When you’re adopting social selling into your organization, you need approval from the executive team. But once you get the executive buy-in, then what? For social selling to succeed, there needs to be a triple alignment. In other words, three critical departments need to work together to ensure your social selling program’s success: the Sales Leadership, Marketing, and Sales Enablement (or training and development) departments.
How important is triple alignment? It’s so vital that without all three departments being aligned, the social selling program is doomed to fail. You may be thinking ‘come on, how can my social selling program fail?’ But let’s look at the roles of each of the three departments as they relate to social selling, and how they fit together.
The role of sales leadership is to provide accountability. Sales reps are continuously receiving training—which sales leaders often don’t attend. What does this mean? It means that sales leaders are often uninformed about social selling, and they haven’t aligned the sales rep’s activities to the social selling goal. This is a grave mistake. Sales leaders need to provide accountability to their sales professionals, without which the program can’t succeed.
The marketing department is at the heart of social selling. They provide the most important role—creating all of the content that drives social selling, and then taking it through the conversion funnel, from blogs to e-books and other media. They also create content libraries that sales reps can use to attract new clients. Where marketing falls short is when they don’t work with sales professionals, to show them which content to use and when they should use it. Without sales professionals having this knowledge, the social selling program is doomed.
Sales Enablement Department
The sales enablement department is responsible for providing ongoing training for both experienced sales reps and new hires. But despite sales reps receiving continuous training, they’re often not educated by the sales enablement department on where social selling fits into their jobs. Without this education, a social selling program won’t be successful.
Having all three departments aligned will set your social selling program up for success. Through this alignment, sales reps will be accountable, they’ll know which marketing content they should use at the right time, and they’ll have to continually improve their skills, knowing the role social selling plays in their jobs.
When these three departments are misaligned, blame happens. Each department blames the other for the failure of the social selling program. Bottom line: triple alignment equals social selling success. So be sure to get all three departments aligned and working together to achieve your organization’s social selling goals.