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Social Selling Isn't What You Think It Is

Don't get left behind.

James Anderson

February 24, 2020

3 Min Read
Social Media

Don’t miss the huge sales opportunity that social media presents.

And no, we’re not talking about social media marketing or social media advertising. “Social selling” is in a category of its own, according to JS Group‘s Ashlyn Szilva and Vladimir Krause. The two social media experts will be on the Channel Partners Theater stage March 10 for a presentation titled, “Millennial Chat – Social Selling Gets Real,” at the upcoming Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Szilva is the director of research and digital, and Krause is the co-director of social media for JS Group, which is a channel-focused consultancy. We asked them a few questions about their upcoming session.

We have edited the transcript for clarity.


JS Group’s Ashlyn Szilva

Channel Partners: Could you define social selling? How does it differ from social media marketing/advertising?

JS Group: Social selling is the practice of utilizing social media to identify, connect with, engage in content, and foster relationships with prospects. It’s the digital way to develop impactful sales relationships with potential high-value customers. If you have a LinkedIn profile or professional Twitter account, you’re on your way to using social selling to replace the often-dreaded real-world cold call. Social selling is not social media marketing or advertising; in fact, in many ways it is the direct opposite as great social sellers are listening and jumping into conversations on the platform when they can help, and ultimately sell a solution. In social media marketing you are pushing content out to people generally via a promoted or paid placement which, although more effective than many analog methods, is not as effective as social selling.

Join Szilva, Krause and 100+ industry-leading speakers, more than 6,400 partners and 300+ key vendors, distributors and master agents at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 9-12. Register now!

CP: How do you see customers evolving in the way they make their purchases?

JSG: According to our most recent JS Group research, 88% of B2B tech customers prefer to start their buying journey online with recommendations from their network and a whopping 91% of buyers prefer to engage with an expert recommended by connections versus an industry salesperson. In other words, our customers live in the #digitalnormal world where the expectation is their social platform connections are the trusted adviser to help them navigate an ever increasingly complicated world of technology. Whether it is a consumer or B2B purchase, social media tools such as recommendations, reviews, searchable content and digital discovery are what matter now to customers. This is where social selling is so critical; you must meet the customer where they prefer to buy and provide the needed value or you, and your funnel, will perish.


JS Group’s Vladimir Krause

CP: What’s one thing you’d like the audience to take away from your talk?

JSG: Social selling can grow your business. Salespeople who are expert social sellers outperform their peers who are not. The process to become an expert at social selling requires you to show up, share high value content, engage with influencers, and establish rapport with your potential customers. This is not different from how Sales 101 has always worked; it is the “how” – not the “what” – that has changed. Your competitors who are using social selling to their advantage are already pulling ahead in the market – don’t let them win – come join this session to learn more.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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