‘Social selling’ is typically a term used mainly to describe the most recent step in the evolution of lead generation, i.e. a progression from cold calling to warm emails, and a growing focus on personalisation thanks to LinkedIn and the information web. Sales and marketing automation, when used intelligently with good messaging, quality content and disciplined inside sales activity, results in more sales conversations and a healthy early stage pipeline.
But whilst ‘social selling’ leads to more calls and meetings, how many of these relationships progress?
Producing whitepapers and ebooks demonstrate substance but what your buyers find really valuable is easy access to knowledge, experience and ideas which help solve their problems, all of which reside in a much wider pool than your organisation and client portfolio.
In most instances, the same challenges are being faced by your buyers’ peers, some of whom will have implemented solutions and solved problems with varying levels of success. By offering a platform for collaborative learning (and I don’t mean LinkedIn groups or online forums) you will help your buyers build a stronger case for an investment in a solution such as yours.
As business people, we are open to building new relationships where we can see the value in them. By becoming a conduit for your buyers to contribute, learn and develop their thinking you become a valuable and trusted resource and they will make time for you and your team. Later on, when a decision to invest is made, who are they likely to spend their money with?
Consider engaging with your buyers on a higher level, focusing on helping them learn from the wider market rather than relying only on your polished content and well-oiled marketing engine.
Much more social.