Many of you will have heard of social selling, (some people call it digital selling, some call it virtual selling, some call it remote selling, some call it modern selling) but is it real?
The use of social today
All businesses use social in some shape or form today. It usually sits in marketing and people post some articles on a LinkedIn company page. Some companies have invested in a tool that posts "corporate content" on to social. Called employee advocacy. But does any of this really move the needle?
We doubt it does and in fact we suspect that for many companies social is a "cost", rather than a "profit" to the business.
Using social to generate revenue, profit and EBITDA
Since my running at a social selling at a US corporate back in 2014, I have worked to make sure there was always a connection between social selling and revenue.
It's my view that business leaders and sales leaders want to hear about business closed with social selling not "fluff".
When, Matt and I wrote "social selling - techniques to influence buyers and changemakers" (available on Amazon worldwide) a sales leader had said to me "this social selling is all very well, but where are the f-ing leads". It was something that rang true to me.
That is why, Adam Gray and I set up DLA Ignite, not to run social media campaigns, not to be a full service marketing agency, not to go viral, not to chase likes, not to put flowers on your Linkedin profile, but to transform businesses to closing business with social media and social selling. Creating EBITDA from social is part of our DNA.
How do you generate EBITDA with social selling?
Very simply, we have created a methodology and you and your team(s) follow it and out pops leads and meetings. Using your skill as salespeople, you can then close that business as "normal".
This methodology is now backed by Institute of Professional Sales (ISP) the global sales trade body. We are the only company in the world that has a social selling qualification. Just like you have from a school or college.
That said, we teach you, not just to prospect with social selling, but we teach you how to influence deals with social selling, how to unblock sales in your pipeline and how to close business with social selling.
We do it through a process of coaching (group and 1 to 1) so that we get everybody skilled, from the beginners to the ninjas. All skill levels, all learning speeds, all ages, we don't leave anybody behind.
Social, after all, is not just about having pipeline in 2022 but also how do you use social selling throughout the sales process.
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Now Imagine .....
Imagine, I pick you up tomorrow in my car and drive you to a place which is full of your prospects and customers. All you have to do is go up and have a conversations with them.
Remember, social media is, social media. In the past you interrupted somebody with a cold call or an email and pitched your services. As social media is being social on media, interrupting and pitching does not work.
If I walked up to you at a social event and pitched, you would make your excuses and go and talk to somebody else.
So how about tomorrow, I pick you up in my car and we go to a place where all your prospects are hanging out. You can stay as long as you want. All you have to do is have a conversation with them. It's that simple, if you are interested, read on.
What is social selling?
Here at DLA Ignite, we define social selling as
"Using your presence and behavior on Social Media to build influence,
make connections, grow relationships and trust, which leads to
conversation and commercial interaction."
It's not witchcraft, it's enabling your salespeople to work from home, (or the office) and create conversations with prospects and customers. Conversations on social media and conversations that convert.
The problem with the name "social selling" is that people think that this is selling on social. All these pitches that you get on social are not social selling, they are spam.
The other thing you need to know about social selling is that this isn't about "putting out some videos" or "putting flowers on your profile" or "going viral". Here at DLA Ignite, engagement is important but we are about driving revenue, EBITDA, for your business using social media. This is about you winning business from the competition and having a competitive advantage.
Social is about having a strategy and there are two key drivers
With anything you do on social there are two questions you need to ask
2. How much revenue / EBITDA am I getting as a business?
Posting and hoping or posting random stuff is not a strategy, in fact I doubt it's driving anything for your business.
So who's social selling?
In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.
But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling? Not according to Merrill Lynch.
"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"
“Social selling is not an option now it is the way of the world and you either learn and execute it or fear getting left behind”
Kevin Murray who is the Head of Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology recently posted about his success with social selling here and wrote an article about the transformation that has happened in sales here.
Andrew Ferrier who is the CEO of Display Technology Ltd and in this article it talks about why Display Technology have adopted social selling. His team have also created a social media strategy with help from our partner, Crux.
Their social media mission statement is
“We want to position ourselves as a forward-thinking, knowledgeable team of individuals who are all experts in our own right, therefore, collectively awesome!”
Andrew also says in that post
"Adopting this (social selling) strategy has taken all of us well outside of our comfort zones but the rewards we have seen in a short period of time have created an excitement within the business development team (new term for sales team).
Because of the nature of social media, quite often you can get instant results. Even if that is just a comment left on your post, or a like, or someone taking the time to want to connect with you.
The excitement around the sales team is infectious, it’s no longer a chore to reach out to the market place because the results can be instant and are there, right in front of you."
What sort of results can you expect?
If you check out this video of Chris Mason CEO at Oracle reseller Namos, and DLA Ignite customer, fast forward to 19 minutes 55 seconds. Chris talks about a $2.6 million win from being on social, after completing the DLA Ignite social selling and influence course.
What happened? They buyer was on social media looking for a solution to their problem, spotted one of the Namos salespeople, who had a buyer-centric profile and asked if the salesperson could help them. That turned into a $2.6 million deal.
Go and look at their LinkedIn profiles .... look how they can have digital conversations, create insightful content. This could be your company!
We are the only social selling and influence company in the world to offer a certificate in social selling sponsored by the Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP).
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