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May 26, 2022
When it comes to lead generation and sales on social media networks such as LinkedIn, there’s a way for businesses to do it and a way for them not to.
The ill-advised path can involve everything from thoughtlessly setting up social profiles to spamming potential leads. Needless to say, slipshod social selling tactics can dry up possible deals. It might even lead to the LinkedIn accounts for sales personnel getting banned.
A better option is to get some social selling training and learn to pursue a smarter sales strategy. Instead of going with a spray and pray approach that will alienate possible customers, sales reps and businesses in general are better served by becoming knowledgeable about the tips and tactics that work best for business development on social networks.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the basics of social selling training, a few options for it, and why CoPilot AI is the best bet.
In some way, shape, or form, social selling has been around for millennia. While today, we generally describe social selling as something that happens over LinkedIn or other social networks, it’s existed as long as salespeople have been able to meet others in public places and, over time, pitch them goods or services. A sale might not happen on the first visit, but over the course of several, trust can be built and business can eventually be done.
In the 21st century, the concept remains the same. Whether in an ancient marketplace thousands of years ago or scrolling through LinkedIn profiles, the key with social selling has been to be able to meet customers outside of traditional settings for doing business and using the unconventional or relaxed setting as an advantage. Prospective customers and decision makers can feel less pressure and salespeople can have more time to build the case for their goods or services.
The idea of social selling is becoming more palatable and popular for both buyers and sellers. And, if you look at the data, it’s no surprise why. More than 4.5 billion people use social media as of April 2022, so there will never be a shortage of possible leads. And many of these people might not mind being contacted if it’s done the right way, with 75% of B2B purchasers admitting that they were using social media so they could be more informed about vendors.
Social selling strategy is nuanced with a lot of different things for sales and marketing people to make sure they’re doing to respect the buyer’s journey and sales process.
The first is to have the right tools to find prospective customers on LinkedIn. There are estimated to be just shy of 67 million active monthly users on the gold standard of professional social networking sites. Prospecting tools such as CoPilot AI help to make sense of the user landscape, helping business people zero in on the professionals it most makes sense to build relationships with.
But at CoPilot AI, we also provide a dedicated and comprehensive onboarding process, because we know that digital selling is a lot more than just having a superb prospecting tool.
Social selling means sending LinkedIn connection requests to the right people (and knowing how to move on if they aren’t interested.) It means setting up a professional-looking profile and personal brand, having the right templates and messaging strategies, knowing how often to circle back to nurture leads before asking for a meeting or business, and much more.
Beyond just trying to hit a bunch of metrics, a core element of social selling success is about being a good citizen on these networks. As HubSpot notes, the three C’s of social selling are context, content, and collaboration. Look to amplify voices of prospective customers. Offer thought leadership through posts and sharing content from others. Seek ways to stay top of mind for the qualified leads and prospective customers you’d like to reach.
The first reason to be open to a comprehensive social selling training program and ongoing partnership with a place like CoPilot AI is that it gives businesses a leg up.
Social selling training is still arguably a new concept in the business world, with around 93% of sales executives having not been formally trained in it. So businesses essentially have two options: Be like the vast majority of other salespeople out there who don’t really know what they’re doing when they hop on LinkedIn for some prospecting; or gain some skills that will help them stand out from the crowd and close more deals.
Beyond this, social media platforms are constantly evolving. Getting connected with experts who can provide training in core competencies for social selling that adhere to the latest trends can help ensure that businesses don’t get left behind.
Once a business has determined that it needs social selling training, the next place is to determine where to find it. Here are three ways to get training:
When a salesperson decides they need to step their game up with social selling, the easiest place to start is by watching some videos on YouTube, where there’s generally something recent to be found that corresponds to whatever a person is looking for.
Simply typing “social selling training” or related terminology into YouTube’s search bar will bring up a wide range of videos. From content providers like Brand24 or Sales Insights Labs, these videos can be anywhere in length from a few minutes long to over a half-hour.
In general, many videos contain good, basic advice. Some of this advice can include defining the difference between social selling, which focuses on 1-1 relationships and social media marketing, which gets the same message out to a large number of people, according to Brand24.
While YouTube is a great place to build your foundational knowledge, it probably won’t be enough for sales professionals and others to learn enough to see a jump in their ROI with their social selling efforts.
The problem with this approach: Free videos are okay for getting one’s feet wet about a subject and gleaning some rudimentary knowledge, but they have their limits when it comes to social selling.
First, things can change quickly on the Internet. A static resource like a recorded video can wind up having some outdated tips, even if it’s still only a few months old. Major platforms like LinkedIn are just rolling out new features and tweaks to their platform way too often.
Beyond this, most of the videos on YouTube will not be able to offer context-specific advice or tips. They are generally tailored for the widest possible audience. As anyone who’s sold within B2B can attest, there can even be wide variation there for what works and what’s best shied away from, even just between different industries and sectors.
There’s also no telling if every video will be good. With so much content so consistently uploaded, it can be easy to waste one’s time watching videos with little to no value for social selling education.
Better than simply watching a video or two is to take a social sales training program online. These days, there’s no shortage of potential courses. Courses exist like:
The problem with this approach: We want to say first off that there’s nothing wrong with taking a social selling training course.
While we’re not endorsing any of the courses listed above, it’s always good to be open to learning new things and we know each of the courses above comes highly-reviewed by other internet users and are from respected sources of information.
It’s just not smart for a business to choose just one social selling course, no matter how great of a source it’s from and then to call it a day.
Rather than surfing YouTube or buying a course, we believe the best avenue for social selling training is to purchase a LinkedIn CRM tool such as CoPilot AI that comes with dedicated onboard and ongoing support.
In the next section, we’re going to spell out why tools like ours are so indispensable for sales and marketing teams hoping to generate leads and sales from sites like LinkedIn.
We offer a social prospecting tool that allows sales, marketing, and other business professionals to get the most out of LinkedIn.
This tool automatically updates as your contacts change jobs and companies, keeping your information up-to-date, much better than a manually-created Excel or Google spreadsheet could ever do. We also offer a wide assortment of message templates and have built-in automation capabilities that can even distribute said messages in a way that’s unique and engaging.
But it’s not just technology that we provide. Here are a few reasons why CoPilot AI is the best bet for social selling training.
When you make an investment with CoPilot AI’s sales and lead prospecting platform, it’s not just a one-time installation of a SaaS solution.
Our onboarding and ongoing 1:1 consultation process is comprehensive, helping the companies that we work with learn everything that they will need for their LinkedIn efforts. It’s an involved and dynamic process, where we give every opportunity for our partners to interact with our human staff.
It’s a lot different – and a whole lot better – than just sitting in front of some video course purchased a half-hour before, taking notes from a recorded presentation, and hoping to be able to pass a quiz at the end.
The end of onboarding doesn’t mean the last businesses will see of us. Every account gets a dedicated account strategist, even at our most basic pricing level. We also have additional tiers of service that come with 1-2 administrative points of contact provided, depending on what businesses need.
We’re here to scale with the companies we work with. And we’ll never stop being available to our clients and helping them learn everything they need for social selling.
Plus, every subscription comes with a suite of market-leading features to help you grow your LinkedIn network at scale, and turn your connections into warm opportunities. That way, you can immediately apply your social selling learnings directly to the real world and see the results.
With every campaign our partners embark on, we look forward to helping them keep refining their social selling acumen.
Social selling training done right. Try CoPilot AI today.