This story is a great representation of the approach Canadian sales leaders are approaching sales today.
I was recently pitching a major telecom company in Toronto, and felt very confident as we've seen amazing success stories in their industry from US clients.
We got together in their boardroom with 8-10 Canadian sales leaders from various departments. As we started talking about the ROI of social selling for telecom sales reps, a sales leader asked me a great question:
Prospect: “How many Canadian competitors have helped their sales reps learn social selling?”
Jamie Shanks: “None that I know of, you can be the market leader!”
Prospect: “Why would we want to be first to lead this?”
At this point in the conversation I paused, a little dumbfounded.
Jamie Shanks: “Because you’ll have a distinct competitive advantage that clearly has proven successful in the USA"
Prospect: “Team, do we want to be first with this if no one else in Canada is doing this?”
I was blown away by what I had just heard.
Jamie Shanks: “I think the optimum word here is YET, as this will be something all your competitors will be doing within 1-2 years."
Now, this company did become a client – but conversations like these are, unfortunately, not isolated!
The social selling success stories we regularly receive from the UK, France, Germany, USA, Hong Kong, and Australia have been amazing! The EU team from Tibco – Spotfire is absolutely CRUSHING IT with social selling!
Why aren’t there more success stories from Canadian sales leaders?
My subjective reasoning:
- Canadian sales leaders don’t invest enough in themselves. They generally miss the trade shows & conferences in San Francisco, Boston and London that are shaping the future of sales.
- Sales teams don’t invest enough in Sales 2.0 technology. From 2008 to 2010 as marketing automation, auto-dialers, trigger event analytics tools became the rage in the USA for sales teams, but Canadian companies were barely placing these tools on their collective radar. There is a saying in Canada that for some innovations, we are 2 years behind… for social selling, WE ARE 2 YEARS BEHIND.
Take a trip to meet sales team’s at technology companies in San Francisco, Boston, New Jersey & Philadelphia. They are analytics machines that are aggressive and highly productive. Of the more than 100+ Canadian companies I've been to see recently, only a few have the horsepower of their US counterparts. Why?
Because US management teams have invested heavily into their sales team with training, refinement, and optimization of their sales forces.
If you don’t want to be left behind you need to start to take action. The following dozen blog posts on deploying social selling strategies using LinkedIn can help you start.
If you're really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific type of prospect, I recommend you check out – 10 Steps to Building a Social Selling Machine. Find the topic of Social Selling interesting? Click below to book a time in my calendar to explore further! So what are you waiting for? Download one of the social selling guides below.