Welcome to your sales weekly roundup for April 18-May 5. This week we’re reiterating why social selling is so effective, the top 3 coaching mistakes sales leaders make, and a framework for SDRs who want to do account-based selling. Enjoy.
Well-respected marketing influencer Douglas Burdett summarizes why social selling is so effective and how it’s supposed to work. “It’s not a replacement for your sales process—it’s additive. And studies show it’s very effective,” he says. Key points:
-What once gave salespeople a competitive edge no longer works. Thanks to a growing number of technological advances, the ability to interrupt buyers is rapidly diminishing. One of the methodologies salespeople use to research buyers is social selling.
Social selling is not social media marketing. It’s an upgrade to your existing sales approach that reaches and engages customers online, providing value and insight during their buying process. It helps to build the personal relationship with the buyer that leads to more sales and revenue.
-The potential for social selling in sales is huge, but many are still grappling with how to integrate social into their existing sales processes.
To get the ball rolling, here are some key elements to address:
1) Optimize social media profiles. Social media profiles are the first thing buyers see when they Google your name, so it makes sense to tailor your messaging to them rather than recruiters. Your LinkedIn profile, for example, should NOT be your resume.
2) Join LinkedIn groups and relevant forums like Quora. This way, you can stay on top of your prospects’ challenges. You can should also chime into the conversation, just make sure it’s not spammy or self-promotional.
3) Set up social listening alerts. Google alerts or other social listening tools help keep you in the know of your buyers’ issues and relevant industry insights.
4) Subscribe to blogs. You can monitor multiple blogs with a free RSS feeder like Feedly.com. This helps you stay further in the know about what’s going on in your buyer's world. You can also leverage particular blogs as they become relevant to your sales conversations.
5) Seek referrals. Once you know the stakeholders you’re targeting, scan to see if you have any 1st or 2nd degree connections and ask for referrals.
6) Create (the right kind of) content. Participate in the content development process so marketing actually creates insights that are relevant to your sales conversations. There are tons of stats that support how the right content empowers sales. So get together with marketing and figure out how you can add value to each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Burdett quotes Jamie Shanks’ Social Selling Mastery to make his final point:
I truly do believe that social selling is simply the by-product of effective sales and marketing integration. I also believe that solving this challenge will become the most important topic for companies over the next five years.
*This is a summary of Social Selling: Aligning Your Sales and Marketing For The Modern Buyer by Douglas Burdett.
Esteemed Sales Leadership Trainer & Coach Kevin F. Davis writes on the top mistakes he sees sales leaders make. It’s best to eliminate these sooner rather than later, as they affect performance.
Waiting Too Long. Effective sales coaches know to check-in with their reps before mistakes happen. Davis points out: What would you think about someone who only ever showed up after you’d made a mistake and offered only criticism? If you think about it, the first calls are often where the size of the deal is determined, so don’t wait till a deal falls apart before touching base with your team members.
Dwelling on the Negative. Too often are sales manager focused on the bad in their reps. In one experiment, experienced sales managers were asked to watch and comment on a video carefully crafted to contain equally good and bad points. Yet 82% of the comments were about bad points. The point here to provide constructive feedback; if all your reps hear is negative, they’re sure to be demotivated.
Taking on the Monkey. While sales managers want to help every rep that comes to them, David suggests taking on a more constructive approach: “The next time someone comes to you with a problem, picture a monkey sitting on their shoulder. Don’t take the monkey from them. Instead, teach them how to resolve their own problems by asking two questions: What have you done about it so far? What do you think you should do next. Over time, each rep will learn how to think through problems themselves.”
Terminus SDR and host of The SDR Chronicles Morgan Ingram writes on 3 best practises around Account Based Selling.
Identifying Your Customer Profile
Before anything else, writes Ingram, you must identify your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP):
-Which key stakeholders are you looking to get in front of?
-Which accounts are you trying to get your message to?
-What industry is the best fit for your solution?
Targeting the Right Stakeholders
Once you know your target accounts, hunt down key stakeholders. Let’s say you want to target B2B salespeople. Go deeper than that: do you want to target SDRs, AEs, Directors, VPs? You need to get in front of the people who matter. “When you’re going into account-based selling, you’re looking at the overall account, not just this one person and treating them as a lead,” says Morgan Ingram.
Tailoring the Right Message
Generic messages are sure to add to the white noise already cramming up your buyers’ inboxes. Most messages fail because:
-Your message isn’t tailored to what your prospect needs.
-You didn’t properly align your value trop to their pain points.
-You have no idea what their KPIs are.
If you want to personalize your messaging, “go stalk” their LinkedIn and Twitter. Find what they post about, what school they went to, industry insights or company news. The key here is tailor the messaging so you can get to that demo. Basically, stop being so lazy; personalize your messages and show your prospects you actually care about them!
*This is a summary of Account Based Selling Best Practices: A Framework for SDRs by Morgan Ingram.