In today’s fast-moving industry, it’s hard to see where the future of digital selling will lead. With social selling rising to become a trend leader in a matter of years, a collection of the most qualified minds made their predictions on the Salesforce Series Pass Webcast of how social selling will evolve as it becomes the standard and what approach businesses can follow to take advantage.
The Webcast included a round table discussion with sales experts Jill Rowley of #SocialSelling; Keenan of A Sales Guy, Jamie Shanks, CEO of Sales for Life, Koka Sexton of LinkedIn Corporate Communications and Tim Clarke, of Salesforce. Together, they came up with five of the most important trends impacting the future of social selling.
1. Using understanding of social selling to adapt to new tools
The most important factor in staying current in the world of social selling is by staying abreast on the latest tools and innovations of social sharing. With services such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat all providing an environment for social selling but with distinctly different styles, it’s important for businesses to utilize a strong background in social selling and adapt to the next social networking service to arise. By applying these methods at the ground floor of a service, businesses can develop a reputation as an early adapter but also as a trusted connection as new users acclimate to the service.
2. Sales will be folded into the concept of Digital Marketing
The concept of Digital Marketing and Sales will be forced to integrate as Social Selling becomes the industry norm. As the old face of sales fades into history, the role of marketing will grow as customers of today grow accustomed to making a more knowledgeable and assertive role in their buying. No longer are experts offering unsolicited information heeded and the old style pressure applied by a sales closer is ignored and frowned upon. Now even the least tech-savvy consumer has the Internet’s wealth of information at their fingertips and will often approach a transaction with a clear idea of what they want. Businesses have to take this progression seriously and by beefing up their digital marketing will find that the job of sales will have already been done for them.
3. “Buying In” will become impossible as more adapt
Social Selling must be understood as something that must be developed and can’t be bought. As more and more businesses understand today’s reality, there will be the temptation to buy the latest toy or service in an effort to find some sort of shortcut. Users will be able to sniff out this plastic approach and this half-hearted approach to social selling will have the same impact as the white noise of a billboard or television commercial. Businesses need to understand that implementing a social selling approach to their current model is an industry requirement for survival and by taking the time to build their audience through cultivating a relationship with its base is necessary in today’s frontier.
4. Those that fail to give Social Selling the necessary attention will fade into irrelevancy
Likewise businesses must understand that they are currently avoiding Social Selling at their own peril. Now is the time to get a late start in this already established aspect of Customer Relationship Management, before it becomes one of the dominant aspects. A failure to invest in social selling will put a business at a disadvantage as the concept of being sold to fades and the customer takes control of what they want to consume.
5. The next step of Social Selling will be dictated by the leaders and early adapters
All of these trends will be pushed by the business leaders who understand the importance of these early adoption. This new style of marketing is being dictated from the top, as those who understood its importance from the beginning have taken advantage and risen to become today’s CEO’s and influencers. Those who have taken the opportunity to connect with their users have already reaped the benefits and set out the blueprint for these new times in selling. As social selling evolves business will look towards these leaders as new concepts emerge.