The Sales Review

Social Selling: There's No App For That

Written by Amar Sheth | Oct 19, 2017 3:44:47 PM

As social becomes a more dominant form in the prospecting process, sales leaders must remember that without the proper mindset, these tools are going to get you nowhere. 

Sure, there are now a reported 700+ players in the sales tech landscape, helping reps with everything from engagement to productivity, pipeline to people. However, there’s no app or tool or software program that helps change mindset.

Technology is great, but it doesn’t change the way your salespeople understand what the buyer wants, and how to reach them. It doesn't teach them that cold, personalized messaging doesn't work, and it doesn't teach them how to spark relevant conversations using content or information. 

You need to make users understand WHY social selling is important. And, these users need to be across the enterprise. From sales, marketing, enablement and, of course, management.

CRM Is A Prime Example

If you’re looking for an example to verify the sentiment above, you don’t need to look any further than your company’s CRM usage. Whether you have Salesforce.com, MS Dynamics, etc., in most organizations, sales leadership finds it hard pressed to get people to use the tool effectively.

We’ve worked with organizations where the sales professionals “run the show” and are defiant in not entering any data into CRM.

The reason for all of this? Mindset hasn’t changed.

As you begin dabbling in social selling, you will come across all of the great tools and products that are in the marketplace. However, don’t expect concrete behavioral change across the enterprise just by giving tools to sales professionals.

Throwing an app or technology solution at changing mindset is putting the cart before the horse. Technology enables only when a mindset shift has occurred.

Social’s Advantage Is Also It’s Biggest Disadvantage

That’s right – you read that correctly!

The biggest advantage of social media is that it’s changing all of the time. But, because of this, the way tools are used will change too. If that mindset is not provided to sales professionals from the start, tool utilization will suffer. And therefore so will your investment into the tools.

The optimal path to take here is to first understand the necessity and value of using social media in the sales process and then integrating it into your existing process. If you can do this you’ve hit the jackpot.

The goal that we should all aspire to is to use the existing tools we have to start generating pipeline and revenue. Once done successfully, amplify results with tools. Your investment will go a long way because your sales professionals now understand the value of what they’re doing and they’ve proven that they can generate revenue from their actions.

Consider: 

- When implemented correctly (ie, mindset then toolset), social selling increases win rates by 16% (CSO Insights)

- 78% of salespeople who use social selling hit revenue goals, compared to 38% of reps who do not (Sales for Life)

- Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising (LinkedIn). 

The Bottom Line

In this world of having an app for everything, it’s tempting as a sales leader (and even as a sales professional) to solve a problem by buying a technology solution. Unfortunately my friends, it’s not that simple.

Your investment dollars will work much harder for you when you first focus on changing the mindset and understanding WHY you’re doing something first.

Do you agree with changing mindset first? Let me know by tweeting me @AmarSheth or connecting with me on LinkedIn here.