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The Sales Review

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What’s The Best Way to Learn Social Selling?

Posted by Amar Sheth on Apr 7, 2014 10:25:29 AM


QuotesSales training models work well for traditional forms of learning. However, social selling requires a different type of teaching.

For those of you that know me, you know I’m a huge fan of quotes. Nothing like a quote to fire up the spirit! Here’s one that my colleague Jamie Shanks sent me.

It makes me think about the best way to learn. When we apply this to our world of social selling, or even sales training in general, interesting observations can be made.

The Classic Sales Training Models FAIL with Social Selling

There are two classic sales training models. We all know them and we’ve all been through them.

1. Event-based training (from a few hours to a few days)
2. Self-paced e-learning training

Both models are good and have been known to work to some degree. Here are the BIGGEST disadvantages we saw when we applied these models to help people learn social selling:

  • The concepts require practice. Event-based training doesn’t do a good job of building this in. How can a few hours or a few days of training drive adoption? Chances are slim to none.
  • Social selling is incredibly broad. Event-based training can only cover the basics or some minor concepts of importance.
  • E-learning is FANTASTIC at delivering lots of concepts when the participant wants, but it lacks the element of mentorship and guidance. The human-to-human interaction is so very important.
  • E-learning is a lot like someone giving you access to a set of text books and saying “You’ve got all the info... figure out how to make sense of it in your own world.”

What is Social Selling

Adoption Is Not Addressed

Most sales-training not having adoption is never a primary thought. Sure, they talk about it, but how do they deliver it? Let’s not beat around the bush, we’ve all been through enough sales-training to know this!

You know what does happen? We’re scratching our heads 6 months later wondering why we’re not applying any of those principles. Am I right, or am I right?

We tried both models and FAILED gloriously at them. This is why we’re able to tell you about The Happy Medium.

The Happy Medium

Every cheesy saying deserves a cheesy image. Especially ones from PowerPoint.
Social Selling Happy Medium
The Happy Medium is a hybrid of the two models that has ADOPTION as its primary goal. Now the curriculum is delivered in instructionally-designed (yes that’s an industry term), bite-sized chunks via trainers, with self-paced e-learning to top it up.

Serious on Social Selling?

If you’re serious about learning social selling, take these words to heart. It’s through THOUSANDS OF HOURS of learning that we can tell you with complete confidence about our findings. We’ve aligned our entire company based on these principles of ensuring adoption.

The Bottom Line

Sales training models work well for traditional forms of learning. If you’re a sales rep or a sales leader, keep this in mind: social selling requires a different type of teaching. Not one that is harder, but different.

Are you curious about getting trained on social selling and want to learn the differences in approaches? Feel free to email me at amar@salesforlife.com and I’d be happy to chat with you to bounce around ideas.

Amar Sheth


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Amar Sheth

Amar Sheth

About the Author

Amar Sheth has trained thousands of people worldwide on the topic of Social Selling, through a style that’s part storytelling and part motivational.

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