As customers spend more and more of their time in the digital world, the need for social selling grows. With 54% of social browsers using social media to research products and the average time spent on social media is 2 hours and 22 minutes, the buying habits are heavily influenced by your brand's online presence. And in this article, we are going to look into 4 impressive benefits of social selling.
The customers now have instant access to your product specifications, price and reviews. As a result of that, making purchasing decisions takes longer with 80% of buyers spending more time researching purchases compared to last year. And if their experience was positive, they are more than likely to recommend your brand to friends and family.
Social selling is the latest technique capitalising on this trend. The goal is to engage potential customers and nurture your prospects to build trust and establish a brand that resonates.
What is Social Selling?
Sales strategy these days is much more about engaging and educating, rather than cold calling or offering trials. Social selling is a strategic approach used in different steps of a buyer's journey both in B2C and B2B segments. Typically, social sellers interact with customers directly via social media.
Social networks give marketers a unique chance to form new connections and expand their outreach. They join the conversations to answer questions about the product or service and offer relevant content. This leads to higher chances of a sale and potentially converts prospects into loyal customers.
So, how compelling is social selling when it comes to sales? We've chosen 4 impressive benefits of social selling and explained why it matters for your business.
Tip: Content Marketing is key to social selling. It allows you to connect with the customers and offer value while having a real conversation about your product.
1) Shortened Sales Cycles
Customers like to make informed decisions based on careful research. They don't have to decide now and your business isn't their only choice. This is where a solid social selling strategy comes into play. It allows your sales reps to be in a position to engage with the prospects in a meaningful and human way. And it also helps them to leverage social networks to their benefit.
How? By sharing useful content on social media platforms your audience uses the most. With this strategy, salespeople can follow potential buyers throughout the sales cycle. This, in turn, makes the purchasing process much quicker and easier.
And who knows, if you provide a great service and stay consistent, maybe you'll even reach new people and generate a few interesting leads along the way! With social selling, the transparency of social media is your strength.
2) Improved Brand Reputation
Brand reputation is all about trust and the way the prospects see your brand. Social selling helps your sales team to build customer relationships long before they buy your product or service. But when it comes to attracting prospects, you can't just rely on promotion. The trust is earned with a combination of industry trends, news and general consumer education. All of this makes you seen as a reliable source of information and leader in your field.
And it's not just about attracting new prospects. With social selling, sales reps can also impact the bottom of the funnel and delight the customers via social media. By asking for their feedback or interacting with them after the sale, they increase the chances of spreading a positive word out about their company. This strengthens the credibility and has a direct impact on the perception of the brand.
Tip: Online reviews have a great power to steer purchasing decisions with 92% of B2B buyers more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review.
3) Lead Generation
Social selling gives sales professionals a unique opportunity to gain intimate insights about their customers. This way, salespeople can find out what the prospects think of the products and services. And if your sales team knows how to provide useful information at the right time, it's a great opportunity to eliminate any possible doubts or misunderstandings.
65% of all B2B customers say that they have no issue with receiving sales related messages on LinkedIn. And 84% of C-level executives use social media to make purchasing choices. If you can find and successfully contact the right decision-makers, social media can be a fantastic source of highly qualified leads.
Tip: From all of the platforms, LinkedIn is the best place to start with social selling as it enables you to reach a quality audience in a professional context.
4) Better Customer Retention
Social selling isn't just about attracting new clients but it also helps to retain the current ones. Recurring customers drive sustainable growth and this is especially true for B2B segments. Consistent engagement based on writing posts, sharing useful content and commenting keeps you in touch with 45% of former customers. It helps them to connect with your brand and learn about the latest offers in the long term. So when it's time to buy your product again, the customers turn to you.
Digital and social selling has the potential to lead to significant revenue gains. Its value has been proven and your competition is already using it. In addition to that, your target audience is on social media to inform its decisions, research products and engage with the brands.
Social selling can't be ignored. It shortens the sales cycles, builds deeper customer relationships, improves brand reputation and helps to achieve better customer retention. And as technology becomes more embedded in our professional lives, it's expected social selling will grow in popularity over time.
Are you ready to improve your sales process with social selling? Discover more with BIAS!