Being a sales representative is becoming a more interactive and social job with the influence and increasingly important role of social media.

Eloqua, creator of the Grande Guide series of modern marketing guides, has released its "Grande Guide to Social Selling", which details how social selling through social media should be an key part of any sales representative’s marketing scheme.

Mistakes Have Been Made

In the past, sales representatives have relied on more traditional means of contacting potential buyers, such as only using contacts they already know and having to overtly push a sales pitch to make it successful. More and more people are using social media to communicate and sales representatives should be taking advantage of this how this social medium can improve their business.

According to the social selling guide, in a recent survey 75 per cent of B2B Buyers have said that social media would influence a future purchase, while a statistic from a ComCore survey says that 82 per cent of those who are online (worldwide) can be reached through social networks.

“People say the death of the sales person is upon us, but they’re wrong,” says Craig Rosenberg, author of Grande Guide Social Selling. We spoke with Rosenberg to get more details on what social selling is and its importance to sales people today.

Rosenberg told us that social selling will give a sales representative the tools to improve upon how they interact and how they sell products to potential and current buyers.

How Social Media Can Improve Social Selling

Before social media existed, Rosenberg says there was always a barrier between sales reps and the buyer. With social selling, the sales reps will have the skills to break down these walls and extract the needs and wants of their buyers. Sales representatives will be able to create a selling environment that is highly interactive and able communicate in real time, over a variety of social platforms with their audience.

“There’s a lot of rich data [in social media] that will help us to understand what specific buyers are talking about,” he says. “Social Selling is a channel, a way to make poor sales fundamentals better.”

These fundamentals can be improved upon because people are constantly tweeting, liking, commenting and linking to and about products they like and therefore telling the world what products work and don’t work for them.

socialselling1.jpg

When using social media as a social selling tool, in the Guide, Rosenberg says that there are certain things that sales representatives should be aware of, including how they use their new social media skill set.