Check out this infographic from InsideView: http://cdn.insideview.com/images/social-media-infographic.png. It illustrates the growth of social media usage in the B2B space. Though the data is, well, dated, it’s less about the numbers and more about the overall trend.
For a long time, social media was seen as B2C territory. However, more and more, we are seeing B2B buyers engage on social media networks. So, if social media is where B2B buyers are, then B2B sales professionals need to meet them there to start that engagement. But what does that engagement look like?
I have identified five strategies that B2B sales professionals can use social media channels to not only enhance customer engagement, but ultimately close more deals.
- Identify Problems You Can Solve – Social media is a great outlet for discussing issues or problems that you are encountering. Sales professionals can use this to their advantage by searching for “signal phrases,” or phrases that mention specific pain points that your company or product can address.
- Buyer Education – This one isn’t about educating your buyer about your company. Rather, it’s about educating you on the buyer. Smart B2B sales professionals will go beyond the social media profile, looking at the entire gamut of the buyer’s online engagement. What are they interested in? What discussions are they contributing to? This helps paint a more clear picture of the buyer, which helps the sales person have more targeted conversations and, ultimately, win their business.
- Gauge Your Competition – Not only can you find out how your potential buyers are engaging online, but you can also see how your competition is engaging with those opportunities. Because social networks are fairly open forums, it’s difficult for anyone to hide their cards. Therefore, B2B sales professionals can easily see what tactics their competition are using, who they are targeting, what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not.
So far, we have discussed three of the five strategies for B2B sales professionals to effectively engage over social media. For the full list, head over to the Software Advice site.
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