Social selling enablement: empowering your sales team for the digital era
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We are back with the second part of our new blog series, focusing on modern sales practices and their connection with social selling and digitization.
The first article covered the basics of how social selling fits into the modern sales process and mentioned common pain points have to deal with. The second part will explore the tools, training, and strategies necessary to enable sales teams to engage in effective social selling, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning. So, let’s dive right in!
What this article will cover:
- Digital interactions heavily influence modern B2B processes.
- Empowering sales teams with effective social selling enablement is crucial.
- Common pitfalls include insufficient social selling programs and approaches.
- Best practices for seamlessly integrating social media into the existing sales enablement toolkit.
Why a digital edge matters
We all know how much digital interactions shape the modern B2B process, so empowering your sales team with effective social selling enablement becomes paramount. But solely handing them the right tools is usually not enough.
In fact, sales teams already navigate many tools, including pipeline management, commission, market research, and customer management tools, to name just a few.
While sales enablement and marketing leaders strive to integrate all selling tools into one, such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics, an inefficient approach can lead to undesirable results. Let’s look at a common pitfall scenario.
When social selling doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to
In many companies, implementing social selling programs often falls into a sub-optimal pattern, leading to an initial burst of enthusiasm followed by a decline in activity over time. In a typical scenario, the marketing department or sales enablement team initiates the process by conducting training sessions for the sales organization. The teams provide content to salespeople as an email ‘newsletter’ format containing suggested posts that the sellers copy and paste into their LinkedIn profiles.
While this approach is a good starting point, it frequently results in a lack of sustained social selling activity. Tracking the program results becomes challenging. There is also the need for individualization in the content shared by sellers. Often, sellers merely copy and paste the provided content without adding their unique touch.
Content performance tracking is also limited, often focusing solely on URL clicks without providing more detailed insights. In this scenario, the manager of the social selling program expends a significant amount of time on tasks such as providing training, driving seller activity, and managing the program using internal resources. This type of program is not exclusive to small enterprises; even large organizations with 10k+ employees can find themselves grappling with these challenges.
How to make social selling work for your company
What’s needed is a seamless integration of social media into the existing sales enablement toolkit. The key lies in creating a harmonious fusion that ensures adoption, correct data mining, and effective campaign steering. The primary use cases include specific content recommendations based on the sales funnel, call-to-actions for significant company events, and social integration into marketing campaigns.
This way, a single central platform can deliver an optimal experience for sales professionals and their audience. Additionally, all necessary data can be collected within an integrated data pool.
We know this sounds great in theory, but you might be wondering how you can actually achieve it in reality. Don’t worry; we’ll tell you below.
Optimizing social selling enablement for your success
Embracing more efficient enablement strategies usually requires external monetary investment, particularly in using dedicated content tools. These tools serve as a bridge between marketing and sales teams, allowing seamless content distribution and posting on social media platforms. The benefits of such tools are manifold, beginning with the ease of access to content for salespeople. Content can be filtered, searched, and categorized based on various criteria, such as industry or stages of the sales funnel, ensuring relevance and efficiency.
Analytics are crucial in optimizing content strategy and copywriting in almost real-time. Trackable key performance indicators (KPIs) include the number of posts shared by salespeople, engagement on social media (clicks, likes, comments), and the performance of specific topics, hashtags, languages, or campaigns. These insights empower teams to refine their approach dynamically, ensuring that the content resonates effectively with the target audience.
Moreover, content tools provide a user-friendly dashboard for salespeople, offering easy access to their own content performance data. This feature is a motivational tool, allowing individuals to track their impact and engagement on social media. Additionally, integrating AI into these tools facilitates the personalization of social copy, making it effortless for salespeople to create unique versions of social posts. Including features like post-scheduling and auto-scheduling further contributes to increased participation rates among social sellers, streamlining the process and maximizing the impact of social selling efforts.
Turn your sellers into social selling experts.
The success of any social selling program hinges on robust enablement, a comprehensive approach encompassing various crucial elements. And there is always something you can do to help your sales professionals become the best social sellers possible.
- Train your team the right way.
Firstly, training forms the foundation, ensuring that sales teams are equipped with the necessary skills to navigate the complexities of social selling. This training goes beyond initial onboarding, emphasizing continuous learning to adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape.
According to a report by CSO Insights, companies that provide extensive training for their sales teams see a 47% higher win rate compared to those with less training. A study by Sales for Life showed that organizations investing in social selling training for their teams experience an average increase of 10% in win rates and 20% in deal size.
Luckily, dedicated sellers want to learn! The LinkedIn State of Sales Report states that 94% of sales professionals believe continuous learning and training are essential for their success, underscoring the ongoing nature of learning in the sales domain.
- Offer high-quality content & the right content strategy.
Content and the development of a well-thought-out content strategy are equally vital. This practice involves creating engaging, relevant materials aligned with sales goals and fostering a dynamic connection with the target audience. A dedicated content tool becomes an essential component, offering salespeople easy access to curated, categorized, and personalized content. This tool streamlines the process and facilitates seamless social media integration into the sales workflow.
A study by the Content Marketing Institute found that 72% of successful B2B content marketers have a documented content strategy, emphasizing the importance of strategic content planning. Salesforce’s “State of Sales” report highlights that high-performing sales teams are 2.8 times more likely than underperforming teams to use sales analytics tools, indicating the significance of technology, including content tools, in sales success.
- Invest in expert program management.
Lastly, program management is crucial for orchestrating the entire social selling initiative. Efficient management ensures the program runs smoothly, tracks performance metrics, and makes necessary adjustments for ongoing success.
A holistic enablement strategy, comprising training, content strategy, content tools, and program management, provides the scaffolding for a thriving social selling program.
Are you excited to get to work with your team? We hope so! Start working on the tips and tricks we shared to get your team off to a great start while you are fine-tuning your social selling approach on a company level.
Next week, we will dive further into digitization and take a peak into the future of sales. As always, if you have any questions or need further assistance, contact us on LinkedIn or on ReadyForSocial.com.