Do you want to connect better with your prospects and customers to increase revenue? Lee Holsgrove, from Insidesales.com, the industry’s leading Sales Acceleration platform, walks you through 5 tips to help you drive business through social selling.
With 78% of salespeople who use social media performing better than their non-social savvy peers according to Forbes, there has never been a better time to incorporate social selling into your sales strategy.
However, research by LinkedIn suggests the manufacturing industry is least likely to adopt social selling, with industries such as professional services and technology steaming ahead. Why is this when 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies and services to purchase? It’s time for the manufacturing industry to embrace Social Selling and find out how this can be incorporated into an effective sales strategy. Here are some tips to help you use LinkedIn to drive awareness, conversations, leads and ultimately more pipeline.
1) Do the simple things first
By adding customers to your LinkedIn network you’ll be able to view their LinkedIn updates and content posts. In doing so you’ll gain a greater insight into their interests as well the challenges they face. Your customers will become your most important resource for prospects. With this in mind, ask your CEO, VP of Sales or VP of Support, to connect with each new customer as part of the welcome process. Afterwards you can reach out to them occasionally to see how they’re doing with your product.
You can also follow your customers’ companies to find out their latest news updates. By showing your understanding of their company, you can begin to build rapport with your customer.
2) Connect through email
One effective method to build your LinkedIn connections, is to respond by email and then connect. Next time you receive an email from somebody who you believe might be a valuable connection, respond and mention in your email you will connect on LinkedIn. When you send the connection request, remind them of your email. One word of caution, LinkedIn penalizes you if you try to connect with too many people who reject you.
3) Prospect, prospect, prospect
Just as you should connect to your customers and the companies they work for, you should do the same with your prospects.
When should you connect with your prospect? After the very first contact attempt. Doing so helps to accelerate rapport building. LinkedIn can also help you connect to your prospects by searching for keywords that fit your target audience to build out your prospect list.
Again, as with following your customers’ companies, you should do the same for your prospects. Try not to follow too many, as your feed will be overwhelmed, so choose carefully. This way you can spot potential opportunities within their news updates. This in turn helps your account based selling efforts when having conversations with your prospect.
4) Use tags to categorize
LinkedIn has a useful feature which allows you to use tags on your connections so you can organize connections into customers, prospects, partners and so on. To ‘Tag’ a contact, go to the ‘Connections’ section in LinkedIn, hover your cursor over the contacts’ information then click ‘Tag’. This is a precious tool for sales reps in the manufacturing industry, as you’ll be able to send targeted communications to your chosen categories.
5) Using LinkedIn for events
Before attending a tradeshow, look for the corresponding LinkedIn group. Once you add the event, you’ll have the opportunity to introduce yourself to delegates attending and invite them to visit you at your stand. Use Linkedin to schedule appointments prior to the event so you can maximize your return on investment. You can also invite delegates to your stand during the event to garner additional appointments. Remember to promote events you’re attending by going to LinkedIn, adding the event to your calendar and selecting the ‘share’ feature. Then send connection requests to the people you met to begin relationship building post-event.
So there you have it, 5 tips to help you begin social selling. For a complete discussion on Social Selling download our eBook: 42 LinkedIn Inside Sales Tips.
Are there any social selling tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them.
This was a guest blog post provided by Lee Holsgrove, Account Executive, Insidesales.com.
About InsideSales.com: InsideSales.com offers the industry’s leading sales acceleration platform built on Neuralytics™, a predictive and prescriptive self-learning engine that drives revenue growth by delivering an optimized experience for both salesperson and buyer. The platform fuels sales rep performance with breakthrough innovations in sales communications, engagement tracking, forecasting, and rep motivation.