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Four Effective Social Selling Strategies Backed By Research

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How do you use social selling in the workplace? You probably use LinkedIn to get more recommendations and maybe even add a couple old colleagues to see what they’re up to in their careers. In fact, you might even take the time to find them on Twitter with the hope of getting them to follow you back.

Although those tactics can help, you shouldn’t focus all your time on collecting connections, followers, and recommendations. Some of the most effective ways to leverage social selling are built on strategic tactics and insight. But before we get into it, let’s look at the definition of social selling:

Social selling is the practice of leveraging CRM technology and social networking throughout the sales process.

Alright… Now that we’re on the same page, let’s talk about how you leverage CRM technology and social media to make the sale. Here are a few strategies backed by research and science that will help you achieve success:

Nurturing Old Relationships Can Drive Real Results

Think about the people you used to know. The colleagues, roommates, mentors or neighbors who you’re connected to on social media, but haven’t spoken with for years. In an unprecedented study, Daniel Levin, Jorge Walter, and Keith Murnighan revealed that reconnecting with old connections could be an effective strategy.

In the study, they prompted hundreds of executives to consult people whom they had not been in contact with for three years or more to get information or advice that might help them on an important work project. In addition, they made the same request to existing connections that they had stronger relationships with.

When they compared the value of these interactions to the advice from current contacts, the older connections were actually more useful. The executives received more valuable solutions, referrals, and problem-solving assistance from people they used to know than their current friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.

In the years that have passed since you last spoke, your old connections have built new knowledge, new connections, and built new things. If you take the time to help your old connections achieve their goals and lend a helping hand with no self-serving purpose, your relationship will be easier to leverage in the future. It will be easier to ask for an introduction, advice, or a reference.

Send Emails To Prospects and Leads After 8:00PM

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There is nothing wrong with sending an email at 9AM in the morning, but make sure it’s getting opened. In a quarterly email report, Experian Marketing Services found that the time of day that received the best open rate was between 8PM and midnight. This block not only performed better for open rate (a respectable 22 percent), but also for click through and sales.

It’s important to recognize that this data is an aggregate and captures insights from a wide range of industries. It’s important to look closely at your audiences’ behavior and track their open rates to better understand how you can ensure that your emails are opened, clicked, and responded to.

Mobile Differentiates The Best Sellers From The Rest

Mobile has changed the way we sell. Research has shown that the strongest performers in sales quota attainment, lead conversion, and customer retention rates were armed with mobile access to social media insights and tools. The gap between mobile “haves” and “have-nots” underscores the need to empower sales and account reps with an anytime, anywhere, any device ability to sell socially.

Compelling Content Can Make You A Real Social Seller

You know that relationships are the backbone of sales, but do you know how to leverage those relationships? Just because people are connected to you on LinkedIn or email doesn’t mean they’re actually aware of what you can offer.

Through content marketing you can be more effective in your ability to sell through social. Research shows that quality content can act as a great way to generate new leads and prospects. In fact, studies show that 71% of B2B marketers use content marketing to generate inbound leads. Furthermore, 89% of B2B Marketers cite testimonials as the most effective content marketing.

So There You Have It

Four tried and tested strategies that will help take your social selling efforts to the next level. Social selling is one of the greatest opportunities for the enterprise since the birth of social media. It’s time to make social selling real, and through research and insights we can ensure that social selling is more than a buzzword and is a key driver for organizational success.

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