There is a major shift happening in the sales world right now, and sales leaders must pay attention and react to the change. It’s common knowledge for sales leaders to keep their team top of mind for prospects. One of the emerging ways is through thought leadership, blogging for sales teams, and the use of social media, or “social selling”. With a well curated social selling strategy in place, sales teams are adding immense value to their prospect’s lives before the sale even starts. This means starting the right conversations that close deals.
It is true that blogging and social media can often take a backseat to other areas of a sales strategy, but we’re here to tell you it shouldn’t. Below are some statistics showing just how important a quality content strategy for your sales team is in a digital age.
First, let’s take a look at how sales reps are perceived now:
1) 91% of business buyers say their expectation of a sales experience is higher now than it was two years ago. (SAVO)
Buyers are constantly inundated with content, and as such, they expect to see quality posts from quality brands. They have their pick of the world’s goods and services, so it makes sense that buyers will do more research now and will choose to buy from salespeople they perceive as thoughtful and value adding.
2) 75% of buyers feel that they are a step ahead of salespeople. (SAVO)
A vital step in the sales process is trust. If a buyer doesn’t see a salesperson as prepared, knowledgeable and trustworthy, they are likely to find a salesperson that is. However, most buyers feel that they are ahead of the salespeople they work with.
That stinks. How do sales teams fix this perception?
In short, the answer is to become a thought leader. Let your community (both on and offline) know that you are knowledgeable and able to give them the information they want to see. Create and foster connections using social media, understanding that social selling is a long game. It may be difficult to adopt at first, but it is the most efficient and cost effective way to foster potential leads into customers and eventually into promoters of what you sell.
3) On average 67% of the buying process is digital. (Sirius Decisions)
This doesn’t mean that a salesperson isn’t involved until the end of the process, it just means that buyers expect a salesperson to have more knowledge than they can find online. If salespeople post content interesting to their online audience, sales conversations will naturally arise and a member of your sales team can get involved early on with a prospective buyer.
4) 61% of customers in the US made a purchase based on info they found in a blog post. (Social Media Today)
The reason sales expectations are high and customers are so knowledgeable is because there is more easily accessed research now than there has ever been before. Before a customer’s first contact with a sales representative, they have probably read all about the company they are looking to buy from. Assume that potential customers are reading your blog, and leverage your content to influence the way they buy.
5) Internet users spend 23% of their time online reading blogs and on social networking websites. (Social Media Today)
With users spending nearly a quarter of their time online sifting through blogs and social posts, it is important you take the time to post content they want to see. You can easily create surveys to hear from your audience directly, or you can use other industry blogs as a benchmark. However you choose to do it, it is important to develop a strategy that allows your internet persona to add value to a reader’s life.
6) Companies using blogs see 88% more leads every month than those who don’t. (Hubspot)
Plainly put, conversations coming from blogs and social posts are much more likely to turn into conversions. Potential buyers are already interested in hearing what you have to say if they read the content you post online, and you can leverage their interest in a sales conversation.
7) 90% of top performing salespeople say they use social media as part of their sales strategy. (LinkedIn)
Salespeople adopting an inbound marketing and selling strategy are more effective than those that don’t. Top performing salespeople frequently utilize sales technology and intelligence.
8) Over 70% of sales professionals use social selling tools. (LinkedIn)
We are in the age of building relationships online. High performing salespeople use social media as a way to create business relationships with longevity and to close more deals. Salespeople who use social selling tactics well are 51% more likely to hit their sales quota.
9) 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level or vice president level executives surveyed by the International Data Corporation say they use social media to influence their purchase decisions. (IDC)
The buying process has changed drastically from the days of cold-calling, and salespeople need to change with the market. If decision makers are using social media to find new products and services, salespeople need to fill up their sales pipeline with social media.
10) Over half of B2B buyers use LinkedIn to support buying decisions. (IDC)
At the end of the day, it’s clear that cold calling does not work. According to a study conducted by Baylor University, the success rate of cold calls to appointments is a mere 0.3%. Connections via LinkedIn are the new norm these days, and it is easier to vet prospects when you can see all the information LinkedIn provides. Sending a message and making a business connection in this new, less interruptive way is far more effective than the traditional outbound marketing strategies of the pre-digital age.
The best way to keep your sales team up to date is to help them understand the value of social selling and to enable them to be successful. The process of finding and nurturing prospects relies primarily on the success of your digital activities, including social selling activities. Building long term relationships and retaining clients is now done through content and thought leadership.
We are a one-for-many marketing platform that empowers one person to do the work of many. Schedule, create and post social and blog posts on behalf of your entire team for social selling, recruiting, and employee advocacy
Our mission is to enable businesses to start selling and marketing with the future in mind. We enable businesses to work smarter, not harder. With Yip Yip, increase ROI on social selling efforts, create more referrals and opportunities and build brand awareness to increase revenues fast. To see how we do this click here.