Lately, sales leaders have been asking me how to overcome social selling objections from EMEA leadership teams. There’s no question that there’s a tremendous growth opportunity for social selling, or modern digital prospecting in EMEA because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – a relatively new European privacy law, which has dramatically restricted the ability of companies to market to net new prospects in Europe. It creates an opt-in scenario where if a prospect isn’t already doing
business with you and in your database, you can’t market to them – completely limiting email and calling campaigns.
But outside of that law are tools like LinkedIn, where by opting into the tool itself, you are creating an opportunity to market or have conversations with any other members of that database. Tools like LinkedIn hyper-accelerate the power of social media as a prospecting tool. In fact, a recent article we wrote tells the story of Frost & Sullivan’s Managing Director, who talked about how LinkedIn has become a more valuable asset than their own CRM – and has actually become their CRM.
It’s imperative that you get buy-in from your EMEA leadership team – and you need to find a way to debunk localization and cultural myths, and understand that social media prospecting is absolutely critical. But how do you get that buy-in? Here are two ways you can educate, inform, and get buy-in from EMEA leaders.
1. Communicating Leadership Support and Buy-in. We typically see EMEA
leaders having division presidents or managing directors create a video or lead an all-hands call, where they take a moment to outline why change is imperative, and debunk the myths in front of their peers. They speak, as a leader, about how buyers have evolved, and that they’re consuming information online and leveraging their social networks, and if you aren’t reaching out to buyers you’re not shaping the conversation and are missing the opportunity to do so. These leaders need to get on their soapboxes and vouch that this is the future of selling.
2. Showing examples of actual European sales professionals executing social selling routines in certification. Over the last 3-4 years, we’ve been working with companies to film their certification processes as case studies or practicums. These videos have created thousands of certifications in a library which you can use to communicate with European sales pros and leaders. The videos show examples of their BDR’s, AD’s, or CSM’s using social selling in their day-to-day work, and the step-by-step process of how to do this. Sellers learn more from their peers than they do even from training companies, because they can see themselves in the story. Showing these examples is a great way to completely debunk the myths.
To summarize, these are small things you can do to push leaders in Europe off their status quo, and get them to change now as we approach the 2020s. It’s emerging quickly that social selling is still a competitive advantage, but it won’t be forever because European leaders know they have to move in this direction.