ABM and Social Selling. Everyone wants a piece of the action and it’s obvious why. Companies want to win key accounts. And with the ascendancy of digital and social channels, and the challenges of cold calling, using Social Selling and a platform like Sales Navigator to engage with prospects is a logical approach. Why?
- It can help sales raise awareness and grow their account base, or broaden reach and engagement in existing accounts
- It helps drive long term account engagement as social channels become more and more relevant in B2B
- It can help track activity of key accounts and individuals
So how do you build a practical, repeatable and scalable Social Selling strategy as part of a wider ABM approach? How do you drive adoption with your sales people and account managers? What effort will it take and can you leverage existing, re-purposed and curated content or news to give contacts value, and position yourself as a thought leader.
Here’s a simple 5 step process for using Sales Navigator for Social Selling:
Don’t rush into the tactics before you set out what you are trying to achieve. Identify the requirements. Agree goals and KPIs. Do you want to run a pilot with early adopters in your organization? Wireframe an initial pilot account and define your Social Selling process. Harness a tool like Sales Navigator using a social selling approach and assets.
Set-up (Building the foundations)
Get the basics sorted:
- Profile – Standardise profiles, including photo, descriptions, job history, education, achievements etc. Written in the 1st person
- Content – Is there any relevant content from the business they can feature on their profile? It can be assets from the company website
- Tone – Establish a tone of voice – Formal? Informal? – Make sure it represents you
- Connect – Establish connections – low number of connections can look untrustworthy
- Skills – Add skills – these are keywords that make you searchable based on your specialty. Others can also endorse these skills
Organise & Customise
The next step is to customise Sales Navigator and use it to your full advantage:
- Save key accounts and prospects, follow news and discussions and set alerts when there is significant movement
- Build a list of people you wish to contact or follow – based on specific criteria (Job title, company turnover, skills, seniority, vertical, geography)
Step 4 is about getting stuck in with some desk research. Have a good dig around and use the features of Sales Navigator:
- Set alerts when certain people move jobs, update their profile or show activity
- Create a feed of key accounts to see significant information on news coming out of the business, significant viral activity and new hires and growth
- Learn online habits of your prospects, as well as their tone of voice, skillset and who else they’re talking to
- Build your sales approach based on what you learn from language and behavior patterns
- How you engage should be very much learned from their profiles and engagement approach
Act and Engage
You now need to engage with people. Participate where you can. Contact prospects with the right message (and content) at the right time. Share their content. Don’t make it all about you!
- Customise your profile to fit the needs of your buyers, so when they visit they are more compelled to engage with you
- Engage in conversation on the prospect’s posts to demonstrate knowledge and build trust – share industry content to further engage
- Share their posts to encourage interaction
- Demonstrate thought leadership with posts that offer relevant information and advice
- InMail allows you to message your prospects without being a connection
To sum up, this isn’t rocket science, and it’s not about instant gratification! It’s about being consistent week in, week out. Don’t push to sell something straight away. Build the right foundations. Do the legwork. Be relevant. Add value. Be patient.
Our social selling guru Vicky made initial contact with a prospect and then simply did the right things at the right time until we got face-to-face with them 12 months later. And a couple of weeks after that they became a client. When they were ready and not when we thought we could sell them something – the perfect social storm!