Online customers are not always transparent, but a seasoned salesperson knows what to look for when interacting with customers face to face, or even over the phone. It could be subtle body movements, changes in the tone of voice, or even little signs of hesitation.
However, it is online buying signals that can be more difficult to pinpoint, making them easier to miss. The fact is, 93% of sales executives have not received any formal training on social selling, yet 90% of top performers include social media in their sales strategies, according to Everyone Social.
So how can your sales team learn the new skills that will help them recognize online buying signals? Here are some tips to help bring your sales team into the digital age.
If someone asks a question, it is probably because they have seen something that piqued their interest somewhere on your site or in your social posts. Common questions that indicate interest include:
Most people are polite when dealing with salespeople. They will offer mild, non-committal utterances of interest to avoid conflict or commitment. It’s important to note that with these non-committal types of comments, you have to avoid trying to make an assumption they are ready to buy. This can be a major mistake as it can turn people off from doing business with you in the future when they are ready to buy.
You want to correspond your reactions to meet the stage of their buying journey. Some common examples of non-committal comments include:
These comments are ambiguous, keeping you at arm’s length, so they don’t leave an opening for you to get them to commit. Your best bet is to back up a bit and try to build on anything positive they might have said.
People who need a problem fixed will often use expressions of desire when they sense something will ease their pain. Your goal is to solve pain points for customers. When they indicate that your product or service might be able to do just that, it provides an opening to motivate them to the next step on their buying journey. Listen for comments such as:
These comments relate to the specific challenges that they face and how what you’re selling can help. Furthering how you can help will bring them to the conclusion they should buy.
Buying signals on social can feel a little like you are creeping on someone. However, by tracking buying signals from prospects you have already had interaction with, you might spot some signs the potential for buying is rising, or a change has been made that allows you to strike again. Here are some things to look for in social feeds:
It is very important to remain friendly in all comments and replies you might make. Nothing is worse than trying to make the competition look bad, as it always backfires. Instead remain chatty, friendly and informative.
There are other ways you can gain ideas for leads online including:
It is important to understand how using LinkedIn for opportunities can help you in your efforts. According to LinkedIn, 90% of top sales professionals use social selling tools, and 62% agree these tools help nurture stronger authentic relationships. CSO found that 68.9% of sales professionals are using social for lead development.
Customize any messages you send when reaching out for connections so that they feel special. Comment on something about their profile, something they posted or their title, so they know you have taken the time to learn more about them. You will also find more about their pain points if they are particularly chatty on their social page.
These approaches using social depend on following others. However, you can also use your own LinkedIn profile to encourage others to follow you. LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than any other social channel, so learning to leverage your company page or sales teams’ profiles is a must. Here are some tips to build your presence:
Always have ears perked for those highly desirable closing opportunities. The next step is just one step from a sale. Be prepared with a quick and logical process when you hear those golden words, “What happens next?” You also want to have a plan in place should they request you present to other members of their team. Be ready with a calendar so you can book something upon request.
Many salespeople walk a fine line when it comes to recognizing the difference between a polite continuation and actual opportunities for advancement. Buying signals and sales leads online are often acquired on social channels, making the digital savvy salesperson a valuable player in today’s tech-heavy world.
Recognize online buying signals and learn new digital skills by becoming a Certified Digital and Social Selling Specialist. Download a brochure today!