If you’ve been following this blog or just following Social Selling in the market overall, you’ll know that it has caused a lot of buzz, energy and excitement.
But it’s also created confusion amongst some in sales, marketing, enablement, and beyond. And it’s understandable why; there is a lot of info on the possibilities and real-life stories of those that are practitioners.
"I produced 9 new sales equating over $262,565.00 in new revenue over the past 3 months that I would not have had otherwise." – Keith Gill
Today we present the stories of two sales professionals who talk about their personal stories with social below. Their results aren’t random. They’ve followed a prescriptive process that’s now fully integrated within their overall sales process.
They’re using social in their sales process to help find, educate and engage buyers online all while growing their personal social footprint. The results are incredible and worth further study. In fact, one of these professionals was mentioned and quoted in Forbes.
It’s time to meet Keith Gill of Avisolve and Adam Apter of Thomson Reuters. Both are astute sales professionals who have deliberately and methodically entered the Social Selling rabbit hole only to discover that their ability to serve buyers (while increasing their pipeline) has increased dramatically.
Adam Apter’s Story of Productivity and Visibility
Before the adoption of Social Selling, Adam did the following:
Yes there are ways to build lists faster these days but let’s face it, the challenge is approaching these contacts completely cold and having the majority go to voicemail or finding they’re ignoring e-mails completely. Many sales professionals confirm this is much more common than we’d like to admit.
Now Adam uses social in everything he does. He’s said that virtually all of his prospecting and subsequent deals now incorporate social. This means social is completely pervasive in his repertoire.
While Adam still does cold outreach, LinkedIn helps him do it much faster, helping him find decision makers faster and engage them better. One of the highlights from Adam’s story is that “by engaging with potential clients on LinkedIn, in some instances they reach out to me, and more of the ones I work with see the value of working with me, so I end up needing to do a lot less ‘popcorn work.’”
Keith Gill’s Social Selling Adventure
Keith has been an avid practitioner of Social Selling for about 1.5 years now and his story is worth sharing with your peers and leaders.
Here’s how he tells the “before” story:
- At least 50 cold calls or door knocks a day
- Themed targeted call blitz days
- Mind numbing waste of time, high effort networking groups similar to BNI
- Working my IT MSP / Break fix guys begging for hardware and telco service deals every month (the worst)
- Barely achieving 80% of quota for 3 years straight
- Feeble pipeline
After incorporating Social Selling into his sales process here are the results he transparently shares with me:
- Less than hour a day sharing content, responding to, engaging with and interacting with targeted audience on LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Leverage LinkedIn publishing platform posts and the viral nature of it to consistently fill monthly (for the last 3 months) targeted themed tech webinars that nurture attendees through a follow-up sales funnel that has produced 9 new sales equating over $262,565.00 in new revenue over the past 3 months that I would not have had otherwise.
- People contacting and reaching out to me through LinkedIn that has opened doors into accounts that I would never have dreamed of being able to penetrate even just 3 years ago.
- Consistently achieving over 130% of quota for the last 10 months straight and consistently above 90% for the 11 months previous to the last 10.
Keith’s story is captivating; despite his success, he views using social as more than just a way to make money.
I believe this is largely because Keith is increasingly one of the go-to subject matter experts and customer advocates in his industry. His visibility and tenacity to engage online is causing buyers to turn to him for help and answers.
And he ends his note to me with this:
“For the past 20 months or so, I have consistently been able to have very well qualified opportunities fill my sales pipeline, with an actual 33% decrease in sales cycle time from first prospect touch to close. 100% of this has been attributed to what I learned about Social Selling. I have truly learned to work smarter and more efficiently.”
The Bottom Line
If Social Selling can cause this much a shift for sales professionals on the ground, imagine the results being multiplied across sales teams and the global sales force.
So here’s the question for you: how are you using social today to serve buyers better and generate more pipeline for yourself?