business, customers, Marketing, Social Media

Are you Ready for Social Selling?

social selling

2015 Sales Goals are being printed up and prepared across the country. Before the ink is dry and you hit send, here is the key on how to hit those 2015 sales goals: integrate Social Media. The process of social selling is not some trendy phrase, in fact, it is essential to every organization who wants to hit sales goals. You have your message and specific selling goals, now here are 5 steps to integrate social media into the process:

#1 Identify the Key Players in the Company.

  • VP of Sales will set the goals and offer executive support to the new social media program.
  • VP of Marketing has the pulse on what types of content your customers love and will then lead the distribution process.
  • Your Top Sales Rep is key to leading the whole sales team to success because everyone is watching what they do and how they do it. Get them on board and it’s easy.
  • Sales Manager is the heart of the process. They are the person who reinforces the mission and goals–daily, through ongoing training and support to the whole team. Start with this person to lead the plan.
  • Social Media Coordinator is the person who communicates and measures the success of your plan. If you don’t have one, then get one of the sales team to take this over. Someone lives to tweet and measure, find them.

#2 Integrate New Goals

  • Increasing sales is a given so refocus your attention on integrating Social Media into the sales process for 2015.
  • Start by evaluating the sales process and metrics you are using now and begin to see where you can fit in the social part of the selling process–just like attending the Chamber of Commerce Mixer, you begin to find social platforms for your team to begin to network and share. It’s not 3 who get 3. With social media, its 3 who get 100.
  • Look at your social media presence now. Get it unified, updated and branded to your goals. Measure the posts, number of comments–these are your current engagement metrics. Now set new goals based on what you have done (or in most cases, not done.)

#3 Start Training Your Team on Social Media

  • Incorporating social media into a company sales department (or any department) is not something that happens overnight.
  • These are new ideas in most cases; learning to interact with customers and interested prospects through social media, but it is important to realize they are advocates for your company (products and services). Customers are part of your team. Share with them. Have them share you! Make it fun.
  • It is going to take 60 to 120 days of consistent engagement to start feeling the affects of the social selling process. At every sales meeting, every email, every contact with your team, it becomes the primary conversation. If you are not talking about your social media content and training your people every day on the process-it cannot become a habit.

#4 Understand Content Sharing

  • First is to have your team (and every employee) start sharing the materials from Marketing: press releases, posts, articles. Get everyone on LinkedIn and have them repost materials from the business site.
  • Second is learning to curate content that everyone is already reading. Industry materials, articles, posts, and white paper research that is being shared across the internet.
  • Third is beginning to create your own original content. Encourage your employees to write on their own expertise. This is where you really become a thought leader. Use the Blog feature on LinkedIn.

#5 Management Needs to Be Onboard

  • There is nothing more motivating to the employees of a company than seeing the executive leaders sharing in the processes of the company.
  • Don’t just put a stamp of approval on the initiative, become a thought leader on your own and lead by example.
  • As employees begin to see, read and get a personal perspective of their management, they become engaged with the company. Engaged employees have a passion for reaching out to customers in more meaningful ways.

Just remember that marketing and sales made a huge shift when the century changed over. Who you are personally, professionally, and as a company is measured today by consumers based on your online presence! Take a look at what they see when they google your company–are you giving them expertise through content and sharing? This is where you start your plan.

2015 will snowball with delighted, informed, appreciated, and loyal customers when you have a plan in place to listen to them, educate and inform them. That process is social media.

Thank you @kurtshaver, Social Selling Bootcamp, for inspiring me with the process of working with the sales department. #smtlive, #socialselling, #socialmedia, #linkedin, #2015, #salesgoals, #smallbiz

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