1. Be findable and credible. Today's customers want to make purchases on their terms, and that means doing research online before walking into a store or talking to a rep. There is an unstated expectation from buyers now that they should be able to find you on Google and social media. Creating a profile on LinkedIn or Facebook is only part of the equation. When buyers know a purchase is going to require working with a sales rep, they want to know that person is credible. The best social salespeople build out their online presence by sharing pertinent education and work experience information, connecting to their customers (who can provide references), and participating in relevant LinkedIn Groups. 2. Become the trusted advisor and teacher. Today's customers want to feel empowered to make a purchase decision after doing their own research rather than feeling sold to. If you aren't adding value by building a relationship and guiding your prospect along this journey, you risk losing out to someone who does play the role of trusted advisor or being undercut in price by a website. Social media is an enormously powerful and effective tool for sales reps to demonstrate expertise and consequently build trust. Successful salespeople stay top of mind with their customers and prospects by regularly sharing helpful tips relating to the products they sell, relevant news, and personal updates that build emotional connection and convey positive character such as a philanthropic interest. The personal connection is equally important in B2B as B2C sales — so long as you are not just competing on price and there is risk in the purchase decision, prospects will always be inclined to buy from someone they feel they know, like, and trust. 3. Deliver highly personalized service at scale. Delivering personalized service is nothing new to a seasoned salesperson, but scaling this with social media technology is key to continuing to drive up sales productivity and effectiveness. Today's customers expect reps to do their homework and to reach out at the right time with the right message. Successful social salespeople don't annoy prospects before they are ready to hear from them. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to be high-touch with everyone all the time, so the smart salesperson strives to be low-touch until it's the right time to become high-touch. Get the full story at Harvard Business Review