Articel written by Ollie Whitfield. (Last updated 24th January 2018)
Salespeople are busy men and women with too many people on their list to call and jobs that “salespeople must do-or-die”. The truth is, if you’re hitting quota, who cares what you’re doing? So long as you’re doing things legitimately and not burning up your contacts or lists, all is well.
There has been a lot of noise about how Social Selling is the new big thing in sales. For the right industry and customer, it is utter perfection and makes total sense. What a lot of businesses, worldwide, are doing is jumping on to it and giving it a whirl without really knowing anything about it, how to do it or why.
Often there’s the very typical one-off training day, and then the team is expected to pick it up and roll with it. What you really need, is executive by in, strategy and training. Then, your sales team in the trenches will need a killer, quality social selling process to live, eat and breathe by.
This will save them from either over-doing it and spending longer than needed on social, or not going for it due to the fear of the unknown. I want to help you get around both of these problems, because the results are there to be seen and you can get in on them.
The reality is you will likely need to create a one-pager that outlines tasks, time and practices for your sales team so that they can be sure to follow a routine for their social selling. This is what they will need but is actually the last thing you need to do, first you need to run through the goals of their work and what the sales process will look like, of course. The strategy is key, and the tools used to carry out and execute the plan are too. You need to take time to consider all of this, and then create the plan.
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Without hearing about the sales process and buying points you already aim to get to through your sales activity, it’s hard to say a great deal about strategy. The important thing is to remember that your social selling work is done to contribute towards making a sale.
We’re still talking about sales here, which by tradition is quite a ruthless trade centered around numbers. Your strategy should not be to get your sales team out there on LinkedIn, and wherever your buyer spends their time simply to make a splash. You have to be goal orientated.
What a great tool, in all honesty, I found this after reading Jack Kosakowski’s blog post revealing it. Simply, you can use it to find the other social channels and data on a person you find on social media.
LinkedIn, Twitter, Klout, Instagram and much more, there’s a plethora of data you can gather using the Chrome plugin 360 Social. Use it remembering that it will guide you to other social channels used by the person, it’s then your job to work out which they will be more active on and more likely to reply and want to engage you on.
The obvious reason used to find prospects and share their content when they are active. Pretty much, must-have for social sellers on LinkedIn. This will easily fit into your social selling process document, you don’t need a great deal of time per day to pop in and check for new content shared by your prospects and targets. Using the scheduling tools below, you’ll see why.
Used for curating and maintaining a good social presence, adding value and monitoring your social presence. These tools will allow you to schedule posts across your key social channels, meaning you can get on with calls and email and other work during the day. All you need is to spend a precious 20 minutes per day to curate, share and check your social channels.
On the Salesman.red podcast on personal branding, Jack Kosakowski said his first hour of his day is about coffee and social. I’d advise you to work out when you can do this, even if it’s using apps on your phone during your commute to the office or lunch hour, before or after work.
Formerly SocialBro, this is a brilliant tool for follower work and Twitter list building. Creating good lists of industry influencers and people who you need to connect with is a good way to start the conversation, and build your community. Followers are great but in reality are a vanity metric, community size matters more. Build lists with the intention of speaking to every single person on the list, not getting a follow from them.
Once you’ve got a social selling process written down and printed, on every sales rep’s desk it is important to speak to them about it. Hear out their concerns, thoughts and feedback. If they are seeing traction on Twitter and feel more time should be spent there than other channels, great. Adapt and measure the return and effectiveness of the work done.
Recommended: 7 Reasons Social Connectors Crush Sales
There may well, of course, be some resistance and it is your choice on how you deal with it. Are those who resist hitting quota? Are they key members of the team, irreplaceable? I can’t tell you to fire or hire, but if you are going into social selling seriously it can’t be OK for some team members to “sit out”.
Stick with it, optimize and repeat!
The truth is there’s not a great deal of science to make a good social selling routine. It’s the research and industry/buyer knowledge you already have that will serve you the best, and make for a better social selling process. You need to remember:
About the author: Ollie Whitfield
Ollie uses social selling every day to learn and develop new ways to create conversations and reach prospects. Outside of the office he's an avid Liverpool FC fan and regularly watches his local football team play or plays pool every week. You can connect with Ollie on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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