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The Sales Review

Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

The Role Of Sales Leadership In Driving Change With Social Selling

Posted by Daniel Ku on Nov 23, 2017 11:04:58 AM

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Sales leadership, you are the voice of accountability.  

We’ve seen Marketers, Sales Operations and/or Sales Enablement leaders champion a social selling program by themselves. The result has nearly been a 100-percent failure rate because in most cases, the sales professional does not report to those roles.

With sales leadership accountability, a sales professional will learn a new skill, and the sales leader will be responsible for ensuring that newly acquired skill is actioned into a sales outcome. Sales professionals will emulate you because they assume your actions are a reflection of what made you so successful.

Don’t forget that you as a sales leader are under the microscope of tens, hundreds or thousands of sales professionals each day. If you’re social, they’ll become social.

One great example is Chris Brydon, VP of Sales at Sprint, who took his sales force from “zero to sixty” through social selling.

WHAT KPIs HAVE YOU BEEN MEASURING FOR SUCCESS?

When discussing key KPIs for sales leadership, Chris Brydon undoubtedly said, “It’s ultimately pipeline and revenue.”

He also mentions that starting off social selling, they considered the first KPI for was simply just LinkedIn SSI. His team wanted to keep their LinkedIn SSI scores up. Then they looked at their connections as well as certification. At the end of the day, for Brydon and his sales team, it was all about results.

Definition of LinkedIn SSI: The LinkedIn Social Selling Index was created as a formula to quantify how well your team has embraced social selling on a scale from 1 to 100.

According to LinkedIn, social sellers create 45% more opportunities than peers with a lowers SSI, and they are 51% more likely to achieve quota. LinkedIn also states that 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.

Like many sales organizations, Brydon wanted to reach out to more customers, communicate their company vision and bring value through social. “It really helped us to become a better selling organization, but out of the gate, it started with the simple things I could measure like SSI, connections, how much time spent on social.”

In many cases Brydon asked himself the question, “Can we accelerate the sales cycle or improve our close ratio?” Because him and his organization were now first in as a thought leader and now seen as a valued partner to their customers. “We’re getting first call, not necessarily called into the RFP.” said Brydon.

A key component of quality sales leadership is effective coaching. As many sales leaders know, proper enablement, engagement and coaching can further expand your sales organization's capabilities. In many cases, how well a company performs is a reflection of the quality of sales leadership, social selling is no different.

The Impact Of Coaching Sales Teams

Coaching is also the second way to drive accountability is to manage and coach social selling in your one-on-ones.

In his book Sales Management. Simplified, Mike Weinberg talks extensively about the importance of the one-on-one between sales professionals and their sales leader. The results of successful one-on-one coaching is straightforward; you get the results that you measure and coach toward.

If you don’t explore your sales team’s social activity as part of your one-on-ones, how can you expect social activity to happen?

If you’re constantly reinforcing elements of social selling to go deeper and wider into accounts, expect that social will become part of their daily cadence.  Here is a tactical example of what you can implement:

Learn First

  • Before your sales professionals learn a new social selling action, you learn the action first.

Contextualization

  • You then contextualize the action for the sales team (why it’s important, how it works within your sales process, what value it will provide)

Reinforcement

  • Later, reinforce that same social selling action at each one-on-one meeting until you feel each sales professional has incorporated this action into his or her sales DNA.

Build Habits

  • Once the previous action has become habitual, layer on a new social selling action into a sales professional’s daily cadence.

For more insights on the role of sales leadership when driving social selling , check out The Definitive Guide To Social Selling below.

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Daniel Ku

About the Author

Daniel is focused on creating content that inspires conversations within the digital space. With his knowledge of marketing, design, and innovation, he’s passionate about exploring the possibilities of storytelling.