There’s little doubt among sales leaders that social selling can transform the sales department. Most sales teams that adopt social selling boost their performance. In fact, social sellers are more than 20 percent more likely to report revenue growth. Other advantages include more and higher-quality leads, higher opportunity-to-close rates, and more.

Companies that forget to practice social selling daily are 40% less likely to  hit their revenue goals.

Those business leaders who have already adopted social selling are reporting its advantages. Those who haven’t yet implemented this sales methodology and its tactics are eager to adopt it for their own sales teams and watch their sales professionals’ performance improve.

Improvement only happens, however, when your sales representatives achieve social selling mastery. While social selling can look simple from the outside, it involves a large shift in not only sales techniques but in your mindset and approach to sales. Achieving social selling mastery goes beyond knowing “what” to address the “why.”


The Social Media Trap

Many sales and marketing professionals tend to conflate “social selling” with “social media selling.” They aren’t synonymous. Social media selling is only one subset of social selling. It’s best viewed as a platform or channel you use to enable your sales teams’ social selling activities.

Social media is the “what” of social selling. Many sales professionals get caught up in knowing “what” to tweet or “what” to share on LinkedIn. They may also try to answer questions about “when,” such as when the best time to approach a lead is or when the best time to share content is.

This isn’t social selling. While knowing “what” and “when” can be important to sales professionals’ success, knowing “why” is far more important.


Achieving Social Selling Mastery

Social selling mastery, then, comes more from knowing why a sales professional does anything they do. Understanding the reasoning behind any sales technique allows a sales representative to run the right sales plays. It also allows them to adjust their approach as the conversation with the client evolves.

Sales leaders understand that knowing “why” is more important than knowing what to tweet or when to approach a potential client. Sales professionals who ask themselves why they’re sharing content or why they’re approaching the lead using a particular platform will improve their sales performance more than a sales representative who knows “what” to tweet.

This is social selling mastery in action. Understanding the mindset allows sales professionals to select their tools and tactics more effectively to maximize their performance.


How Do You Achieve Mastery?

Once business leaders understand why social selling mastery is so important, their next question is often about how it can be achieved. Providing the right tools and the right content is only one step.

Sales professionals must also be able to effectively measure their performance. Insights on your leading and lagging indicators can inform a representative’s selection of tools and sales tactics. More importantly, however, social selling training and development is key to achieving true mastery.


Why Training?

Imagine someone provided you with a brand-new piece of technology. They didn’t offer an instruction manual or explain how it worked. Instead, they left you with the device and told you to use it effectively.

When businesses adopt social selling for their sales teams without providing social selling training, this is effectually what they do. Your sales representatives are all talented people, but without proper training and instruction, they won’t be able to execute.

Social selling training helps them achieve social selling mastery by introducing more than just how to use LinkedIn Navigator. It introduces the concepts and ideas that inform the thinking of social selling.

If you want to truly be successful with social selling, you must focus on social selling mastery. This involves a deeper understanding, which will empower your sales representatives to improve their performance, achieve their quotas, and close more deals.


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Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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