Inbound versus outbound always seems to be a debate between sales and marketing. Sometimes, sales leaders think if they had more people and more phone numbers that, they could make more sales. Marketers often think that if they just had more content and a larger budget for promotion, they could drive more sales. Both may be true, but the culture of B2B sales has changed now that buyers can do all the research they need online. The divide between sales and marketing is blurring – and rightly so!
With the ability to research their next purchase online comes the opportunity for sales professionals to be visible and engaged where the buyer seeks information. Sales professionals harnessing the power of content and building their authority in their space are achieving great results. Blogging, social media, speaking opportunities, and business networking are all mediums where salespeople can present their ability to provide value to the prospect.
B2B Sales, Buyers, and the Social Selling Strategy
In B2B sales, where relationships and trust are paramount, social selling has emerged as a powerful strategy to connect with potential buyers. This journey involves several critical steps that, when executed effectively, can lead to closing deals and building lasting business partnerships.
- Be present where the buyer is: To kickstart your B2B social selling journey, it’s crucial to be present on the platforms where your target audience resides. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook Groups, and various industry-specific sites are excellent networking hubs for sales professionals. By establishing your presence on these platforms, you can connect with potential buyers and build your reputation.
- Provide value and credibility: To stand out in the noisy world of social media, you must offer value to your audience. This includes curating relevant content, answering questions, and providing assistance beyond your products and services. By consistently delivering value, you can establish credibility and position yourself as a knowledgeable resource in your industry.
- Value + credibility = authority: Building credibility through valuable content and assistance ultimately leads to authority. In the B2B space, buyers are not merely looking for salespeople; they seek partners who can help their businesses succeed. As you gain authority in your field, you become a trusted advisor, making it more likely that buyers will turn to you for guidance.
- Authority leads to trust: Trust is the linchpin of every B2B buying decision. Once you’ve established authority and a reputation for helping others, trust naturally follows. Trust is the cornerstone of all business opportunities online and is often the final hurdle in the purchase decision. Buyers want to know that they can rely on you and your recommendations.
- Trust leads to consideration: Once you’ve earned the trust of potential buyers, they are more likely to consider your offerings seriously. They’ll reach out to you when they recognize that you can help address their specific needs. This phase is where your social selling efforts start to bear fruit, as your prospects move closer to making a purchase decision.
- Consideration gets the close! Ultimately, the goal of the B2B social selling journey is to close deals and drive revenue. Once you’ve made it to the consideration stage, you have the opportunity to showcase your expertise and demonstrate how your products or services can truly benefit your prospective clients. The trust and authority you’ve built will make it easier to persuade them to make a purchase.
The B2B social selling journey is a multi-step process that involves establishing a strong online presence, delivering value and credibility, earning authority, and, most importantly, building trust. As trust is the foundation of every successful B2B transaction, social selling enables you to foster the relationships and credibility needed to drive your business forward. By following these steps, you can not only attract potential buyers but also close deals and develop lasting partnerships in the competitive world of B2B sales.
There’s a lot of talk around the changing sales and marketing landscape. But this evolution is driven by one important factor: the buyer. The way people purchase products and services online has dramatically changed over the years – and these days, buyers have more power than ever. To understand more about what influences today’s customer, we’ve put together an infographic that reveals their motivations. What kinds of content resonate more with buyers? Who do they trust? Which tools should you employ to simplify the buying process?Jose Sanchez, Sales for Life.
People buy from thought leaders who are visible where the B2B buyer is seeking information and providing the information the buyer is looking for. Are your salespeople there?