Challenges in Social Selling for B2B Account Managers

Sales reps need a plan for creating and sharing content that will educate, engage, and persuade their target audience.


Tony Hackett


B2B social selling using a smartphone phone with a video game on the screen
B2B social selling using a smartphone phone with a video game on the screen

B2B account managers increasingly rely on social selling to generate sales in today's business climate. Social selling is a powerful and cost-effective way to reach potential customers and build relationships. However, it can present some unique challenges for the B2B account manager. In this article, we'll explore the everyday challenges of social selling that account managers face and how they can tackle them through skills development and growth.

What is Social Selling?

One of the biggest challenges in social selling for B2B account managers is creating a content-driven strategy. Social selling is all about using social media platforms to build relationships with prospects and customers, but it's not enough to post updates and respond to comments. Sales reps need a plan for creating and sharing content that will educate, engage, and persuade their target audience.

Another common challenge in social selling is getting buy-in from sales reps. Many salespeople are accustomed to traditional sales techniques like cold calling and emailing, so they may be hesitant to embrace social selling as a new way of doing things. Account managers need to provide training and support that helps sales reps understand the benefits of social selling and how they can use it effectively.

Finally, measuring the success of a social selling program can be difficult without the right tools in place. Account managers should invest in analytics software to track engagement rates, conversions, and other key metrics related to their social media campaigns. This data can help them identify what's working well and needs improvement, so they can continually refine their strategies.

Challenges of Social Selling

One challenge B2B account managers face in social selling is managing their time effectively. Social selling involves building relationships with potential customers, which requires consistent engagement and interaction on various social media platforms. However, sales managers often have multiple accounts to manage and limited time available for each one. This challenge can be addressed through process improvement, such as streamlining the lead generation process or creating templates for messaging.

Another challenge in social selling is maintaining authenticity while also meeting sales targets. It can be tempting to resort to aggressive tactics or use scripted messages under pressure to meet quotas. However, this approach can be insincere and turn potential customers away. Sales managers need to balance being genuine and achieving their sales goals by focusing on building relationships rather than just closing deals.

Finally, keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and changes in social media algorithms can pose a challenge for B2B account managers in social selling. Platforms like LinkedIn constantly evolve, so what worked yesterday may not work today. Staying informed about these changes and adapting strategies accordingly is crucial for success in social selling.

Finding the Right Platform

One of B2B account managers' most significant challenges is choosing the right social media platform for social selling. With so many platforms available, it isn't easy to know where to focus your time and energy. The most popular B2B social selling platforms include LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Each forum has its strengths and weaknesses, so it's essential to understand how each works to determine which ones are best suited for your business.

It would be best to consider your target audience when choosing a B2B social selling platform. If you're targeting executives or decision-makers, LinkedIn is probably the best option, as it's geared towards professionals. If you're targeting a younger audience or general consumers, Facebook might be a better choice because of its broader reach.

Another factor to consider when choosing a platform is your resources. Different platforms require different levels of investment in terms of time and money. For example, Twitter requires frequent updates, while LinkedIn requires more detailed posts less often. Understanding this can help you choose a platform that aligns with your resources and goals.

Establishing Credibility and Authority

One of the most common challenges B2B account managers face in social selling is establishing credibility and authority. In a world where everyone can voice their thoughts online, it's important to differentiate yourself from others and build your reputation as a thought leader in your industry. One effective way to do this is by consistently sharing valuable content that speaks to your audience's pain points or interests.

Another way to establish credibility and authority is by engaging with your audience through social media channels. This means responding promptly to comments, questions, and concerns and actively taking part in relevant discussions or Twitter chats. By doing so, you not only show your expertise but also show that you value your audience's opinions and feedback.

Establishing credibility and authority takes time and effort but can pay off in building trust with prospects and customers. B2B account managers can position themselves as trusted advisors within their respective industries by consistently providing value through content creation and engagement on social media platforms.

Generating Quality Leads

One of the common challenges in social selling for B2B account managers is generating quality leads. While social media platforms provide access to a vast pool of potential leads, identifying those most likely to convert into paying customers can be difficult. Account managers need to develop an effective lead-generation strategy to address this challenge.

One approach is to leverage data analytics tools that help identify prospects based on their online behavior and preferences. By analyzing user engagement metrics, account managers can better understand their target audience's needs and pain points and tailor their outreach accordingly. Another strategy is to focus on building relationships with key decision-makers in the industry through networking events or LinkedIn groups.

B2B account managers must prioritize quality over quantity when generating leads, regardless of the approach used. This means taking a targeted approach focusing on nurturing prospects throughout the sales funnel rather than simply pushing for a sale at every opportunity. By building trust and credibility with potential customers, B2B account managers can increase their chances of converting them into long-term clients.

Developing Relationships with Prospects

One common challenge B2B account managers face in social selling is developing meaningful relationships with prospects. Connecting with someone is not enough; you need to build rapport and establish trust. This requires consistent communication, active listening, and a genuine interest in the prospect's needs.

To develop these relationships, it's necessary to do your research and understand the prospect's industry, pain points, and goals. Use this information to personalize interactions and provide value through relevant content or insights. Be responsive and timely in your communications - nothing kills a budding relationship more than slow or unhelpful responses.

Building relationships with prospects takes time and effort but can pay off in big ways for B2B sales success. By prioritizing personalization, responsiveness, and value-add interactions, account managers can set themselves apart from competitors and establish long-term partnerships with their prospects.

Managing Multiple Accounts

One of the biggest challenges B2B account managers face for social selling is managing multiple accounts. With so many platforms available, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, it's challenging to keep up with all of them. Each forum requires different content and strategies for success.

To effectively manage multiple accounts, B2B account managers must prioritize which platforms are most important for their business objectives. They should automate some tasks to save time and streamline processes. Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer can simultaneously help schedule posts across multiple platforms.

It's also crucial for B2B account managers to regularly analyze each platform's performance. This will allow them to identify areas that need improvement and adjust their strategy accordingly. By focusing on the most impactful media while leveraging automation tools and regular analysis, managing multiple accounts can become a more manageable task for B2B account managers.

Conclusion: The Benefits of Social Selling

In conclusion, social selling offers many benefits to B2B account managers. By leveraging social media platforms to engage with prospects and customers, sales teams can establish themselves as thought leaders, build trust and credibility, and ultimately increase their chances of closing deals. Social selling also enables sales reps to gain valuable insights into customer needs and preferences, which can inform their sales strategies.

Social selling allows for greater personalization in the sales process. Account managers can tailor their outreach by referencing specific posts or interactions on social media that show an understanding of the prospect's interests or pain points. This personalized approach improves the likelihood of conversion and helps build long-term relationships with customers.

While challenges may be associated with implementing a successful social selling strategy in B2B environments, the potential rewards make it well worth the effort. By embracing this approach and investing in the right tools and training for your team members, you can position your business for success in today's digital landscape.