If you’re like us, you might have been hearing the term “social selling” at an increasingly frequent rate. We hear it at conferences, in LinkedIn forums, in team meetings, on Twitter, and on billboards.
With social experiences like Twitter and Facebook becoming core to the web, this concept of social selling has become a definitive new approach for the ways that organizations think about building relationships. It is a methodology that embraces at its center a driving belief for us at feedly: Content is a currency. That is, that high quality content is more than just an entertaining read. Content builds relationships, drives business, and steers innovation.
In fact, as we’ve talked with more and more of you as part of our regular product development process, we’ve learned that many of you are using feedly as a core content engine to drive your social selling. Many of you are using feedly as your main hub to organize your favorite sources, feed yourself with daily reading, and then deciminate the best stories to your customers.
But just what is social selling?
Social selling is the idea of using content—mostly online—to help educate prospective customers, build a relationship with them, and help guide them to a purchase decision.
Sometimes this means that sales people build personas and share relevant information through social channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and more. Sometimes it means emailing interesting, relevant content to prospective customers. All of these activities overlap with a bunch of other trends that people have been buzzing about: sales enablement, employee advocacy, personal branding, social media marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing, and more.
A salesperson at a content marketing company, for instance, might share content on her LinkedIn about why good content is important. Or a digital marketing firm might post about the decline of old ad formats and the latest information about the new ones.
Yes, put another way, social selling is a way to drive revenue using content.
Is it really becoming more popular?
According to some sources, yes, it is:
- 71 percent of sales people believe that their role is changing and will be radically different in five years.
- 69 percent of sales executives believe that the buying process is changing faster than organizations are responding to it.
- 75 percent of B2B buyers use social media to be more informed about vendors.
Why? Because statistics are showing that the methodology could be pretty effective.
- 98 percent of sales reps with more than 5,000 LinkedIn connections meet or surpass quota.
- 40 percent of salespeople have closed two to five more deals per year as a result of social selling.
- Bain & Company found that a 12 percent increase in brand advocacy generates 2X increase in revenue growth
- 73 percent of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded their quotas 23 percent more often.
Where can you learn more?
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be exploring more about using social selling to help your business. As a starting place, here are the six awesome resources we found to go deeper on social selling. What did we miss? Feel free to share your own favorite sources (maybe it’s a blog you write!) in the comments below.
01 Ogilvy’s Report on Social Selling
02 Hootsuite’s Art of Social Selling
03 Salesforce’s mini-guide to social selling
04 Aberdeen Group’s research brief: “Social Selling: Leveraging the Power of User-Generating Content to Optimize Sales Results”
05 “4 Ways to Boost Your Social Selling Profile (Courtesy of Linkedin)”
06 “The Rise of Social Selling ” by Jill Konrath