No matter how hard you try, you’ll never find a perfect sales lead generation approach that engages every prospect. There are too many variables, and each purchaser comes to the buying process with unique organizational needs and priorities.
In an era of social selling, sales pros must contend with an additional factor: 57% of the buying process occurs before contact with a sales professional. B2B buyers are better informed than ever, routinely making decisions regarding potential vendors without input from sales reps.
Taking Sales from Serendipity to Science
Fortunately, establishing the right approach with sales prospects doesn’t have to be a proposition of chance. You can embrace social selling practices to anticipate and meet the needs of the buying committee. In a social selling model, sales aren’t the result of serendipity or sorcery. Rather, the real magic happens gradually, over time.
Research shows the most successful sales professionals are proactive in leveraging their networks to build new B2B relationships and fully capitalize on opportunities. Embracing the four pillars of social selling can allow you to build trusting relationships by engaging the right prospects with the right insights at the right time.
Here are 3 activities that can help you improve sales lead generation – no magic required.
1. Keep learning every day
Selling has clearly changed in the digital age, and those unwilling to adapt are being left behind. Make yourself a student of social selling, staying current on trends so that you can continue to capitalize in an always-changing B2B landscape.
There are many online sources dedicated to social selling, where forward-thinking sales pros can get the information they need to stay ahead of the curve. Bookmark or subscribe to your favorite sales blogs, read books about social selling, and subscribe to podcasts that discuss trends and tactics. Most importantly, dedicate the necessary time to use these resources to enhance your understanding.
In addition to boning up on social selling best practices, it’s critical to monitor happenings in the industries you sell into. Being knowledgeable about what’s going on in a particular area can allow you to formulate sales approaches that account for organizations’ pain points. And bonus: You’ll have more content to share with your network or with specific prospects.
2. Grow your network
It’s critically important to never miss an opportunity to connect with potential B2B buyers online. LinkedIn Sales Navigator provides tools to make prospecting more efficient. You can find the right people with resources such as Lead Builder and TeamLink, securing the warm-path introductions and referrals that are more likely to produce sales.
Building the type of relationships that ultimately result in sales requires engaging prospects from the outset and continually providing information of value. In this way, the true value of your network is in the quality of the connections fostered rather than quantity of connections made.
Effectively leveraging social networks can increase performance on the Social Selling Index (SSI), a rating which evaluates performance related to four pillars of social selling. High performance on this index correlates to real-world success – SSI leaders create 45% more opportunities than SSI laggards.
3. Improve how you communicate
In a changed B2B landscape, how buyers expect you to communicate with them has changed. Today, the sales conversation increasingly takes the form of written, rather than verbal, communication. Sales pros who are able to express themselves clearly and concisely have an advantage in getting the attention of, and engaging, decision makers.
In communicating with prospects and customers online, show that you understand their needs and concerns. Your ongoing study of social selling and industry trends can help you incorporate insights that establish you as a solutions provider who can be trusted.
Here are 3 resources that can help you to more effectively drive the conversation:
Will you be among the sales leaders taking selling from serendipity to science?