Social selling is an art that sales teams need to be trained in to maximize revenue. It was worthwhile for IBM, who saw a 400% increase in sales since implementing their social selling program. In fact, 90% of the most successful sales pros close their deals because of social selling. To convert prospects to leads and change leads to closures, B2B companies need to effectively roll out their social-selling program. Once your sales force is on board with this program, the profits are unlimited.

So, how can you successfully implement your social-selling program? The trailblazers advise that you understand that your team need time to develop their social selling skills to release the full power of social selling.

 

Jill Rowley – Social Selling Evangelist

For a successful program in social selling, this expert advises focusing on sales and on how the buyer wants to buy, rather than marketing and how you want to sell.

  1. The keynote speaker at the social selling webinar urges you understand how today’s buyer is connected and where they want to buy. Buyer behaviour is changing to deals being closed as a result of trust rather than direct sales approach.
  2. Train the sales teams how to engage the buyer in conversation over social media platforms. Guide them how to build the relationship with the buyer and how to create trust with the prospected clients.
  3. Consider social selling as a tool worth investing in. This strategy goes beyond technology and uses a personal approach as we communicate and connect with the buyer online.

 

Nicola McGaughey – Senior Principal Education Consultant, CA Technologies

As the buyer is at the fore of social selling, this expert’s advice is to be open to change.

  1. Monitor the behaviour of the buyer. If the buyer changes where or how they buy, B2B businesses needs to adapt to the buyer’s needs to convert sales.
  2. Be flexible with the new approach of social selling. The days of cold-calling to generate leads are dying. Social selling is the future of online marketing, so it is time to adopt its policies to keep a healthy pipeline.
  3. Show the versatility of targets for your social selling program. In your training, demonstrate how any prospected buyer can be targeted by this program. Simply focus on what the client wants, how they want to buy and connect and outline how build the B2B relationship step by step.

 

Jamie Shanks, CEO, Sales for Life

This expert highlights the importance of internal collaboration to support the program.

  1. Patience is key with this program. The sales leader needs to give time to the sales team to adopt the changes from the training. Understand that this training is an investment to get your conversion rate where you want it to be.
  2. Constant reinforcement is crucial. Once the training is over, the real test of the program begins. Sales leaders need to regularly check in with the sales team to see are they identifying, communicating and building relationships with the buyers.
  3. Consult with all teams involved. The marketing, sales and operations teams must be on the same page to carry out the program effectively together. Attain certifications and regular, up-to-date training across teams involved in social selling.

 

Kevin Casey – Head of Sales and Training Development, Thomas Reuters

This expert urges sales pros to learn the full reach of social selling and form a base of internal support for the campaign.

  1. Understand the scope of social selling in social media, from connections made on LinkedIn, content curated via Twitter and email communication etc.
  2. Internal buying-in of the program at a senior level is vital to successful roll out of the program. Support needs to begin at the top with CEOs, senior managers and sales leaders.

 

Justin Schriber – Head of Marketing, LinkedIn Sales Solutions

This trailblazer suggests commending successful social sellers and replacing hard sells with relationships with clients.

  1. It’s important to value the success of the individuals within the sales team in social selling. Make examples out of top performers to show how successful social selling is in action.
  2. Be authentic in your approach to customers. Buyers can see right through attempts to sell. The goal of social selling is the gradual build-up of trust between seller and buyer. The buyer is more likely to close on a deal when they establish an authentic, long relationship with the seller.

 

Lauren Friedman – Leading Social Business Enablement, Adobe

This social selling expert advises getting to know the buyer and give them content they want to cultivate trust in your brand.

  1. Connect on a personal level with the buyer by conversing about their interests. See the person behind the sell. The buyer feels reassured that the business is not simply driving sales, but takes an interest in them on a personal level.
  2. Share content of interest to the buyer to build a relationship based on trust. A nourished relationship leads to conversion.

 

Andrew Taylor – Senior Director, Worldwide Sales and Partner Enablement, Jive Software

This expert says to understand that change will take time and that we will always need to improve our social selling skills.

  1. It takes two weeks for the human brain to learn a new skill. So, set up a plan to measure the progress of the program on a regular basis after the training is complete.
  2. He also suggests monitoring top sales professionals on their own to emphasise their value in the program. Create an advanced training plan for the sellers showing the most success.

 

Koka Sexton – Content and Social Team, LinkedIn

This trailblazer recommends making the nature of your curated content valid and interesting.

Be selective with your content, make it relevant and engaging. Is this something the buyer will want to read? Sharing useful, informative content is a great way to lead a prospect to view your profile.

This is where we see the magic of social selling come alive. The prospected client is intrigued by the business and the content and develops a B2B relationship. From here you will be in a strong position to convert a sale.

 

Conclusion

Social selling is the subtlest approach to convert sales. 63% of sales professionals attribute their success in converting sales to a well implemented program. In the next year, most companies will deploy a training program for social selling. Luckily, some B2B leaders have forged the path for you to make this as successful as possible. Understand clearly what social selling is, be open to change and constantly monitor its success in your business. Remember, this is not a hard-sell to get the buyer to sign on the dotted line via social media. This is a relationship built on trust which takes time and constant nourishment to reap the benefits.

 

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