How to Get Your Sales Team to Care About Social Selling
Social media is an easy sell on the marketing side, but pitching social selling to your sales team can prove to be more of a challenge.
Time is a major factor, especially for team members who are already experiencing success without prioritizing social. If you want your team to embrace social selling, you need to show them the benefits in clear terms.
The learning process can make or break your team’s success with social selling.
According to the experts at Hubspot, just one in four salespeople know how to use social media to sell.
That’s a problem. If you want your team to reap the benefits of social selling, they’ll need to understand why it’s useful, and how to do it effectively.
Start With Simplicity
Social selling can be an intimidating prospect, especially f
or team members who don’t spend much time on social in their personal lives. So the best way to get your team to buy in is to make the process as easy as possible.
Start by providing educational resources, and a clear plan of action. Hubspot has a wealth of great social selling content, and you can find more at your sales-centric websites of choice.
You can’t simply tell your team to “use social more,” and let them take it from there. Provide team members with content to share, and a rundown on how to use their social time effectively.
How much time should be spent on engagement? Where should they look for prospects?
The social selling tools you provide go a long way toward answering those questions.
Services like Buffer allow your team to share content automatically, and Wisestamp is perfect for email signatures. Prospecting tools like Salesloft make finding the right connections a much simpler process, and InsideView empowers your team with valuable intelligence they can use for outreach.
Provide Real Proof of Concept
Money talks. It’s a cliché as old as it is true.
If you want your team to embrace social selling, you need to show them its value in something more than hypothetical terms.
Ideally, you’ll have a few team members who already use social selling effectively. If so, gather data from those team members and share it with the rest.
Customers who’ve bought through social can also be a great resource, both for explaining the value of social and suggesting ways to improve the process.
If you don’t have in-house data to share, visit your favorite online resources. Identify the most valuable social selling metrics for your sales environment, and share them with your team.
Set Up a Structure for Success
Structure is an important part of sales success, no matter the medium you’re using to close deals. It helps team members use their time effectively, and provides a reliable framework they can turn to when they have questions. Splitting social territory is an important part of providing that structure.
Splitting territory by social network can work, depending on your product mix a target prospects. If you pull most of your social business from one or two sites, split territory by topics of influence. LinkedIn groups and hashtag searches on Twitter are two effective ways to mine for topics.
Mark Roberge, Hubspot’s CRO, suggests a number of valuable tips in his new book, The Sales Acceleration Formula.
- Use Twitter lists to track topics your prospects are following.
- Use LinkedIn to track the groups your prospects are a part of and the people they follow.
- Track blogs that your prospects frequent, and get involved.
Basically, you want to show your face where your best prospects are most likely to see it.
Make It a Competition
Sales is a competitive industry, and your team is likely no different. Competitiveness is one of the qualities that defines how most successful salespeople approach the task. So if you want to stoke some added interest in social selling, there are few better ways to do so than by making it a competition. Sales is and always will be a numbers game, after all.
Social is ready-made for competition, too. Nearly every social site offers some form of follower or connection count, from Facebook friends to Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections.
Keep track of engagements, and of deals closed through social. Competition keeps your team interested, and the data you gain will help you pitch social selling to new team members and improve your sales process.
In the end, there are two key points to remember when integrating social selling with your sales team.
Make it easy, and show its value.
Make it easy by providing the sales tools, educational resources, and social sales data your team needs to get off to a fast start.
Show its value by using in-house examples of success, consulting customers, and providing relevant metrics from reliable sources. Your team will buy in when they see the return they’ll get on their investment of time and energy.