The Rise of Social Selling in Marketing Automation

Long gone are the days when the sales and marketing teams are aligned separately in social channels.

Sales teams are seemingly more involved in channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter, realising that by working alongside the marketing team, they can actively reach a wider audience and deliver a personal experience to potential customers.

Marketing Automation enables sales to meet the demands of social.

Be it, lead nurturing, tracking digital body language or delivering content, marketing and sales are a tandem force that allows customers to benefit via a richer, more complete experience and companies to gain metrics and insights that enable them to deliver relevant content of value.

Today we will look at how social selling and marketing automation interrelate using a revised lead generation funnel.

The Social Selling Funnel

Sales is actively involved in their own lead generation and are more involved initially within the top of funnel. This means that Marketing needs to be aware of all interactions that Sales is performing in the early top of the funnel.

Previous theories had Marketing doing outbound lead generation from which they would feed these through to the Sales team to close.

With LinkedIn set as an established sales tool and Twitter set as constant content delivery service, Sales teams can run their own campaigns and establish leads using marketing automation software or SaaS (software as a service) that can be funnelled through to a lead nurturing campaign.

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Social platforms provide Sales the opportunity to get a foot-in-the-door where they can bring content unobtrusively to a prospects eye.

One important step is to establish a balance between what is your own content and what you can provide from third-party sources in order to be seen as an industry influencer.

Social marketing automation software can help to indicate specific times that are best to post, publish across multiple platforms from a single location and schedule content to support your marketing campaigns.

We recommend a process of listening first, then engaging and then publishing.

Based on this information, Marketing and Sales can form specific messaging and develop content that targets prospects who they believe have shown the most interest with the brand.

More importantly, Marketing and Sales can work together when engaging with prospects. Marketing, for instance, can find messages of interest on social channels and feed these directly to the sales team to address specific topics.

Social selling isn’t about how many followers you obtain, rather it’s based on the relationships you build with these followers

Therefore using social media automation platforms such as Oracle’s Social Relationship Management, you can begin to:

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  • Track who the top influencers are
  • Discover metrics around your social campaigns
  • Feed this information back into Eloqua Sales Tool, Profiler which the Sales team access from the CRM.
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At our latest event, Social Selling B2B expert, Tom Skotidas talked about developing relationships with Twitter followers. So sending a message to someone who you know is an engaged follower, can be a much less intrusive method than a cold call.

An example would be a simple “Hey, I’ve noticed we have been following each other and sharing our work, yet we haven’t met yet? How about we grab for a cup of coffee and discuss what we both want to achieve?!”

Digital trends note that Twitter will do away with its limit of 140 characters for direct messages which means that discussions can become much more personal and in-depth with these followers.

The social selling funnel will only work via the collaboration between both Sales and Marketing. It is about bringing together what was previously a disconnect between departments and using marketing technology to maximise your ROI and enhance your marketing strategy.