Social selling programs that haven't been informed, built and scaled in collaboration with all members of team revenue — sales, marketing and sales enablement — always fail. Sales teams think they can work in silos, sharing insights and tactics amongst themselves. But in our experience, that never works.
If you’re in a larger company, it’s tempting to only rely on sales for creating and executing the program; if you’re in a smaller organization you might lack the resources, such as a sales enablement team, to properly roll out a program.
There’s a reason we call sales, marketing and sales enablement the Three Amigos. They’re supposed to work together, in conjunction with each other. Again, if you work in a small or medium sized company and don’t have an enablement team, just think of that as somebody who looks at people, processes and technology within the business.
If your three main business units — the Three Amigos — aren’t involved, your project is doomed to fail. And all that you’re going to end up having is a bunch of sales professionals hammering away on LinkedIn Navigator, trying to execute specific tasks, tips, tricks and tactics with social selling.
Long-term you will have not changed the behaviour of the sales professional so that it aligns to the modern buyer’s experience and their journey. All that you will have done is taught sales professionals to send messages to buyers and share a few random pieces of content. And because you haven’t included marketing, those pieces of content probably have nothing to do with your own internal content marketing campaigns or strategies.
Social selling does not only reside in sales, but sales is critical for:
Being the executor of social selling at the sales professional level. This execution needs to come from sales leadership, as they are most responsible for the accountability and the adoption of social selling long-term. Sales has got to ensure sales professionals keep on track with learning and executing digital behaviours.
But, the other two parties that must be involved are:
Marketing. That means the marketing leader and the digital content marketing team. The digital content marketing team is going to fuel social selling by creating, organizing, and helping distribute and evaluate the effectiveness of insights (digital content) sales professionals providing to prospects.
Sales enablement/sales operations. This team is responsible for bringing together the entire process: the tech-stack, the on boarding, the learning and development or training, and interweaving it into your existing sales process together with social.
In summary, social isn’t just a bunch of salespeople banging away on some social tools, hoping and praying to book a meeting – that is random act of social! That is not scalable and that is not an ecosystem for social selling. If you think these “random acts of social” are the heart of social selling, you are truly mistaken.
Remember this quote. It is how Aristotle defines synergy: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Social selling with sales only is just a part of the greater whole; it is not the entire ecosystem.