Social selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process, this mostly takes place on social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook but can also take place offline at networking events and conferences. According to research from Social Centered Selling and A Sales Guy Consulting, 72.6% of salespeople who incorporated social media into their process outperformed their colleagues. In addition, socially savvy reps beat their quotas 23% more often.
Typical techniques of social selling include sharing relevant content, interacting directly with potential buyers and customers, personal branding, and social listening. Social selling has become a powerful strategy used by organisations to help sell their ideas and win customers. Social media has already revolutionized traditional marketing, and with over 76% of buyers feeling ready to have a social media conversation, it is set to do the same thing for traditional selling.
WHAT ARE THE EXPERTS SAYING?
We reached out to some of the top 20 influencers to ask them for their views on Social Selling. We spoke to Tim Hughes (#1), Jack Kosakowski (#2), Koka Sexton (#3), Kurt Shaver (#5), Jill Rowley (#6) and Kevin Thomas Tully (#8). Be sure to follow them to stay up to date on the best content and resources on Social Selling!
“The connected economy means your customer has moved on-line. Sales forces are slow in their reaction to this change and still live in an analogue world. Social Selling is a strategy (not a tactic) and requires sales teams to reorganize and move on-line. It also means changes in behaviour and culture as sales people are now targeting to sell to the wrong people and missing out to competitors that have moved on-line. While Personal Branding is promoted as the reaction to the connected customer, on a Social Selling prospective this is only the first step. The marketing and social professionals who grasp social selling will be the winners in the new digital world.”
“Social Selling is finally getting the credit it deserves as brands and individuals are showing increased revenue from their buyer focused processes. The brands and individuals that embrace the fast evolution of social and sales simultaneously will stay on on par with their buyers… The rest will get left behind.”
“People and technology can only get you so far. What companies need is a social selling process that empowers their employees and drives business results. Having a social selling methodology along with the right team and tools is a game changer for businesses.”
“Social selling is all about reaching the modern buyer. There are two fundamental activities; Outbound Prospecting (networking, intros, referrals) and Inbound Marketing (content engagement and sharing to attract prospects). It’s simple, but not easy.”
“I define Social Selling as using Social Networks (like LinkedIn and Twitter) to do Research to be Relevant to build Relationships that drive Revenue. Initially Social Selling is about using Social Networks to find, listen, relate, connect, engage, and amplify your buyers (and their sphere of influence), but done well and over time, Social Selling is about using Social Networks to be found by your buyers. Social presence, Social participation, Social engagement. I teach salespeople how to leverage content as their currency — to help them be more visible and relevant to the digitally-driven, socially connected buyer. But, remember, if you suck offline, you’ll suck more online. #Don’tSuck”
“There are two fundamental truths about Social Selling that are incontrovertible:
1) The definition of Social Selling is simple, straightforward, and uncomplicated: Social Selling is leveraging social media to generate revenue. That’s it.
2) The relationships formed and activities conducted on social media are measurable, predictable data points that marketing and sales must use in their daily work flow to generate revenue.
Quantifying and measuring social media relationships is not intuition and guesswork. And it does not detract from the “art” of marketing and sales. If your marketing and sales leadership is not telling the story of Social Selling using data and revenue, then your story is not only incomplete, it’s inaccurate.
“With the amount of real-time, personal data available on social media, it should come as no surprise that social leads convert and close at faster rates than leads from other channels. The smart sales and marketing professional knows that social selling is more than just a tactic–the data from social interactions should be an integral part of a brand’s overall customer journey.”
MAPPING THE COMMUNITY
We looked at the topic of social selling before on our blog in 2015, and we were keen to look at it again to see which Social Selling brands and individuals were leading the online discussion. So we analysed 263K+ tweets from 16 November 2015 – 4 February 2016 mentioning the keywords “Social Selling” OR socialselling OR socialsales OR “social sales” and identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter. What we discovered was a very engaged community, with much discussion between individuals and brands. Below you can see a network map of the top 100 engaged users in the Social Selling conversation. This map was created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM). Be sure to click on the map to enjoy the full size network diagram in greater detail.
Below you can see another network map created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM) showing the #1 Influencer Tim Hughes, and the conversations to and from the different influencers in his field. If you are interested in learning more about identifying, managing and engaging with influencers click here to get in touch!
TOP 100 INDIVIDUALS
We looked at all the individuals engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top 100 most influential individuals in the Social Selling conversation. Be sure to download the report to see who ranked beyond 50 on the list.
|Rank||Twitter Handle||Name||Company||Influencer Score|
|2||@JackKosakowski1||Jack Kosakowski||Creation Agency||27.75|
|4||@kimgarst||Kim Garst ツ||Boom! Social||14.17|
|5||@kurtshaver||Kurt Shaver||The Sales Foundry||13.04|
|6||@jill_rowley||Jill Rowley||TrackMaven, HubSpot||12.32|
|7||@shanegibson||Shane Gibson||Closing Bigger||11.6|
|8||@kevinttully||Kevin Thomas Tully||Markistry||11.2|
|9||@gabevillamizar||Gabe Villamizar ☁️||HireVue||10.72|
|10||@MikeSchiemer||Michael J. Schiemer||East Side Enterprises||9.23|
|11||@GoogleExpertUK||Susan Dolan||SEO Web Marketing||9.13|
|12||@SocialSalesLink||Brynne Tillman||Brynne Tillman||9.08|
|13||@ZoeSands||Zoe Sands||Veritas Technologies LLC||8.04|
|14||@barbaragiamanco||Barb Giamanco||Social Centered Selling LLC||7.59|
|15||@jamietshanks||Jamie Shanks||Sales for Life||6.78|
|16||@NealSchaffer||Neal Schaffer||Maximize your Social||5.3|
|17||@bobperella||Bob Perella||Sales Velocity Partners||5.29|
|18||@micadam||Mic V Adam||Vanguard Leadership||5.18|
|19||@jasoncreation||Jason Burrows||Creation Agency||5.13|
|20||@retailmeeting||Alex López||Sartia Retail Meeting Point||4.67|
|21||@2morrowknight||Sean Gardner||TwinStar Credit Union||4.58|
|22||@BriangBurns||Brian G. Burns||The Brutal Truth about Sales & Selling||4.24|
|23||@MelonieDodaro||Melonie Dodaro||Top Dog Social Media||3.98|
|24||@HeinzMarketing||Matt Heinz||Heinz Marketing||3.88|
|25||@Jon_Ferrara||Jon Ferrara||Nimble LLC||3.83|
|26||@Sam___Hurley||Sam Hurley||Midas Media||3.41|
|27||@MattSMansfield||Matt Mansfield||Small Business Trends||3.41|
|31||@lastbabyboomer||Dan Stepel||Likeable Local||3.19|
|32||@keenan||Keenan||A sales Guy Inc||3.01|
|33||@amabaie||David Leonhardt||The Happy Guy Marketing||2.94|
|34||@Carola164||Carola vander Linden||Cisco||2.77|
|35||@henryhank||Henry Nothhaft, Jr.||Trapit||2.73|
|36||@AmarSheth||Amar Sheth||Sales for Life||2.73|
|37||@paulcastain||Paul Castain||Castain Training Systems||2.7|
|39||@iannarino||S. Anthony Iannarino||B2BSalesCoach||2.45|
|43||@evankirstel||Evan Kirstel||Penguin Strategies||2.12|
|46||@PeterGChun||Peter G. Chun||HireVue||1.92|
|48||@FrancesHui||FRANCES HUI TV ❤ ❤ ❤||FHS Events||1.83|
|50||@ReferralSales||Joanne Black||No More Cold Calling||1.81|
TOP 100 BRANDS
In the top 100 brands we found a great selection of organisations such as Salesforce and Hootsuite and some top industry resources such as SocialMedia Examiner and Social Media Today. Be sure to download the full report to see who ranked from 50-100.
|Rank||Twitter Handle||Name||Influencer Score|
|1||@socialselling||Social Selling News||100|
|3||@linkedinselling||LinkedIn for Sales||11|
|4||@MySales4Life||Sales for Life||9.96|
|19||@b2bsales||B2B Sales Tips||3.28|
|22||@SociallySaaS||Social & SaaS Fan||2.92|
|28||@WeShare4UFree||We Share Content||2.28|
|31||@salestools||Inside Sales Tips||2.21|
|36||@socialmedia2day||Social Media Today||1.96|
|37||@MSocialBusiness||Max. Social Business||1.86|
|39||@TheSocialSeller||The Social Seller||1.74|
|42||@ILoveDubLi||I Love DubLi||1.63|
|47||@Blogging4ROI||Blogging 4 ROI||1.42|
|48||@TweetMarketer4U||Tweet Services 4 U||1.39|
At Onalytica we love building these lists and want to give back to our loyal readers as much as we can. If you’re interested in other topics (such as Machine to Machine, Wearable Tech, Internet of Things) be sure to have a gander on our blog or why not propose some topics to us on twitter? We also build some very cool software to manage all of these influencers. Get a free demo today by clicking the button below!
Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The brands and individuals listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion in the Social Selling debate.
The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives. These calculations are independent of a user’s number of followers, but we do filter our lists based on how much a user is engaged in the conversation and the influence they drive through their networks.