Chances are, your business has already implemented some form of Social Selling. But taking your Social Selling to an enterprise level remains a challenge for many organizations. To find out how to overcome this common pitfall, we went to the experts. These tips from the top evangelists will help you enable digital transformation across teams and ultimately drive revenue with Social Selling.
Leaders Need to Become Social Selling Champions
“Buy-in from Management on important initiatives is essential but with Social Selling I believe it’s even more so. Because social is so new to the sales process, some reps will reject it at first. This is when a top-down approach works best to get the team past the initial inertia.” - Amar Sheth, Social Selling Evangelist
Amar recommends that Social Selling take a top-down approach. In other words, senior management needs to embrace Social Selling, and empower their teams by demonstrating Social Selling best practices.
Align Sales, Marketing, and Enablement
“Having all three departments aligned will set your Social Selling program up for success. Through this alignment, sales reps will be accountable, they’ll know which marketing content they should use at the right time, and they’ll have to continually improve their skills, knowing the role Social Selling plays in their jobs.” - Jamie Shanks, CEO at Sales for Life and Social Selling Speaker
As Jamie says, aligning these three departments will help organizations to know who does what, and will help define each department’s role and responsibilities. Organizations need to implement a strategic plan across all departments.
Empower Through Training and Support
“Learning how to use Social Networks (LinkedIn & Twitter) requires more TRAINING than dialing phone or sending email.” - Jill Rowley, Social Selling Evangelist
Jill suggests that providing Social Selling training is critical for sales teams. Providing your team with the right training and resources will help them change behaviour, adopt new routines and ultimately drive revenue.
“One of the biggest struggles for sales operations and management when implementing a social selling program is how to measure its success and report key metrics that show the ROI from social sales activities” – Julio Viskovich, VP of Marketing at rFactr
Julio also highlights specific metrics that companies should track: Adoption, Social Network Growth, Social Leads, and Thought Leadership Content. “Training should be implemented to help the reps find and listen for buying triggers over social media.”
The Future of Sales
“The future of social selling isn't too ambiguous, to be honest. Companies who refuse to employ social selling techniques will become obsolete in another 5 to 10 years, say industry experts. In fact, in a short time, perhaps a few decades, social selling will just be called selling.” - Koka Sexton, Group Manager Content and Social Team at LinkedIn
Your organization’s future success depends on their ability to adapt and grow. Koka Sexton believes that Social Selling is not just what should be happening in the present but what will soon be the norm for salespeople in the future. Many of the successful sales techniques will not be as effective anymore so your organization needs to think long-term.
The Importance of Organizational Adoption
“Organizational adoption is the future of social selling, because it's the future of every selling technique. It's the only way to get consistent and reliable productivity out of sales reps who aren't Michael Jordans.” - Michael Idinopulos, CMO at PeopleLinx
According to Michael Idinopulos, success in Social Selling is similar to a team sport because you need to win with a collective of players as opposed to just one superstar. Focus on the organization as a whole, adopt Social Selling throughout your sales team by building habits, processes and a systematic approach to ensure every sales rep puts up great numbers. This will help drive consistent success and ultimately build revenue.
The #1 Priority
“As a sales leader, I know the pressure you feel to increase revenue and pipeline. But a nice social profile and a few interactions in a social network won’t do it. Ensuring that every sales person in your sales organization has superb selling skills should be your #1 top priority.” - Barbara Giamanco, Social Selling Speaker and Author
To implement Social Selling throughout your organization, Barbara Giamanco believes technology is just an enabler. Sales teams need to implement a proper foundation before adopting Social Selling to compliment their sales strategy. Equipping sales reps with mere tools to start won’t instill a change in behaviour. Instead your organization’s number one priority should be to build a strong mindset followed by a superb skill set.