It’s the time of year when everyone is making predictions for 2016. Here are mine for Social Selling.
- The Number of Social Selling Apps Will Keep Growing – The dizzying list of social networks, feature enhancements, add-ons, plug-ins, and stand along apps will continue to grow. Categories and some representative applications include:
- Social Networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+
- Content Management: HootSuite, EveryoneSocial, GaggleAmp, Dynamic Signal
- Intelligence: InsideView, KiteDesk, SalesLoft, Social123
- Visibility/Tracking: YesWare, ToutApp, ClearSlide, SideKick by HubSpot
- Connectivity: Nudge, Relationship Sciences, Charlieapp, Reach150
2. Companies Will Balance Tools with More Training – When I launched my sales consulting business in 2008, most of my work was rescuing poorly implemented Salesforce.com systems. I served clients that rushed to buy the tool without properly planning for training. The result was low adoption. I’ve seen the same thing happen with social selling. As executives examine ROI before renewing software subscriptions, the training that’s requirement to maximize results will be increased.
3. More Niche Social Networks – As the mass-appeal networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter expand functionality to try to be all things to all members, it opens up opportunities for topical or industry-specific social networks to better serve a niche. Some of these networks and their respective audiences include:
- Academia.edu (Academics/researches)
- Cucumbertown (cooks)
- Doximity (doctors)
- Ravelry (knitting/crochet)
- Spiceworks (Information Technology)
See the complete list on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites
4. Marketing and Sales Will Cooperate to Amplify Content
One of the biggest benefits of a corporate Social Selling initiative occurs when sales people regularly share relevant content with their social networks. This Inbound Marketing activity raises the visibility and credibility of both the individual salesperson as well as those of the company. Marketing will increasingly coach salespeople on concepts, supply them with content, and measure the results to fine-tune the process.
5. The Value of the B2B Salesperson Will Increase – As recently as this year, a top analyst firm was predicting that technology would make B2B salespeople extinct. I completely disagree. Social networks have elevated the sales role above the efficiencies of commodities sold via search engine results and e-commerce. That’s because relationships are at the center of genuine social networking. The salespeople who builds a large network with deep ties is in an ideal position to educate and influence.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with any of my predications or have one of your own to add?
Want to start 2016 off with a bang? Learn the latest Social Selling techniques on the January 6 webinar:
January 6, 9:00 AM PT