Products were once sold physically, and salespeople were the experts when it came to product information. Over
the years, however, things changed. Customer behavior altered, often shifting rapidly with progressing
technologies. Much of it has to do with the internet though, the social media landscape, with around 2.55 billion
users across the globe. In fact, consumers are roughly 5 times more reliant on digital content than predecessors
from the early 2000s.

Bearing this in mind, an organization must walk in to explore a raft of digital technologies to improve the selling
power of their business. There’s more to it though; it takes more that an abundance of advanced technologies to
improve sales, it takes a strong digital selling strategy – something that guides the organization on whole.

For example, despite success in boosting sales or the selling process in recent years, the Sales Management
Association recorded nearly two-thirds of the companies – from their study – to not have a social media strategy in
place for sales. Unfortunately, what most organizations don’t recognize is that social selling ranks as one of the
most effective and powerful branches of digital sales.

SOCIAL SELLING: WHAT IS IT?

Simply put, social selling is when salespeople utilize social media to interact with their target audience, directly.
Successful social sellers also possess the opportunity to become a thought leader by sharing expertise, industry
insights, and offering solutions via common consumer questions. This is effective with content as well; sharing
insightful content in the form of blogs, eBooks, or more allows a consumer to become familiar with both the brand
and product, making it easier to sell at a later stage.

The ultimate goal? To build trust until a consumer is ready to invest in a product or service.

In fact, the contemporary idea of social selling goes as far back as 2005, when the University of British Columbia
discovered that a purchase is more likely with incidental similarities between a seller and a buyer. Nigel Edelshain,
the founder of the phrase Sales 2.0 and digital marketing pioneer, applied the principles of social selling – that is,
winning prospects by appearing before them over trying to close a sale through a pitch or meeting.

In today’s world, information about a product or service is not more than a few keystrokes away. It’s a customer-
centric advantage but could also serve to become part of a smart sales strategy. Price Waterhouse Cooper, for
instance, revealed 78% of purchasing customers to be social-media-influenced in one way or another. About 50%
identified with being influenced by public feedback, brand reputation, reviews, comments, and more. It’s a double-
edged sword. After all, digital networks do make it easier for customers to discover negative information; but,
there is potential for influencing a buying decision in a positive way via social selling.

In the blogs that follow, I’ll go on to dissect the importance of social selling and its future in the digital ecosystem.


About the Author

Ravi Kiran Vernekar

Ravi is the President – Global Sales & Marketing / U S Operations at GlobalEdge, he is one of the few who recognized the need for fast and flexible engineering solutions for global technology companies at an early stage and leads a group of young and experienced minds to deliver the right solutions to our customers.