Social Selling has often been discussed in recent days. But when sellers are becoming more social, isn’t it obvious that buyers are as well? Do you know what it means to you to talk to a social buyer? Here is my round-up of stepping into the shoes of a social buyer. Discover what behaviour and expectations are typical for this new generation of buyers.
Social buyers use social media for research
Social buyers inform themselves before they get in contact with a vendor. They consume various pieces of content and look for possible solutions and vendors online. They do not consider sales agents as source any longer.
- Nearly 64% of B2B technology buyers indicated that they read between 2 to 5 pieces of content before making a purchase. (Eccolo Media)
- 72% of buyers use social media to research solutions for purchase. (Demand Gen Report)
- 49% of social buyers, research vendors by looking at their LinkedIn profiles. (IDC)
- 73% of respondents viewed a case study during their research. (Demand Gen Report)
Social buyers trust their networks
When it comes to recommendations and introductions of new people, buyers trust their social network, esp. their professional network. They rather accept contact requests from someone who is connected with or even recommended by their colleagues, friends and acquaintances, than from someone that their network does not know at all.
- 87% of B2B buyers on LinkedIn have a favourable impression of a salesperson who was introduced to them through someone in their professional network. (LinkedIn research)
- 65% of social buyers consider it critical to check the references of vendors with their colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. (IDC)
- 44% of social buyers found potential vendors by looking at shared connections on LinkedIn. (IDC)
- 92% of buyers say they delete emails or voicemail messages when coming from someone that they do not know. (Social Centered Selling)
Social buyers want relevant interactions
One size doesn’t fit all. Social buyers appreciate vendors and sales reps that address their interests and needs and tailor their messages each time they interact with them. Relevant and contextual information and interactions are highly valued by social buyers.
- 63% of social buyers appreciate being contacted by vendors at the right time with relevant opportunities. (IDC)
- While buyers may not reach out until a purchase decision has already been made, 83% indicate that they appreciate being approached by a vendor if the interactions are relevant and contextual. (Pardot)
- 78% of B2B buyers expect sales representatives to personalize interactions based on information from their online activities. (Pardot)
I advise sales professionals to pay attention to the trend of social selling, as buyers’ awareness building, consideration of solutions and vendors are shifting online. To succeed in the future, sales reps must opt-in for social selling.
This article was written by Marina Brenner, MA.
Marina Brenner is a product and project manager at PDAgroup GmbH. Her consulting focus is the digital transformation of businesses, including marketing and innovation management. Together with clients she develops innovative strategies to solve their challenges and achieve sustainable revenue growth.