Social selling as part of internet marketing and sales looks like the next big change in how companies conduct business. According to a report on Inside View, 61% of U.S. businesses use social media to generate sales leads. Companies with an active blog report generating 67% of leads through their blogging and social media activities. Among those using social media to generate leads, LinkedIn seems to be the most promising social media site, followed by Facebook. B2B sales have discovered the power of social media selling.
What is social media selling? Think about the traditional sales model. In traditional sales, the roles of sales people are clearly defined. Most organizations have a sales force, with territory or regional managers, local reps, and sales support team members. Marketing is traditionally a separate discipline, with marketing managers working in tandem with the sales team, but unlikely to be the same person.
With the advent of social selling, the separate disciplines of sales and marketing are slowly merging. The chart below demonstrates some of the differences between the traditional sales model and the new social sales model.
|TASK||TRADITIONAL MODEL||SOCIAL SELLING MODEL|
|Leads||Marketing generates leads. Sales follows up and closes leads.||Sales and marketing teams develop, nurture and close leads.|
|Customer Service||Sales handles customer complaints, or turns complaint over to separate service department||All team members “listen” to social media channels and are quick to respond to complaints or problems.|
|Roles and Responsibilities||Clearly defined||Soft boundaries, not clearly defined|
|Outbound Marketing||Traditional multi-channel through marketing department. Emphasis on direct marketing/quantitative measures.||Multi-channel integrated marketing with emphasis on social media, interactivity. Quantitative measures included, but soft marketing via social, branding also included.|
The new social sales model is:
- Relationship-driven: The sales transaction is no longer about signing the contract on the dotted line and invoicing the customer. Rather, the aim is a long-term relationship build on open communications and just-in-time problem solving.
- Multi-channel and integrated: Instead of silo-based marketing, social sales is integrated and multi-channel. A mix of social media, content marketing, brand marketing and traditional direct marketing enhances both communications and lead nurturing.
- Diffuse roles rather than role-specific: The hardest change for many traditional sales departments is rethinking their roles within the company. No longer is a sales person “just” a sales person; he is marketer, problem-solver and customer service in one. Similarly, marketing is no longer the “ad department” but an integral member of the sales team dedicated to communications and lead nurturance.
Transitioning to the new social sales model requires a strong internet marketing partner, one who can apply traditional marketing thinking to the new world of interactive communications. Dashboard Internet Marketing provides integrated marketing strategies with an emphasis on internet marketing, social media marketing and other forms of digital communications. Call us at 800-807-1852 for a consultation today.