social selling, check out these resources:

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