Why Social Selling Is About Opening, Not Closing (and How Intent Data Helps)Posted on 04 Oct
In today’s rapidly changing, globally connected marketplace, effectively locating and moving viable leads down the sales funnel presents a significant challenge for most small to medium-sized businesses.
Traditional cold call and market saturation techniques are now mostly antiquated practices across a majority of modern industries. From building rapport with a lead to facilitating conversions through gauging prospect’s intent, marketing and sales managers have a demanding job and must keep pace with advancements to outperform the competition.
Many of today’s successful and market-savvy sales teams leverage social selling techniques combined with intent data to effectively locate, establish connections, and, ultimately, build relationships that lead to successful long-term business partnerships. Learn more below about honing your sales focus and capitalizing on the myriad benefits inherent in social selling strategies.
What Is Social Selling?
Fundamentally, effective sales techniques still rely heavily on a team’s ability to locate, connect to, understand and then foster productive relationships with prospective clients. Social selling, at its core, employs all of these techniques but does so by leveraging the full horsepower of modern social tools to efficiently and effectively build a relationship with a lead. In fact, Hubspot’s social selling study identified that 78% of salespeople using social media platforms outsell the competition and nearly 55% of all prospective buyers conduct market research on social media networks.
More Than Just Social Media Engagement
Although wisely using a wide range of social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more as part of your social selling strategy is part of the equation, it is not the full answer. Social selling, much like any other useful sales technique, incorporates finesse, active listening, timing and, above all, the ability to build rapport with another human being several time zones removed from your own. It focuses on fostering new, productive relationships with leads, not on pushing aggressive, high-pressure closing tactics and sales techniques on them.
Ultimately though, social selling helps your sales force offer solutions, at the right place and time, to help leads solve vexing problems or locate the perfect product to fill a need or a shortfall. When combined with intent data, social selling becomes a holistic marketing tool.
LeadSift, as an advanced provider of intent data, is in a unique position to help businesses unlock this crucial intelligence about prospective clients. By obtaining vital data from sources outside of your internal sites and networks and unearthing information from sources outside of your digitally owned properties about leads who are in the buyer’s journey, your sales department stands to benefit.
Enhancing Relationships with Leads via Social Selling
Social selling can help you or your sales team build enduring relationships with leads. To begin, it is essential to do your homework, incorporate active listening techniques and then engage at the right opportunity to provide value to the prospective client.
Utilize some of the methods below to help build relationships and enhance credibility with new leads to avoid the perception of a cold call, or an aggressive sales approach:
- Learn more about a lead’s needs by monitoring interactions via social networks
- Maintain a consistent tone across all social media outlets
- Engage with leads through mutual connections to add credibility and foster trust
- Establish yourself as an expert in your industry, not as an aggressive sales entity
- Keep an eye open for opportunities to recommend solutions to a lead
- Personalize your social media interactions to ensure it presents you as a professional and credible source
Before launching your social selling strategy and honing in on potential leads, it is important to obtain actionable, reliable and advanced intent data from providers such as LeadSift. This data helps connect you to the right people at the right time to maximize your social selling campaigns. Armed with unique insight, you will know whom to engage in a lead’s organization, instead of cold calling endless numbers to locate, or bypass, gatekeepers.
How Does Intent Data Help Open the Door to New Leads?
Social selling permits individuals within your sales department to craft enduring relationships with prospects, but, outside of cold calls, what viable techniques do you have at your disposal to identify and gain insight into these leads’ motivators? What problems do they face, and, more importantly, how and when can you best engage with them to offer solutions? Are they currently in a buying cycle, conducting market research or attempting to compare products or services to determine which would best meet unique requirements?
Intent data provides opportunities for meaningful conversations with leads and creates the space your business needs to take decision makers on a buying journey. Clients who use sophisticated intent data platforms, like LeadSift, glean unique insight into prospects who are:
- Actively following your business or a competitor on social networking sites
- Engaged in conversations with your competitors
- Working with your key partners or with influential organizations in your sector
- Engaging with relevant topics and keywords
- Keeping track of recent developments and upcoming events in your industry
Intent data also provides signals indicating your customer expressed interest in competitors’ products and services. This process allows your sales team to engage intelligently with social selling techniques designed to address concerns before it is too late. Meaningful dialogue and insight into a client’s requirements may help you prevent the loss of crucial business. Additionally, social selling utilizing intent data may help:
- Prioritize engagement with customers presenting strong buying signals
- Incorporate advanced data on prospective clients into marketing campaigns
- Keep track of competitors’ latest products and what leads think of them
- Personalize your social selling strategy and approach to each lead
When you are armed with industry-leading intent data, your business is in a unique position to initiate a meaningful dialogue with prospective clients and capitalize on social selling techniques.
Contact the team at LeadSift today to schedule a demo and learn more about how intent data could transform your sales and marketing teams.