One of the sales tactics you can implement with social selling is "grid selling".

This is where you as a business, connect with your target accounts, (which is pretty normal I guess). 

But with "grid selling" you systematically, across your business, sales, pre-sales, marketing, finance, procurement, human resources, etc, connect with a list of accounts and different roles.  In a grid. 

By having "a grid" your company will start become the obvious choice when they start search for your product or service.  The more you have a grid, the more you will become the only choice.

This is how you build digital dominance.

Note: This also protects a company if a salesperson leaves taking their network with them. 

Let's take a step back.

What is social selling?

A social network, like LinkedIn, works the same way as a networking event or a cocktail party. You create conversations with people, you get to know people and you build relationships.

If you come onto a social network and start giving out brochures (posting brochures) or shouting how great your company is.  You get the same result as you would if you walked into a networking event and said how great your company is or started handing out brochures.  

People would ignore you and probably call security.

That's why so many people say "we tried social and it didn't work", what happened was you tried social using legacy processes.  So how should you behave on social? 

What do you need to do?

1.  You need a buyer centric profile - Your LinkedIn profile, is your shop window to the world.  We know that buyers look us up, so think about what buyers are looking for.

2. You need a network - If you are going to "influence" people and companies then you need to be connected to them.  As I say above, leave the spam at home and see each connection request as a chance to have a conversation.  Think, cocktail party, this NOT about selling.

What you need to do as a business is agree a set of accounts, this might be your Account Based Marketing (ABM) list, it might be a list of targets.

"Grid selling" is then working systematically as a team to connect to your opposite number.  Finance connects with finance, procurement connects with procurement, marketing connects with marketing, etc.  So you build a grid access the business.

This will increase your competitive advantage, increase your win rate and increase the likelihood you will get asked by clients to come and help them.  Probably without even competition, as you own the digital space. This is what digital dominance and grid selling is all about. 

3. You need content - This is how you are going to give people insight, help, entertain them. 

Research shows that people are on social media to be .... social, leave the brochures for the website

Where can the non-sales areas support social selling?

We recently ran an "experiment" with this marketer, (she has 1,125 contacts) we got her to post corporate content and them a humanised piece.  The results are as follows

Humanised content - 28 likes - 3 comments

Corporate content - 10 likes

Corporate content - zero likes

Corporate content - 2 likes

Corporate content 2 likes.

You see a pattern emerging? 

The thing about the corporate content, all the likes are from the same company.  The humanised content are from outside the company.

Build a bridge

The humanised content gives her, and everybody else, regardless of role an opportunity to build a bridge to the people that have liked and commented.  You have something in common, so start a conversation.  Don't sell.

When people come comment, they may ask you questions like 

"what does do?" wouldn't that be cool.

You could respond "shall I get somebody to call you?"

And there you have it, you have generated a lead from social! 

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” 

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.