What is B2B social selling?

In this article, we answer the question ‘what is B2B social selling?’. With buyers increasingly reluctant to talk to sales people, B2B social selling gives sales teams the opportunity to build relationships and support the sales journey through social channels.

Key takeaways: What is B2B social selling?

  1. Traditional outbound sales not longer effective, at the same time buyers are reluctant to contact a vendor, preferring to do much of the research themselves.
  2. B2B social selling is a tactic which allows the salesperson to prospect for leads and engage with them through social media.
  3. Salespeople can use B2B social selling to prospect for leads by listening out for conversations that are relevant and using social media to build relationships with prospects.
  4. Social selling is a content-driven tactic. The salesperson aims to build relationships and influence the buying decision by providing educational content.
  5. B2B social selling can also be used to research a prospect before customer meetings.

What is B2B social selling?

What is B2B social selling? B2B Social selling is using social media to build a profile of your prospects and using that insight to add value during the buying journey. A tactic that has become increasingly popular,  social sellers are closing more business than non-social sellers.  In a world where salespeople are getting involved in the buying journey much later, social selling is a new tool to add to the sales team arsenal.

The growth of social selling

We are living in the age of the customer, not seller. Customers have everything they need at their fingertips. They can learn everything they need about your product and even speak to your existing customers before making a buying decision. B2B social selling is the tool modern sales professionals need to use to prospect and connect with an audience.

Social media can help salespeople engage with prospects more intelligently. Buyers are savvier than even a few years ago, and the salesperson needs to engage with them in a much more personal way to build relationships. Increasingly,  in a world where the prospect can find out everything they require without talking to a salesperson, B2B sales is about appealing to the buyer directly and making human connections. Social media allows sales teams to guide their prospects through the B2B customer journey,  identify opportunities to engage and build personal relationships.

The end of the cold call and the dawn of B2B social selling

Cold calling, emailing or any other engagement where there is no prior relationship no longer works.  The B2B customer journey is now primarily a process of the customer researching information for themselves and only contacting the vendor towards the end of the buying journey, when they are ready.   No one wants to be contacted out of the blue, but social selling is the answer and gives salespeople the opportunity to build relationships through digital channels.  Studies have shown social selling works; social sellers are 40% more likely to hit their targets than non-social sellers on top of that, those who do you use social selling generate a 57% higher ROI. It’s highly likely your next customer is on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter and social selling is your opportunity to connect.

B2B social selling in practice

It can be difficult to imagine how social selling might work in practice so here are some examples of how you could implement it in your organization.

B2B sales teams can use social selling to prospect potential customers. Think about what pain points your product solves, then listen on social media for people who are talking about those pain points.  Twitter’s advanced search is a great start Just enter your pain point in the search box and see who’s talking about it.

B2B sales teams can use social selling to connect, network and build relationships. Once you found who is talking about relevant pain points, start understanding where those audiences live. Are they on LinkedIn? Do they participate in specific groups? Start understanding where your audience connects and what kind of content they engage with.  The importance of building relationships in the sales process remains,  don’t just focus on the sale, think about how you can build a broader relationship with your prospect.  If prospects are Tweeting about going on holiday somewhere you have already been, share your favorite restaurant with them, if they are buying a car,  tell them what you drive, social media is personal, make a personal connection.

B2B sales teams can use social selling to nurture their prospects.  Once you understand what kind of content your prospect is likely to engage with, start sharing that type of content.  Look out for opportunities to share insight and guidance that will help your future customers in the buying journey.  Avoid the hard sell but offer real value.

B2B sales teams can evaluate their prospect before their next meeting. The salesperson can now go to their next sales meeting fully informed about who they are meeting and look for snippets of information on which they can build a relationship

What is B2B social selling?

B2B social selling is the tactic salespeople now need to deploy to build relationships with their prospects. Relationships are built by offering genuine value not pushing for the sale.

If you are still wondering if social selling is right for you, then think about this stat from Forrester Research. “B2B sellers who embrace social selling are 72% more likely to exceed quotas than their peers who don’t.” Buyers are replacing talking to the sales rep with searching on Google and social media. Sales reps need to be mindful that the buying journey for their next prospect has already begun.