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The Sales Review

Tactics and strategies to align with the modern buyer

Less Reps, More Revenue: 4 Ways Social Increases Baseline Performance

Posted by Amar Sheth on Jan 19, 2017 11:22:27 AM

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Are you being tasked with doing more with less? Increasingly, more sales leaders are. This is the new world that we're living in.

That means you have to increase revenue year over year with the same headcount, if not less. For some of our clients who have gone through layoffs, their quota hasn’t changed. Whether you lay off one person or 5,000, your quota will never change; it will always remain the same.

This means you will have to find ways to hyper-accelerate the yield for every single resource that you have on your team. So why are you wasting your wallet with tactics that are inefficient?

As a sales leader, a fundamental challenge and focus is always on an attainment. With all the ups and downs that we face on a daily basis, our quarterly targets and our annual targets are always front and center.

How do you get your salespeople to produce more? How do you increase revenue without adding to headcount?

This has been a challenge for many companies. Some companies try to tackle this problem with the introduction of new products and services that they sell. Some companies simply ask their salespeople to do more.

For example, if they're making 50 cold calls a day, they increase the target to 75 phone calls a day. But, ask yourself, are there other ways to help increase the yield from existing sales resources?

The answer is yes. You need another, and may I add, faster, channel in addition to your phone and email efforts, and that is social and digital networking.

So how does social really help in increase the yield per sales professional on your team?

1) Social allows you to penetrate accounts faster than traditional methods.

(And yes, you’ll need training and know-how on how to do this effectively).

You heard that right; social can help you open doors faster, and it's not because LinkedIn is just this magical place where everything just makes sense, or Twitter is a platform where buyers will just say, sure, come meet me for a coffee Tuesday at 4:00 pm.

It's a fact that these platforms allow a style of communication and research to take place that is important in our profession. You, as a sales leader, have always told your sales people to research and know prospects that they're calling. Social helps fulfill that promise.

Social enables that research to happen fast and at scale. If done right, within seconds, your salespeople will be exposed to information at their fingertips like never before.

Ask yourself, what will have the biggest impact—50 outreaches a day converting at 1%, or 20 outreaches a day, converting at 20%?

Data from Implisit found that leads that came from social resulted in the second-highest conversion (deals won vs. deals lost) rates (68.6%), second only to referrals. 

Ultimately, if you value the finite time of your resources, you will begin to see that social is a good mix in your portfolio. It's not the only thing you should do, but it's an important part of the mix. It's a part of a well-balanced sales outreach diet.

2) Social allows collaboration to happen faster than the phone or email.

For all the social naysayers out there, they might not like that statement, but it's a fact. If you're connected to a buyer, if you follow a buyer and you can see what she or he is doing, you can absolutely choose to participate in that conversation.

You might be scratching your head or saying to yourself, wait, my buyer isn’t online. But with CEB reporting the average B2B committee is now at 6.8, it's highly likely one of them, if not more, are online. 

And, in some cases the answer may be yes. But, I'm guessing for the majority of you, for the overwhelming 95% of you reading this, that's just not the case.

So, collaborate and start to network with these people. If they're sharing an idea, share an idea back with them. Through collaboration you can open doors faster and get more throughputs from your sales resources.

3) Account Based Everything.

In the world of ABM and ABSD, social is a central pillar. ABM and ABSD have at their core, the philosophy that you should hunt with a spear and not with a net.

This means that you need to identify the right people that you're selling to. Yes, there are third-party tools that allow you to get that information, but social is a fantastic and free way for you to develop a very simple skeleton/work chart of who you should be targeting.

Once you know that, you can begin to implement your ABM and ABSD strategy. Yet again, social proves its value in helping to unearth information that existing —or, unearth information that previously was difficult to capture.

4) If you find that your buyer is on a platform like LinkedIn or Facebook, wouldn't it be nice if you could communicate with them?

Here's a strategy for you: don't send the same type of message that you would on email, on social platforms because if they didn’t work on email, they're likely not going to work in the social world.

Why am I bothering to be so specific? Because communication is at the core of human interaction, and spoiling that from the start will not get you the result you want irrespective of the platform you choose.

Here’s what you should do as a sales leader. Develop simple strategies and simple templates for your salespeople to use to get to know the prospect first. That should be your goal.

Don't rush in and try to walk through the door; your first step should be just to walk to the door and place your hand on the doorknob. Let's not even focus on turning the doorknob yet. Simply walk to the door and place your hand on the doorknob.

This is the style of baby step thinking that's needed in order to facilitate and fuel long-term relationships that will yield massive benefit to you and your organization.

Sales people that get to know their prospects first as human beings. Those who get to know their likes, dislikes, interests, hobbies, professional goals, etc. to understand and connect with them as human beings, I guarantee you, will be the ones that succeed.

Your next move? Connect with me - on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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.

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