Looking for B2B leads on social media? 3.5 billion active social media users are out there, and many of them are just who you are looking for. Having a distinct B2B sales advantage over your competitors in that environment can be challenging. The sheer volume of users flocking to social media sites proves that it only makes sense to target prospects where they congregate. But with so much competition targeting your prospects on these platforms, your sales team has their work cut out for them.
To be successful in today’s B2B sales environment, having a strong social selling strategy is paramount to your company’s ability to drive results and generate ROI. As it turns out, nearly 4 out of 5 B2B buyers prefer digital sales formats – and social media is among the most popular of those formats. Fortunately, powerful social selling tools are available that can help your B2B sales team give customers exactly what they want.
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of social selling for B2B, and how marketers can take advantage of social selling tools to meet their buyers where they’re at – and get them to convert.
What is Social Selling?
Using your social network to locate the proper prospects, create trusting relationships, and ultimately achieve your sales goals is what social selling is all about. This sales strategy allows for more effective sales lead creation and prospecting, as well as the elimination of cold calling. Building and maintaining relationships is easier when you’re part of a trusted network.
B2B marketers place a high priority on making sales conversations as minimally invasive and as natural as possible. For this reason, B2B marketing best practices have gravitated toward social selling on social media platforms, where your contacts already spend much of their time. Places like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook offer B2B companies new arenas to spread brand awareness and win new customers. Gone are the days of annoying cold calls and easily ignored cold emails.
As a result, social selling is an incredibly effective tool that allows your company to establish a long-term relationship, strengthening trust and overall customer rapport. The goal with this strategy is not overnight success that leads to an immediate sale. Instead, this is a finessed, iterative approach that’s an investment in your long-term B2B sales strategy.
The speed and efficiency of social media messaging can help prospects overcome their objections to making a purchase. Answering questions on the fly during casual social media engagement helps to provide your customers with real-world knowledge and expertise. For these reasons, social selling has become the new norm for sales in the digital world.
Benefits of Social Selling for B2B
The benefits of social selling include boosting brand visibility and offering a more engaging sales method for prospects. It’s a great place to arm prospects with new insights about your company, product, and even the pain point they need help solving. Even if they don’t make a purchase right away, they are more likely to share your company’s solution on social media than anywhere else.
For B2B companies, this type of promotion leads to higher quality leads. But it also means that these leads can exponentially increase as prospects help spread the word by sharing your company’s content. The potentially large number of social media users who can (and will) learn about your product raises the likelihood that your message will reach an interested audience.
Does social selling work? 78% of businesses that use social selling sell more than their competitors who don’t use social media. One of the main benefits of social selling is that it is easy to connect with new leads on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. It is also easy to track your metrics and see how your pipeline is growing based on likes, comments, new followers, and other important KPIs.
What are social selling tools, and why should you use them?
If you want to get the most out of your social selling, you will need to find ways to effectively manage all the moving parts of the buyer’s journey. The best way to do this is to leverage social selling tools, powerful software that allows your sales team members to increase their win rate and create more engagement for their sales conversations with prospects.
Using these tools helps you create a “disruptive social selling strategy,” allowing your company to deliver a personalized experience that builds relationships and nurtures leads. These top ten social selling tools will help you rise above the competition and make your social selling strategy successful.
Top 10 Social Selling Tools
1. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
The LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool allows B2B marketers to target the right people based on customized recommendations. It also allows marketers to go one step further to easily segment your list based on various customizable filters. Due to the ubiquity of professionals on LinkedIn’s platform, it is an essential tool for staying up-to-date on crucial contact information for your leads.
However, one of the downsides of LinkedIn’s popularity is that messages in the Sales Navigator can be easy to ignore if your contact is inundated with other offers. The tool also places limits on how many messages you can send each month to encourage genuine communication.
A mid-level marketer described this tool as “mighty” based on its ability to go beyond the normal parameters of LinkedIn’s platform.
Pricing: Available upon request.
Oktopost offers an incredibly helpful all-in-one social selling solution that allows B2B companies to build social selling campaigns across an entire organization, and measure the success of their omnichannel sales strategy. The software makes it easy to manage social media campaigns and chart their effectiveness to help determine ROI. As a platform designed for B2B, the tool tracks every lead a company gets and gives marketers the data needed to figure out which posts, networks, and accounts are the most effective.
One of the many benefits that users commonly endorse is the ease of integration with several major CRMs, which helps demonstrate the impact that social selling has on the pipeline without ever having to leave the CRM.
Oktopost provides social data enrichment in the app, an employee advocacy board to amplify the company’s social reach, social listening, and analytics into an all-in-one B2B social media management solution.
A B2B Product Marketing Manager explained that Oktopost helps their company schedule content calendars, delivering a higher ROI for their social selling strategies. Another aspect users tout as incredibly effective is its social listening capabilities, which help drive customer retention.
Pricing: Available upon request.
If your team is incorporating video messaging into your sales funnel, then Vidyard is a good option for creating and analyzing personalized videos. Vidyard combats one of the most frustrating aspects of content creation – not knowing whether your video was watched.
Vidyard makes it easy to track important contact analytics and adds other valuable metrics into your CRM. One sales representative noted that they had seen an increased response rate due to Vidyard’s personalized approach to sales messaging.
Vidyard is recommended for sales teams looking to make an impact from the prospecting stage through to creating a polished proposal.
Pricing: Begins as a free trial and moves up to $15/month for the Pro level subscription.
Nimble promotes itself as being a customer relationship management app. It allows B2B marketers to manage their contacts, which is a vital aspect of lead prospecting. This tool integrates with frequently used apps, such as inboxes and calendars, which helps teams to track their leads effortlessly.
What makes it a viable social selling tool is that it also syncs with social media to help manage these contacts. While the integrations are a plus for this tool, many users note that plug-ins can be a bit clunky. Nimble is best suited for small to midsize teams.
Pricing: Starts at $19/month, billed annually.
Discover.ly is a browser extension tool that helps you find similarities between your contact’s social media profiles. Discover.ly allows you to find shared connections and even scans your contact’s pages to see if you’ve shared similar content.
Finding shared interests helps you understand more about which types of content your lead is most likely to engage with, which is valuable information for marketers.
When using LinkedIn, Discover.ly can quickly add information about Facebook and Twitter profiles for your contacts, which helps to give you more channels for creating a connection.
Pricing: Discover.ly is currently free to download.
GaggleAMP is a brand awareness and employee advocacy tool. It’s primarily aimed at helping teams with internal content sharing to promote employee advocacy campaigns. Significant benefits of this tool are its ability to amplify employees’ voices and share workforce communications.
This tool is geared towards larger teams who need to see internal metrics and gauge the ROI on their social selling strategies. Due to its niche target audience, one reviewer explained that it did everything as advertised but expressed that, “The most difficult part of GaggleAMP is explaining the program in an elevator speech.”
Pricing: Starts at $300/month.
The purpose of Seismic is to help teams close more deals. This Sales Enablement Platform allows team members to orchestrate content delivery across a variety of social platforms. It also allows marketers to track key analytics behind their content, which helps them to refine their campaigns.
Seismic makes an impact on the buyer’s journey through strong content management. It’s a potentially good fit for companies looking for enterprise-level solutions with numerous integrations.
One Senior Marketing Manager explained that Seismic software helped their company “to better understand what resonates with external contacts.”
Pricing: Available upon request.
Hy.page is a unique social selling tool that leverages the power of the social media bio. Instead of just passively adding a link, this tool allows you to capitalize on that digital real estate by creating a seamless all-in-one “link-in-bio” offering.
Instead of having multiple links to monetizable content platforms, this tool allows your B2B company to sell exclusive content, create a membership, accept donations, and allow custom requests from one link. One helpful feature of this tool is that it enables marketers to collect emails easily.
A Hy.Page user shared that their favorite upside to this tool is that there are multiple features housed under one roof.
Pricing: Available upon request.
Social selling is all about staying on top of leads. Chatfuel solves this problem by providing an easy solution through chatbots that can automatically respond to customer inquiries 24/7. Ready to use on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, Chatfuel boasts a no-code integration that makes using this tool an easy learning curve.
Users report that using automated chats for their B2B needs allows for robust data gathering. The tool also allows for real-time integration of customer insights by automatically populating customer answers into a Google Spreadsheet, making this a valuable asset in any marketer’s toolkit.
Pricing: Chatfuel offers a free trial, and subscriptions start at $15/month.
Social selling is all about leveraging the power of an audience. The premise behind #paid is to pair interested content creators with the brands they love to help market their campaigns. This combination provides brands with a ready-made audience and offers creators opportunities to help spread the word about campaigns they care for.
Using this tool, marketers can quickly turn content into paid social to help drive additional ROI for their campaigns. Influencer-led campaigns are easily managed on this tool. As one user pointed out, managing relationships is streamlined due to the ease of effective communication.
Pricing: Starts at $269 for their Essential plan.
The Future of B2B Social Selling
As technology evolves, social selling will continue to be the way of the future. Moving forward, B2B companies will need to bridge the gap between outdated sales methods such as cold calling and emails, and the social media-dependent audiences of the future.
Leveraging the power of social selling tools makes overcoming this challenge more effortless. It’s the best way to meet B2B buyers where they are and give them what they want to start a profitable relationship. With these tools and a strong social selling strategy, the sky’s the limit for your B2B sales potential.