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Well Dreamforce’ 16 is here folks. Who is excited? I sure am. So are you guys ready for the biggest sales event of the year?  It’s going to be huge. I won’t be able to attend, but I will definitely be tuned in. Thanks to the Dreamforce team, you can now attend the event virtually.

Alright then, let’s talk social selling. I am sure you are reading this because either social selling is an important aspect of your sales outreach, or you have been intrigued by this keyword and want to dig deeper.

Well at InsideSalesBox we have been doing social prospecting and social selling for some months now and trust me it’s not easy! If you think following up on your regular prospects is hard, think again. With social selling, you have to be consistent, persistent and most importantly you need to provide value by building your own brand.

When you are building rapport with your prospects on social you don’t just show up and throw up. You help each other out like one does in real life, guiding them through the buying journey. One of the results that were clear for us was our sales cycles were longer but the returns did come.

So now this big question comes to mind: How does one scale social selling?

I did some research and asked inputs on a number of sales forums to find out how other organizations are doing it. Combining the research and the approach we follow at InsideSalesBox, here are some of the best practises for scaling a social selling process within your team:

Step 1: Finding Your Ideal Prospects

First and foremost is filtering your ideal customer personas. You need to know the ideal channels — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. — where your prospects are active and engage often. For us, the majority of ideal prospects are active over LinkedIn. So how do you filter them out?

First, get a Sales Navigator license.  

Second, filter out ideal prospects based on the Target Market, Job Title, Industry, employee size and other filters that work for you.

Third, check for individuals highly active in last 30 days, as I’ve illustrated below.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_1.28.46_PM.pngFourth you bring them straight into InsideSalesBox or your Sales Prospecting Platform. We just have to click on Add to ISB and it’s in our CRM. You can use other sales prospecting software for the same.

Step 2: Build Your Ideal Profile

Remember this golden nugget. “A man in power always buys from a man in power.”

  • In short you need to build rapport, the first step – Upgrade your profile. Let’s say you engage with someone highly influential on LinkedIn, an influencer or even a good prospect. If your LinkedIn profile sucks, will you grab their attention?  Chances are you won’t.
  • Engage with their content, comment on their posts and mind you it’s not just for the sake of commenting but adding value with intelligent points and helping out the community.
  • Involve your Design & Marketing team to help you build your profile. You can also approach other senior Sales Reps/ Account executives in your team and model your profile after theirs.

Step 3: Create A Social Sales Campaign

Now all your leads are lying inside your prospecting software.

  • Create a Sales Campaign or a sales cadence so that you have a defined follow-up process and that you don’t miss out on any follow-up tasks.
  • Add Social Media steps – Like, comment, share to your campaign on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.
  • Our social cadences ran for a month and it gave us a good idea about a prospect’s interest, authority and needs.

Step 4: Follow-up with a regular Sales Prospecting Campaign over Phone & Email

Once the prospect is on-board and has the intent to buy and/or is interested in your product/service, it’s pretty straightforward. You can put the contact in your regular prospecting campaign/cadence and follow-up like any other inbound lead.

This is the exact step by step approach that we follow at InsideSalesBox. However, it’s not as easy as it looks. One of the prime reasons is that sales reps often miss follow-ups even after reminders, thereby missing an important opportunity.

Failures in data/lead status updation are also quite common. In our experience, sales development reps are notoriously famous for poor handling of sales data. They always look up to marketing for that. We all would agree how much Sales people hate updating CRM’s. So the situation is like that idiom, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”.

I believe answers to these problems are linked to three key factors:

  • Hiring
    • Sale representatives that are socially active and engaging  which can be measured by Social Selling Index (Linkedin) A score of 65+ is ideal.
    • Prefer young proactive millennials, as social engagement comes naturally to them.
  • Sales Coaching On Social
    • Quarterly Training modules on social etiquettes.
    • Training modules designed for use cases.
  • Build a Social Culture
    • Ensuring all sales reps engage on social highlighting personal gains.
    • Encouraging sales reps to engage intelligently and grow as an influencers.

This was my take on the scaling process and steps that have worked for us. Please comment down below if you have tried scaling social selling at your organization and the challenges you have faced. All feedback is appreciated.

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Gaurav Dharmshaktu

Author: Gaurav Dharmshaktu

Gaurav is a Product Marketer by profession and an Inside sales fanatic. He works for InsideSalesBox, an all-in-one Sales acceleration platform helping B2B sales teams strengthen their Sales Enablement process. He is also an avid traveler and a casual reader in his spare time.

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