Many B2B businesses use social media just to be present.
However, just being on social media and regularly putting your content up doesn’t guarantee that your sales will immediately go up.
You may invest thousands of dollars in making high-quality content, and your sales still will be floppy and unstable.
So, what are you missing out on?
The secret is in building strong relationships with your followers/customers/target audience.
In marketing, specifically in customer relations management (CRM), it’s commonly known as social selling.
Social selling is the strategy to develop relationships that become a part of the sales process. This strategy is often applied using social networks and involves:
- sharing relevant content
- direct interaction with potential buyers
- personalization and personal branding
- social listening techniques (involving user-generated content, influencers, customer support, etc.)
Ultimately, it’s not just about sharing content that’s high in value. The relationships between a business and a potential buyer are multifaceted. It’s all about building a strong connection, and businesses are paying more and more attention to become closer with their customers.
What do the numbers say?
According to Impact, with the reference to several statistics sources:
- Businesses that employ social selling, are able to attract 51% more opportunities than their competitors, and outsell their non-social competitors in the 78% of the time.
- Companies that use social selling strategies are 40% more likely to hit their revenue goals.
- 39% of businesses reported that social selling helped them reduce the time they had to spend researching potential leads.
Sales for Life has put together a comprehensive infographic, describing the benefits of social selling for B2B:
Ultimately, Impact reports that 31% of businesses named social selling the main strategy that helped them build stronger and deeper relationships with their buyers.
So, what essential steps should you follow to drive your sales with social media, using CRM and social selling?
Let’s take a look.
1. Automate to Boost Sales
First of all, let’s discuss the technical part of driving sales.
With any social media platform, you’re already targeting thousands if not millions of people, potentially getting thousands of leads. Managing this all without using technology is barely possible, and since social selling is about a personal approach, personalization can be hardly achieved without involving technology.
So, unless you thought ahead when created your online store, and chose a tool with all top popular social media platforms integrated, the first and the most important step is to automate customer relationship management.
At Teamgate, we developed a number of highly effective tools that help businesses effectively manage their relationship with customers on every stage:
- Collecting leads by converting visitors into qualified leads, grabbing leads from social channels, like LinkedIn, transferring email requests to the Sales CRM as new leads, and even including missed calls as qualified leads.
- Identifying and organizing leads by prioritizing them more strategically to grow revenue.
- Managing and accelerating sales to multiply sales and build a highly personalized connection with your customers, no matter where they are located.
Of course, to track the progress, your business will be provided with automatically generated analytics and reports.
What are the benefits of sales automation?
First of all, CRM automation tools provide businesses with a sales dashboard, which helps to keep track of sales activity and progress.
In addition, all contacts are easy to manage, thus, allowing a more personalized approach.
And, of course, you will be in line with your KPIs and sales goals, as automation makes it easier to trace lead opportunities as well as bottlenecks, and other issues.
2. Take Advantage of B2B Influencer Marketing
Now, let’s take a look at the content strategy that performs the best in terms of driving sales on social media.
Of course, you’ve heard about influencer marketing. It’s one of the most versatile content strategies that has helped many businesses to become household names and gain millions of new buyers.
Commonly perceived as an effective B2C marketing strategy, influencer marketing, however, is expected to be one of the most in-demand solutions to help B2B businesses boost sales.
According to Marketing Land:
- content shared by an influencer can provide a B2B business with 11x higher ROI
- 92% of businesses who’ve employed influencer marketing say that it’s the most effective strategy when it comes to reach audiences and attract leads
- that’s why 71% of businesses, both B2B and B2C, invest in ongoing ambassadorships
How are B2B businesses incorporating influencer marketing?
Here’s an example.
Cherwell Software, a B2B company specializing in IT Service Management software, launched the campaign to increase brand awareness, promote thought leadership, and increase sales by targeting more IT companies.
To achieve their goals, they invited 15 influencers – field experts – to co-create content that promotes next-generation IT Service Management solution. As a result, these experts produced blog posts, an e-book, developed a landing page as well as organic and paid content to reach the goals of the campaign.
What’s the result?
Their content, the e-book, in particular, was viewed 170% more than other content, and this campaign was accountable for 22% of all sales during the year.
What’s the place of social media in all this?
It’s well-known that influencer marketing is mostly about social media. Influencers share the content that they co-create on their social platforms. For B2B businesses, this can be Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
By doing so, they help you reach out to more audiences, as they redirect their followers to your business via their content. As a result, you get more potential leads, which you can then convert using CRM automation tools.
3. Go Live
Now, since we’ve discussed the type of content that helps achieve personalization in order to drive sales, let’s take a look at content that can be used for social listening and direct interaction with potential buyers.
They say that there’s no universal type of content for every social media platform. That’s not exactly true, however. “Videos have proven to be effective on every social platform, with 98% of people giving their preference to video content, comparing to only 67% of people who support static content”, says Neightan White, a researcher at TopWritersReview.
Over the past year, live video has become one of the most in-demand content types on social media. Brands regularly go live to communicate with their followers and answer frequently asked questions.
HubSpot, for instance, has been very active on Facebook, regularly going live to cover the latest trends on social media and answer the most asked questions:
Facebook live video function includes a live comment section, where a brand can communicate with the customers, allowing a better connection and a more personal approach.
Will it work for you?
This is exactly the type of content you’re looking for when it comes to CRM and social selling.
People are already loving this content type, as it brings brands closer to them. 80% of consumers have already confirmed that they would rather watch a live video than read a blog.
For B2B businesses, live videos work with the same effectiveness as with B2C brands. This content has a significant impact on lead conversion, bringing you more potential buyers, and ultimately, increasing sales.
It’s a common idea that it’s harder for B2B brands to have an effective social media strategy. It’s often perceived that B2B brands can only gain new customers and drive sales by taking part in long boring meetings.
This is far from reality, however.
Today, B2B businesses can lead a successful social media strategy that can help them drive sales even more effectively than long boring meetings.
Achieving your sales goals, in this case, depends on your relationship with your followers, who are also your potential buyers. Using CRM automation tools and producing high-quality content that brings value, creates a personalized connection, and allows direct interaction between a brand and a customer, has a significant impact on successfully achieving your sales goals.