How do you know if your sales team is engaging in social selling the right way? Vende has developed our Social Selling Action Plan, a step-by-step guide for engaging prospects at key moments of the decision making journey. Marketers and Sales Leaders can use this resource to get started and develop a winning plan for their businesses. Additionally, we have developed this simple 4-step Social Selling checklist to help educate your sales team on the key activities they should focus on to get them started on the social selling journey.
Social Selling Checklist
Additionally, we have developed this simple 4-Step checklist to help educate your sales team on the key activities they should focus on to get them started on the social selling journey.
Step 1: Developing their Personal Brand
Too many reps’ profiles are written as an online resume. Have them complete their profile with the customer in mind. Sales reps need to have a profile that establishes them as a subject matter expert and a helpful resource. Here are some great tips to help them optimize their LinkedIn Profile. Other key ingredients to include for a successful LinkedIn profile page:
- Adding additional media (presentations, video, infographics, etc.)
- Adding recommendations to their profile by requesting them from customers
- Receiving Skills and Endorsements from others
Step 2: Finding the Right People
While more than five people involved in a typical B2B decision, most reps only have a single point of contact during and after a sales process. Additionally, nearly 40% of B2B decision-makers will change roles or jobs every year. It is critical for your reps to have multiple connections within clients and prospects. If your sales team isn’t actively connecting with others in social media every week, their social selling efforts will fail. The goal should be to have 3+ connections with prospective accounts and 5+ connections with clients. Here are some best practices for getting started:
- Use LinkedIn’s search features to find key people. LinkedIn allows for Boolean search terms (e.g., AND, OR, NOT) to help narrow down searches.
- Reach out to the 2nd-degree connections for a warm intro. For example, “I see we are both connected to Jill…” Start with the connections of their point of contact within key accounts.
- Leverage the senior leadership within your company. Leaders are more likely to have decision-maker connections.
- Have them look at who is viewing their profile and send connection requests to new contacts
- Upload their email contact list into LinkedIn to send out connection requests.
Step 3: Engaging with Others
So, how do you use social media to develop, build, and nurture sales relationships? Start by using social sites like LinkedIn for the intended purpose…as a communication tool. Social media isn’t meant to be some kind of magical lead generation machine. Sales reps need to strengthen their network by connecting and establishing trust with decision makers. Here is a good article about building and engaging relationships in social media. Other best practices include:
- Establishing trust and leading with value. Social media has made it easier than ever to find and connect with prospective prospects, but we can’t treat networking sites like LinkedIn as if they were Tinder.
- Asking questions is always a good conversation starter. If you can tie a question to a compliment even better? For example, “Joe, great article! Where do you think [related industry, company, technology, product, etc.] will be in 5 years?”
- Commenting, liking, and sharing posts from connections. All they have to do is log in to LinkedIn, and they will be presented with many options for engagement.
- Being active in at least 1 group. Have reps find and join a group on LinkedIn where the majority of the members are prospective clients, NOT COMPETITORS. Have them check in 1-2 times per week and post an article or engage with someone else’s post.
- Leveraging Direct Messaging is a way to engage one-on-one with a prospect. For users who are active on LinkedIn, reps can have more meaningful conversations than via email. Direct Messaging is great for invitations to events and also a way to share articles with a personal touch; “Bob, I ran across this article on TOPIC, and it reminded me of the conversation we were having last month. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.”
Step 4: Sharing Content
Have reps become thought-leaders by publishing meaningful posts. Buyers are 3X more likely to trust, 8X more likely to engage, and 24X more likely to share content provided by people known to them (your sales reps) than content posted by your company. Getting reps to do this isn’t always easy. Here are some tips for getting sales reps and other employees to share your content. You also need to feed them content that will engage their audience. Here are some examples that work well in B2B social selling:
- Company blog or other resources
- Industry-specific information or research
- How-to guides or explainer content
- Convert your company FAQs into posts
- Case studies or success stories that explain how to overcome industry problems
- Changes that are coming around the corner that will impact your customer
- Webinars (upcoming or archived replays)
These 4 Steps will help your sales team get started in social selling. However, this is just part of the social selling process. The infographic below provides a high-level overview of the role of Sales, Marketing, and the Buyer.
Ready to Get Started with Social Selling?
We have developed a comprehensive guide that will help you maximize your sales efficiency. It is divided into two sections, one for the marketing department and the other section specifically for sales reps. You will want to share this with your entire team. Get instant access to our Social Selling Action Plan!
Can We Help?
Vende has been helping B2B sellers successfully engage in the social selling process. We offer on-site and video-based sales training as well as enablement tools. We offer a complimentary initial consultation/discovery meeting to learn more about you and for you to learn about us. Schedule yours today and let’s see if we can help.