July 24, 2016

Improve Social Selling with These Top Tools and Platforms


social media mobile selling

Back in 2011, Goggle introduced the “Zero Moment of Truth” (ZMOT), the exact moment that a consumer, whether a business (B2B) or individual (B2C) goes online to find the product or service that will fulfill their need. ZMOT is all about being present in the time and place that a customer needs you.

Google contends that your brand, or at least its content, needs to be there at the ZMOT (via search or on social media) or you will lose the sale to a competitor: “How many of those times do you show up? How many times do they choose you, and why? Most importantly, how many times does your competitor show up, but you don’t?”

Fast-forward to today and forward-looking sellers have taken the ZMOT to the next level: social selling. In a nutshell, social selling can be defined as: Monitoring social channels to identify and respond to potential leads and customers during the ZMOT when they’re looking for the information, products and services you can provide.

In other words, social selling is more intimate than the original ZMOT:

  • The ZMOT was all about putting content out so your leads will find it when they needed it.
  • Social selling is all about having a salesperson meet your leads live during each ZMOT instance and building a nurturing relationship by introducing themselves, providing relevant content and branding themselves as the “go-to resource” for a leads needs.

As you might expect, a salesperson needs a powerful tool to pull off the social selling approach. The tool needs to:

  • Listen online to identify a lead’s ZMOT (e.g. a social media update asking a question relevant to the salesperson’s offerings);
  • Provide a way to engage a lead right there and then to connect or deliver content; and
  • Keep a history of engagements for each lead as well as a way to schedule follow-up.

The growing popularity of social selling has lead to the launch of a number of solutions that can help you achieve all three requirements listed above. Some of these solutions also enable your employees to become social advocates, expanding your sales team to include your entire staff.

To help get you started, below, in no particular order, is a list of top social selling tools and platforms to consider.

Improve with These Top Social Selling These Top Tools and Platforms

Full-Service Solutions

The solutions in this section offer everything you need to get started with social selling.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator turns the passive LinkedIn platform into a social selling machine. The solution’s features include: lead recommendations, account and contact import and CRM sync (Salesforce), advanced search with Lead Builder (access up to 400 million up-top-date professional profiles), account pages, a social selling index dashboard (to measure your efforts), real-time updates and more.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

PeopleLinx

If you want to introduce social selling to your company, PeopleLinx is a good place to start. The solution helps your employees: improve their personal branding as experts on what they sell, build their network on LinkedIn and Twitter (with CRM integration), share content with ease on LinkedIn, Twitter and via email, listen to Twitter so they know when their leads post an update, learn social media etiquette so they respond correctly, access robust reporting and turn their efforts into a gamified competition.

PeopleLinx

Trapit

If your sales efforts focus heavily on content then give Trapit a try. This solution enables you to create “traps” that capture and curate content from over 100,000 content sources, all of which you can share with your leads in order to educate and foster the relationship between you both.

Trapit

Bambu

Another content-oriented solution, Bambu enables your employees to curate content from around the Web and then share approved content with leads online.

Bambu

rFactr.

Get the right content to the right people at the right time with rFactr.. In addition to workflows and social listening, this solution includes social media outreach training for your employees.

rFactr.

Nimble

As described in the post, “Nimble Ushers in the Age of CRM Automation”, Nimble enables your sales folks to take action, “anytime, anywhere” as shown below:

Nimble Anytime Anwhere Actions

  1. Dig deeper into a contact’s record and see what they’re saying using this menu.
  2. Schedule or record an action by clicking on the circled plus icon.
  3. Send a message via connected channels by clicking on the envelope icon.

Socedo

Socedo takes a different spin on social selling by automating the process. While this may seem like it goes against the relationship-building aspect of social selling, there’s a lot of leeway to set up the system so is seems like there’s a human on the other end and, you can weave your sales folks into the process when it becomes time to do so.

Socedo

Artesian

As you can see below, Artesian tracks the latest news about your leads and then enables you to react before your competition:

Artesian

Social Listening

Keep your ear to the ground and know when to act with these two solutions.

Newsle

Newsle keeps track of mentions in the news so you don’t have to.

If This Than That (IFTTT)

IFTTT enables you to set up monitoring of social media and news channels like the ones in the image below. If a monitor gets a hit, it will alert you right away.

IFTTT

Conclusion

Relationships have always been an important component of sales. Social selling enables you to continue establishing those relationships in the age of social media and the Web.

If you’re looking to improve you social selling efforts, the top tools and platforms in the list above should help get you on your way.

Social Media Mobile Photo via Shutterstock

8 Comments ▼



Matt Mansfield


Matt Mansfield Matt Mansfield is the Tech Editor at Small Business Trends where he is responsible for directing and writing many of the site’s product reviews, technology how-to’s and lists of small business resources.

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8 Reactions

  1. The farthest I know about social selling is merely utilizing the platform (Facebook and Instagram) to sell something. I did not know that there are so many tools you can use to sell. Great list. Bookmarking it.

  2. Martin Lindeskog

    Matt: I will start using Nimble for a new online venture in the near future. It will be interesting to see how we could create a social selling platform in the years to come.

  3. Hi Matt,

    Trapit sounds great, I’ve requested my demo. I’m loving all of the content based options. To be honest I haven’t heard of any of them!

    Thank you

    Naomi

  4. Social Selling tools come in all types of shapes and sizes. Picking the right one that fits your business needs is the key.

    Here is a breakdown of how I see them:
    Social CRM
    Nimble: Turn Communities into Customers.

  5. Matt – Thanks for writing this post on Social Selling tools. I think for businesses to really understand Social Selling that they need to rethink how they engage prospects and customers.

    They need to stop yelling at them about how great their products and services are and start teaching their prospects how they can be great.

    I love to tell people – “If You Teach People to Fish, They’ll Figure Out You Sell Fishing Poles.”

    Social Selling requires a shift in the mindset of businesses to start serving customers instead of selling them.

    Keep up the great writing.

    Best

    Jon

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