Many sales and marketing professionals today have been delighted and persuaded to believe that success in today’s hyper-competitive business climate relies on the number of digitized B2B or B2C contacts you have. Successful sales and marketing are simply not defined by the large number of Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, Facebook likes, and Instagram followers one has. Feeding these supposedly “must-do” social channels and checking them 12 times a day can be overwhelming, boring, and counterproductive.

But you can improve your “social selling experience” with people by following some of the tips I present in this article. I have been using various social media channels for the past decade to leverage my sales and marketing footprint, but I do so to create a genuine and rich experience for the individual.

How sales professionals think, use, and execute social selling strategies to gain competitive advantage will ultimately determine their success. The future of sales today is built on one’s ability to interact with qualified people (human to human) in an authentic and personal way. We want to build these relationships that are more humane, more real, and more valuable.

All companies and working professionals are hungry for time and should not waste time on unproductive sales and marketing practices. Before embarking on a social sales / marketing initiative, you need to define what the goal of using these social media channels is. Part of any good business plan is a well-developed, practical, and creative marketing plan. This includes digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), content management, reputation management, and video optimization. These are the main areas to consider in your digital marketing plan. The old business adage, “If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed” is even more relevant today.

These key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be linked to key business, sales, and marketing metrics to ensure success and proper ROI for senior management to make well-informed business decisions.

The real challenges for sales people in social marketing / sales are:

– Marketing automation and having the right technology stack available

– Seamless integration of existing and future technologies to the “technology stack”

– Align engaging content that will resonate with each constituent group and facilitate a conversion to a goal, for example, completing a contact form, email, or phone call.

– Align content with business and income goals.

– Understand how the content strategy can scale to meet the needs of businesses over time.

I present and invite you to consider that the power and scope of a well-developed and executed social selling plan can pay huge dividends. Initially, it will take more time and effort as you launch your plan / campaign, but after launch, it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes per day to manage and nurture. And before you know it, you’ll be connecting more effectively and easily with an H2H (person-to-person) social selling approach.

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