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The Sales Review

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

If Iron Man Was In Sales, He’d Be A Social Seller—Here’s Why

Posted by Amar Sheth on Feb 13, 2017 11:35:44 AM

iron-man-social-seller.jpgThis blog is for all you inner geeks, superhero and Hollywood movie watchers.

The title should have captivated you already, but there’s a hidden agenda.

I really want to impress up on you the fact that if you’re sending your salespeople (hint hint, sales leaders) out in the world without the right tools, you are sending them to their own death.

I know you don’t want that, but as the world becomes more technical, more digital, more social, and more connected, having a salesperson that is not trained on the art of using these new technologies is asking for trouble, to say the least.

If you compare your average salesperson to Tony Stark, Tony would never have the ability to fight all the bad guys and all of the villains and the monsters that he does without his technology.

And when you send your sales people out into the market, every single day with a phone and an email account, you’re almost asking for that same type of trouble.

How? That’s really simple. The phone and email are working, but they’re barely working.

Today, 90% of B2B decision makers never respond to any form of cold outreach, while 75% use social networks in their decision making process.

And according to some reports, only 1% of cold calls ultimately convert into opportunities, versus 69% from social channels.

We can argue this all day long, but unless you can present me clear evidence on how cold calling has produced a significant pipeline for you, you’ll have to at least consider my point.

I’m not saying not to use the phone, I’m not saying not to use e-mail, I think those are past questions. What I’m saying is—why are we not using the latest technology available to us?

But Wait, I’m Already Using LinkedIn

Sure, you could be using LinkedIn, but guess what—my 13-year-old niece uses a phone. That doesn’t mean she’s a master cold caller either.

So, just because your salesperson is using LinkedIn, it doesn’t mean that they’re a master social seller.

Did you know that between LinkedIn, Twitter and other key social platforms, there are thousands of features? And did you know that’s where the majority of time is wasted?

In fact, recent data from our clients reveal that 76% of salespeople with Sales Navigator send ZERO InMails every month!

When it comes to becoming a social selling master, it’s not about what you do, it’s more about what you don’t do.

So, learning effective strategies and how to use these new platforms effectively requires you to cut out the mundane, and accept what works.

Sometimes, that’s uncomfortable.

Sometimes it’s more comfortable to say, look I’m busy, I’m busy and just float around on these platforms, in a sea of features without any rhyme or reason on what works.

And that may appeal to you, or satisfy you as a sales leader. You might say, my salesperson is using LinkedIn—but ask yourselves, are they using it correctly?

Has a professional looked over their work? Would you be proud of the work that they ship out every single day?

And if you haven’t looked it over, if you’re not happy with it, then how do you know that if they’re doing well?

How do you know that they’re doing the right things in the right way, with the right people at the right time? You don’t.

What’s The Solution?

The solution is really simple. First, acknowledge that you need help. It’s okay to have help.

You yourself at some point as a sales leader have gone through an abundance of sales training in your career. You have gotten help on cold calling, you’ve gotten help on crafting effective messages, you’ve gotten help on negotiation skills, on presentation skills, on public speaking skills.

So why not accept that you need help when it comes to social selling? There is nothing wrong with that and your salespeople will benefit tremendously. Consider:

- Sales teams who embrace social experience 18% more pipeline (volume) 28% faster (velocity).

- The majority of social sellers with long-term training in place (78%) hit their revenue goals in the past 12 months versus those with without formalized training (38%). 

- Salespeople leveraging social selling experience 31% higher ROI than those who stick to traditional tactics. 

(Source: Social Selling 2017 Trends Report)

What Would Tony Do?

Tony Stark realized that he would be able to fight the bad guys and the villains and the monsters himself, but he also recognized that with technology, he could hyper accelerate this process. He could hyper accelerate his results.

As the world gets more digital, if we don’t hyper accelerate, there is only one thing that will result from that lack of action. Our customers will leave us.

Remember, our customers have choice. They’re becoming more digital. And as Mark V. Hurd, CEO of Oracle has said:

It’s not our customers that need to innovate. It’s us as companies that need to innovate, and keep up with them.

Be like Tony Stark, be a social seller.

New Research: What Hundreds of Sales And Marketing Leaders And Professionals Told Us

Amar Sheth

About the Author

Amar Sheth has trained thousands of people worldwide on the topic of Social Selling, through a style that’s part storytelling and part motivational.