How to build the business case for social selling

Everyone knows the digital revolution is here. Social media has become one of the most popular activities online. Personal usage of social media has been growing. The professional use of social media has been growing as well, especially in the field of sales.

Social selling is revolutionizing sales like digital marketing changed marketing. With more decision-makers using social media to conduct their research before they approach companies for help, social selling has become a critical part of the sales process.

76% of buyers feel ready to have a social media conversation

What is social selling?

Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with customers and prospects.

Social selling defined in under 100 words.

5 tips for formalizing a social selling program

To get executive buy-in and build the business case for social selling at your company, it’s critical your initiative starts small with a pilot program.

The pilot should be long enough to collect information but short enough it doesn’t take up too many resources.

Here are five ways to build your case for a formal social selling program.

1. Set a vision and establish a strategy

Implementing social selling without any strategy doesn’t make sense. An effective social selling strategy is essential for better performance and satisfaction.

2. Find an internal social selling champion

This person is the Sherpa of the pilot program. He or she shows the value and importance of social selling and how it can help the business.

3. Share social selling use cases or case studies

These success stories will demonstrate how other companies are taking advantage of social selling.

4. Outline the plans of your competitors

Executives take notice when competitors are doing something. Spy on your competitors. What are they doing (or not doing) with social selling? Find a competitive edge.

5. Continue to build the business case during the pilot

A pilot program will help you document the people, processes, and technologies associated with social selling. To help you with documentation, create a strategic initiative charter for your social selling program.

This charter explains the scope of the initiative, the executive sponsor(s), and a timeline. It shows what’s working or what’s not working with the pilot program.

Build the momentum

To make your social selling program successful, it needs to “stick” internally. Create momentum. Reinforce your company and sales team’s strengths. Follow-up with training.

These are critical steps to success. Research shows companies that reinforce activities achieve better business results. Ongoing education. Reinforcement. Communication. These are vital to the long-term success of your social selling program.

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