I was talking to a company this week that was looking too implement social selling / virtual selling and it was interesting listening to what they said.
They were spending time searching the internet looking for free advice and they were looking for "interesting" tools for the sales people to use. I was then told about the (Frankenstein monster - my words) of a social selling / virtual selling program they were putting together.
Some of the "free" advice on social is wrong, some of it is downright dangerous.
I asked, "where is the strategy?"
I also asked "why were they running around look at "free advice" when there was a ready built, tried and tested methodology that can get them from zero to social selling / virtual selling in no time?"
Hints and Tips - Masterclasses - Profile Updates
We often see people selling these types of services and while I cannot say what is contained in them, I can see how people passive social presence and active social behaviours change, after people have been on this training. They don't.
Here are people being paid to train you in social, but your team is the same as it was before the training?
I'm aware of a "social Selling guru" who was retained about a credit card company to help the sales people, the social profiles are no different from before they employed this person.
The reason for this is that people think social is about what you know, it's not, it's what you do. There are so many people exploiting people's ignorance.
One of my team has just contacted me to tell me about a new client, who are only 1 and half weeks into our program and they are already getting inbound. Or putting it another way, taking business of the competition.
Social - Let's Get Real
As a business, large or small, you should be getting C-Level meetings, or whoever your target level of client is from using social selling. I often use an example in my blogs where people have got six C-Level meetings from one post because they understand how to harvest the engagement. The post took ten minutes to create by the way.
This should give you some idea of the results you should be getting.
Social Is No Longer a Tactic
Social is still being treated as a tactic. I'm aware of Sales Leaders who tell their team(s) to be "more social". The problem is, nobody has been trained in what is "more social".
Posting more, sending more connection requests in isolation are just random acts of social. I often see Sales Leader posting on social and all of the likes are from direct reports. Again, just a random act of social.
You can attend as many "hints and tips" sessions, as many "masterclasses" and have your profile "made over" as many times as you like, but it makes no difference.
Somebody told me today that from what they had got on social so far was 4 inbound enquiries on facebook. Which is great, so why are many companies dropping advertising, email marketing and cold calling and going all in with social?
Let's go back to the 6 C-Level meetings from one 10 minute post I mentioned above. Say you have 10 salespeople and they all take 10 minutes a day to post on social media and they all got 6 x C-Level meetings from those posts, you would have so much pipeline you couldn't transact it. OK, how about 10 sales people and they only get 1 x C-Level meeting a day, or a week, or a month, that would still transform your pipeline, your forecast and your company's cash position.
Social Is a Strategy
Let's stop wasting time, looking for advice on social, let's stop wasting time looking for aps for the sales people and let's get a strategy.
Better still, let's get a methodology, you do this, you do this and you get this result.
If you think about it, all sales methodologies work when the salesperson does not have to think about what they do next. They just do it.
Steve jobs wore the same (style) of clothes everyday as it meant he didn't have to wake up and think "what am I going to wear today?" He was able to focus his mind on other things, the important things, like making your quota.
You don't want to think about which tool you need to use, or what should you be doing not on social, you should be instinctive.
Grow Your Own Opportunities
Now is the time to invest in your salesforce, to give them the virtual selling skills they need. None of this "make it up as we go along", the time for that is over.
Your team needs to be self sufficient in their prospecting / lead generation. They also need to be self sufficient in their ability to close virtually as well.
Behaviour that gets fast traction, fast results, rather than getting nothing from nothing.
“The Bitterness of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten”
My article about Crappy Sales Managers discussed the low recommendation rates for sales management candidates, why they are so low, and the bigger repercussions of the problem. Speaking of deeper dives, today’s article takes a deeper dive into one of the problems identified in the prior article; crappy sales coaching skills.