How to Drive Growth with B2B Social Selling
Welcome to our guide to social selling for B2B startups! In today’s competitive landscape, traditional sales approaches are no longer enough. Enter social selling- a powerful strategy where marketing and sales teams work together to empower B2B sales professionals to connect, engage, and build meaningful relationships with their prospects through social media.
According to Gartner, 40% of B2B buyers use social media to help inform their purchasing decisions. With that in mind, social selling may be the future of B2B sales. Let’s dive in.
What is social selling?
Social selling is a lead-generation strategy designed to help sales teams use social media platforms to identify, connect, and engage potential customers. It involves building and nurturing relationships with prospects through various social channels to drive sales and revenue. What’s more, 61% of organizations engaged in social selling report revenue growth.
What is an example of B2B social selling?
Let’s say a salesperson from a tech startup engages with a targeted prospect on LinkedIn by sharing relevant industry insights, helpful content, etc. As trust builds, the salesperson introduces the company's solution and benefits, ultimately leading to a virtual meeting. Post-sale the relationship continues, creating a lasting B2B relationship and driving business growth. Win!
What are the benefits of B2B social selling?
- Boosted Lead Generation: Social selling helps B2B sales professionals engage with potential buyers and decision-makers on social media platforms. By identifying and connecting with qualified leads, social selling helps bring a steady flow of prospects into the pipeline.
- Improved Lead Nurturing: B2B sales cycles can be long and require nurturing at various stages. Social selling helps salespeople build relationships with prospects over time by sharing valuable content, addressing questions, and providing personalized support. This helps move leads through the funnel faster.
- Enhanced Trust and Credibility: By establishing a solid presence on social media and sharing industry insights and expertise, B2B sales professionals gain credibility and trust from potential customers. Trust is a crucial factor in B2B buying decisions, and social selling helps build that trust.
- Better Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Social selling aligns well with ABM strategies, where the focus is on personalized engagement with key decision-makers within target accounts. Through social media interactions, sales professionals can effectively nurture relationships.
- Competitive Advantage: Sales teams that effectively use social media for building relationships and nurturing leads will outperform competitors using traditional outreach methods.
How do marketing and sales work together in social selling?
The marketing team and sales team work together to drive social selling. Let's break it down:
The sales team is responsible for converting leads into customers. They directly engage with potential clients, nurture relationships, and guide prospects through the sales funnel. Social selling involves using social media platforms to identify potential leads, build relationships, and ultimately convert them into customers. Actually, 53% of sales peoples want help in understanding social selling, enter the marketing team!
The marketing team is responsible for creating and implementing strategies to promote the brand, products, or services across various channels, including social media. They typically focus on building brand awareness, generating leads, and engaging with the target audience. Marketing teams create content, run ad campaigns, and manage the company's social media presence.
For successful social selling, collaboration between the marketing and sales teams is crucial. The marketing team can provide relevant content, data, and insights that the sales team can use in their social selling efforts. Likewise, the sales team can provide valuable feedback on the effectiveness of marketing materials and campaigns based on their interactions with prospects on social media. It’s a win-win relationship.
How can the marketing team drive social selling?
Support Sales Team with Resources
Provide the sales team with the necessary resources and content they can share on their social media profiles. This can include blog posts, case studies, explainer videos, infographics, and industry reports. Your content should clearly articulate the what and why - what is the product or service and why is it valuable for the buyer?
Drive Social Media Presence
Keep an eye on your team’s social media profiles so they are aligned with the brand's messaging. Consistently provide your team with the appropriate hashtags and keywords to increase visibility. Ensure that the sales team is well-informed and equipped to represent the brand effectively on social media.
Find and Engage Prospects
Use social media listening tools like SproutSocial or Loomly to identify potential leads and monitor relevant conversations. Engage with prospects by commenting on their posts, sharing relevant content, and starting meaningful conversations. Building relationships and trust is key in social selling.
Measure and Refine Strategy
Set clear social selling goals, such as the number of leads generated or conversion rates from social media efforts. Track relevant metrics using social media analytics tools and measure the success of the social selling strategy. Based on the data, refine and optimize the approach to improve results continuously.
What are the top social channels for B2B startups?
Choosing the best social channels to invest in really depends on factors like your target audience, industry, and the type of content you plan to share. However, there are several social platforms that tend to work well for B2B startups because of their professional nature and audience-targeting capabilities.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is arguably the most important social platform for B2B startups. It's a professional networking site where you can connect with potential clients, partners, investors, and industry experts. You can share thought leadership content, participate in industry groups, and engage in conversations relevant to your field.
- Twitter: Twitter is great for real-time engagement and sharing updates about your startup. It's an effective platform for sharing industry news, insights, and connecting with influencers.
- YouTube: If your startup has complex products or services, YouTube can be a powerful platform for sharing educational videos, tutorials, and case studies. Video content can help explain your offerings and build trust with potential clients.
- Instagram: Gaining traction in a huge way for B2B businesses, Instagram can work for startups with visually appealing products or services. It's especially useful if your content strategy focuses on behind-the-scenes looks, company culture, and humanizing your brand.
- Facebook: Facebook can be useful for B2B startups that target specific industries or niches. You can create a Facebook page to share updates, industry news, and engage with your audience through posts and comments.
Social selling is about building authentic relationships and providing value to potential customers. By following these steps, the marketing team can support the sales team's social selling efforts and drive business growth through social media channels. You’ve got this!
For questions about your social selling strategy, reach out to us.