Jill Rowley had really helped shape our Social Selling training program. She’s mentioned a few times to me “you’re not just a sales rep; you really need to look at this like a micromarketer”. This assessment has both a positive & constructive criticism attached to it. Jill makes a great point, our training curriculum has imbedded many elements that traditional marketers have handled. Jill had pointed out that some of the curriculum (the later modules that are very advanced) can be difficult for sales reps to embrace at first.
This morning on my way to Boston, I was thinking about how sales reps can better embrace and understand the power of advanced Social Selling. What has made Jill Rowley, myself and the 1,000’s of successful sales reps we’ve trained, now Social Selling machines?
Simple – they are MICROMARKETERS. They might not realize it, but they are a hybrid of sales and marketing. While it wasn’t in their job description, and it defies all the things that traditional sales reps at large organization DON’T DO… it works.
What are the core tactics these sales reps are doing on a daily basis? What will a sales rep look like in the future (even though it’s tough to see it now in some organizations)?
1. WHO GIVES A SH&T ABOUT YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION OR TERRITORY
Just because you were assigned 50 accounts in the New England area, that doesn’t mean everything outside that is the “Land of the Dragons”. C-Level executives are learning very quickly that 1 voice (marketing’s) is tiny compared to 100 voices (all the sales reps). You are going to be part of this Social Revolution, whether you like it or not. Too many companies now are crushing it with Social for the influence not to spread to your sales department. You are going to be asked to share content, monitor opportunities (even if those ops happen outside your Boston territory) and contribute to social business development.
2. GET TO KNOW WHO INFLUENCES YOUR BUYER
I just read an article this morning in @SocialSellingToday about the power of Influencer Selling. Yes, it’s a huge part of my business development strategy. Think about it… why wouldn’t I get the help of 10 people that are the Rockstars of my clients’ world. If the influencer likes it, my buyers love it! Check out Little Bird as your tool of choice.
3. PREPARE YOURSELF, LEADS WILL BE EVENTUALLY HANDED OUT BASED ON SOCIAL CONNECTIONS
Google this word “Social Proximity” – or send a LinkedIn message to Koka Sexton @ LinkedIn. Welcome to the future my friends. Yes, there will be logistical challenges in the transformation of your lead distribution (territory & vertical). But, wouldn’t you want a hot lead in the hands of the sales rep with the highest probability to close it? Any manager with their bonuses connected to sales rep success is going to take a hard look at Social Proximity. LinkedIn’s new tool in 2014 will help with the transformation.
4. IF YOUR NOT SHARING CONTENT TO SHAPE YOUR BUYERS LEARNING, YOU``RE DYING A SLOW DEATH!
SiriusDecisions & Forrester research claiming 70% of wins are awarded to the sales rep that was first to bring new insight to the equation. Attention sales reps – while you sleep, you have a competitor helping teach and inform your prospective buyers. Every day you say “I don’t want to connect with a hot prospect online for fear of a competitor seeing it”… well, there are competitors already teaching your prospect about the next big thing. You’re already late to the dance.
5. IN DYNAMIC COMPANIES, YOU WILL BE ASKED TO BE A CREATOR & CURATOR OF ORIGINAL CONTENT.
Just like our Social Selling training content – is one person’s opinion or 1,000’s of sales reps experiences better for learning? EXACTLY why our Social Selling curriculum is user-based generated “Crowdsourcing”… more ideas make it better! Sales reps will be asked to write blogs, make video’s and contribute to webinars. The lines will blur between sales and marketing. Marketing will be the sheriff of the system, but will have talented sales reps help develop the content as an exponential pace.
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 using LinkedIn can help you start. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out – 10 Steps to Building a Social Selling Machine. Find the topic of Social Selling interesting? Click below to book a time in my calendar to explore further!