The ultimate guide to sales 3.0 (social selling)
Technology improves over time and the sales tools available to us keep expanding. With the development of the internet (or web) we saw an enormous shift in the way sales was carried out. Now, this trend continues as we reach the era of the Web 3.0 (from what was previously Web 2.0). And logically, this means we are reaching a time of prominency for Sales 3.0. So what is Sales 3.0 (Social Selling) and how did we get here? With this Ultimate Guide to Sales 3.0 (Social Selling) you will find out everything you need to know about social selling, and how to make the best of it. So let’s begin!
What do you mean by Web 2.0?
Let’s start from the beginning: in the first years of the internet, or Web 1.0, its purpose was mainly to be a broadcasting system. The Web was intended to spread information and make it easily accessible to anyone with a computer.
At the time, however, it was pretty much a luxury item, as opposed to the essential tool it is today. With the evolution of the internet came the ability to collaborate and interact, which marked the shift to Web 2.0.
Think of Web 2.0 as the introduction of social networking. It made it a lot easier for sharing both personal as well as corporate updates. People and companies alike adopted this new capability. Corporations adopted this tool into their sales forces, whilst individuals were now able to comment, write blogs, and articulate their opinions.
What makes it Web 3.0 now?
Essentially, the fact that the internet is getting smart. Automation, pattern recognition, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, cookies, and many other factors are contributing towards the evolution of the internet into one that can adapt a lot better to consumers and companies alike. Tailored ads and suggested customers are just some of the things that Web 3.0 brings along with it. This has brought about many new opportunities to change and improve sales approaches.
One of the biggest changes gave rise to a whole new area of expertise: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO for short). People’s entire jobs now revolve around understanding the ever changing dynamic of how to place better on search engines. Optimising your position on search engines like Google drastically increases your exposure.
What is Sales 2.0?
To make this simple: Sales 2.0 uses Web 2.0 tools to its advantage. In the beginning this was tricky: no one really knew the best way to attract these customers, or how to turn these leads into sales. Now, with SEO experts and tools such as CRM software, many companies have gotten the hang of it.
CRM softwares especially have made it easier for companies to keep track of their customers, and to improve their retention and attraction rates. It allows for the detection of patterns that help improve customer processes.
Web 2.0 redefined sales, thus the introduction of the term Sales 2.0.
So, what is Sales 3.0 (Social Selling)?
We’re glad you asked. The easy answer would be to say that Sales 3.0 is using Web 3.0 tools to improve sales. But we understand if that really doesn’t say much. Essentially, the development of Web 3.0 has allowed for three major developments in sales (thus becoming Sales 3.0): tools that help establish which (potential) customers to contact, tools that help establish the best things to say to complete the sale successfully, and tools that show us how to successfully complete the sale.
Think about it this way: today there is so much information out there that consumers barely need your help in the pre-sale stages. Actually, with Sales 3.0, almost 60% of the sales process completely disappeared. Customers only turn to company’s for help in the final stages of sales, usually for technical questions at a point where their mind is almost made up.
This means that, as a company, you really have to optimise two things: 1) what consumers get exposed to in those pre-sale stages and 2) how satisfied consumers are when they do engage in a conversation with your company.
What are the best ways to take advantage of Sales 3.0 (Social Selling)?
1. SEO optimise your content: you can have the world’s greatest content, but it will only count if people actually see it. Make sure you SEO optimise your content so that it ranks well on search engines. This way, consumers will actually run into your content during those important, independent research, pre-sale stages. Hire a professional to do it for you, or at least teach you the basics.
2. Social media is your friend: nowadays, almost every company has at least one social media channel. In today’s world this presence is absolutely crucial. When deciding which company to go with, consumers tend to go with the companies they can find out the most about. And if you have that online presence, you have the ability to tailor the content that your consumers will see.
3. Take advantage of online business intelligence tools: tools Keyword Analytics, for example, can show you what consumers are searching for the most. Make sure you are making the most of these. Get yourself a good CRM system in order to better understand your client patterns.
4. Follow a well-thought out strategy: remember that with things such as an online social media presence, it isn’t enough to just “be there.” If you “aren’t there correctly,” so to say, it could have the opposite effect. Make sure you know what the image you want to project is, and stick to it. Create an online persona and stick to it. Consistency is key.
We hope The Ultimate Guide to Selling 3.0 has helped you understand a little bit better the development of sales throughout the development of the internet. We also hope this understanding can now guide you to make better sales decisions. Leave a comment down below if you have any questions!