Social selling is gaining recognition and its importance is being realised now.
As an insider to the industry, it feels as though there are plenty of social selling professionals but in reality, there are not very many sales people using it at all.
If you are an SDR, or BDR with a sales team working under you, the number of reps using social for a competitive advantage might be quite low. But for those who are using it, great encouragement and support are needed to help them in succeeding with it and keeping them in the habit of doing so. This will inspire other reps to get in on the act, and also combat the old styles of sales that are soon to be even less successful. Supporting your forwarding thinking and acting reps is the way to move the whole team forward.
I can speak from experience as part of a social selling team. As this is absolutely what I love to do, I do not need a great deal of motivation but there are techniques and ways to get the best out of a social seller and hone their instincts.
Training and Feedback
If you have experience or knowledge of social selling, it is vital that you share this with your reps. Knowing that the path has already been walked down before is a positive sign and it makes the idea less hard to realise.
To support the social selling sales people in your team, having a person to bounce ideas from is invaluable. New methods, optimising a process and new tools are all challenging things to do in sales and social selling, so second opinions matter.
As well as this, offering access to or providing ideas and links to coaching or training material will encourage better results and development of social selling in your team, not only to those who already utilise social selling. Personally, you can never ever stop learning because the pace of change is too fast. It is so important in any industry to keep learning, and especially in sales and social selling where a shift and changes are happening. Getting on top early matters, which is why early adopters have an advantage.
The offer and availability of social selling training and feedback or conversation in my mind is what helps me keep sharp to new ideas and practices that improve my output and results. It could not be more important.
Tools and systems
Part of motivating a team or an individual at times means cost. Not always, but in social selling, there are a lot of tools that can help and make a big difference to the results you get. For example, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a tool I would be far less productive without.
There are fair arguments for and against providing a Sales Navigator instance to your reps, but in terms of motivating and encouraging social selling within your sales team, I think fronting the cost and providing it for them is key. That is for 2 reasons:
- Reps will feel allowed to try and use social, your company paying for it is a sign of intent to develop the sales team
- Paying for Sales Navigator can put off some reps, even the ones keen to use social to their advantage
I can appreciate that this might be another cost to the business but if your team can get really efficient and productive in social selling the investment will be worth it. In the future when social selling is used by most sales people the cost I think will not seem strange at all.
Social selling is not just using Sales Navigator too, there are many tools and systems that help. Luckily many of them are used my marketing and also sales, like a CRM and also social media tools. A lot of social tools are free or very cheap, and you may already have licenses in the business that can be used by the sales people keen to be social selling.
Of course in any business practice, the strategy and direction towards the goal are vital. In any business, there are different structures of management and products, sales procedures and processes. Establishing the goal of your social selling and who it is going to be done by is key before you start.
If you have a lengthy sales process that involves multiple sales people, perhaps you can use it as a lead generation tool. If you are individual sales people all contributing to a team sales target, you can engage buyers and take the conversation offline for yourself.
Working out what the goal is, what messaging you need to do this and which personas you need to target is the key part of the strategy. The best resource I know of for this is SkillsLab.io, which gives the strategy building tips and also the actionable, day to day ideas you need to keep working on the right path.
Ultimately however you use social selling depends on industry, product and goal for your use. Your strategy needs to be worked on over time and with lots of thought, and in many ways, it will be similar to your existing sales strategy. The methods and mind-set for social selling is different, and understanding that is a part of the strategy.
If you have any questions about how else to motivate social selling sales people in your team, let me know by messaging me on any of my social profiles. Whether it’s strategy or training, practices or tools I would love to hear what you think is working, challenging or changing. Let me know.
Ollie Whitfield is a Social Selling Executive at The Creation Agency. Ollie helps clients use social selling and find new ways to optimise their processes. When Ollie isn’t working, he’s usually found playing a few games of pool or football. You can connect with him on Twitter.