We are seeing widespread recognition across the utilities sector that digitalisation will be revolutionising the way that companies acquire and service their customers. But what does this mean for the role of sales professionals – what new skills do they need to keep up with this change of pace?
Traditionally, particularly in B2B environments, the Sales Director managed teams of people focused on cold calling, who interacted with the marketing team on campaign based activity. Now, as social selling, and influencer marketing becomes more widespread, these roles appear to have merged. Relationships are built online, before other traditional methods such as trade shows or conferences, and are focused on building the trusted, personal relationships needed for a sale to complete. In an industry like utilities, social selling can build bridges between the sales team and the consumer – whether B2B or B2C, and allow professionals to target their approaches. But how can todays sales professionals make sure they have the skills for ever changing digitalisation?
LinkedIn should be a core tool for sales. The term ‘Social Selling’ was pretty much invented by this social platform, and LinkedIn has a range of courses and training programmes which can give an introduction to this sales technique. But perhaps before you get this far – here are some hints and tips that provide a really good starting point:
- Be active. You can’t start social selling if you are not active and present on social. Review your personal social media profiles. Which ones are you going to focus on? Are they appropriate and do they present the best version of yourself?
- Engage. Follow relevant industry experts and potential clients – share content and engage. This will help you build a social feed that is interesting and relevant to your audience – this leads onto point three
- Create value. Once you’ve started to assess what content works well and what your audience reacts to, you should start to create your own. Blog posts, infographics – they all work well to get your message across
- Ensure you build meaningful relationships. It’s not about the number of connections you make – but the value in those connections. Make sure you explain why you want to connect with people – and demonstrate the value you can deliver. It should be about mutual benefit, not just about hitting targets!
You can get more insight into techniques to get started with social selling via social experts Hootsuite – https://blog.hootsuite.com/what-is-social-selling/#practices