Social has traditionally been viewed as a great way to engage and delight customers post-sales, and as a super useful set of customer service tools. Smart organisations, however, have realised that it is an increasingly important lead source for the sales team.
Are your salespeople taking full advantage of the opportunity that social presents to close more deals faster? Have youequipped them with the knowledge and tools they need to reap the real benefits that many organisations -- possibly even your competitors -- haven’t figured out yet?
In this post we’ll show you how you can coach your sales team to make the most of social for selling your product or service.
Filter Out the Noise
Monitoring social networks for relevant conversations is a sure-fire way to ensure that your sales team is actively engaging with the right people at the right time. With social monitoring tools like Social Inbox, you can get really targeted in who and what you can listen out for. The following are examples of streams that your sales reps should be building and monitoring.
1) Industry- or Interest-Specific Keywords
By encouraging your sales reps to create social streams which filter for industry or interest-specific keywords, they will be able to jump into conversations that they can add value to and that can open opportunities to show how your product can help them.
2) Assigned Leads
Your sales reps all have a list of leads that have been assigned to them, but how often are they reaching out to them and how many times has that lead been ready to hear from them when they do call? By creating a stream for a list of leads and filtering for your brand keywords or sales-ready terms like ‘demo’ or ‘trial’, your sales reps can be notified in real time when their leads are talking about your brand or something that indicates purchase intention so they can respond immediately and engage that lead in a meaningful conversation.
3) Competitive Intelligence
By creating streams for mentions of your competitors and some of your brand keywords, your sales team can potentially unsurface leads that are considering your competition. They can then send that user a message offering them a trial or demo of your product and include the USP for your brand.
Get Found by Leads
There is a lot of competition out there and the modern consumer is looking not only for the best product, but for the best solution provider. They want to do business with someone who understands their business and what they are trying to achieve. LinkedIn provides the perfect platform for your sales team to flex their thought leadership muscles and demonstrate their industry knowledge for their target audience. Here are a few pointers you should provide them:
1) Profile Optimisation
Too often LinkedIn profiles consist of a directly copy and pasted resume or company history. Buyers use social media to research and identify the people they want to build relationships with through working together. Your sales rep should optimise their profile so that it attracts and convinces leads of their commitment to providing value to their customers. Just like any good marketer knows all too well- whatever is above the fold matters. Therefore, the content that appears on your LinkedIn profile before needing to scroll (photo, headline and summary) really, really matters. It shouldn’t just contain your job title but rather, who you help and how you do it.
2) LinkedIn Groups
By joining LinkedIn Groups that focus on topics which fit with your product and/or service, your sales people can contribute to discussions and build relationships with those who are in your target audience. They can observe common talking points and opinions and begin to further understand their prospects.
3) LinkedIn's Publishing Platform
The LinkedIn profiles of your sales team should be utilised as additional content distribution channels. Whether they share your carefully created content, or create their own, they are in the great customer-facing role of being able to position themselves as thought leaders and influencers. It’s a win-win. They should be creating and sharing content that talks about their leads’ challenges, goals and how your sales rep would solve them (product agnostically) so that they are viewed as someone who understands their business needs.
Ask for Help
As a sales leader you need to ensure your sales reps have everything they need to be successful on social. Marketing are the experts on personas, keywords, and content. You should organise training sessions for your reps with marketing on the following:
1) Buyer Persona Training
Buyer personas are at the very heart of inbound marketing and should be the focus of your sales team as well as of the marketing team. By organising a Buyer Persona training session for your team with marketing, you will be providing your team with the necessary knowledge and understanding in order to be successful with social selling. Encouraging your sales reps to create buyer-centric LinkedIn profiles with carefully worded summaries and headlines is a fast track way to have social selling become second nature to them. Once they are completely familiar with your buyer persona, they will easily be able to engage in LinkedIn Group discussions where they can provide valuable input and content to prospects, positioning themselves as somebody to trust and with whom people would want to work with.
2) Keyword Briefing
In order to fully harness the potential from building and monitoring social streams, your sales reps should be briefed on what keywords are most beneficial to keep an eye on based on what your marketing department has noticed that your target audience tend to mention. Again, a short training session on which keywords to target, and how to create a comprehensive social monitoring stream hosted by your marketing team, will set your team up for social selling success.
3) Content Sharing Process
We know sales teams are uber busy and that sometimes sharing content across social platforms isn’t exactly high on their list of priorities. That’s why a tool like GaggleAmp is incredibly useful and beneficial to implement. GaggleAmp allows individuals in your organisation to “join your Gaggle” and you can then post on behalf of your colleagues on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. By agreeing to set up your sales team on GaggleAmp, your marketing team will be able to utilise their accounts for additional content distribution. It will allow you to be seen as worthwhile to follow and engage with, as well as minimising the time commitment required to constantly post across all platforms.