It should come as no surprise, however, that sales people got there first, which means that there are plenty of old hat - or "new social savvy" sales people as we like to think of them - taking advantage of the communication and networking opportunities provided by the social networks.
"Social selling" is one of the hottest topics today and is mostly done via LinkedIn, Twitter and via blogs. Twitter is much more effective in the US than in the rest of the world. If the US is an important market Twitter needs to be included plus Twitter is growing the rest of the world.
The sales process has always been social. Salespeople need to find prospects, make connections, and build relationships. Because of how social the sales process is, it just makes sense for salespeople to turn to social media as a new prospecting and influence channel. In this post I have tried to list the social selling behaviors mostly found in the bigger B2B deal world. Transactional B2B selling and very complex B2B selling differ in many ways but from a sales and influence perspective it is in particular two things making them different.
In the very complex B2B deals a consensus among MANY stakeholders need to be reached prior to making a decision. The quote 'It is no longer B2B or B2C but H2H' is in my view a Google and Marketing Automation provider hype. If you don't understand consensus you will not succeed doing really large deals. Anyone in this space who disagrees?
In the very complex B2B deals the actual purchase leads to the customer having to change how they work. This makes selling in the very complex B2B landscape very similar to the change management industry. It is absolutely vital to create a 'burning platform' so that the stakeholders really prioritise YOUR change. See Kotter's first step in the 8 step process for leading change.
Update your social networks frequently: Look at Bill Gates Twitter account or Richard Branson's for example. They tweet frequently and because they have a high number of Twitter followers, their Twitter feeds are effective broadcasting mechanisms. The same in LinkedIn using both short posts and LinkedIn blog posts like this one.
I have both generated significant business working like this but also made friends for life. In the social media you get to know people that you might haven't met. If people in your key accounts start to like WHY you do things and WHAT you believe they are more likely to want to work with you. https://www.startwithwhy.com/
Always remember the importance of influencing the consensus when doing large B2B deals. Social selling, Account Based Marketing and great content are important in this domain.
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