If you’re working in sales today, you may have noticed a trend developing.
- It’s harder to capture the attention of buyers with cold emails
- Cold calling leads to fewer conversations and less openness from prospects
- All the while, regulations (like GDPR) are further complicating those outreach tactics.
In other words, traditional sales prospecting techniques aren’t as effective as they once were. Changing consumer preferences and habits, GDPR and other regulations, and general consumer cynicism are driving the value of traditional prospecting down.
Meanwhile, a lot of content out there still pushes the prospecting techniques of old. Instead, this article presents a different solution: social selling with visitor identification. We cover:
- Why social selling is worth the investment
- How visitor identification supercharges solid social selling
- The 3 best ways to use visitor identification data to inform your social selling efforts
Note: Want a better way to see how social selling drives leads to your website? Try Leadfeeder free for 14 days to learn which companies visit your website, plus which pages they look at (and more).
Why Social Selling Is the Answer
In researching for this article, we talked with our own Dipak Vadera, Sales Manager for Leadfeeder. Our resident subject matter expert, he’s tried, tested, and advocated for sales reps to better leverage social media in their prospecting efforts.
In short, social selling is when sales reps use social media to build relationships with decision makers and target accounts. Social selling doesn’t require that the sales rep reaches out first or that the entire sales process happens over social media—and it doesn’t have to happen on LinkedIn alone.
Typically, social selling breaks down into 2 levels:
- Broad authority-building so your prospects and followers view you as an expert in your industry
- Targeted sales prospecting and nurturing to individual decision makers and target accounts
Both of those efforts are part of social selling, and they can be deployed separately or together.
The reality is that generations have shifted away from traditional means of sales prospecting. While younger people spend a lot of time on their phones, we’re rarely on the phone. “You need to go where your ideal prospect is spending their time,” Dipak said, “and social media is where people are.”
Social selling is so effective because it uses a medium where people are more comfortable and open to communicating and building relationships. “You just can’t get that kind of openness over the phone.” By connecting and interacting via social media first, Dipak finds prospects are ultimately way more willing to take part in sales conversations (and actually take his phone calls) later on in the sales process—they become warm calls.
Not to mention, by spending time with prospects on social media, you can build up the depth and context of your existing ideal customer profile.
“I don’t have time for social selling.”
Dipak noted that social selling is still a relatively untapped sales tool—many sales teams and managers are still pretty old school when it comes to prospecting. One of the biggest objections he hears to social selling is that it takes too much prospecting time.
In Dipak’s view, sales teams fail because “they treat prospects like cattle, as just numbers.” But to be successful with social selling, you need to focus on offering genuine value. It’s the same concept as content or email marketing—the focus on helping prospects learn about and explore their pain-points and potential solutions, rather than trying to pass off a thinly-veiled hard sell.
And that’s the trade-off. We won’t tell you that social selling doesn’t take longer—but in return, it offers better odds for closing and securing a life-long customer.
Visitor Identification Is Must-Have Data to Inform Your Social Selling
Given the added time investment that good social selling requires, it’s important that you’re targeting the right prospects with those efforts—and using all the data you can access to ensure you provide value and knock-out pitches.
That’s where website visitor identification comes into play.
A visitor identification tool (like Leadfeeder) shows you data like:
- Companies that have visited your website
- How many people from a given company have visited
- The pages they looked at
- How long they spent there
That’s information that can help ensure:
- You’re providing information and content that’s genuinely valuable to prospects
- You have inside knowledge about what matters to them
- You can time and tailor your pitch for more “yes”
The Best Ways to Leverage Visitor Identification for Social Selling
Visitor identification provides you with several key data-points, but to make the most of that data, sales reps need to know what to do with it. Here are three of the most effective ways to bring visitor identification data to your social selling efforts—from lead generation to nurturing and pitching.
Note: Not a Leadfeeder customer yet? Sign up and try Leadfeeder free for 14 days to inform your social selling efforts and see how they drive activity on your website.
Identify Target Accounts and Add to LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Once you’ve qualified a target account, visitor Identification data can help you figure out who to target, when, and with what message.
For example, with Leadfeeder’s visitor tracking software, you can build a Custom Feed of pre-qualified website visitors to target with your social selling efforts. When you build a custom feed, you can set specific, highly targeted criteria to zero in on an actionable list of leads that are much more likely to convert.
Once you have a targeted list of accounts, you can export those companies and use LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s Signal feature to get notifications about trigger events like funding rounds, hiring announcements, mergers, and other company news—so you can better time and tailor your pitch.
Use Website Browsing Data to Inform Your Outreach
Both when you identify leads and as you prospect into them, website visitor identification software gives you a deeper picture of their pain-points, the features that matter to decision-makers, and how they’re moving through the buyer’s journey.
Since visitor identification data includes details on the pages companies view and how long they spend there, your social outreach can be high-quality and hyper-targeted to their interests and pain-points. Whether you’re sharing content, making your pitch, or sending follow-ups, web browsing data ensures you’ll be right on the mark.
Follow Companies to Assess Your Social Selling Efforts
With social selling, measuring how your efforts drive new prospects forward toward a sale is important because you’re investing more time than other sales prospecting techniques require. So you need a way to visualize and understand the progress and results your efforts drive in order to assess if your social selling time is yielding a positive ROI. After all, it can be harder and take longer to draw a direct line between when you start engaging with a prospect over social and when they ultimately buy.
That means you need a way to keep tabs on target accounts as your social selling efforts are underway.
Once you select accounts to target on social, you can follow those companies on Leadfeeder. When you follow a company, you’ll be able to keep tabs on how your social activities drive prospects to your website and what they look at once there.
You can also build separate Custom Feeds for each key conversion point. Then, set up Slack or email notifications, so you know exactly when a prospect reaches the next phase of the sales funnel.
Social Selling with Visitor Identification Is the Sales Prospecting Technique for Today
The reality is that traditional sales prospecting techniques (like phone calls) get less effective with each passing quarter. To compensate, sales professionals today need to find a better way to reach prospects where they already are—and social selling is one of the best, most untapped prospecting tools to help you do just that.
By combining smart social selling strategy with the insights visitor identification software provides, you can build better relationships with potential customers and move more prospects through the sales cycle toward a close.
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