Social selling isn’t rocket science — but in many ways it’s treated like it is. There is definitely a right way and a wrong way of doing it. There are places you shouldn’t have sales professionals waste their time. There are shortcuts and social selling tips and "tricks" that can help accelerate results quickly.
But, despite this, the ability of a program’s success rests on your corporate culture.
When it comes to reinforcing social selling training, there’s a trick that everyone forgets and/or ignores, in hopes of a silver bullet/miracle solution.
Time Is The Answer
Companies want instant results from social selling and attribute a lack of results to this new way of selling, not the person applying it.
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? It’s like me blaming my workout routine – not that I’ve not taken the time to work out more often or seek help.
Do we attribute a lack of desired results to the source or the self?
Here’s the reality: social selling, like all sales activities, takes time. It also takes executive sponsorship and the desire and ability to drive behavioral changes.
That ongoing reinforcement means you’ll need to invest time. And that’s the part I think most aren’t willing to do. They’d much rather put their teams through workshops, seminars, a few classes, etc. but when it comes time to blocking off their sales professionals calendars in order to try social selling and make a real go of it, they’re unwilling.
I’m not sure why we’re expecting results without a proper, daily investment of time.
Where did we get this notion that social selling was the miracle pill? I’m not sure, but reinforcement requires the ability for your sales leadership to devote time to social selling daily.
The Routine Matters
One of the best things you can have your salespeople do is practice social selling daily. Here is a routine you can try if you’d like to practice social principles that are tied to revenue-generating activities.
Are you willing and able to dedicate 30-60 minutes/day of calendar time per sales professional? That’s what it’ll take to build momentum. The good news is that results will come in and they won’t be linear. We’ve seen tipping points happen quickly with exponential results.
It’s not unusual for a client to see 50X-100X ROI within a year if they’re willing to invest that time.
The Bottom Line
If you believe the statement that doing is the new learning, attending workshops and classes alone just won’t cut it. It’s a wonderful place to start, but expecting significant shifts in behavior is, quite frankly, a pipe dream.
This graphic from Axonify is a great example of why reinforcement is so critical. Human beings crave repetition. Repeating something helps with memory and retention of application.
Doing the work on an ongoing basis is the only thing that can radically boost the probability of success.
So that’s my recommendation to you all as you read this. Whether you’re a sales professional, sales leader, sales enablement or marketing professional, test your organization’s ability not to just train your sales teams in social selling, but to see if dedicating 30-60 minutes/day is doable post-training.