“Social selling” is getting a lot of press these days. Unfortunately, that means there’s also a lot of bad advice out there.
Google the term and you’ll get numerous hits on the imperatives of social selling along with strategies for building social presence to reach prospects, and software that mines social media for their digital footprint. Despite the numerous posts that urge sales to use LinkedIn, or caution sales not to misuse it, in my experience, some sales groups struggle to keep their LinkedIn profile updated, much less have a Twitter account or strategy to use either for social selling.
But, social selling is not just about salespeople connecting with buyers on LinkedIn (though that’s important) or sending out tweets that demonstrate thought leadership (though this can help.)
Social selling is about leveraging social media and technology to do things both sales and marketing should already be doing in order to do them faster and more effectively. It requires deep collaboration between the two departments around gathering and sharing data about prospective buyers, as well as using that data to engage them through social media. At its core, social selling requires you to do these three things: