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Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

How To Convince Old-School Executives Social Selling Is Worth It

Posted by Julia Manoukian on Aug 5, 2016 10:20:28 AM

convince-executives-social-selling-worth-it.jpgSocial Selling Evangelist Jill Rowley recently sat down with our VP of Knowledge Transfer Dave Howe to talk about the recent surge of millennials in the workforce, and how to convince old-schoolers the value of social selling. This is a segment of their interview. To watch the full session on-demand as part of Digital Sales Camp, click here.

Dave: In terms of the mature people in the marketplace, especially the leadership, what would you tell the VP of Sales who may be a little outdated, who didn’t grow up as a digital native, who may have multiple marriages, that stereotypical individual that we think of as the VP of Sales (although that’s certainly not true for all of them)?

What would you say to them to convince them the power of social selling not only for the team, but also for themselves as part of the overall sales process?

Jill: I find with executives, you have to talk in their language. And you have to frame it in the context of what they care about. And so really, in sales, the rubber meets the road with revenue.There’s plenty of data now available to show that social selling has a direct impact on revenue attainment.

ROI-SocialSelling.png[If you need proof on the ROI of Social Selling click here]

Part of what I love about what I do today is that I get to read all the research that the smartypants people in the sales and marketing industry write. So Forrester, SiriusDecisions, CEB, Gartner, CSO Insights. I’m a content connoisseur and a consumer of lots of great content, so I get to stay very much on top of the research that’s being put out around industry. But I also spend a lot of time talking specifically with companies who are on the social selling journey and hearing their stories of how they’re measuring contribution to both pipeline and revenue.

Even beyond revenue we’re seeing how social selling has an impact on referrals and also on renewals and upsell cross-sell. The reason why we’re seeing that is social selling is a channel to help find buyers, listen and relate to buyers, connect and engage with buyers and ultimately to amplify your buyers’ message. It’s really about relationship building. These are just new channels to build relationships.

It’s relationships that drive referrals. It’s relationships that drive renewals. It’s relationships that drive renewals and upsells. When I’m talking with an executive, one, it’s tied to revenue and that’s what initially gets their attention, but the other thing is THE WORLD HAS CHANGED. Right? So listen: let me tell you about the modern buyer. She is digitally driven, she is socially connected, she is mobile-empowered. You are too maybe not to the same extent. I ask them if they have children. Depending on the age of the children, I ask them about their children’s behaviours and I help them understand that the world is becoming — and I’ve got data and reports to show this — every year increasingly more digital.

More people are going digital and spending more time in digital, more people are getting in social networks and spending more time in social networks, more people have mobile devices and spending more time on mobile devices.

That’s where the world is going and if you don’t adapt and evolve, you’re screwed. Your sales team is screwed. You may have been successful growing sales organizations one way pre-empowered buyer, but that is not going to work anymore. So you have to change. You have to change. You have to incorporate social into the sales rhythm, into your methodologies, into your processes, into your systems into your metrics. It’s not going away.  

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Julia Manoukian

About the Author

Julia is focused on creating, managing and producing everything content-related at Sales for Life. From product to content marketing, she is committed to constantly evolving the company's marketing strategy to exceed the demands of the ever-changing buyer.