Using social media to acquire qualified prospects is a revolution for the sales and marketing industry. The fact is, social selling is far better than old redundant tricks like cold calls, emails and boring sales demos that no longer work.
Yet, for a long-term social selling program to be successful, you definitely need the blessings of “the higher powers”.
But convincing the C-suite executive to invest in a long-term social selling program often feels like scaling a mountain. You need to create a solid case to appear seamless and adequately prepared.
…and that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss today. You’ll get to learn about a step-by-step approach to increase the chances of your social selling program being taken seriously.
These are power-packed tips taken straight from a lively webinar hosted by Jack Kosakowski, global head of social sales at Creation Agency. The idea is to win your bosses’ hearts and get a quick nod for the implementation of social selling in your organization.
# 1 – Think like them & have the answers ready
While it seems frustrating that your high-level executives are not immediately onboard with a new idea, you need to put yourself in their shoes and think about what is vital to them. As Jack puts it,
The C-suite executives and CEO’s have got numbers to hit. They deal with a lot of moving parts. With so many jobs and livelihoods beneath them, they don’t like a ‘big change’. When you try to sell them over a social selling program, their immediate reaction would be to think about the downsides like,
- Is there a need to retrain their people?
- Do we have to buy new technology?
- How much time does it take to implement?
Be well prepared and have rock-solid answers ready for all their concerns.
Recommended: The “Unlucky 13” Biggest Social Selling Blunders
#2 – What does the data tell you?
Open LinkedIn sales navigator. Put in the buyer persona for your target audience. Then try and understand the data. That’s how you build a business case for an executive or a sales leader.
For instance, if you see 30% of your buyers on LinkedIn, that’s 30% market share. Now you have the initial numbers to build your case. Repeat the same process on Twitter through a tool called “Audiense”, and on Facebook through “Facebook ads business manager”.
These tools will help you check the exact number of future prospects available and whether or not you should be spending time on these platforms. This will help you prove that social selling brings enough numbers for it to be a competitive edge. That’s how you produce data that impresses all. According to Jack,
#3 – Identify the desired outcome
It’s always a good idea to zero down on your final offer. For instance, the sales industry is plagued with poor conversion on cold calling. You need to prove that the social selling program offers new opportunities in the pipeline. Compare it with cold calling and showcase how you can do better.
Focus on one desired outcome and construct a pilot program around it. That way you start small while establishing numbers before you get the big nod… and that brings us to the next important point.
#4 – Identify a “pilot team” and plan out the process
Pick 20 accounts for the pilot team. Having a small team that represents multiple departments is ideal. Try and include a diverse set of decision-makers. Have a plan of action and once you’ve got your content identified start the pilot program keeping it track-able at each step.
At the end of the day, you’re looking to show concrete numbers to the leadership. Planned tracking would let you highlight that new process is far better than the old one it replaces.
#5 – What should you track?
Typically, give yourself 2 to 3 months to work on a pilot. Here is a concise list of things that you can specifically track in your CRM –
- Lead source – Where did the new data come from?
- Touches – It’s important to track your touches. You can achieve this using your CRM.
- Conversations – Track the number of new conversations that you created from a particular lead source.
- Revenue – How many of these opportunities actually returned revenue?
# 6 – How to present the data?
First, pull up the data straight from your CRM and show the results in combination with the goals that you set. Then highlight the next step and a detailed plan on how to move forward while emphasizing the scalability. Something like, we invested X amount of dollars and got X amount of return. At the end of the day, you just need data to back up your theories.
When trying to get a buy-in, the meat of your presentation should be the results you got from the pilot… and when you’ve perfectly pitched the results to your C-Suite, you’re almost guaranteed to get the green light.
Jack speaks from experience. Being the most important cog in the wheel for the sales team at Creation Agency, he understands the practical importance and impact of social selling as a serious competitive advantage. Getting a buy-in for social selling is not a challenge – it’s an opportunity. It might sound a bit complicated, but with the right strategy, it’s not out of your reach.