Most articles written about sales are about pipeline, in this case I wanted to write about sales recruitment and churn .... and can social selling help?

Recruitment using social selling

I remember starting our social selling project at RingCentral and they sales leader saying; "I need to be able to recruit 4 salespeople, can social help with that?"  We said, of course it could and we told the sales leader to write a blog.

The response?  The sales leader has 40 applications within 48 hours and they recruited 4 people and the business allowed them to recruit a 5th, junior sales person based on the saving in recruitment fees.

How do we stop sales people leaving?

Up-to-date skills

Most (the ones you want to stay) sales people always want to make sure their skills are always being updated.  Social selling, with our social selling and influence course, I cannot speak for other companies, provides sales people with digital skills.  They can of course take these skills wherever they go, that is then down to providing the right culture.

All sales leaders and salespeople need to keep their skills current.  We get salesperson after salesperson coming to us and saying "my sales leader just don't understand how the world world today". Which is pretty damning and I can understand why the people who tell us this don't hang around. 


The life of a sales leader is always challenging, how do you give each salesperson the support they need, but don't smother them.  Like any employee, you have to be able to delegate as well as offer a culture that salespeople should feel they can ring you for advice.  Without you being judgemental. 

We have found that using social media strategy, provides a platform internally, where they are clear definitions of sharing information as well as collaborating.  This gives the sales team more of a team ethic and a shared sense of purpose.  Sales people, by their very nature are competitive, often not team players, but social can bridge the gap and allowing the "lone wolf" to collaborate as well as supporting team selling.  

Team playing

Here at DLA Ignite, we work as a team, and support each other in the way we use social, this enables us to build a "grid" of overlapping networks, which gives us greater reach and greater influence in the accounts we want to sell to. 


There has to be a clear compensation plan.  If you sell X, by Y then you get Z.  Sales people are motivated by money, so give it to them.  As soon as you hesitate about paying your salespeople, you will lose them.  And of course, your top sales people should earn more than you and you should celebrate that.  There is nothing I love more than handing one of my salespeople a large commission check (cheque).

Quarterly reviews, account reviews, play books and plans

I wrote recently about how using social media as part of QBRs and account reviews has become a digital imperative.  You can read that blog here.

We now create sales play books for all of our salespeople, so they have a clear plan.  This takes the thought and worry about what a sales people should be doing.

Listen to your sales people

I think many of us who have "seen it and done it" can think we know it all, but listening to sales people is critical.  One of the sales leaders I worked for, would have a review with each of his directs.  He turned his phone over so it was face down, cleared his desk apart from the notepad for the meeting and put the screen saver on his PC.  There were no distractions.

You felt that the time was your own.  He would expect you to bring an agenda, it was your time.  But it felt like he gave you 100% of his attention.  You could vent your spleen, it was your time.

What are you going to do better?

As a leader, this isn't just about your sales team, it's also about you.  I remember, running a training session for a sales team and after the initial introduction from the sales leaders, they all walked out, leaving me and the sales people.  It become there was a "do as I say, not do as I do" culture.  That will drive your salespeople away.

As a sales leader today, you must lead from the front.

Our social selling and influence course has been designed to teach and coach people of all ages and abilities in social media.  Our, one-to-one coaching means that nobody gets left behind so even if social maynot be a strength, we will coach you from novice to expert. 

So who's doing this?

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"

The CRO (chief revenue officer), Richard Eltham of Namos Solutions, of one of clients posted a comment on LinkedIn about social selling. See here.

“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”