There is no doubt – Social Selling is definitely on the rise. The Sales for Life State of Social Selling 2016 study revealed that 45.4% of executives view Social Selling as very valuable, compared to 18.1% in 2015. And its not only management – the importance of Social Selling is also growing for sales people. According to the HubSpot State of Inbound 2016 study, 28% of sales people polled in 2016 consider Social Selling a priority, compared to 22% in 2015.
So, either way you look at it, Social Selling is slowly becoming a multi team affair, making its way, via sales reps, management, marketing, and digital teams, into the company sales, marketing, and digital processes, strategies, and methods.
But what about those “other” companies and executive teams still on the fence?
While the possibie answers for this are abondant, one of the main reasons often encountered is that many business leaders believe that Social Selling is a one man/woman show, considering it as just “another” sales technique or channel for sales reps to use individually. This is indeed where many companies are falling into one of the many Social Selling myths!
To help business leaders avoid these pitfalls, we’ve come up with handy list of 4 reasons why Social Selling is NOT a one man/woman show!
1/ Individual actions ≠ Cultural change within the organization
Integrating Social Selling in your teams’ activities is vital for the survival of your company. Yes, its great that your company has some sales underdogs who have taken it upon themselves to incorporate social media into their sales activities. But… How ever relevant these undertakings may be, they won’t have a heavy enough impact on cultural change within the organization if they remain at the individual level.
Takeaway 1: Smart Social Selling Team = Management + Sales
Getting Social Selling results is a company priority and, therefore, should come from management. Introducing social into your company is definitely a cultural shift and should be recognized as such by being merged with corporate strategy and being supported and driven at the top level.
2/ Sales ≠ Marketing
Sales people are not Marketers, meaning they cannot be responsible for creating and/or curating content to broadcast on social media. In many instances, we have met sales teams who weren’t even aware of the company social media spaces!
Takeaway 2 : Smart Social Selling Team = Marketing + Sales
With a Social Selling strategy and some training, your sales people can become excellent ambassadors and even increase by tenfold the Marketing team’s efforts! The Marketing team will be elated when the site and different social media landing pages start getting more traffic and their content starts having more traction!
3/ Social Selling actions ≠ Stand alone activities
Social media and Social Selling touch every part of the sales funnel – so why are so many Executives forgetting this? By letting sales underdogs go at it alone, companies are going back to the old-fashioned way of working when each department was working in a vacuum! Plus, they’re not only missing out on the amazing financial results they could be getting, but by not getting marketing and digital involved, they’re not aligning tools, strategies, and processes – so they could also be losing on these costly investments!
Takeaway 3 : Smart Social Selling Team = Management + Marketing + Sales + Digital
We have seen many company digital teams put into place technology solutions, such as marketing automation, lead generation, and E-marketing tools (amongst others) – without other departments even knowing about this. This isn’t the best way to amortize budget and efforts, as projects managed and driven within silos stay in silos!
4/ Social Selling ≠ An “easy” method to introduce to all sales reps
Many companies try to “force” Social Selling on all sales reps, or better yet, put milennials at the head of Social Selling efforts. As Social Selling is often not considered a priority, management sweeps it under the rug and goes for a quick and “painless” solution.
Takeaway 4 : Smart Social Selling Team = Management + Marketing + Sales + Digital + Training
While there is nothing wrong with proposing Social Selling to all of the sales reps, if you want sustainable, qualitative AND quantitative results, it needs to be introduced in a strategic and pedagogical way. Yes, having millennials share their experiences and best practices with the others can be effective, just as long as they have had measurable results themselves! Otherwise, the more seasoned sales reps might end up not taking them seriously.
In a nutshell, any way we look at, Social Selling is definitely NOT a one man/woman show! Management vision and support plus marketing, digital and training input (amongst others!) are absolutely necessary in order to create, execute, and drive an effective and sustainable Social Selling program.
If you need some help getting away from the Social Selling one man show and want to put into place a sustainable Social Selling program, don’t hesitate to reach out.
The Smartworking Company® has trained +500 sales reps and Directors in Social Selling, has put into place several corporate-wide Social Selling programs, and has recently launched a Social Selling Maturity study. If you’d like to participate in this study, please contact us.