In the cannabis industry, social media may not be the first channel you think of when someone mentions sales outreach opportunities since social media marketing can be so difficult for cannabis brands. However, the rules that make social media marketing for cannabis businesses so difficult don’t apply when it comes to networking with and warming up B2B sales prospects.
The truth is social media is a valuable channel for sales outreach – to generate brand awareness and build relationships that lead to sales. Here are some of the key ways to integrate social media into your B2B sales tactics.
Direct Sales Outreach
The first steps to developing and executing a successful social selling strategy are to identify your target audience buyer personas and determine which social media platform is most appropriate to reach out and build relationships with individuals those audiences. For B2B cannabis industry sales outreach, LinkedIn and cannabis-specific social networks like Leafwire are typically the best choices.
However, don’t forget that B2B buyers are likely to be active on other social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. Do your research to determine if the type of content you want to share and conversations you want to have in order to directly and indirectly promote your business are appropriate for each platform before you get started.
For example, if your prospects aren’t discussing anything related to your business on their Instagram profiles, then you’ll likely get better results on the social media platforms where they already discuss these topics.
Once you determine where you should conduct sales outreach, get active. Reach out through direct messaging. Use LinkedIn InMail to connect with people you don’t know.
A great trick for LinkedIn networking is to join groups where your prospects spend time. If you’re a member of the same group as a prospect, you can connect with them and direct message them rather than using the limited number of LinkedIn InMail messages your account gets. To increase your InMail limit, consider signing up for LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
You can also tag people in your posts in most social media platforms, so they’re notified when you mention them. If you can’t send a direct message, tagging can work well to get on someone’s radar screen. Just don’t publish a sales-related post on your public profile and tag someone. Instead, the post should be useful and relevant to them. For example, share something they published, share a link to an article you think they’d like, or ask them a question.
LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups can both be powerful places to network, build relationships, and connect with sales prospects. With that in mind, search for groups where members are likely to discuss topics related to your business, products, and services.
Once you’re a member of relevant groups, you can look for people to connect with personally, publish useful content, ask questions, and more. This is also a great way to spread your own content to larger audiences to build your personal brand as an expert in your field.
Keep in mind, most groups don’t like it when members publish promotional posts. Your goal with group participation is to raise awareness, make connections, and find prospects. At the same time, your participation can help people trust you and improve your relationships with them, and of course, relationship-building plays an important part in closing sales.
Commenting and Sharing
If you join a social media platform and spend all of your time promoting and selling, no one will want to connect with you or read anything you publish. Social selling is all about focusing on the right prospects, providing useful insights, engaging, and building relationships based on trust.
Therefore, publish your own useful posts and spend a significant amount of time commenting on your prospects’ posts and sharing their posts. The goal is to first get on their radar screens. Second, you want to add value to the conversation and prove you’re worth listening to. Once you’ve done those two things, you can try to sell. Sales outreach without prepping your prospects is unlikely to work through social media.
Use the Right Tools
Finding leads through social media can be time-consuming and challenging. You can eliminate that time if you’re looking for cannabis and hemp license holders by subscribing to the Cannabiz Media License Database.
Each individual’s data in the License Database includes direct links next to their names that lead to their social media profiles when Cannabiz Media’s researchers find that information. Just open the prospect’s record in the License Database, and click on the link to visit their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media profiles where you can connect with them, start building a relationship, and ultimately, try to sell to them.
To be a successful social seller, you also need to use the right social media listening and communications tools. It can be very time-consuming to find content to share, posts to comment on, conversations to join, and so on that are so important to building relationships and warming up prospects. To save time, use a social media management tool that automates some of the processes for you.
For example, use tools like Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Later, or Tailwind to monitor social media platforms for posts that use specific keywords which could signal a prospect as well as for posts published to specific groups or by specific people. This way, you’ll always have a pipeline of useful posts to share, see when and what your prospects post, and know when to join in the right conversations.
Key Takeaways to Use Social Media for B2B Sales Outreach in the Cannabis Industry
Research shows 78% of salespeople engaged in social selling outsell their peers who don’t use social selling, and social sellers are 51% more likely to achieve their sales quotas. The numbers don’t lie. Sales outreach through social media works, and companies using consistent social selling processes are 40% more likely to hit their revenue goals.
The cannabis license holder prospects you’re looking for across the supply chain are accessible in the Cannabiz Media License Database, and from there, social selling is just a click away. If you want to close more deals, make sure sales outreach to targeted leads through social media is part of your sales process. Schedule a demo to see how you can do it with the Cannabiz Media License Database.