The social enterprise is a reality and sales leadership must align social selling with the overall organizational strategy. Collaboration with marketing is essential to accelerate content creation, formalize and test tactics and amplify core product/service/brand messaging.
The social selling journey is not a light switch that can simply be flipped on. A social sales culture represents a change and process re-engineering effort. Executed correctly, successful programs will begin to see results in a 6-9 month timeframe. Training, refresher training and being open to a rapidly shifting set of best practices and tactics requires both discipline and flexibility in the approach.
Leadership by example is critical to influencing buy in by the sales team. Transparently communicating successes and challenges will encourage sales team members to participate. Providing pragmatic training on the science of social selling and how to build a personal social identity will also help drive activation behavior. Over time, the cadence of content creation and social interactions will solidify, sales team members' social styles will mature and business results will be amplified.
93% of sales executives have not received any formal training on social selling. (Accenture)
Sales representatives who exceed quota share 23% more content each month on social media than other reps. (LinkedIn)
82% of prospects are active on social media. (InsideView)
68% of sales professionals say they believe that the selling process is changing faster than their own organizations are adapting to it. (Forbes)
9% of U.S. salespeople say their company trains or educates them on the use of social media. (Forbes)
Your customer is empowered and the selling process must mirror the buying process.
Personally represent and train your personnel in the social selling skills needed to be successful.
Embrace the new norm and ask your trusted relationships where they look for information and perform research related to your products and services. Listen for needs and share appropriate information there to influence change.