Anybody working in the B2B segment knows how many challenges this industry brings with itself. Before going through the entire B2B sales funnel, it’s crucial to generate leads and look for qualified prospects that can be converted into future customers. This is precisely what makes the whole B2B sales process so challenging.
Some of the most prevalent issues the B2B sales team faces are email marketing and cold calling/cold emailing to prospects and generating leads. In this comprehensive guide, we uncover the most common issues the B2B sales team goes through and how some of those problems can be overcome with the help of social selling and social prospecting tools and strategies.
Problems B2B Sales Team Face When Doing Email Marketing or Cold Calling
B2B cold calling is merely calling prospects before they have even expressed some kind of interest in your product offerings and/or services. Cold calling might appear archaic in today’s jam-packed B2B ecosystem, where relevance and personalization are viewed as the key competitive differentiators.
However, as daunting and exhausting cold calling might be, it has served as an essential strategy in sales pipelines over the years. When handled correctly, cold calling can serve as an effective way to reach out to prospective clients. Unfortunately, over half of the sales professionals give up too early or do not make much effort on cold calling, i.e., if they make the calls at all.
Some of the biggest problems that stand as an obstacle for the B2B sales team when doing cold emailing and email marketing or cold calling to prospects and generating leads are fear of cold calling, fear of failure, and not getting attention.
Per a newly released survey of 160 sales professionals in the United States working in different industries and various sales roles, it was discovered that fear was amongst the biggest prospecting challenges for B2B outbound sales.
48% of the salespeople surveyed confessed they’re afraid to pick up the phone, whereas 53% admitted they’re quick to give up on cold calling. The survey also revealed that outbound prospecting is stalled by the sales representatives’ lack of consistency and organization (60%), weak social media skills (38%), and difficulty assessing decision-makers (42%)
If you face difficulty in mustering up the confidence and courage to pick up the phone call and start cold calling or cold emailing, you need to understand where the fear is coming from. Chances are it’s associated with a lack of confidence and competence.
Still, in order to perform more effectively, sales managers and representatives need to constantly fill in their pipelines with eligible prospects. As a result, they must think of other ways to generate leads and prospects, such as social selling.
Why Your B2B Sales Team Needs to Do Social Prospecting and Social Selling On Social Media
It is no secret that traditional sales practices such as email marketing and cold calling have lost their effectiveness over time as new and more popular means of social prospecting have emerged.
On the other hand, social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are witnessing consistent growth as a source of prospects and leads and as an efficient means of nurturing prospects and leads into becoming future customers.
Hence, it is time for B2B companies to understand that they need to move over cold calls because there’s a new way of selling in town.
Even though the concept of social selling has been around and in practice for some years, most businesses have yet to fully understand its significance and potential for more efficient sales prospecting. Social prospecting allows enterprises to significantly benefit from granular and the latest market visibility worldwide, posing a lot of value.
With robust communication tools that can deliver one-on-one messages directly to prospects, B2B businesses can blow this treasure trove wide open. In addition, social prospecting offers rapid and high returns on investment (ROI), which is why it’s considered and budgeted for as a key marketing channel.
Social selling is using the brand’s social media channels to reach prospects, form a connection with them, and engage with prospective leads. It’s one of the most effective tactics for B2B businesses in acquiring their sales targets.
Social selling is equivalent to contemporary relationship building. By actively engaging with prospects on social media, you can be the first brand to come into the prospects’ minds when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Moreover, this tactic can replace old-school relationship-building and exhausting sales techniques such as cold calling and cold marketing.
Social selling enables businesses to zero in on business prospects on social media platforms and establishes rapport with prospective leads. When done right, social selling replaces the daunting and horrific practice of cold calling, which most B2B companies fear and fail to do right.
If you have still not included social selling in your sales funnel, you are probably losing substantial business prospects to more social media-savvy rivals.
Reasons B2B Businesses Should Care About Social Selling
If your brand already has an account on LinkedIn, a Facebook Business page, or a profile on Twitter, or is active on any other platform, you are already engaged in the social selling basics. Still, if you are not sold on social selling, here are four reasons why B2B companies should care about it and give it a try:
1. Social selling works
As per the internal data from LinkedIn Sales Solutions:
● Businesses that govern the social selling space generate 45% increased sales opportunities than brands with a relatively low social selling index.
● 78% of businesses using social selling surpass those firms that do not use social media.
● Businesses that give priority to social selling are 51% more likely to meet their sales quotas.
2. Social selling helps your sales team create real relationships
Relationship building and networking have shifted online mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic, making it the ideal time for businesses to start prioritizing social selling.
With the help of social selling, companies can benefit from considerable opportunities to engage with new prospects on social media where they are actively present and already involved in conversations.
Using social listening tools enables sales representatives to identify potential leads who’re already conversing about your business, industry, or rivals.
This indicates you can interact with an audience who has already expressed an interest in your products and services, connect with them, and provide valuable information at an appropriate time.
3. Your customers/business prospects are already engaged in social buying
Considering the extensive volume of people currently using social media, brands have a vast potential for making social sales.
● 4.2 billion people worldwide are active on social media channels, representing almost 54% of the global population.
● Since January 2020, social media channels have gained over 490 million users, indicating a 13.2% increase in active social media usage.
In addition, most users use these channels for brand research. Generally speaking, these users are preparing themselves to buy.
4. Your top competitors are already social selling
Using social selling means staying on top of the competition. Many brands are active on social media and consistently interact with prospects across various social media platforms. For instance:
● 18.3% of Facebook users in the US purchased something through Facebook in 2020.
● 96% of B2B content marketers use their LinkedIn profiles for organic marketing, followed by 82% of B2B content marketers using Facebook marketing.
● 70% of YouTube users have purchased a product from a respective brand after seeing an ad for it on YouTube.
Strategies and Tools Your B2B Sales Team Should Use for Social Prospecting on Social Media
When doing social prospecting on social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, your B2B sales team must incorporate some effective strategies and sales tools.
1. Use content strategically
Content is key to social media platforms and social selling success. The content you post on your social media and share on your profile attracts potential leads from social media to your site and compels people to follow you.
Moreover, it aids in creating your profile and generates a sense of trust amongst your followers and prospects. For business influencers and B2B brands using LinkedIn, this can signify content others have written that aligns with your brand.
Whether you share other people’s content with your followers or create your own content and post it on your accounts, there’s no substitute for brilliant content. Ideally, B2B companies should post a combination of both:
● An assortment of various content types (videos, images, text only, GIFs, etc.). You can even create content for your blog and share it on your different social media accounts.
● Quality content that your target audience can relate to and that helps them solve a pain point.
Timing also plays a vital role amidst all this. Use your analytics to determine when the majority of your audience is online, and try posting more actively in that duration. Once you have decided what kind of content you want to post, creating a social media calendar is best.
2. Use monitoring and search features to discover and monitor potential prospects
Even though it becomes relatively easy to get prospects to approach your business directly as you grow, you can acquire more efficient results if you become proactive and use monitoring to identify prospects and leads.
The majority of social media management tools comprise monitoring features and proactive social engagement, which can be used to search for relevant keywords that can be used by your target audience.
As you come across relevant people, you can start following them and engaging with them. Or, wherever you find a relevant conversation, jump in and again follow and engage with prospects.
Once you’re able to land potential prospects, you must oversee their social media activities to try to nurture them into customers. These prospects might actively engage with your rivals, looking for quality content or a product offering or service like yours. Hence, you need to monitor their every move and act quickly.
3. Gather accurate contact information
A prevalent issue B2B sales teams often face is looking for prospects’ contact information. While you can effectively reach out to other businesses through their social media channels, it is much better to get their contact details or email address and reach out to them.
4. Join groups and create your own
Social media groups and communities can be excellent sources of prospects and leads. This comprises two main parts:
● Find out what groups your target audience is active in
● Join that group and start posting and engaging
Facebook and LinkedIn groups are beneficial. Most people use these groups to find the answer to their queries, discover top-quality content that allows them to solve their problems, and actively look for the required products/services. This is primarily why social selling plays such a vital role.
With the help and power of social media, people can easily look for products and services. You can find potential prospects by monitoring these groups, being active in them, and maintaining consistency in posting content and engaging.
SocialEpoch Facebook Marketing Automation Toolis a fantastic tool that your B2B sales team can significantly benefit from, thanks to its core features such as:
1. Auto Proactive Social Engagement
● Proactively reach out to customers with multiple Facebook accounts
● Promptly engage with customers in bulk on Facebook
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2. Data Scraper
● Get information about users, groups, and pages with one click
3. Content Spread
● Auto Mass Posting
● Joining Groups
● Listing on Marketplace
● Maximize Your Marketing Efforts
Importance of WhatsApp in Communicating With Customers
The above points make it essential to understand why all businesses, including B2B companies and brands, need to expand their techniques for engaging and communicating with customers and prospects.
This means rather than just using email, the B2B sales team should consider using WhatsApp for communication purposes, especially if their customers and prospects are using WhatsApp as the primary instant messaging tool in their lives.
Compared to SMS and email marketing, WhatsApp marketing is a newer form of marketing that’s dramatically changed and provided users with sophisticated communication possibilities. It comes with many opportunities and enables you to share documents and files with users.
In addition, the app produces 3 times the amount of traffic that SMS marketing does, making it way marketing-appropriate. Having said that, here are the top reasons why the B2B sales team must incorporate the use of WhatsApp in their marketing strategies.
● It offers real-time customer service and support and allows businesses to make themselves accessible and available to customers more often.
● It provides universal messaging that’s dependable, efficient, and swift, along with real-time updates and alerts.
● It fosters automation and frequently asked questions for businesses, allowing their customers to benefit from speedy customer service.
● It offers a quick replies feature that enables businesses to reuse and save the most relevant and frequently send messages to expedite customer care processes.
● It is cost-effective, fast, and secure.
● It provides visual interaction with many other popular applications such as Netflix, YouTube, and Instagram.
● More than 2.2 billion use WhatsApp monthly to communicate with their family, friends, and businesses.
● It has an open rate of 98%, which is 5x higher than SMS and emails.
● WhatsApp Broadcast messages have a 45 to 60% conversion rate, which is 12x higher than SMS and emails.
What You Need To Do To Create Your Communities and Do Community-Led Growth
Another thing that has become essential in the modern-day complicated digital landscape is community marketing. Today, companies worldwide must be able to display their product offerings, establish their brand, find and retain clients, and offer support for existing clients. Fortunately, a strong community can enhance all these things.
Companies can use communities to engage with an entire group of customers properly and efficiently and establish a powerful brand presence across different customer segments. As a result, your B2B sales team must create communities and do community-led growth to be successful.
Even though community marketing mainly stems from social media platforms, WhatsApp is fast becoming popular and feasible for businesses. Its community culture is usually ignored. Companies Here is how B2B firms can use WhatsApp communities to their advantage.
1. To share promotions and updates on the announcement group
Small businesses that once juggled between various groups on WhatsApp for different segments of customers can now gather them into a single community for improved admin cooperation and well-organized customer communication.
2. To support customers
Admins of vast communities can create numerous groups with diverse scopes of interest. For instance, a local gym can spread awareness among customers about Yoga, Weight Loss Journey, Nutrition, etc.
3. For internal communication
Announcement groups can come in handy for essential data from the HR department or the company director. In addition, with the previously mentioned high-volume files and enhancements to voice calls, WhatsApp is one step closer to becoming an all-encompassing, powerful business communication tool.
4. For product marketing
By partnering with a renowned WhatsApp community, businesses can access a massive pool of prospects interested in their brand, domain, or brand. This approach helps boost brand awareness and stimulates engagement in a targeted audience.
5. For product launch
If businesses create WhatsApp communities to cover various customer segments, they can immediately alert their whole customer base regarding a new product or service launch and also host a Q&A session to answer any questions that arise from the community. This tends to boost the likelihood of better conversion.
6. For community events and outreach
Businesses can instantly inform prospects and customers regarding the latest community events and outreach programs.
7. Product safety notifications & recalls
Businesses can post alert notifications or warning messages to inform people regarding issues such as unforeseen safety or product deficiencies and take steps to prevent this type of situation from occurring again.
SocialEpoch WhatsApp SCRM is an all-in-one sales and marketing technology that your B2B sales team can significantly benefit from, thanks to its core features such as:
1. Manage customers all on WhatsApp SCRM
● Unlimited Contacts and Messages
● Multi-sign in Up to 10 Accounts
2. Smart Group Activation Tool
● Set the message content in advance
● Send at set times with different real accounts
● Activate your communities and groups with real accounts
3. Auto Bulk Sender
● Send Personalized Messages in Bulk with One Click
4. Smart Customer Personas
● Tag and take detailed notes of your contacts
● Segment customers and personalize the experience
● Closing 5x Deals with Customized Service!
● Manage 10000x customers on WhatsApp without compromising on service quality.
Generating leads and prospects requires establishing meaningful relationships with buyers and gaining their trust, which is the key to success in B2B sales today. Hence, your B2B sales team needs to be proactive in your marketing and sales strategy, find the proper channels to share relevant content, and see where the best leads reside.
Your B2B sales team needs to discover and engage with customers and prospects online and work closely to bring more potential B2B clients into the sales funnel, which can be achieved by our social selling solutions.