Welcome to your weekly roundup for September 29-Oct6. This week we’re summing up top strategies to improve your social selling program, the best cold call script ever, and how one Fortune 10 company sees digital transformation (and you should too).
Too many companies are still not making the most out of social selling, despite its obvious benefits, according to Marketing Director, EMEA, Monika Gotzmann, CSO Insights. Here are her top easy-to-execute strategies that will improve your social selling performance.
The best organizations have already started seeing the benefits of using social selling. Last year, 65 percent of world class organizations were taking advantage of social selling, compared to 30 percent of all respondents. Join the world class segment before your competitors do.
Implement Social Media Guidelines
It’s important for everyone within the organization to understand the second they walk in the door that their personal social accounts reflect the company they work for. Social media guidelines won’t only help prevent a negative image of your company on social, they will also help your salespeople look good.
The CSO Insights 2016 Sales Best Practices Study found that 71 percent of world class organisations have successfully implemented these guidelines.
Target Your Content Directly
Instead of using the “spray and pray” approach with content, teach your salespeople a more targeted approach. At the very least, when sharing content, consider your ideal customer profile, if not specific people and/or companies.
Integrate Social Selling Training
In a sales enablement study done by CSO Insights, social selling was ranked as the training service with the “greatest need for major redesign.”
Gotzmann points out part of the problem is treating social selling training as just using Facebook or LinkedIn, and as an “add-on” to other sales methodologies, when in reality it encompasses a wider skill and toolset, as well as greater behavioural change.
Cold call connect rates of 14-20% are numbers sales reps dream of, but unfortunately, most are lucky if they even get a 1% call back rate. HubSpot Executive Dan Tyre breaks down the essentials of how to create a cold call script that warrants a call back.
Step 1: Identify 2-3 verticals
Based on social proximity, identify who the best buyers are to reach out to. Maybe you’ve had amazing success with the telecommunications industry, or industrial manufacturing. The key is to look for common attributes.
Step 2: Identify 20 good-fit buyer
Use LinkedIn to search your ideal customer or company within these industries. If you’re looking for telecommunication companies who could benefit from your SEO services, search “Director of Marketing” with the “Telecommunications” filter. You now have a list of potential customers!
Step 3: Research each buyer
Don’t make the mistake of just picking up the phone. You’re already on LinkedIn, after all. Take note of:
- What their company does
- Their role & responsibilities
- If you’ve helped a similar company in the past
- One “fun fact” about them
Always make sure you know how to pronounce their name, and if you can’t figure out how, politely ask.
Once you’re actually on the phone, here are a few tips to excel:
- State your name and company (don’t mumble!)
- Engage in some small talk if they’re willing
- Use a positioning statement, such as, “I work with marketing managers in telecommunications with five to eight reps on their team. My customers are typically looking to increase web traffic. Does that sound like you?”
- Ask them to elaborate, and listen to their pain points & objectives before launching into your pitch
If you’re not yet onboard the digital train, read closely—this is how a Fortune 10 company views digital transformation.
When Anthony Robbins started working for AT&T, he had two main goals: “support the Department of Defense’s migration to the network of the future by leveraging commercial networks delivering tomorrow’s network today, and help the AT&T Defense team change how it uses social platforms to inform, educate, connect and collaborate to better serve our defense customers.”
He knew the two goals were intertwined. When companies transform the sales experience, they transform the customer experience.
In his post, Robbins cites a Forbes article that outlines the “three C’s” of social media literacy for how to establish a digital personality. This is how AT&T is applying the three C’s to better serve their customers:
Create content: “Customers today want to be informed, not sold,” says Robbins. It’s essential to create engaging, mission focused and educational content that speaks to the customer’s objectives.
Curate: The process of selecting, organizing and distributing content that speaks to your customers specific challenges “is essential in building trusted & valued relationships.”
Connect: In virtually every industry today, but especially defense, buyers need to know what you stand for, that you understand their challenges and goals. Digital platforms such as LinkedIn have helped At&T deepen their relationships via content and education.
The most admirable part of Robbins’ article isn’t that he acknowledges the buyer has forever changed, or even that a modernized approach is the best way to service the customer’s needs—it’s that AT&T and the DoD supports a culture of continuous learning and investment in skills development of its people.
*This is a summary of AT&T’s Sales Digital Transformation & Why It Matters To Our DoD Customers by Anthony Robbins.