Social media and sales go together perfectly.
However, not all companies harness the power of social media and develop a strategy with their B2B sales professionals in the mix.
Bernie Borges is one person that knows more than enough about B2B marketing and how powerful social media can be. As the CEO of Find and Convert, he is a content marketing expert for local businesses of all sizes. Furthermore, he specializes in B2B content marketing and was one of the authors of the first social media strategizing books on Amazon.
Today, he sits down with us to share his insight, stories, and knowledge for injecting B2B sales staff into the social media strategy.
While he touches on the “why” and overcoming challenges of pulling this off, one interesting aspect he discussed was the use of InMail and how it works with LinkedIn social media strategies.
What is InMail?
InMail is the process of sending someone an email but through LinkedIn. To do these messages, however, a company must purchase the credits through LinkedIn – the service is not offered free. The credits allow companies to send InMail then. So many credits earn you so many InMail messages per credit. The pricing frequently changes, so purchasing during a sale is always the best.
A company or person can send anyone an InMail message. There are no limitations to whom they can send them out to. By purchasing these credits, the LinkedIn team guarantees the delivery of the InMail message to the recipient – even if that person is not a friend of the sender.
While you can send to anyone, LinkedIn does not guarantee that it will be opened or read. However, you still have the power to send your messages.
Getting the Most out of LinkedIn’s InMail Feature for Sales Team Members
When you start using your B2B sales team in the social media strategy, you must find ways for them to utilize their skill: selling.
Bernie recommends creating an InMail message and sending it to prospects. It is all about getting attention via InMail.
Create a Catchy Subject Line
The first step is to build a catchy subject line. Make it about the person, something that is personal, and get their attention. You are not mass mailing when you use these messages. Instead, you have the option for the personal touch that reaches out to that person and that person only.
Get to the Point and Do It Fast
Also, get to the point quickly. Keep the message short and reference someone that you both know. You could say something along the lines of “Hi, I am a friend of…” according to Bernie. It is an excellent way to open if you can reference someone else or something that you both share in common.
InMail Lets You Connect with People You Otherwise Cannot Reach
The important reasons for using InMail is that you and your sales staff can reach out to people that you have not connected with via social media. Sending a follow request only goes so far, but by sending them a personalized message you are on the path to connecting with that customer.
Making the Most Out of the Connection
Once the connection is established, you cannot ignore the cultivation factor.
Bernie recommends that you connect and then work to serve that person and be useful to their needs. You must be thoughtful and not hard-core sales. While you are there to sell, you should be offering compliments on their achievements, sending articles you think might help them, and flex your professionalism. Be casual about recommendations, but never recommend a product or your business. These sales tactics come later.
Instead, you are building trust and authority with that company – a critical step in converting them into your new customers.
Bernie recommends the five-touch formula. While there aren’t five steps, he just says it is a rule of thumb to use your judgment and ensure that your social media strategy involves enough steps to push someone through the buyer’s journey slowly. It is all about patience and persistence, says Bernie.
Naturally, a sales team member cannot connect with someone five times per day. However, they need to have a strategy in place so that they know how often to connect and cultivate.
InMail is Just a Piece of the Equation
While InMail is helpful, Bernie discusses other ways to incorporate sales into social media. Bottom line, when sales team members are involved in social media through commenting and messaging, they build the brand’s trust – and that is something that can increase revenue all around.
Learn more about Bernie Borges or gain valuable insights into B2B marketing by following his blog on the Find and Convert website.