Social selling is a trending strategy in the business world. Essentially, it means using social media platforms in your sales process — not just for marketing.
To do this effectively, you need a system for gathering data about customers and monitoring social activity. That’s where CRM comes in. Many of today’s systems include a social component that can help you have more effective conversations and increase your chance of sales.
Social CRM Benefits
Want to learn more? Here’s how a good CRM can benefit your social strategy.
1. Learn More About Your Customers and Prospects
The more information you have about a prospect, the better chance you have of making the sale. Learning about potential customers gives you the ability to target offers or conversation styles to their personal preferences.
Social media can be a deep source of information. A person’s profile can give you a glimpse into who they really are — what they like, what they don’t like, where they live, what companies they love, etc. And CRM can help you pull that data and turn it into something usable.
Ivana Taylor of DIY Marketers says, “Today’s CRMs often use sophisticated technology to reach out over the internet and social media channels to collect a contact’s engagement over social media. This is important because it gives you (the salesperson) the ability to get to know the prospect before you have a conversation and even to reach out over social media to begin that relationship.”
2. Look for Opportunities to Engage
Really, CRM is all about relationships. And social media provides you with even more opportunities to create those relationships.
The combination of info from your CRM and the easy conversations that take place on social media can make for a powerful combination.
Taylor explains, “You can enter a prospect into your CRM, grab their social media profiles, watch what they share on social media, listen for opportunities to start conversations and engage with them — not pitch and sell.”
3. Move Those Relationships into Your Sales Process
The first conversations you have with potential customers on social should NOT be sales related. It’s just an opportunity for you to get on their radar and engage with them in an authentic way, using the information you have.
But once you’ve made that connection, there may be opportunities for selling. Say you have a retail store located in your city’s downtown area. You might see a prospect post a question about a special event happening in the downtown area one day. Provide them with a helpful answer — free of your sales pitch. They might appreciate the interaction and pay you a visit while attending the event. This gives you the opportunity for more genuine conversation. But you could also offer them a special discount if they’d like to purchase from your store.
One last point: Don’t just bombard people with social media messages about your products. You have to offer something that’s helpful to them. Basically, the social media interaction is you opening the door. Gradually, you can work on integrating your pitch and selling to them.
1. Start with the right tools. Find a CRM that offers some kind of social selling feature.
2. Identify target customers. Use your CRM to pull in social media data that could help you make sales down the line.
3. Look for opportunities. Start real conversations with people and help them solve problems. This might eventually lead to sales.