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Lee Gladish
Lee Gladish
Co-founder
2 weeks ago

Top 5 Social Selling Tools [Expert Interviews]



Welcome to the 7th Experts Reply feature where we invite a panel of leading industry experts to answer our Reply customers’ most burning questions relating to growing their businesses.

Social selling is absolutely essential for any modern sales team and the Reply tool can play a big part in your social selling strategy.

With that said, the Reply tool aside the modern social selling stack requirements, may seem confusing with the amount of tools to choose from.

So, I thought it would be useful to reach out to some of the leading social media authorities and ask:

“If you could have only five social selling tools, which would you choose?”


…And I’m delighted to say six leading social media authorities generously gave up their time, and responded with their thoughts and wisdom for our readers.

Jordi GiliExecusNancy NardinSmart Selling ToolsLaura NuhaanThe Andeta GroupDavid DuncanWSI Waverley SolutionsWendy Van GilstSageMike Ellsworth Principal, Next Phase Selling


Ready? Let’s hear it from the Experts…

Jordi Gili

Jordi Gili, Managing Director at Execus, Social Selling Consulting and Training. Digital Sales Transformation Speaker and Author.
Linkedin

If you could have only five social selling tools, which would you choose?

My top 5 social selling tools would be:

  • Linkedin Sales Navigator
  • PeopleLinx
  • Salesforce
  • Hubspot
  • Hootsuite


Nancy Nardin

Nancy Nardin, Sales Technology Stack Expert, Founder of Smart Selling Tools bringing vendors and buyers of technology together.
Linkedin

If you could have only five social selling tools, which would you choose?

  • Accompany
  • Hootsuite
  • PeopleLinx
  • RingLead — Capture
  • SalesWings – LinkedIn Message Tracking


Laura Nuhaan

Laura Nuhaan is a key note speaker on Digital selling, author of various books, the latest being Social Selling and partner at www.andeta.com a firm that focusses on sales strategy and digital transformation.
Linkedin

If you could have only five social selling tools, which would you choose?

Our key objective with Social Selling is to guide target accounts and prospects through their buying journey.

Not only till they buy but also after they our services.

We use different tools to ensure we can engage with prospects and existing customers at the right time with the right content (personal and relevant).

The key tools we use for this are:

Mi8 (https://www.zmerce.com/) to build interesting customer profiles over time to understand where a prospect is in terms of their buying journey, what their key interest are and engage with them based on their profile

Hootsuite, to easily share content over different social platforms but also to apply social listening (what are prospects saying, what are they interested in etc) and identify key prospects and influencers and engage with them through social

Nimble the best of 2 worlds, CRM and social combined, Keeps me alert on what is going on in social l and engage with social influencers to make sure we can engage with the relevant and right content

Linkedin Sales navigator: very helpful to identify key stakeholders at accounts, increase insights in what is going on to start a dialogue with your prospects. Also Sales Navigator helps with turning cold calling into warm calling. Reaching out to prospects with an introduction from a friend and knowing what they care about increases the chance of success with more than 20 %

Meltwater, social monitoring and listening for large groups of customers and prospects

We do not leverage social only to engage with our prospects, social is as effective for our current customers as well. They are also key in referrals and reviews.

David Duncan

David Duncan Social Selling Specialist | Digital Marketing Consultant |Social Media Speaker and Coach | Inbound Marketing.
Linkedin

If you could have only five social selling tools, which would you choose?

The term “social selling” can be a bit confusing to many.

I believe it is about professionals understanding how a process can help them to do business better, whether they’re managing existing relationships or developing new ones.

This needs to become part of the DNA of your normal business day. It’s how we interact on a day-to-day basis with our customers and prospects.

The social selling pillars as defined by LinkedIn are as follows :

  • Establishing Your Professional Brand
  • Finding the Right People
  • Engaging with Insights
  • Building Strong Relationships


So if we want to find the best tools that will help you to deliver in each of these areas my choices would be as follows:

Hootsuite for listening and sharing — Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management platforms, and offers an overview of all your social networks including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc., along with the option to create and schedule content, analyse performance, and monitor your favorite topics and hashtags.

Feedly — to find relevant content by monitoring your favourite bloggers and subject matter experts, keep track of the new articles and build a list of content ready to share.

Pocket — to keep track of the items that you may want to use in future, build your indexed lists ready for sharing.

BuzzSumo — lets you see content that has been highly shared on social media based on the keywords or websites that you specify. You can discover new content ideas and authors as well as see what topics are most interesting to your target audience.

Audiense — This was formerly known as SocialBro, and offers tools to monitor your Twitter following. You can analyse your followers by region or their interests to segment them accordingly. This helps you to discover more relevant people to follow and the best times to tweet to your targeted audience.

Wendy Van Gilst

Wendy Van Gilst, Social Media and Content Manager – Digital transformation and social media lead generation at Sage.
Linkedin

If you could have only five social selling tools, which would you choose?

The first social selling tool I use is LinkedIn to build my personal brand.

I would use this to write LinkedIn posts, to built my network, to share content and to engage with people.

The second tool would be Twitter. Twitter is a great place to find people, to find and share great content and to reach out to people.

I believe Twitter is as important as LinkedIn for social selling.

Tool number 3 would be Sales Navigator. I would use this to gain information about my prospects, to save leads and accounts to be always have a reason to reach out to people and to find other relevant prospects in the accounts I work for.

Tool number 4 would be all other social media channels that are out there.

These channels would help me to get a wider understanding of my prospects. Tool number 5 is Hootsuite.

I use this everyday to schedule my content which helps me to add value everyday, to be consistent and to make sure I get in front of my prospects.

Mike Ellsworth

Mike Ellsworth has been buying enterprise technology solutions for more than 25 years and has met, worked with, and been (sometimes) annoyed by every kind of B2B sales person. He even briefly sold vacuum cleaners a long time ago while in graduate school, an experience which firmly convinced him that he’s not a sales guy.
Mike’s background includes experience as a Principal, a Chief Technology Officer for a start-up, Vice President of Strategic Planning for an Internet incubator, Senior Project Manager at the Nielsen Company, and as an independent Emerging Technology Strategy Consultant. Most recently he leveraged more than a decade of social media experience (his first social media proposal was in 2001) by starting Linked In Solutions, a social media training and consulting company and subsequently helping found Social Media Performance Group.
Linkedin

If you could have only five social selling tools, which would you choose?

LinkedIn Sales Navigator — Since social selling is mostly about B2B sales, LinkedIn is the place, and Sales Navigator is the tool to not only mine the information on prospects and customers on the site, but also to start building your personal brand and your relationships with decision-makers.

While the tools is far from perfect, it is indispensable for the social seller.

Nimble – There are lots of CRMs out there, and there are lots of really big ones.

But I like the way that Nimble is innovating, having released a dynamite social media mining feature a few months ago.

You can easily find social media accounts for existing and new prospects by simply opening a record.

Nimble provides likely social media accounts in a sidebar and enables you to add information from those accounts right into the Nimble record.

You can also easily import Twitter users directly from public Twitter Lists of interest.

Nimble’s integrated email marketing feature sends emails directly from your account rather than “on behalf of” accounts that can be the kiss of death for open rates.

Buffer or Hootsuite – Sales people are busy and often can’t find the time to keep a steady flow of content going on their various social media accounts.

These two tools can enable the social seller to load up a week’s worth of relevant industry articles to tweet or post on a schedule. Each of these tools has its plusses and minuses.

That’s why I use both. But if I had to choose one, it would be Buffer.

Google Alerts – This tool is free, and easy to use.

Set up alerts on prospects, companies, industry keywords or other areas of interest and get emailed new links to relevant content.

It’s great for doing curation, and also for keeping on top of industry or customer trends.

An Influencer tool – There are lots to choose from.

These tools enable the social seller to find out who’s talking about your product, even who’s buying in your product category, and the people who could influence a sale.

Followerwonk is a great tool and has a free version, but it concentrates on Twitter.

I’ve just started using PeerIndex and BuzzSumo and they look pretty powerful.

The idea is based on the idea that those posting the most, with the most followers, are most likely to be better able to not only pass along your content, but connect you with prospects.

If you’re visual and into Twitter, Mentionmapp lets you explore, in real time, who’s influencing whom.

Of course, although it’s not a tool per se, you’ll need my book, The Infinite Pipeline: “How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success: Sales Person Edition” to learn how to maximize your social selling effort.

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Please share your thoughts below…

If you could have only five social selling tools, which would you choose?

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  • Rina Venglovsky

    Reply is love

  • http://socialmediaperformancegroup.com mikeellsworth

    You couldn’t go wrong using all these social selling tools. I’m pleased to be in such knowledgeable company . . .

  • http://www.akramalodini.com/ Akram Ahmed Alodini

    great

  • http://www.saleswingsapp.com Philip Schweizer

    Awesome stuff, thanks Lee!

  • http://www.pvariel.com Philip Verghese Ariel

    It is really good to know about the 5 social selling tools the experts use.
    Though some of the mentioned tools i use, a good number of them new to me.
    Thanks for sharing this informative piece.
    I am here today via Inbound Org wherein Olivia M. curated this post.
    Thanks Olivia.
    Have a great time of sharing ahead
    Best Regards
    ~ Philip

  • http://yoursales.com/ Jakob Thusgaard

    Very cool list – using several of those tools already.
    This article goes straight into my buffer… ;)

    Thanks for sharing!

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