B2B: Social Selling Revealed

By: superadmin Thursday June 5, 2014 comments Tags: B2B Sales, Social Selling, Customer Realtionshi, B2B Social Selling

By Cyril Bladier

On average, buyers have already completed 57% of their buying decision making process before they begin to deal with a business. And when they do, more than 50% have already made ​​a list of potential suppliers. Buyer behavior has changed mainly because of the emergence of the Internet. They "self-educate" by using the Internet to educate and inform themselves without ever needing the help of a salesperson. Social selling, via the use of social networks in the sales approach, establishes new relationships.

From balance to misunderstanding

The relationship between salespeople and buyers has changed. After a period of balanced relationships between buyers and salespeople:

Buyers / Salespeople

-       Identifying needs and researching information / qualifying contacts.

-       Defining needs / pitch and exploration.

-       Need for expertise / proposals.

-       Pre-selection / demonstrations.

-       Solution comparison / persuading.

-       Negotiation.

-       Buying / closing the sale.

Today, there is a misunderstanding between the two parties:

Buyers / Salespeople

-       Emergence of internal needs / how to generate and qualify leads.

-       Finding information on the Internet, identifying stakeholders and best practices / telephone prospecting.

-       Bidding / persuasion under pressure.

-       Bid analysis / salespersons remain available.

-       Negotiation / price pressure.

-       Purchase / sale.

The buyer has regained power: The emergence of pre-buying

The buyer decides content, medium, location, time, and format. Buyers no longer respond. Response rates for outgoing calls and prospecting emails are plummeting – it takes more than 8 calls on average to reach 1 prospect and 22 calls for one exchange. And 90% of decision makers do not respond to requests from unknown people.

Meanwhile, buyers are becoming better informed and pre-buying grows. Sales people become mere order-takers.

 Social Selling?

Beyond the simple use of social networks by salespeople, social selling is the process of listening and engaging prospects and customers and to assist them in their buying process. You need to find the quickest way possible to reach the right contact and send them the right message at the right time. This is a total change of approach for businesses: it is up to them to find the demand instead of relying on their offer; they must integrate in the same context as their prospects.

A new business relationship

Social selling allows businesses to regain the balance:

Buyers / Salespeople

-       Emergence of internal needs / monitoring social networks.

-       Searching information on the Internet / monitoring and identifying decision makers and influencers.

-       Identification of stakeholders and best practices / lobbying influencers.

-       Bidding and consultation / persuasion and free trials.

-       Bids analysis / shared values, exchanges.

-       Negotiation.

-       Purchase / sale.

The changing role of sales

More than a technical change, social selling is mainly a change in approach. The era of businesses targeting appropriate prospects, calling them to make a pitch and fitting them into their sales processes is over.

Sales organizations must now listen to prospects who start their buying process; engage with them according to their interests and support them during the buying process.


Cyril Bladier, Digital Strategist, speaker, writer, Professor at HEC Paris.


Cyril Bladier is a Digital Strategist and Web Agency CEO based in Paris. He is blogger (Huffington Post…), speaker (Hubspot Inbound Day in Paris…), author (4 best sellers on Social Media and Digital). He teaches Social Media at [email protected] chair. 
@businesson_line for marketing
@cyril_bladier for HR

About the Author: superadmin