Before reading this article, you must come to terms with the cold hard truth – Social Selling is NOT a trend, it IS a sales evolution. That means reading “Social Media for Dummies” will not constitute you as a Social Selling leader. Social Selling is changing sales philosophies to the point that any rep that does not adapt (and we mean totally invested), will become completely redundant by 2015.
Yes, we said REDUNDANT – like Beta tapes, CD’s and Kodak Camera redundant. Sales reps that do not adapt will have equally little shelf-life or value to bring to their buyers.
In our combined 35+ years, there has not been anything even close as disruptive in sales as Social Selling. Sales careers have been virtually unchanged since the 1990’s (with the exception of recent CRM’s, Marketing Automaton and Data/Sales Intelligence tools). , there are still many sales reps that still cold call like they’re 5 on the leader board at Glengarry, Glen Ross.
What can you do?
Like Miller Heiman, SPIN Selling and other training programs completed over the last 25 years – sales reps will be seeking a new level of education. Here are 3 steps you must take to begin transforming your sales knowledge into becoming a Social Seller
1. Begin following thought-leaders for insight
- Koka Sexton at InsideView, @kokasexton
Koka managed Social Selling University, which has become a go-to site for Social Selling tips, tricks & tactics.
- Matt Heinz at Heinz Marketing, @Heinzmarketing
Matt is a huge advocate of Social Selling; his blog is a wealth of information on trending selling techniques.
- Ken Krogue at InsideSales.com, @kenkrogu
InsideSales.com has always been on the forefront of Sales 2.0 technology, now Social Selling has been added into their sales reps & products repertoire. Ken’s blog is one of the primary sales resources – which has now been touching on the unique power of Linkedin.
- Jamie Shanks at Sales for Life, @jamestshanks
Jamie Shanks trains companies on inside sales best practices – including leveraging Linkedin to drive business.
2. Look into formulize social selling training
Similar to training you’ve attended for sales strategy, consultative selling or negotiation – find a team that can help you drive ROI from social media. Forget about “social media training”, it’s all fluff and has little value for sales reps. Find a partner that will show you have to drive really money from tools like Linkedin.
3. Use Linkedin at the very least (not as a resume holder)
This is the most powerful business development tool that only a fraction of sales reps have harnessed. You are not alone if you’re view Linkedin as a resume holder, or are passively checking updates. Sales reps are still just scratching the surface when it comes to leveraging opportunities using Linkedin.
Let this be a wakeup call – Linkedin is the single most important business development tool since Microsoft Outlook. Get to know it now!