It's one thing to have a small group of salespeople use social media. It's another thing to expand social selling across your entire sales team.
So, how do you make that leap? How do you scale a social selling program across the enterprise? Here are six of our best tips.
1. Document Your Social Selling Strategy
If you haven't done so already, take the time to document your social selling strategy. Put an end to confusion and random acts of social. Stop praying that a social sales strategy will happen "organically." Take the time to write a plan.
A thorough social selling strategy will help you:
- Align your marketing, sales, and sales enablement teams
- Allocate internal resources
- Identify key stakeholders and roles
- Set clear objectives for your team members
A detailed yet agile strategy is best. As your program matures, your documented strategy must adopt and change.
2. Clearly Define Roles
As you document your strategy, create a list of the key roles that your program needs. Without clear role differentiation, your employees may step on each other's toes; tasks may slip through the cracks; and your sellers will not know where they should turn for help. By clearly assigning roles and communicating those roles to your team, you will nip confusion in the bud.
Here are eight key roles that you must fill:
3. Take the Time to Train Your Employees
We aren't born with LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. The ability to use social networks is not innate. So, many employees have a learning curve ahead of them. For social sales to scale, you need to train your employees.
A good training program will:
- Address different learning styles (kinesthetic, auditory, visual, etc.)
- Be attuned to varying levels of knowledge
- Be offered on a continuous basis – rather than a one-time deal
- Take place in a variety of learning environments (online classes, in-person meetings, office hours with subject matter experts, etc.)
Without training, there won't be adoption, and without adoption, your social selling program won't take off.
4. Befriend Tactical KPIs
It is tempting to care only about the revenue metrics – how much pipeline is being generated and how many deals are being closed. But before you can think about revenue metrics, you need to standardize best practices across the sales team, and standardizing best practices requires tactical metrics.
These metrics help you gauge whether your best practices are working. They tell you whether your employees are using their social networks, whether certain types of content are getting more engagement, or whether certain types of messaging work better than others.
Once you have strong tactics in place across your entire team, then, you can see how they translate into revenue.
5. Supply Great Content to Your Sellers
Content is a must-have for social selling. Content is how we start conversations and build relationships in the virtual world. As you think about your content strategy, keep these items in mind:
- Content Library: Your content needs to be easily findable for your sales team. If your salespeople have to search for content, they will not be active on social, and your program will not take off.
- Third-Party Content: Employees want to share a combination of third-party and company-created content. This is especially true of salespeople who need to gain the trust of buyers. If they share only company-created content, they will look biased.
- Teams: Divide sellers into teams. Ensure that your sellers receive content that is relevant to their verticals, geographies, and/or products. When content is relevant, employees are more likely to share.
6. Invest in a Platform Built for Social Selling
To scale your program, you need to invest in a platform that was built for social selling at the enterprise level. Such a tool will allow you to:
- Build a content library and discover great third-party content
- Assign roles in your program
- Split your sellers into teams
- Measure results
- Reach your salespeople in ways they want to be reached (mobile, email, CRM, web)
This piece of advice might seem like a no-brainer, but many companies run into problems when they rely on point solutions that weren't build to accommodate salespeople and their needs. Salespeople grow frustrated, and adoption never happens.
If you want social selling to scale, you need the right infrastructure in place.
It's Time to Take the First Step
Documenting a social selling strategy may seem overwhelming at first. But if your social selling program is not scaling, it is a step that you cannot ignore.
To scale your program across your entire sales team, you need to prepare your team with the right tactics, efficient processes, integrated technology, and a smart, agile strategy.
Our social sales workbook can help you get started.
Posted by Mark Bajus