ABM is all about building relationships with prospects and customers throughout their entire buyer’s journey.
And these days, if you want to build relationships, you need to master social selling.
ABM rests on a foundation of building trust with your prospects and customers.
In order to succeed, you need to form a relationship.
Social selling is no different.
Your goal isn’t to hop onto LinkedIn or Facebook, send a friend request and immediately move into a hard sell. You want to build the same kinds of relationships you build in an ABM campaign.
In fact, that kind of hard sell is exactly what social selling is trying to break away from.
“The old marketing funnel is weak and broken. Now, as salespeople, we have to find the right channels of engagement where our customers hang out in the online world.”
Instead of buying leads, cold-calling and hard-selling, you are engaging audiences the same way you would a friend or an acquaintance online.
It’s not about the sale, it’s about trust.
And it works.
Companies that employ social selling, do at least 51% better — i.e. they’re that much more likely to close or hit their sales quotas — on average than companies employing traditional approaches to selling. that is they’re 51% more than companies that follow a traditional approach of selling.
Building a brand
A large component of social selling is building your personal brand online.
There are two ways you can approach this.
Many people build expertise in their domain over time, cultivating a sense of followership from those who see their content.
With this approach, your followers will slowly come to look up to your expertise, which in turn can open up conversations and, ultimately sales.
Others organize their social profiles around the branding of the company for which they work and coordinate their content in a similar manner to the company messaging.
While there is nothing wrong with the latter approach, it isn’t ideal for building trust.
“If you want to build trust, you need to understand what your audience wants to connect with people, not brands.”
Strong personal branding is important for long-term success.
It allows you to reach the perfect target audience. People who follow you and engage with your posts are much more likely to turn to you when they face a problem for which you have a solution.
Ultimately, social selling becomes an inbound strategy.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that your personal branding needs to align with your company’s overall goals. Misalignment can cause headaches down the line.
By the same token, given the success social selling can bring, more companies need to get on board with their employees’ personal branding efforts.
Rather than being a threat, your employees’ personal branding is an asset which will inculcate trust in your organization and, in the long-run, bring you more revenue.
Aligning sales and marketing
There is one aspect of social selling you need to be aware of.
When it comes to social selling and building trust with your followers, your credibility is paramount. So, it’s imperative that your branding is also aligned with your marketing team.
“Social selling mandates alignment between sales and marketing for an ABM campaign to be successful.”
This allows you to identify the right audience and curate the ideal content to share with them.
In the end, for any ABM campaign to be successful, its social selling efforts need to be in lock-step with marketing all the way.
Social selling is a powerful tool for your ABM strategy.
It accelerates your ABM by working backward — identifying your target prospects first, then reverse-engineering your sales process from their.
It has a very high ROI, is mostly organic and — perhaps the best thing about it — it’s almost entirely free. Sure, you need to invest time and energy, but the payoff is worth it.
And you’re going to be spending that time and energy in any marketing strategy anyway.
So why not go with one that works this well?