More and more Sales Directors are now working with the concept of Social Selling, but it is certainly not always easy to convert the sales organization to work professionally with a new and different approach to sales.
Get 5 practical tips on how you as Sales Director can create success with Social Selling in your organization.
- Good sales people can also learn how to work professionally with Social Selling. After I have trained more than 6,000 people, my conclusion is clear: Basically, the investment in education of your people is best, when you start with the commercial people, who already fulfill their personal budgets. To many of the Sales Directors I meet, I tell them that: “If your people can sell, then I’ll teach them how to succeed with Social Selling”.
- LinkedIn has developed a simple and free tool called Social Selling Index (SSI). Using this tool is a good way to identify your most active sales people on LinkedIn. The tool makes the people, who benefit most from their LinkedIn work, more visible. With SSI your sales people can see how they rank in the industry and in their network. Read more about the Social Selling Index here.
- Social Selling takes time and does not follow the traditional sales approach – Today, many sales organizations use e.g. meetings that are organized around selling techniques as SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-Payoff). The process of Social Selling is reverse: You must enrich potential and existing clients, build up trust, and the pull effect has to be monitored. After that, you can develop a personal pitch based on the potential customer’s specific challenges and how these challenges can be solved.
- There should be developed a Social Media Policy, which includes considerations about how the sales organization uses LinkedIn (and other social media platforms). Remember that you as a leader have to respect the fact that it is your employees’ personal LinkedIn profiles, which are used for Social Selling. Therefore, you have to consider the issues that may arise in this context. Issues could be the language use, when do you communicate and act as a private person and as an employee on LinkedIn, and how is criticism handled on LinkedIn and by whom.
- As a leader you should monitor the value of your Social Selling effort (along with marketing). The value could be measured by the quantity of traffic to your website, conversions based on download of material, registrations for seminars, meetings that are booked through LinkedIn, increased profile ranking for your employees, etc.