Why Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) should do Social Selling?
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) are usually salespeople working in a B2B startup. Their job is to execute the cold outreach and/or the **inside sales **of the company.
Techniques used by SDRs can be a mix of cold emailing, warm emailing, cold calling, warm calling. Some SDRs also participate in B2B events to do field sales activities in order to meet prospective customers and raise brand awareness.
But why social selling is not more favored by SDRs?
It's strange considering that 78% of sales reps who are outselling their peers are social sellers. That's why I believe SDRs should learn how to social selling. Indeed, more than 90% of SDRs are not trained to put in place a social selling strategy.
The social selling tips given in this article are also for SDRs who do both outbound and inside sales.
Advantages of Social Selling for SDRs
For SDRs, social selling has many advantages:
- it can make your prospecting routine more enjoyable
- it can help you reaching your sales quota faster
- you won't have to do manual data entry if you're using a social selling software
- you will save time on doing research on your prospects
1/ Social selling makes your prospecting routine more enjoyable
Sending cold emails or doing cold calls like a robot every day is exhausting isn't it?
Wouldn't be better to have something less robotic, more human? Social selling is all about building relationships in a natural way with prospects. To me, it's like scrolling an instagram feed and liking and commenting what you see. It's pretty much a game.
2/ Social selling helps you reach your sales quota faster
Like I said above, 72% of sales reps are more likely to reach their sales quota. When you know that, it's a no brainer to learn how to master social selling as fast as possible.
3/ You can avoid the pain of doing manual data entry
You just sent a DM to a prospect on LinkedIn. You liked a post, then you sent a DM to another prospect on Twitter.
How do you prove your superiors that you were not just goofing around?
You need to do manual entry for all of it? Hell no, it takes too much time. With a social selling software, you can avoid any manual data entry because everything is synchronized and pushed to your CRM if you have one.
As SDRs are spending only 30-40% of their time doing sales prospecting mainly because of the time list in manual data entry, it's a huge thing to consider.
4/ You will save time on doing prospects research
The thing with cold email personalization is that it takes so much time to do. That's why in the end most SDRs end up sending unpersonalized cold email sequences. You can solve that with social selling, specifically by using a social selling software.
Disadvantages of Social Selling for SDRs
For SDRs, social selling has few disadvantages:
- some manual work can be required if you have a CRM
- it will be a another tool in your sales stack to learn
- you will have to block at least 1 hour of your day to focus on social selling
1/ Some manual work stil required
To communicate with your CRM, it could be possible that you will have to do some manual work (especially if your CRM is not supported by the social selling softwares you'll choose).
It's not a big deal compared to all the advantages you'll get in your sales routine.
2/ It's another tool to learn in your sales stack
Social selling means new tools. LinkedIn Sales Navigator for example, is a social selling tool itself. The more tools you have, the more difficult it will be to execute your sales pipeline.
As an SDR, you should always seek to find all-in-one tool, ideally softwares that regroup as much as possible everything that you're doing.
3/ You'll have to block some time to do social selling
Social selling, if you want to have results takes time, especially in the beginning as you'll need to learn many social selling techniques.
Should SDRs do social selling on LinkedIn or Twitter?
When you look at some stories, we can noticed that some sales representatives have made the fastest sale of their career with Twitter. It makes sense as Twitter is an original place to do sales prospecting.
I was also surprised in the past to see that big companies like Paddle (Stripe alternative for SaaS) had many of their SDRs and Business Development Representatives (BDRs) contacted me on Twitter.
When we look at the data though, more than 80% of B2B leads are on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the playground of SDRs. Therefore you should do social selling on LinkedIn first and then expand to Twitter.
Twitter is less competitive than LinkedIn but people are way harder to reach, so it's a tradeoff.
How much time should SDRs allocate their time to Social Selling?
Social selling is a mix of three pillars:
- content marketing
- relationships building (eg liking and commenting social media posts)
- sales prospecting (contacting prospects via direct messages or cold emails from what they saw on socials).
An SDR as already many things to do in his/her sales routine. So technically, it will be better to apply the 80/20 rule to determine what is the 20% that will bring 80% of the results.
The answer is simple: B2B relationships building.
It's the best way to generate high-value leads but also to close deals in the long run. Consequently I'd advise SDRs to block a strong 1 hour of their time to engage with cold and/or warm prospects every single day.
On top of that, it would be great for SDRs to post at least once a day on LinkedIn. Therefore, blocking 3 hours every Friday is a good way to focus on batching content for the whole upcoming week.
In the end, the action of contacting prospect will happen naturally in the sales process and it's already part of the sales routine of any SDR.
What kind of software can an SDR use for social selling?
Obviously I'm super biased because I'm running a social selling software: Breakcold.
However, this is what you should look for as an SDR in a social selling software:
- the possibility like and comment prospect posts without opening 200 tabs a day on LinkedIn
- the possibility to contact the prospects without leaving the social selling software
- for the content part, you can use a content scheduling tool like Buffer or FeedHive (I personally use the latter)
Long story short, your social selling software should allow you to fill the gap of everything that current sales tools and sales CRMs are not doing (ie LinkedIn and Twitter integrations to make more sales).
1/ The possibility to like and comment posts from one place
Breakcold for example allows you to like and comment prospect posts from what we call a prospecting feed, that way, you don't have to navigate a lot to build relationships with them.
It's also directly synchronize with your social selling pipeline so you can see quickly what a prospect is up to.
2/ The possibility to contact prospects from one place
If you decide to contact a prospect, make sure that you don't need to switch to your email client or the social media on which you want to contact the prospect (eg LinkedIn or Twitter).
Ideally, you want to be super productive and be able to like, comment posts and contact prospect from one place within 1 minute.
3/ The use of a content scheduling software
For content marketing, most social selling softwares either focus on content or the sales prospecting aspect. For this part, you'll have to use a content scheduling software. I personally use FeedHive and I highly recommend it.
Is social selling a career booster to from SDR to AE (Account Executive)?
On LinkedIn, I see many SDRs sharing their journey about going from SDR to account executive. In my view, the fastest way to become AE is to be a top perform and top performers are social sellers.
They're the ones not only obsessed with their job but also obsessed to optimize their sales routine with new sales prospecting techniques.
How an SDR should do social selling in my opinion
This is the process I would use if I was an SDR in a small company or a big tech startup one.
1/ Picking up a social selling software
Here, we'll pick Breakcold: the social selling software for Startups and SMBs.
2/ Adding my 100 ideal customers that are not warm leads
Then I would use Evaboot or Findymail to export from LinkedIn Sales Navigator my ideal 100 prospects who have been active on LinkedIn in the past 30 days.
The goal is to have prospects that are active on social media.
3/ Adding my warm leads if I also intervene in the closing part of a deal at my company
If I was also in charge of some warm leads at my company, I will use a CRM integration to push my attributed warm leads in my social selling software.
4/ Organizing my prospects in my social selling pipeline
From there, I will take some time (about an hour) to attribute status and tags to my prospects so they can be well organized in my social selling pipeline.
5/ Engaging with prospects daily for 1 hour
Every day, I click go to my prospecting feed to engage with the two lists I created.
As my cold leads become warm and my warm prospects become customers, I would change their status and tags accordingly while still engaging with them.
6/ Sending relevant Twitter / LinkedIn direct messages or cold emails
When you feel like you can add value or introduce your product or service to prospects after liking or commenting their posts, I'd send them a cold DM or cold email.
The good thing about it is that when I'd decide to contact the prospect, I would also get access to his/her company news which is a great way to quickly add some layer of personalization to kickstart the conversation.
7/ Repeating the process over and over
Once you have no longer 100 ideal prospects (deal won or lost), I will refill my 100 ideal prospects list and will keep adding the warm leads attributed to myself.