Professional MeetIt’s not every day that I get an opportunity to talk to Jill Rowley so when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance. She’s super busy with her speaking engagements, consulting work, family and more.

I invited her to speak candidly about Social Selling and specifically how to mitigate enablement risks around it. Without further delay, here is the interview. Be sure to read the blog as well.

Below are some of the main ideas that Jill discusses in the interview.

Moving Away From Random Acts of Social

Let’s face it, virtually all sales professionals have a LinkedIn Profile. But, that doesn’t make them a social seller. Social sellers are those that know how to effectively use social media to generate pipeline and revenue.

Random acts of social could be any set of activities that are uncoordinated and that don’t integrate into your existing sales process. Without this, social media usage is just that…random! The goal of all organizations should be to move away from this to a coordinated set of activities.

Jill advises companies to focus on building a formal program. It’s important to treat it as all of your other strategic initiatives. This structure will help develop a plan, a committee to help execute it, act as liaisons with others in the company and more.

Secondly, you’ll need to have Executive Sponsorship to emphasize the importance and necessity of it. Again, you’ve done this for other programs so it is equally as important you give Social Selling the same priority and treatment.

Furthermore, Jill made some great points about training and tools. The evangelization process may be something you’ve already started. Whether it’s through workshops, lunch and learns, building a Social Selling club that meets once in a while, etc. These are all great ways to build awareness and visibility around the topic.

In addition to this, though, you’ll eventually need to layer on a formal program of some kind. A program that is scalable (across multiple regions and/or countries), gets everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction can help make social media a new stream for sales opportunities.

Mindset + Skillset + Toolkit

Jill summarizes what organizations need really well with three words: mindset, skillset and toolkit.

Where should an organization invest energy to help create long-term and lasting impact? Fundamentally, most organizations may have resources to help around creating a mindset shift.

This mindset shift is about conducting an honest assessment of where your organization is today in its sales maturity. Are you selling the same way as you were 10 years ago? Have you acknowledged that the B2B buyer today is fundamentally different? If so, this creates risks for your current selling model. If buyers today are digitally driven, socially connected, mobile and empowered, then your sales team must adapt the way they sell.

I believe Jill is absolutely correct that this is something that companies can and should start investing time on internally.

The Bottom Line

It’s been a personal goal to interview Jill Rowley and I was really happy that she took the time to share her insights and what she’s seeing in the marketplace today. I love the framework she has developed around this and how it all ties in with enabling social across the enterprise.

Did you enjoy this interview? Tweet me @AmarSheth and connect with me on LinkedIn.

About Jill Rowley

Jill Rowley is a global authority, thought leader and change agent in the world of B2B sales. She is sought to provide strategy consulting, keynotes and expertise on social transformation. She’s worked with brands like Salesforce.com, Eloqua and Oracle.

If you’re not connected to or following Jill, you can tweet this blog to her @Jill_Rowley or connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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Amar Sheth

Author: Amar Sheth

Amar Sheth has trained thousands of people worldwide on the topic of Social Selling, through a style that’s part storytelling and part motivational.

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