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This was another big year for social selling. Interest has moved from curiosity to action. No longer looking for stats to build hypothetical business cases, companies have sought information about building formal social selling programs, and a significant amount of content has been generated to that end.

To help you wade through the content about social selling, we decided to curate a list of our favorite pieces. (They're in no particular order.) We hope that you benefit from the content below as you formalize your social selling program.

Cheers!

1. Change Is Afoot for the Modern B2B Seller [Video]

Today's buyers are more empowered than ever. They use digital and mobile channels to find solutions for their business problems, and sales teams have been slow to respond. Mary Shea of Forrester outlines what this means for B2B sales reps.

2. Is Sales Being Left out of the Digital Transformation Conversation?

When CEOs paint pictures of digital transformation, they look to their CTOs, their CMOs, their CFOs, and their CIOs. But, as Jill Rowley points out, companies have forgotten about their sales leaders.

3. 5 Ways to Master the New B2B Sales Pipeline

B2B sales are going to look a lot different in the next 12 months. So how do organizations adapt to the changing demographics and preferences of today’s buyers? Henry Nothhaft shares five ways to start.

4. 4 Emerging Trends That Every VP of Sales Will Face

The research makes it clear that it's both an exciting and challenging time to be a VP of Sales. Here are four of the emerging trends that will affect the future success of every VP of Sales.

5. Why Every Executive Should Be Social Selling

To have the C-suite actively participate in social selling may seem counterintuitive, but it's an effective social selling strategy. After all, social selling should start at the top.

6. A VP of Sales Who Understands Social Selling: A Luxury or a Necessity?

Here's the startling truth: A VP of Sales who ignores social networks won't be a VP of Sales for much longer. Adapting to social – and the digital age more broadly – will be a defining factor in how enterprise sales teams increase their productivity and communicate with their customers.

7. Why Sales and Marketing Teams Should Be Wary of the Social Selling Guru

Social selling has become a space run rampant with “gurus,” “ninjas,” and influencers. "But let’s call them what they really are: opportunists selling a potent and overpriced snake oil," writes Henry Nothhaft.

8. B2B Sales Teams, Waiting to Engage Buyers Is Costing You

Should sales reps sit at their desks and await perfect, sales-ready buyers to raise their hands and exclaim, "Show me the contract"? Absolutely not. In fact, waiting is detrimental to your company. This blog post takes a look at what happens when you wait.

9. 6 Questions Every VP of Sales Has about Social Selling

Without an executive champion, your social selling program won't make it very far. To help you sway the opinion of your VP of Sales, we've compiled a list of FAQs about social selling. We hope that they help you gain executive buy-in.

10. How to Use Others' Content to Benefit Your Sales Funnel

Most social sellers want to post as much of their company's content as possible. But posting others' content on your social media channels can benefit your sales funnel. This post from Salesforce looks at how.

11. The 3 Stages of Social Selling Maturity: Where Do You Fall?

Far too often, the shift from traditional sales to digital sales is done without a clear direction. As a result, performance fails to live up to sales leaders' expectations. In order for any sales team to fully take advantage of social selling, you must first understand your organization in terms of social selling maturity.

12. Why LinkedIn's Social Selling Index Shouldn't Be Your Metric for Success

2016 has made much ado about LinkedIn's Social Selling Index. Post after post has analyzed how to hack the SSI. But is hacking the SSI worth your team's time? Probably not.

13. LinkedIn Sales Navigator Is Not Enough for Most B2B Sales and Marketing Teams

Kristina Jaramillo acknowledges the virtues of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, but as she points out, the product is not enough. You need a strong strategy in place. Trapit made a similar point in this post: If You're Only Social Selling on LinkedIn, Something's Wrong.

14. An Interview with Timothy Hughes, a Social Selling Expert, Pioneer, and Innovator

Sales Reboot Camp did an interview with Timothy Hughes, a pioneer in the social selling field. He offered his insights on how to create and evolve social initiatives for B2B sales teams. For example, one of his tips was, "You need to think about the subject you want to be famous for."

15. Social Selling as Part of Your Overall Sales Strategy

You can't think about social selling in a vacuum. You need to think about how social selling fits into your overall sales strategy. How can social sales complement your existing practices? This post helps paint a clearer picture.

16. Social Selling Doesn't Stop when the Opportunity is Closed/Won

When sales leaders discuss social selling, they tend to associate it with prospecting and acquiring new customers. But social selling doesn't stop with the sale. Networks like Twitter and LinkedIn are fantastic ways to keep customers interested and grow the lifetime value of their accounts.

17. You Can't Do Account-Based Sales without Social Listening

B2B sales reps tend to be focused on outreach. They need to send more emails, make more phone calls, share more content, etc. But the modern sales process should start with research, and social networks are a gold mine of information.

18. 2016 CSO Insights Sales Enablement Study

CSO Insights did extensive research on sales enablement in 2016. Part of that focuses on social selling. As they point out:

"One of the biggest misconceptions is to equate social selling with tools, especially with LinkedIn. LinkedIn and other tools are vital to social selling, but social selling is about more than just technology. Leveraging social selling effectively requires enablement leaders to develop a strategic, holistic, and integrated social enablement approach that is based on social strategy alignment between marketing and sales and covers the entire customer’s journey."

19. 4 Highly Effective LinkedIn Summary Templates for Sales Reps 

A LinkedIn Summary shouldn't read like a resume. Instead, it should be focused on the buyer. If you need to give your LinkedIn profile a makeover, don't worry. Aja Frost at HubSpot has created some great templates for you to use.

20. 5 Social Selling Tactics Every SDR Must Try

SDRs and Inside Sales teams are embracing social selling, but too often social selling strategies erode under daily pressure. Here are five of the most missed or misused tactics for SDRs.

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Posted by Mark Bajus

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