Today I watched a webinar with @salesshebang and some other lovely women who know a thing or two about sales. There were 4 ladies on this webinar that have been in sales for more than I have so I wanted to hear what they had to say! I did this during my lunch time spot and thought it was a great way to take a break from the phones and meetings and learn something.
People are excited by social selling in general. You hear the words #socialselling and a lot of sales people and companies aren't sure where to start. There are things that you as a sales rep or management of a company thinking about incorporating social selling into the sales mix should think through.
Here are a couple of things I would suggest you think about before experimenting with social selling.
1. Who are your buyer personas? Really define your buyer personas with your marketing team. This exercise not only will help your sales reps in social selling but will also help your marketing team to create content that will help your company asset yourself to those buyers you are targeting as a sales rep.
2. What tools and software are you going to use to enable your team to sell socially? There are lots of tools and software out there in the marketing space. LOTS of them...if you start doing your research you will see that there are a lot of point solutions and then some platforms with marketing tools (like the one I sell). Do your homework before you talk to the sales rep and really think about what you need to accomplish and why you are trying to accomplish it. That will help you figure out which tool you really need and also help the sales rep qualify you better for the right toolset.
3. You need to think about where your customers might be so you can interact with them there. Not all social networks are right for all sales people. Some types of companies are likely to hang out on LinkedIn while others could be good for facebook. Try things out and see what works for you.
4. You don't need to use every social media outlet out there. Once again, not every tool is right for your business model. You need to test things and see what works best. In general B2B companies should use LinkedIn and Twitter and B2C is typically better on Facebook and Twitter. But, I would still test things on your own market to make that decision on where you will spend your time.
5. Make sure you track what you are doing so you can actually explain the ROI of your efforts. Tracking ROI is a smart thing to do. Don't do things just to do things. You should be able to track your efforts (whatever they might be) and then report back on the results that happened as result of your efforts. Do more of the things that show a higher ROI. If social selling ends up being something that doesn't work for your company or work for you then so be it!
Social selling takes certain types of skills. Remember that technology is an enabler so you need to teach your team how to use social selling the right way so they will actually see results. Skills take time to build so don't think that this will come overnight...Practice makes perfect.
Consistency is key. You need to be able to put time into social selling everyday. It should become part of your day...a few minutes every single day will help impact your numbers. Doing things consistently online is important. If you do things sporadically and spastically then you likely will not see the results that you want. If you do things consistently and keep at it you will see results.
Everyone has time to do social selling. You start to make social selling part of your day and work it into your day. Then over time if you consistently work on social selling you will start to see results and that will enable you to do social selling more and more everyday.
Remember that social media has to do with being social. Here are some ways that you can stay human as you start to use social media in your sales process.
Interact with people you are connected with.
Don't make it all about you.
Don't talk only about you.
Everything you learned about talking and interacting with people in a live setting are the same things you need to think about when you are doing social prospecting and social selling.
Be nice and be helpful.
Social messages will help you to start the dialogue. From there you will start to interact offline in other ways that are more traditional that you are used to like the phone, email, in person, etc.
Share things that you have opinions on and ask for people's opinion.
When your prospects and customers see your posts on social media they are going to get an idea of who you are and the way you think. Make sure you are posting things that are interesting to your target market.
Our buyers spend a whole lot of time before reaching out to a sales person doing research. If you want to influence them and help educate them on why they should be working with you then you need to get in front of them where they can be influenced. Social media is one outlet that you have in your sales toolkit to interact with prospects.
Social selling should become part of today's sales rep's day. Social selling is one more tactic that your sales reps should be using to gain more exposure to prospects and customers.