The Sales Review

Sales Enablement Spotlight: Best-In-Class Social Selling Vs. Status Quo

Written by Jamie Shanks | Nov 6, 2017 6:33:23 PM

Enablement teams are being pressured to produce frameworks, courses, programs at a dizzying pace, and many times without the adequate resources (people, technology, budgets) to scale.

Most enablement teams we meet, feel like they’ve been placed on an island with one week’s rations, and told they need to survive for one year. Unfortunately, these enablement leaders execute plays that Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) would call “Standard Operating Procedures.”

Enablement thinks they’re being innovative, but really, they’re just providing the core blocking and tackling to show moderate progress. A smaller group of well resourced, more seasoned enablement teams are executing SBI’s “Best Practices” which is like running 10-20% faster than your competition. Not really doing anything different - just better, faster, stronger.

Then there are the elite few we meet that are developing “Best-in-Class” enablement programs – which are creative, different, bold, ground-breaking.

In the social selling niche of sales skills and development, here are examples of the three levels:

  Standard Operating Procedures: “We just bought LinkedIn Sales Navigator for our team.”

   Best Practice: “We have a social selling foundations course that each seller must complete to obtain or maintain their LinkedIn Sales Navigator license.

  Best-in-Class: “We have a social selling competency model that we’ll audit and self-assess every seller against, then develop learning paths for each seller, based on their unique skill gaps.”

What is a Social Selling competency model?

A framework for which sales professionals must demonstrate their sales skills and activities against a baseline requirement. The model helps you stack rank sellers into categories, and then develop programs that help enable sellers to learn, action and drive results from these new found skills.

Sales for Life has developed a competency model over five years, and 300 global engagements – we call F.E.E.D., which stands for Find, Engage, Educate and Development. At the core of the competency model is Brand, which is a compulsory skill to develop along a seller’s path from analog to digital sales.

Recommended Content: The Definitive Guide To Social Selling for Leaders

This framework is a centralized model that each seller is tested and benchmarked against. As an example, for our customers, we not only test each seller against our framework, we stack rank each seller against their top 3-4 competitors, and the 75,000+ sellers we’ve trained over 5 years.

PRO TIP - Example of testing against this competency model:

If you can’t figure out why your sales team isn’t sharing content, take a look at how content is stored, presented and delivered for sales professional’s consumption. Many times, one of the challenges with content sharing is that content is poorly accessible, not sales centric, and available at all for the sales team.

Step #1: Have a call with a sales professional and present them a role-based scenario.

As an example: “one of your prospective customers is arguing that on premise software solutions are typically 50% less expensive over the next 5 years than SaaS. After you get off the call, you think about how you can help the buyer understand the true facts. Can you please go into our content library and find me an article that will debunk their myth.”

Start a clock, and give them up to 1 minute. The reality is if they can’t find the library, or find an applicable article in 1 minute, this could be one of the challenges.

Step #2: If the seller can find the library (or if you want to show them where to find it), give the seller a different role-based scenario.

Essentially you want to see if FINDING the library is a problem, but also USING the library. These are many times mutually-exclusive challenges. You may either have a team earn for content sharing, but unable to find or navigate your library to make the library sales-centric and useful.