"Years ago, a successful sales rep knew how to optimize their time by 'reading' their prospects," says Maria Pergolino in a recent post at the Modern B2B Marketing blog. "A day would be spent golfing with a good bet." But everything changed when prospects began researching their options online, thus "preventing the sales rep from deciphering the buyer's intention from their physical actions," she writes.
To compensate, a new assessment process has recently emerged: social selling. "Social selling is the use of Web 2.0 technologies merged with traditional sales strategies" to accomplish what that game of golf did in the past, Pergolino explains.
So how does this new process work? Pergolino defines "true social selling" by clearing up some common misconceptions about it:
Misconception: "Marketing tells sales when they need to work with a prospect."
True Social Selling: "Marketing passes leads to sales, and, if needed, sales passes leads that need nurturing back to marketing."
Misconception: Sales [and marketing] must learn to use new email or other tools that require training.
True SS: Sales can use Outlook to reach prospects, and data is sent [back] with enhanced information about opens and click-throughs [for marketing].
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