Social Selling Is More Than A Set Of Tools

You can’t build a house without the right tools. Just because you have the right tools does not mean you can build a house that is sturdy and will inspire people to visit or buy it.

The same goes for social selling. You need the right social media and content tools to succeed, or at least come closer to meeting quota. However, the tools, like LinkedIn Navigator, alone do not equate to building a winning social selling program.

Social Selling Tools | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

You Need 3-part Blueprint To Succeed At Social Selling

Successful sales organizations will benefit from integrating social media into their sales motion if they focus on this 3-part platform.

  • Enablement. How do companies show their sellers to use content and tools to engage with their customers to build a relationship? You cannot automate all activity. So, we need to get everyone to think differently about customer contact. Sales organizations need to teach an end-to-end strategy and activation plan, so sellers know what engagement activity to do at what time. Companies also need to enable their teams to increase LinkedIn, Twitter, watering hole, blogging, and content skills to activate selling strategy with social media.
  • Tools. Giving a construction team a box of saws and access to a 30-minute training to show them how to cut a piece of wood in half is one thing. Working with them to show them how to build a house with that same saw is another. Sales organizations need to find the right tools and scale them across teams to the impact results – continually measuring and monitoring the effectiveness.
  • Content – Company, Curated, Created. At the end of the day, we are all publishers, whether we are a marketer or a sales representative. With customers depending on more content than ever at each part of their buying process, sales reps need leverage the right content at the right time on the right channel. Sales teams need to work with their sellers to show how to curate non-branded content (e.g., passing on a great article from the Wall Street Journal), create their own content (e.g., Tweets, blog posts) or pass on company-created content. Providing the resources

Social, digital and content tools are critical to scaling selling success across the organization. Using the proper roadmap to focus on the destination – like awareness, relationship building, pipeline acceleration – will help inform the best tool set.

5 Ways Tools Help Support A Social Selling Strategy

Companies interested in executing a social selling strategy cannot drive sales without the right tools. They need to make sure they buy the right tools to do the right things!

1. Profiles. Sales professionals need to build their personal brand profiles to show customers, peers and influencers that they have the credibility.

2. Reputation. Sellers need to be able to scale their reputation as thought leaders and solvers with content instead of being ‘shills’ offering nothing but company messaging.

3. Insights. Sale representatives need to listen for sales and opportunity triggers and understand how to use them to start and build relationships.

4. Action Plan. After a sales professional develops an insight based on a sales trigger, they need to act strategically on those triggers.

5. Social Channel Mastery. All sellers need to be able to use social and digital channels expertly to build a relationship and accelerate pipeline.

A Social Selling Tool Strategy Alone Won’t Work

Going into a social selling strategy with a tool-first approach, as opposed to a requirements-based approach, might achieve some early and low-hanging fruit wins. However, this ‘bright-and-shiny-object’ approach is not sustainable. Think about it, after giving everyone a ‘tool’ and some training, then what? Replacing a holistic strategy with an only a tool strategy will fail. Alone, this approach misses the mark – not clearly mapping the tools to strategic sales requirements!

Do you have a favorite tool you have used to help  you reach your sales quota? If so, please share your experience below. Or, contact me directly at MarketingThink.com.

A sales organization needs to articulate clear business requirements to find the right tools for their social selling strategy – and then show how the tools drive measurable business impact. And, once you build a house, there’s lots of ongoing maintenance you will need to do – so keep on learning how to improve your tool skills!

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