Gaining success with a social selling program is not difficult if the program is comprehensive. Social Selling represents an extremely scalable way that marketing can partner with sales to create new conversations with prospects. But attaining the results we have seen with clients is not a given. In fact, too much concentration on any one area can prevent the money spent on social selling from being profitable or worse yet tank the chances that social media can ever be an effective means of selling. This is why we always recommend a 360-degree approach. Let’s examine why.
Case studies can be instructive here. We often see enterprises invest in a prospecting tool such as LinkedIn Navigator and then expect to reap the rewards. Others invest in training and updating of personal profiles to make salespeople look fantastic online. These efforts often fall short. Why? They lack a 360 view of how social selling is done. Here’s our approach.
Enabling Sales First
We believe that by focusing on salespeople, the rest will follow. This does not mean that marketing content and messaging are not important. It just means that the lens of the program has to be sales even if the results and expectations are marketing metrics. Why? Because sales will carry the water in any social selling program. Without them, nothing else can happen. Any successful program needs to enable sales in order to be successful.
Make Sales People Relevant on Social
The key to this step is giving salespeople content that will make them shine. Not all of this content is about the company but some of it needs to be. By thinking of the sales team as a media channel that provides 80% content and 20% advertisements about your company you can tap into a very engaged and relevant audience who follow your sellers. The light touch is mandatory. Nobody wants to watch advertisements all day and this is true of you seller’s networks.
Tools that Make it Easy
Trying to win the hearts and minds without technology and tools is useless. Social Selling programs live and die by the tools that are used to make the process easier. Sales managers don’t want the sales teams spending too much time on social media. Social is just one channel of many. Social can seem daunting and difficult to manage and sales teams welcome help in making it easier. Our social platform employs an intelligent engine which does all the heavy lifting and streamlined interface that alerts them when action is needed. It doesn’t require that sales teams gear their life around social. It off-loads social using the software.
Even the best software and training requires ongoing project management and measurement to push for continuous improvement. Social selling programs are no different. If you are not measuring and managing a program it will eventually slip off course and be misunderstood by budget holders in the enterprise. Robust reporting that encourages individuals and the enterprise that results are trending positive is the lifeblood of a social selling program.
If you like our 360 approach, you may want to tune in to our webinar on the 8X case study for using a social selling program.