I was talking to a sales leader the other day about social selling and he said to me
"you need to talk to marketing"
If you think that social selling is all about marketing, you don't understand social selling, let me walk you through what social selling means .....
I think we can all agree what sales means ...
What is social selling?
Social selling is a methodology that you use all the way through the sales process.
Let's look at a "typical" social selling sales process:-
1. You will have a buyer-centric profile, that gets buyers to see you as an expert, somebody that can help them, somebody they can do business with. The modern buyer is looking for somebody who isn't "just another salesperson".
2. You connect with the people you want to influence and sell to.
3. You create content that shows you are that expert that people want to work with and buyers will want to buy from. Tip: Don't sell, more on that in a bit.
4. This will create conversations (lots of them) on social media and many of these you will take off line. NB: Social selling isn't anti-telephone or anti-zoom, of course you will take these conversations to a "meeting" in some shape or form. Covid aside, you might even have a face-to-face meeting.
5. Once you have this meeting the deal will move though your deal flow. Let's assume they want to move ahead, to proposal or whatever your next sales steps are.
7. Social selling allows you to be "front of mind" with your prospects daily. In fact, you can be obvious choice, in fact the only choice if you go down the route of digital dominance.
8. By being always "front of mind" will reduce the amount of ghosting and will accelerate your deals as your content will create a sense of urgency.
9. In most cases you will find that you won't close the deal, it's about empowering your prospect to buy.
10. Your work to date, will have positioned you, so you can "land and expand" for any renewals or follow up sales. It provides you will an Account-based marketing (ABM) / Account-based sales position.
This does not sound like social selling is marketing's responsibility to me!
If you read those ten steps back, you can see that social selling does not sit in marketing, it sits fairly and squarely in sales.
Sales leaders, it's time you took responsibility for your sales team and got them digital ready, when you are prospecting, but also, throughout the sales process!
Before you dive in a couple of words of advice about how not to waste time our your budget.
How not to waste time and budget on failed social selling initiatives
There are too many people wasting time and budget with social selling.
- How many meetings or leads can you create with your activity on social media?
- How much revenue have you created from your activity on social media?
If you need help on social selling
If you want to understand how social selling can help your business, DLA Ignite has been transforming business for over 6 years now.
Our social selling and influence course, will give you all the skills you need to cover those 10 steps above.
On Friday we announced with the Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP) the world's first qualification in social selling. This NOT a certificate of attendance of a course, this is a qualification backed by the leading global sales governing body. More details can be obtained from one of the DLA Ignite team.
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" social selling about your business creating revenue and EBITDA, you winning business from the competition and having a competitive advantage.
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?
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, 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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