In a mad rush to achieve short-term sales objectives and with many experts proclaiming that “social selling” is the panacea to get there, important points about what constitutes sales success is noticeably absent from most social selling conversations. It takes more than a well written social profile or a few connections, clicks and likes to achieve sales objectives.
There is MORE to Social Selling
There is a lot of yammer related to social selling, but most of it centers primarily on execution – the tactics, techniques or technology. Tactics on their own won’t lead to sustainable sales results.
If you are a sales leader who is serious about adopting social selling in your organization, these are the three steps I recommend that you take:
Strategy – It is tempting to want to skip right over this important first step. You may be thinking that there isn’t time to create a strategy; you need more sales now. Make time. If you want different sales results, you need to do things differently.
Do not assume that your marketing team has this covered. Even if they have a plan for using social media on behalf of the business, it probably does not address the specific needs of the sales organization.
Skills – Sellers today need a combination of great sales skills and the ability to use technology effectively to support their goals.
Unfortunately, the over reliance on technology is replacing the basic principles of great selling and the gap is only getting wider. Does it really matter if sales people can use technology to reach prospects more quickly if what is said in the phone call or email lands with a thud? Second chances are rare.
Execution – This isn’t the first step toward successful social selling, it is the step that brings everything else together. Execution is about disciplined behavior – sales people engaging in the right activities consistently and using technology in the right way.
Sales leaders need to diligently monitor and measure the effective execution of sales activities, which includes constantly evaluating the sales and technology skills of their people and providing the ongoing training, coaching and support that they need to succeed.
Create a Winning Social Selling Team
Think of social selling as you might a winning sports team. You need a strategic play book, sales people with the right skills who execute well at all phases of the game. Would you send a football team out on the field with players in no particular order, hand them a ball and expect them to win the Super Bowl?
Without the trinity of Strategy, Skills and Execution, sales people may be seen by more prospects or bring in a few new leads, but they won’t win the big game over time!