I work closely with Sales Enablement, Marketing and Sales Leadership to either create a comprehensive social selling program from the ground up, or significantly improve their existing programs. The key to a successful program is getting sales adoption and driving results.
There are 8 stages to an Enterprise Social Selling Program:
- Identify Desired Outcomes – articulate what success looks like first. Decide if you are looking to gain access to a targeted group of defined prospects or is the world your oyster. Determine if more qualified phone calls with the right decision makers, brand amplification, thought leadership or a combination that meets your goals.
- Buyer Mapping – begin with existing clients, create org charts around all the stakeholders and record all the titles and key LinkedIn filters to use to identify more prospects that fit those persona.
- Develop a Playbook – do not roll out a program to a sales team without a playbook that makes social selling a plug-and-play process. They need to know what activities to do on a daily basis and the steps to do them. And, the Playbook should match the team’s KPIs as closely as possible.
- Write Templates – most sales reps get stuck here. “What should I say, how should I say it and how do I convert the activity to sales calls” are often what stands in the way of implementation. By offering the right message templates, the sales team will know exactly what to say and when and will be much more successful.
- Train Them Well – now that the foundation is established, it is time to train the team on how to be successful with social selling. Understanding how to leverage their network and clients to gain access to buyers, how to curate and share content that nurtures all the decision makers through out the process and how to be positioned as the vendor of choice is what gets the sales reps to buy-in. They quickly realize that leveraging LinkedIn for social selling actually reduces the time to conversation, shrinks the sales cycle and helps to close more business faster, not something that is added to their plate. When trained the right way, your sales team will be productive immediately.
- Brand Profiles – no matter how successful your team is at social selling, if their profiles look like a resume, they aren’t getting the calls. Your team’s buyers only care about how you can help them and reading their mission, passion and years in business won’t do the trick. It is vital that your team’s profiles attract, teach and engage their buyers and get them to want to take a call or meeting. It is the difference of asking for the phone call and earning it.
- Track and Measure – whether you use your CRM or a social selling dashboard like PeopleLinx, tracking your team’s activities and measuring the right KPIs is key to ongoing success.
- Coach for Improvement – On a consistent basis, the social selling activities need to be reviewed, the skills need to be honed and activities tweaked to continue growth and success.