We all know that we need to be on social, but convince ourselves that we are already doing great already. Often we hear "we are killing it on social", "Peter in Marketing does it all and he posts on Linkedin every two weeks". Statements like these demonstrate how far you are behind.
The same with "we have nailed social, our salespeople are all over it". Again, it scares me when I hear it. Why?
Because social is different. I know you often hear that things are different, but if you read on, I will explain.
1. In Sales The Opaque Turns Transparent
In the past, in work, life was opaque. Nobody could actually see what you were doing. You can sit at your desk, and nobody knows if you are doing your job or not.
One of my last roles in the corporate world, was getting the forecast together to send to HQ (head quarters). As a Nasdaq quoted company we had to have an accurate forecast, in fact the KPI was 98% accurate. Let's not forget that most sales forecasts are plus / minus 100%.
We ran the forecast on social. We used the CRM as a record keeping system, what was the bill of materials (BoM)? What was the closing date? The value etc, but everything else was run in social.
This turned an opaque process where salespeople told you "yeah, oh course it will close this month" where it was down to your wits to understand if the salesperson was lying. Or getting close enough to every deal, that you know exactly what was going on. As a sales leader that could be closing 30 x $500K complex deals in a quarter, that was a massive ask.
By putting the forecast on social, the whole inspection process was transparent. You could see exactly what was happening and in real time. There was a salesperson who forecasted a deal at Barclays Bank, he forecasted it, his manager forecasted it. There was nothing happening on social, no discussion, no feedback from meetings. We didn't forecast it. The manager complained, how dare we disagree with him. We were told how long he had been in sales, etc etc. The deal didn't happen, the salesperson left a few weeks after, it was a total figment of his imagination.
When we train people in social selling and take them through their profiles and how to look good on social. All we have to do is look them up on social to see what they have done it. I realise that sounds simple, but people still think that if they do nothing, nothing will happen. The same with using social to proactively prospect, it's totally transparent, you can see if the salesperson is prospecting.
2. In Sales 70% of Effort is Zero Of a Result
Another great thing about social media is you cannot get "a little bit pregnant".
Social Media is binary, it's either 1 or 0. It's either yes or know.
Equation 1 - What is 1 x 1 x 1 x 1 =
It equals 1.
Equation 2 - what is 1 x 1 x 1 x 0 =
It's zero .....
Think about this as effort. In equation 1 it put in 4 lots of effort and I get a result. In equation 2 I put in 3 lots of effort, but decide to take a short cut and miss one step out, hence the zero. The result is zero, even though I put in effort 3 times.
People think if you put in 70% of the effort you get 70% of the result. It's not, 70% of the effort creates zero of the result. Like a jigsaw, it's not all complete until you put all the pieces in. A jigsaw that is 70% complete, is 70% complete.
Let's Go Back To Those Two Statements
"we are killing it on social, Peter in Marketing does it all and he posts on Linkedin every two weeks"
This statement shows you are far behind in so many ways:-
1. People buy from people, not companies and not "Peter in Marketing" you sales team must be forging relationships, creating conversations and influencing their accounts. Getting somebody else to put out content does not help any of you.
2. The question I ask is "how invisible to your clients do you want to be?" Your buyers are all online, they are consuming content, if it isn't yours, it's your competitors. If you are only putting out content once every 14 days, you are invisible for 13.
3. It's not authentic. We all know people buy from people, your sales team should be taking the lead and owning their territory. I was always told by my Sales Leaders that "you are the Managing Director" of your territory. Your territory and your buyers are digital, when are you going to seize control.
4. In a world that is transparent, I can see how crap you are on social, just by looking at your profiles.
I presented at a sales kick off this week and for a bit of fun I always do an analysis of the competition and how social they are. Bring the the competitions Sales Leaders social profiles and explain how far behind they are.
"we have nailed social, our salespeople are all over it"
All of those statements are true about the above.
1. In presentations, it's always great to find out who your named accounts are and then bring up sales navigator and demonstrate how few relationships yoru business has in those "tier one" accounts. Always worth watching people fidget when we do the same for the competition.
2. I was in a deal review recently (we run a service to de-risk forecasts) and the deal at Dominos Pizza came up. It was waved though as a "done deal". I'm paid to challenge, so I spoke up.
"It won't happen" I said. The salesperson went red in the face. I went onto say "the salesperson has no relationships in the account". It didn't happen. Why? The salesperson had no relationships.
There is a new world order that is transparent. Great for leaders around inspection.
The Value of Social Media Etiquette in the Workplace
Social media is not a tactic. It's a strategy. It gives us new opportunities, to sell and market.
As a business you need to get control. You need a strategy.
Social is just like "health and safety" or "diversity and inclusion" or "sexual harassment" there are good and bad behaviors and people need to be taught, what is good and what is bad. What allows them to pick up their paycheck at the end of the month and what will get them fired.
A CEO Just Said to Me
"there is a race on. First we need to shock people into understanding that the world has changed. Second, we need to give them the skills to work in the changing world."
He went onto say "By giving my team(s) “new world” skills will gives us a competitive advantage."
Interesting that he finished by saying
"The thing is there is a “burning bridge” and we need to make sure we are over that bridge."
Where Do We Go From Here?
Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing for other companies. No hard sell, just take you through what other companies are doing to transform, how they are getting competitive advantage and how they have made their way over the burning bridge.
Every company has different values when it comes to communicating on social media, so this is where having a social media policy that includes social media etiquette can set expectations across an organization. Highly recommend getting one in place if you don’t have one already! Brands that have a social media policy improve their chances for building a strong reputation online. A great social media policy acts as a code of conduct for online interactions and also lets employees know why it’s important to the company so that they feel encouraged to participate and freely share their voice. Be sure to include any social media etiquette guidelines that apply to your business in your social media policy to help get everyone at your business, regardless of social media savviness, on the same page. A social media policy is a great addition to your onboarding materials so that new hires can get up to speed quickly with your company’s social mission.