The Social Selling Partnership – Your Role as Sales Rep

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Social selling is the biggest trend in marketing right now, and for good reason. Previous fad methods of marketing focused on the business, but the introduction of social media into the marketing schema has completely changed the way businesses interact with their customers. While Twitter’s original intended purpose was for businesses only, John Q. Public got ahold of the site, and here we are today.

It’s also true that for the longest time, businesses didn’t see Twitter as a viable option for their marketing strategies, and this is true of other social media platforms as well. A lot of social media originally got a bad rap with businesses, and many small business owners didn’t see how being socially savvy would ever do them any good – especially from a money making standpoint.

Now the year is 2016 and you can’t escape social media’s connection with businesses. Hashtags are part of marketing campaigns, every business is telling customers to follow their social accounts and being present online gives customers access to special discounts and promotions that those who aren’t in cyberspace don’t have access to. That’s right – businesses are now rewarding customers for using social media.

But how does this figure in to the sales world? Simply put, the social generation wants a business that’s social. They want the ability to tweet a business and get a reply back. They want to Facebook message a company with their concerns and receive a response. When they want to see a product made by a company, they don’t go to the website – they go to Instagram first.

This puts sales representatives in a strange position. Now that literally anyone can take on that title as long as they’re interacting with a person via a business Twitter, it’s like the job has completely changed. Social media has sort of encroached upon that territory where there wasn’t any competition before.

Here’s the advice – don’t feel threatened. Embrace your new role as a social sales representative and get with the times.

Prospect Identification

As a social sales rep, you work in tandem with your marketing team. You bring in clients and also direct the marketing team as to how to, well, market to said client. This symbiotic relationship has existed far longer than millennials have been @ing each other.

Don’t feel like that because social media is about gaining a quantity of followers that it isn’t your job to focus on the quality of said followers, however. As a sales representative, you share an even more personal connection with customers than the person simply responding to their messages. It’s your job to find customers with whom you can build a lasting relationship. These brand loyal-type customers are who keep businesses running across the globe.

You’re also the key to all the information in the social realm. You connect with people and figure out what they need, what they’re looking for and what all they’re being offered elsewhere. When you report this back to a marketing team, they now know how to better market content that identifies with the audience they’re seeking.

How to Launch a Winning Social Sales Strategy on LinkedIn (1)

Your Own Social Media

No matter what position you hold in a business, your public and identifiable social media accounts should be optimized in a professional way. This isn’t just to save face, either. Social media is how you can connect with other professionals, especially when you use social sites like LinkedIn to connect with peers.

Most people think of social media as an Internet hangout for communications via people with both other peer group members and businesses. They completely forget that entrepreneurs and professionals also have peer groups, and they almost have a greater need to connect and network than anyone else. This is where sites like LinkedIn come in.

While this social site is designed strictly for the business end of things, it never hurts to have an optimized LinkedIn profile for your social sales representative job. This can help you in two ways: one, you’ll have access to other jobs via business owners finding your profile. Two, you can use this platform for social selling as well as networking.

Remember that all social media is social media that can be used for the purpose of business. LinkedIn falls under this umbrella as well. More and more professionals are finding that they can have great success using LinkedIn as a tool for lead generation, so what’s stopping you?

The following doesn’t just apply to LinkedIn, either: know how you can optimize a website? Your social media accounts can be audited in this same way. From your content to your biography, how others see you on social media is like a first impression. As a social sales representative, you have to convey a certain message to interested parties: you’re a professional, you’re on top of trends and you also know what you’re doing.

Keep this in mind during your entire career in social sales: the more you optimize, the more you succeed.

Social media isn’t just for preteens and college students anymore – it’s a business battleground. The question is this: will you succeed using it as a social sales rep, or will you fall victim to a trend of the times?

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