B2B Articles - May 02, 2015

Social Selling for B2B Telecom Companies

Social Selling for B2B Telecom Companies

Social Selling: Connecting with potential B2B buyers via social tools, such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

Social selling in action: Social selling takes the form of answering prospect questions, supportive engagement, and sharing helpful, timely content. These consistent interactions nurture the relationship and build trust over time until the prospect is ready to reach out to the sales team and make a buying decision. As with all aspects of inbound marketing, social selling focuses on being helpful and relevant rather than disruptive.

The Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry has grown and evolved substantially over the past few years. The lines that once separated telecoms from the world of information technology have blurred, and the two are now inextricably linked. Telecoms have expanded far beyond basic voice and data services and are now actively selling IT services.

This change in landscape has spurred significant B2B activity. The ICT industry is now facing unprecedented demand for services, partnerships, and vendors – and telecom companies are perfectly poised to capitalize on this growth and drive revenue.

To do this effectively, however, telecom companies need to meet B2B buyers where they are. And today, B2B buyers are increasingly leveraging their online social networks to make complex, high-stakes company purchasing decisions. Telecom marketing today must embrace all digital channels in order to maximize brand visibility and lead generation.

Social networking

In fact, according to IDC, online social networks play a vital role in the purchase process of 84% of the most senior B2B buyers. What’s more, the practice of online social buying isn’t slowing down anytime soon. It’s projected to continue growing over the next few years – which means the time for telecom companies to embrace social selling is now.

Not only does social selling ensure telecom companies meet their target B2B buyers where they are – it also delivers a host of operational benefits. To begin, it makes it easier for your sales team to generate a large number of qualified leads and build meaningful relationships with senior buyers who are often short on time and find it easier to communicate online. Plus, social selling promotes a shorter sales cycle and builds a trustworthy and reliable company brand – both of which ultimately drive revenue.

Can Inbound Marketing Drive Qualified B2B Leads?

Now that you’re fully informed on the importance of social selling for telecom companies, here’s how to get started:

1. Identify potential buyers. Your first step is to create a profile of your target customers using key indicators, including company name, job title, location, and shared connections. From there, leverage those indicators to find potential buyers on social media.

For B2B telecom companies, we recommend focusing your social media efforts on LinkedIn and Facebook. On LinkedIn, you’ll find qualified prospects by locating company employees in senior buying positions, as well as by monitoring industry-specific professional groups. On Twitter, you’ll find prospects by configuring paid ads to target users based on their audience profile, connections, companies, location, and interests. For example, a Twitter user interested in a competitor’s telecom or ICT company would qualify as a potential prospect. We also recommend thoroughly researching your prospects before reaching out to discover shared interests and connections that can establish and nurture the relationship.

2. Engage with helpful content and advice. Once you’ve identified and researched your prospects, it’s time to engage with them. To begin, comment on their content; answer their questions; discuss the latest technology; and share content designed to move them through the decision-making process.

For example, let’s say a prospect posts the following in an industry forum: “Does anyone have a recommendation for a reputable TEM vendor?” Your sales team can then reach out to that individual with in-depth content about your TEM service and software offerings. The goal is for your company to be at the intersection of these conversations to increase visibility and generate leads.

Learn more: Lead Generation for Telecoms – Tips and Best Practices

3. Follow up with prospects. Keep tabs on your prospects’ and customers’ profiles to identify trigger events that warrant a follow-up message -- allowing you to stay in touch without being disruptive. When an opportunity for engagement arises – such as a promotion, a new hire, or the sharing of relevant content – your sales team can reach out to the prospect at exactly the right time to provide the exact information they need.

4. Connect with existing customers. In addition to generating new leads, social selling is a powerful way to connect with and upsell your existing customers. We recommend getting in touch with your top-tier customers on social media and interacting with them on a regular basis.

Share and comment on their content, start a discussion and offer targeted content based on their buying history. For example, you can provide a long-term expense management customer with a resource on recent upgrades to the service or offer a guide on an additional service offering that will streamline their operations even further. 

Further reading:


IDC, Social Buying: The Importance of Trusted Networks During the B2B Purchase Process, https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS25135814

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