What is Social Selling and How Will it Turn Your Sales Team into Sales Leaders?
An exciting presentation by Jamie Shanks of Sales for Life, recently covered how sales leaders can train their team in the art of social selling. But what is social selling? With so much information and connectivity available, it can be hard to know how best to leverage this valuable tool and how to move your sales process into the electronic world.
The basic sales process remains the same, people want to buy from other individuals, so there still needs to be communication and conversation, even if this occurs in a digital format. You’re moving them along their buying journey and communicating with them just as you did in the past, you’re just doing it using technology and social networks.
Starting a Social Selling Process
Your sales process starts by finding people who may be interested in your product or service. You can leverage your social networks to do this by setting alerts that notify you based on different triggers. This could include when companies merge or a lead switches positions. You can also find leads by reaching into your own social network and mining it for connections. Technology makes it easy to track these relationships and changes, but you have to keep your network up to date and pay attention to it in order to leverage this data. Your goal is to surround the company and send different people within the organization multiple marketing touch points that are educational and useful.
Teaching your sales team this art this begins by working with your sales team to convey your brand digitally. Go through all their social profiles to ensure the brand message is consistent, uses the right keywords, and that their profiles are open and inviting. Have them review their profiles and messaging through a buyer-centric lens.
Refining Social Content
Once your team’s social profiles are in tune, look at the content they’re sending out. Is that messaging adding value and are they leveraging the information from their networks to know who is interested in what material? Is that material conveying a consistent brand message? Sometimes it helps to do a spot audit of one sales person’s biggest account to see how well they’re connecting with the account’s contacts on social media, how frequently they’re engaging, and what material they’re sharing. Then you can offer coaching on how to improve their techniques for the specific client that carries over to other accounts.
You know the sales process should never contain a message or email that doesn’t add value, either through educating or informing your customer. You can help your team accomplish this by giving them digital content to share on best practices, industry updates, and exciting news. Mix content you’ve created in house with content you’ve found to position your team as experts in your industry.
Once they’ve got the process and content figured out, work with your team to teach them how to develop their sales accounts by looking for new leads to add to their social networks. When the leads are in your network, you can track the content they’ve looked at or engaged with to determine where their interests are. Challenge your team to grow their social footprint by one person each day.
As a leader, you must be ahead of the curve in demonstrating these digital sales strategies to your team and showing how they are effective. Start by telling stories of how digital sales is working for specific customers, then begin to gather data to show it’s having a positive impact on the company as a whole.
Once you’ve started training your sales team, and you get some people having success implementing social selling, then bring your team together again and have them to teach each other the successful ways they’re implementing new strategies into their existing techniques. Nothing gets someone to master material faster than having to teach it.
If you’d like some help starting your digital selling strategy, check out our guide to email follow-up. It’s helped businesses in many different industries set up digital marketing and sales automation that increase efficiency and complement what is already working.
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