Whenever we hear the word routine, our thoughts immediately turn to something that is dull, monotonous, or tedious.
Establishing a routine, or habit, for Social Selling, however, can be quite the opposite.
Is your Social Selling routine mundane or moving? Are you seeing the advantages of time vs. effort?
As the Social Selling revolution continues to captivate the sales industry, the most productive and forward-thinking sales representatives utilize social media to connect and capture more business than ever previously imagined.
Here are four elements of a Social Selling routine that are essential for successful sales professionals to embrace.
Sales pros who are drawn to Social Selling on any level already understand the “why” – the cold call, email, voicemail, rinse and repeat process just isn’t working any longer. Because buyers and prospects are online gathering intelligence about your product or service long before they contact you, information asymmetry is an antiquated sales practice.
A proper Social Selling routine covers the “how” and the “when.” It’s a prescriptive process that outlines stages of sharing specific content to your specific buyer personas during a specific stage in their buying cycle. The process details messaging best practices – not the popular and highly ineffective “spray and pray” or “show up and throw up” or “connect and close” techniques that stymie conversation. And your process describes trigger events and buyer cues that lead to growing robust social networks.
Savvy sales professionals will tap these expanded networks for introductions, or leverage them for further conversations. Remember, conversation – which most people don’t realize is the ultimate form of content – leads to conversion, which leads to a sale.
One should never establish any program or initiative unless the outcome can be measured. A common challenge facing industry professionals today is measuring the ROI of Social Selling. Establishing quantitative goals, or the activity to driving money (ROI), is a critical component of your Social Selling routine. Two common methods to determine the ROI of your Social Selling routine are revenue creation/pipeline growth and revenue per sales representative.
If you care more about the total effect of Social Selling on your business, then track cumulative revenue creation or cumulative pipeline growth. Individual KPIs such as revenue per sales representative measure the individual contributions of sales representatives and paint a valuable demographic picture of your top performers.
Some sales professionals may achieve positive and productive sales results thanks simply to chance. The details of your Social Selling routine, however, necessitate that others are able to reproduce it. Reproducibility is one of the main principles of the scientific method, and it is just as applicable to Social Selling as it is to medical research.
Sales professionals must be able to adequately describe what their day-to-day Social Selling activities look like. From sharing content, to leveraging 2nd degree LinkedIn connections, to reviewing trigger events – is this something that you inherently know how to do or can sales pros explain the principles of their routine to other members of their team? And can your team achieve similar results when consistently executing their process? With successful Social Selling routines, the answer to both questions is a resounding, “Yes!”
While nothing exists in a vacuum, especially not in the ever-evolving world of social media, your Social Selling routine should effectively be independent of any particular social media platform or tool. The buyer is, and should be, the primary focus of your Social Selling efforts.
It’s important to note that a sale is a relationship-based transaction. Sales professionals universally agree that building relationships is essential to Social Selling. People buy from you. Tools and technology are simply an enabler. Selecting the right tool will not guarantee Social Selling success, and a strong affinity for shiny new objects will distract you from the purpose of your routine: building integrity-based buyer relationships.