We have helped 100’s of sales reps drive business using Social Selling. These sales reps understood the value of preparing themselves for the next sales evolution. They also realized that there’s one law from the “sales god’s” that will never be broken – selling takes time. Nurture, Nurture, Nurture! There has never been a magic bullet, nor will there ever be. It's important to start building your social Klout today!
Sales reps are asked to make target every month, regardless of external selling conditions. Unfortunately that leaves them to “think to the tip of their nose”. Let’s face it, we as sales leaders are asking our sales reps for improbable targets under duress timelines.
What Can Sales Reps Do?
A smart, committed sales rep understands he/she needs to make a conscience decision today. That decision is – do I continue thinking month-to-month versus building a long-term pipeline of relationships that will snowball into success in 12-24 months. This is not a “one or the other” decision, as in sales you can have your cake and eat it too. Leading sales reps across North America are starting to understand their old bag of tricks (cold calling until their ears fall off), is not the long-term solution. These leading sales reps are turning to alternative mediums (most likely social media) as a means of gather sales intelligence and conducting intimate conversations with their prospects & clients.
Social Selling is the long-term solution sales leaders are gravitating towards. World-class brands like IBM and SAP have even created roles within their organization, specifically to develop Social Selling strategies. They all realize that nurturing prospects with video, infographics, blogs, and using mediums like LinkedIn & Twitter is how prospects are communicating.
- 1. Plant the seed with your team
One constant about sales reps is they love their routine. They master their prospecting process and struggle to change that process even when moving from company-to-company. Now, their entire selling world is changing before their eyes, and Gen X and Boomer sales reps may not be excited to adapt. Gen Y (Millennials), have grown up in the social world, and appear to be more engaged with Social Selling. Sales reps need to understand that changing now will only help them remain relevant long-term. It’s a tough discussion to have, but a necessary one.
- 2. Start Today
Posting a few articles on LinkedIn and Twitter, sitting back and wait for leads will not work. The process of becoming a thought-leader does not happen overnight, over a fort-night or even a few months. Being known as a problem solver and “go-to-person” takes 6+ months at minimum. This is why sales leaders are making the adjustment now to Social Selling, so they will be market leaders in 2013 & 2014. There are still all kinds of short-term wins available using Social Selling (our business has uncovered dozens), yet this is nothing compared to building a networking machine for the future.
- 3. Invest in training
It’s amazing that sales departments spend huge sums of money on Sales 2.0 tools, travel, conferences, only to have sales reps that are unable to execute. Social Selling is an evolution that is a complete departure from a sales reps normal experience over the last 20 years. Sales leaders cannot assume their sales reps will miraculously learn and develop best Social Selling practices on their own. This will never happen, and those teams that don’t change will be dinosaurs in 2-3 years. Take the time to find a partner that will show your sales team how to be Social Selling leaders.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you need to start to take action. The following dozen blog posts on utilizing social selling strategies and LinkedIn can help you start but if you are looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out - How-to-Guide: Making $$$ with Social Selling.