Sales, Sales Enablement and Marketing leaders need to make sure that any program they launch is set up for success. Our team takes our clients through the 8 steps to rolling out a successful social selling program to maximize measurable and sustainable results. In this interview, Donna Valente asks Brynne Tillman about the 8 Steps.

There are 8 steps to rolling out a successful social selling program. Sales, Sales Enablement and Marketing leaders need to make sure that any program they launch is set up for success. In many cases, sales reps are either off on their performing random acts of social, or they have had some light training that offers some insights but on a sales plan.

Just like any sales activity, a solid plan is needed to be successful. This is what it takes to roll-out an effective program that generates business opportunities.

 1. Define Desired Outcomes and Establish KPIs – Many sales leaders have specific goals for their sales reps, but rarely do they align those goals with social activity. There are two types of goals leaders need to focus on, first, results goals. Define what success looks like, ie. three prospecting calls per week. Then establish what is the activity that will get them to that goal, ie. 20 introductions requests from shared connections that lead to 10 introductions, 7 message interactions, and 3 scheduled calls. Without defining this up front, it will be difficult to measure the success of the program as a whole.

2. Buyer Identification and Mapping – Knowing who your ideal buyer is, is foundational to finding them. Visit the profiles of your existing clients that you want more of, record key information, ie.Title, Location, Industry etc. With this information captured, it makes it easy to find more buyers like your favorite clients.

3. Choose Your Sales Tool/App Stack – This is very specific to each organization, and although there is often an existing stack, there are a few more that may be needed when rolling out a social selling program. First, decide if you are going to invest in Sales Navigator, LinkedIn’s premium account. This is a powerful tool that can help sales reps find and manage the buyers more effectively. In addition, there are employee advocacy tools that make sharing approved content easy and measurable as well as calendar scheduling tools, and productivity tools. Choosing the right tools to help your sales reps succeed should happen very early on in your planning process.

4. Content Curation and Development Plan – Whether or not you have decided to invest in an advocacy tool like Everyone Social or GaggleAmp, or have chosen a freemium product like Hootsuite and/or Feedly – designing a plan is the next step. Develop a content marketing plan around hot and relevant topics, build a publishing schedule and ownership of the activities. Consider that content is much more than blog posts and eBooks and explore video both company sponsored and rep created. Reps can offer approved tips and insights as well as interviews on the spot with clients. Selfie videos, done well draw, can create a lot of interest.

5. Develop a Playbook with Daily Activities and Templates – Knowing what to do and what to say on a daily basis is foundational to a sales rep’s success. Determining the activities and defining each step to implement those activities that lead to the stated goals is the most important step to social selling adoption. In addition, providing proven and effective templates that make engaging simple, is key to your sales reps’ success.

6. Branding Buyer-Centric Profiles – Before any outreach is made, profiles need to be updated from a resume to a resource. If our goal is to get more phone calls with targeted prospects, we have to earn the right to get those calls. Earning the right starts with offering insights beginning with the LinkedIn profile. If you can offer enough value here, they will be excited to learn more from you and want to take your call.

7. LinkedIn Social Selling Training – Training needs to be customized to your environment and delivered in a way that best suits your team. Onsite and Live/Virtual rather than video-on-demand learning allows for interaction and conversation that often leads to greater success.

8. Reinforce, Measure, Tweak and Coach for Improvement – Accountability coaching is foundational to any sales reps success, so make sure you incorporate social selling activities into their one on ones. Focus on the established KPIs and real data. How many new or the right connections did they make, how many became phone calls and how many of those calls converted to opportunities is a good place to start.

As you consider rolling out a social selling program, it is foundational that you go through all the steps that ensure the success of all the participants.

If you are exploring a LinkedIn and social selling roll out for your team, or have a program that is not producing an ROI, I invite you to have a conversation. Whether or not we decide to work together, I will offer some insights and strategies that can help your program be more successful. To make scheduling easier, here is a LINK to my calendar, please pick a time that works best for you.