The sales landscape is thanks to social media. Prospecting and closing deals via digital networks are becoming standard, diminishing reliance on traditional sales roles. As more companies embrace social selling, a new breed of sales rep has emerged: the social sales representative. Savvy, digital-native social sellers are transforming sales methodology and skills.
Social media’s meteoric rise in new sales channels 91% of sales reps now use social media for prospecting, and social sellers are 64% more likely to exceed quota. As platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok continue dominating consumer attention, sales organizations are adapting. Dedicated social sales roles focus solely on driving leads and revenue through social engagement. The approach is paying off 65% of sales professionals’ time is now spent selling via social.
New sales skills required
Social selling requires a different skill set than traditional sales. Relationship-building completely digitally is now standard. Creating and distributing valuable content is paramount. becoming a sales rep must also master an array of social media tools and platforms. Data analysis and optimization abilities are also crucial. Soft skills like creative writing, empathy, and emotional intelligence are valued over being “talking heads”.
Blurring lines with marketing
Social reps promote brand content, engage followers, and collect data like marketers. But they also need one-to-one communication abilities to close deals. Successful social sales require tight alignment with marketing to coordinate multi-channel campaigns. This synergy is dissolving silos and traditional divisions between sales and marketing teams. Social selling is truly a hybrid role.
CRM & analytics focused
Data is for maximizing social sales impact. Tracking prospect social interactions in CRM systems is now standard practice. Granular analytics on audience demographics and content performance inform strategy. Many social sellers even have business intelligence or data analysis backgrounds. In modern sales, numbers-driven decisions rule.
Expanding teams & specialization
As social selling explodes, sales teams are growing. Social media account managers collaborate directly with reps on content and community engagement. Dedicated social media coordinators oversee multi-channel initiatives and campaigns. Some sales leaders are even bringing on Chief Social Officers. Specialization by social platforms is also emerging, with reps focusing exclusively on Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, etc. Expect sales teams to expand and sub-specialize further.
Automation transforming workflows
Tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer schedule and publish content across platforms. Email and chatbots qualify leads around the clock. Lead-scoring and nurturing workflows triggered by prospect actions increase efficiency. Today’s social-savvy buyers expect omni-channel, multimedia experiences. Sales reps must deliver content and engage prospects on mobile via bite-sized videos, podcast clips, Stories, reels, and more. Visually immersive and interactive content is now the gold standard for social sales.
Continuous learning culture
Social media moves fast. Skills quickly become outdated if reps aren’t learning continuously. Successful social sellers commit to daily development by consuming podcasts, books, blogs, and online courses. They join professional networks to absorb insights from peers. Organizations support constant learning with resources like LinkedIn Learning subscriptions and training stipends. Agile, growth-focused mindsets will define sales stars. While social selling is still evolving, its impact is apparent. As more buying journeys start and finish on social, reps must blend marketing savvy with consultative selling skills to thrive. One thing’s for certain – the static sales playbooks of yesterday are gone. For both sales professionals and recruiters, the time to embrace social is now.