Why Social Selling is important for B2B

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(Nicky Kriel is one the UK’s top Digital Marketing Influencers and the author of “Converting Conversations to Customers: The Essential Guide to Social Media Sales Success”)

I suspect that one of the first things you do when you thinking of buying anything is that you go online and do a search, am I right?  Your customers aren't any different. Did you know that 90% of buyers start online? Not only do they start online but Social Media is taking an increasingly important role in helping make buying decisions. And this is true not only for Business-to-Consumer (B2C) but for Business-to-Business (B2B) Markets as well.

Some Stats for you:


  • 86% of B2B IT buyers use social networks and content to help their buying decision (Source: IDG Connect 2014)

  • On average, B2B influencers do 12 searches prior to visiting a specific brand's site. 71% start with a generic query which means they are looking for a product first, not your business. (Google/Millward Brown Digital, B2B Path to Purchase Study, 2014)

  • Not only are buyers using Social Media and online content to help them make their buying decisions. Much of traditional buying through relationships is happening online. Most of the buying decision is made before the buyers contact your business. Influence and decision making are happening earlier and online. Ideally, you want to be part of the conversation early on and your business to be found throughout their searching.

  • 78% of Sales people using Social Media outperform their colleagues. (Source: Forbes - The Future of Social Selling)


Social Selling isn’t about selling on Social Media


It’s about building relationships so that that the sales process flows naturally from conversations.

It’s about attracting customers who want to buy your service or product.

It’s about staying top-of-mind so that when people are ready to buy, you are the obvious choice.

It’s about proactively finding potential customers and treating them like human beings rather than a number.

It is so much more personal than mass marketing and more humane than treating potential customers as suspects and prospects.

 

Social Selling is using Social Media to increase revenue by:


Attracting potential customers to you by building your personal brand and providing useful content.

Discovering opportunities and new customers by listening and searching and finding people you want to work with.

Nurturing relationships with both your existing customers and potential customers so they are ready to buy when the time is right.

Converting connections to customers by taking the online relationship, which has been built by conversations and content, offline.

Measuring the effective your Social Media have had on your bottom line so you can do more of things that work.

I’m looking forward to seeing you next year the B2B Expo where I will talking more specifically about how to use Twitter for Social Selling.