Author: Emily Copp / Source: Hootsuite Social Media Management Are you getting business results from your activities on social media? In
Are you getting business results from your activities on social media?
In this podcast you’ll learn:
- What social selling is and why it matters
- How to build long-term relationships on social
- Tips on how marketing and sales can work together
Press play to hear the show in its entirety, or if you don’t have a set of earbuds handy, read the transcription of our conversation below.
Q&A with social selling expert Koka Sexton
Tell us a little bit about what you do and your path in business so far.
My story is a little different than most in my position. I started off in sales many, many years ago—I don’t want to date myself. As a new salesperson I was still trying to figure out how I was going to fit into this new ecosystem that was developing around social media.
I first signed up for LinkedIn in 2005 and then I signed up for Twitter in 2007. And it was at that moment, shortly after joining Twitter, that I realized that social media was going to play a bigger part in my career as a salesperson than anything else that was available to me.
Social was one path that made it very easy for me to connect and engage with the decision makers I wanted to do business with.
For those out there who may not be as familiar with the term social selling, could you dive into that a little bit and tell us what that really means?
My definition of social selling is: leveraging your professional brand to fill your pipeline with the right people, insights, and relationships.
But at a very base level, it’s how a salesperson uses social media to listen and engage with decision makers that are on these networks asking questions and looking for help.
Could you tell us what marketers can learn from social selling, or what you could pass on to marketers hoping to generate more leads or concrete numbers from social?
The one thing that marketers should pay attention to is the pain points of their buyers. Salespeople live in their own worlds in many ways. They’re just hunting for new business. And that’s where marketing fits in. Marketers have the insights about what the buyers are thinking and doing and they can help sales professionals understand where they need to inject themselves and how to best engage in conversations.
You’ve pointed out that marketers are much more involved in the actual sales process through things like social than they were before when you first started.
With marketing now being being measured on some pipeline generation activity—be it marketing-qualified lead all the way to a sales-qualified lead—they have to be able to show that in any given quarter, they developed a certain number of pipeline that closed.
As marketers become more aware of how important that’s going to be for a company, their tactics are going to adapt to help their sales team be more effective.
Definitely. Are there any tips that you could give us for social selling?
The first thing you should focus on is your professional brand. A salesperson could be trained in the best practices of identifying and engaging decision makers across any number of social platforms, but if their professional brand looks like garbage they’re going to be discounted immediately.
Another tip is a mantra that I’ve based my entire career off of, which is that visibility creates opportunity. And a salesperson needs to find ways to be visible on the social networks that their buyers are spending time on. And until they can get to a point of being visible, there will be no opportunities.
Finally, you need to be a point of resource for your industry, even if it’s not originally-created content. You’re going to find more and more business coming to you because of that expertise that you are illustrating through your social channels.
You mentioned earlier that you found your way as a salesperson through social. Do you have any tips or tricks for how to stay organized on social? Were there any methods or strategies that you developed?
Well it used to be a big mess, right? That’s why I initially gravitated towards using an application like Hootsuite, because I found very quickly that the value-to-noise ratio was way off. And I needed…