Social Selling: The Secret to Taking Your Sales Team from Good to Great

Your sales team may be good… but they could be greatGood sales teams hit quota because they have the ability to close deals.  But great sales teams exceed quota because they engage, influence, and earn the buyer’s trust.

These questions hold the key to being great
1. Why should every executive in your company be social selling?
2. What social media skills does your sales leadership need?
3. How do you know if your sales team needs social selling training?

Why should every executive in your company be social selling?

Social Selling starts at the top.  As a company executive, isn’t is your duty and responsibility to build personalized relationships with your network of prospects, continue relationship development with your clients and centers-of-influence, and thought leadership to all interested parties?

As an executive, you are a resource for your specific subject-matter-expertise, whether that’s internal or external.  You open dialogues every single day with your network.  It is your responsibility to do so.  You work hard at staying top of mind with your network so they can approach you when they are ready to purchase, or can refer you to someone that needs your assistance.

Social Media is not about sales.  Social Selling is not about sales either.  We are in a digitally enabled world where the social platforms we leverage allow us to engage in real-time conversations with interested parties all over the world or right in our back yards.  These social platforms also allow us to target specific people and companies, engage them in conversation, and provide resources to assist.  Social Selling is really about influencing.  Social Media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc., allow us to influence hundreds-thousands-millions of interested parties… or target specific locations, company sizes, even titles.  We have the ability to cast a wide fishing net or spear fish in a barrel.

As an executive you are a representative of your company’s brand and culture.  Whether you are in sales or not, you are an executive.  It is imperative that you are where your prospects want to find you and that you are influencing their decisions through engagement.

What social media skills does your sales leadership need?

Communication through social media is a game changer.  Take a look at this infograph from McKinsey&Company:

As you can see, social media and social selling are equivalent to an 8,000 lb gorilla or the biggest onion you have ever peeled.  Each of the 6 segments can be analyzed even further and broken down to multiple layers, each new layer revealing yet another new layer beneath it, allowing your leadership to customize a social selling process that is targeted to build power networks, open more doors, and maximize client acquisition.

Most companies are currently leveraging social media and social selling best practices, but best practices will only get you so far.  If you want to develop and implement a successful social selling program within your organization, there needs to be a culture shift… perhaps even a leadership shift.  It starts from the top down and can trickle or snowball. Your sales leadership must be able to build momentum and continue to build on that momentum, both internally with your team, and externally with your prospects.

How do you know if your sales team needs social selling training?

It seems that the mentality in the sales environment is very focused on instant gratification.  Everything is “Now! Now! Now!”.  A culture shift and mentality shift is crucial to the success of implementing a successful social selling process.

Remember, social selling is about influencing the buyer – not closing the sale.  Your prospects want you to engage with them.  They want to be able to find you however they are most comfortable finding you… whether that is from a referral, or on LinkedIn, or Twitter, etc.  It’s important to keep the spotlight facing out.  If you are waiting for your prospects to engage with you the way you want them to engage, you could be waiting for quite some time.  Turn the spotlight out.  Focus on where they are.  Engage. Influence.

Are you running your LinkedIn numbers?  Is your team listening to the people that are interested in what you have to offer?  Are they engaging prospects in conversation on-line, building trust, and influencing their decision?  If you’re answer is no or you’re not sure, then I think it’s safe to say that you need social selling training program for your team.

How do you run the numbers?  I think LinkedIn has become the most powerful research tool for sales people today.  LinkedIn provides in-depth information on companies, professionals, who’s viewing your profile, who’s engaging in your content, who knows who, etc.  Some are available with the free membership, but it’s well worth a Premium membership for deeper insight and increased capabilities.  LinkedIn also provides the ability to seek out our specific decision makers through advanced and saved searches, searching within your 1st degree connections’ network, searching within groups, and Boolean logic.

The buying process has already changed to a digitally enabled, time-saving, targeted process.  Isn’t time to shift your selling process influence/ top of mind/ engagement process to be there when your prospect is working through their buying process?  It is imperative that you exist where your prospects want to find you.  Your prospects want you to engage, inquire, recommend, and become a resource.  They want to trust you.  But they can’t if they can’t find you.

If there are not ready to commit right now, staying in front of them will help them decide on you when they are ready to commit.  There is no magic bullet.  You will gain from this what you put into it.  You need a process and it must start from the top down.  It’s time to go from good to great.

Remember:

• Be the first to give to your new business relationships
• Always pay it forward
• Network with purpose.

Good luck and good networking! Remember… It’s All About Leverage.
Contact Bobbie for more information on Social Selling training.  Best practices will only get you so far!  It’s time to implement a process that provides results!  Don’t forget to check out our website for our suite of services!

Bobbie

About Bobbie

Bobbie specializes in helping executives as well as sales & marketing teams maximize client acquisition through the intersection of face-to-face networking combined with social selling techniques. Her customized programs and processes not only help in building the right network of prospects, clients, referral partners, and centers of influence, but also provide techniques to become thought leaders in their industry and stay top of mind with their targets.

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