Welcome to your sales weekly roundup for May 12-19. This week we’re clarifying the role of social selling in the modern sales process, making the argument for why C-Level executives should take meetings with salespeople and sharing optimal email writing techniques. Enjoy.
Social selling trailblazer and Hootsuite Industry Principal attempts to clear the digital air about the role of social selling in the modern sales process. Koka defines social selling as “Leveraging your professional brand to fill your pipeline with the right people, leading with insights and building stronger relationships.” Koka says there have been two main confusions in the market about social selling:
– The sales training community or auto-dialer companies that have built their entire careers on the ‘cold calling’ methods of “yesteryear”
– “What social selling is” has not been consistently defined
Koka goes through several popular methods for sales success:
– Call your prospects’ mobile phone with a local presence phone number. Koka sees this as a deceitful attempt to interrupt his life (with good reason).
– Have your CEO reach out on LinkedIn. Going in cold should never be an option, he says, so anything else would technically qualify as social selling.
– It’s marketing’s job to turn interest to need through education. Marketing is continually trying to optimize their formula for qualified leads, but regardless, it’s still important for salespeople to generate their own demand.
– Follow the data and analysis. Salespeople need to drive their own pipeline based on modern day statistics: most of the buyer’s’ journey is done digitally, decision makers consume at least 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, and ¾ C-Level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions. Time and time again, sales reps who are resourceful and use digital and social channels to fill their pipeline excel.
– Sales and Marketing should speak a common language. Most marketing teams are still focused on branding and awareness. “To be fair,” says Koka, “they should not be responsible for sales, but they should be more responsible to empower the company to drive more business by tracking as close to revenue as possible.”
The point here is not to fall in love with social selling or cold calling or even personalized email marketing, it’s to continually seek creative ways to connect and engage. In Koka’s words: “Visibility create opportunity. In all forms.”
Anthony Iannarino gives 3 good reasons why C-Level Executives should take meetings with salespeople. He does say that you don’t always need to get to the C-Level to sell; you just need to make it to what he calls the CEO of the Problem, or the highest level person who would care about the initiative they recommend.
Awareness: C-Level Executives can be so heads down in their work it’s hard to know what’s going on in the world around them.Taking calls from salespeople can give you valuable information into what your competitors are doing and what the current pulse on the market is.
Unfiltered Ideas: Your people are constantly filtering information they think is best for you. However, as Anthony points out, “Good salespeople can help you discover what you may be prevented from seeing otherwise.”
Conflicting Views: “You didn’t get to where you are by ignoring what bothers you, and you won’t get where you want to go without being surrounded by people who see the world differently.” Anthony points out how embracing the views of salespeople who challenge you and even make you question your own views can be valuable on multiple fronts.
C-Level Execs, if salespeople have ideas and points of view worth exploring, take the time; salespeople, if you want a meeting, prove you’re worth listening to by exhibiting strong business acumen, situational knowledge and a take on things that the CEO just can’t say no to.
*This is a summary of Why C-Level Executives Should Take More Meetings With Salespeople by Anthony Iannarino.
HubSpot’s Aja Frost curates this awesome infographic, which sources data based on 40 million emails. The biggest takeaways:
– Writing at a third-grade level will score you 36% more responses.
– Overusing exclamation marks and words with happy connotations leads to a decline in response rates.
– Moderately positive or negative emails were the most effective, getting 10-15% more responses than neutral ones.
*This is a summary of The Optimal Email Writing Technique for More Responses, Based on 40 Million Emails by Aja Frost.