I don’t know if social selling will ever reach mainstream adoption.
I think more likely than the day social selling becomes commonplace in the average B2B sales organization is the day when the change in sales driven by social selling becomes so profound that the industry looks totally different.
We’re in a transitional stage, nearing the point of evolve or die. If your organization isn’t fully embracing social selling (and in my experience, not many are), get started with the following steps ASAP.
First and foremost, figure out who it is that your company wants to find, and start listening. Follow and observe clients, prospects, and people you’d like to do business with on social media. What are they talking about? What’s important to them? What are their pain points?
Once you have a comprehensive list built, identify keywords that might signify interest in your product or service, and watch for them to pop up. Prompt your reps to do their own listening, and openly share lessons learned.
Encourage reps to learn all they can about the space they’re selling in. Advise them to go beyond the specs of your product and service to discover what customers and prospects are interested in, worried about, or not yet aware of. Inspire them to become people with intelligent perspectives that others want to follow.
Build a socially-enabled culture.
Unless your company has a culture that supports social media engagement and collaboration, social selling isn’t going to take root. You can tell people to do it until you turn blue in the face, but it won’t happen.
What does this culture look like? A few attributes:
- Executives are actively using social media.
- Company communicates via some type of internal chat app.
- Salespeople who share or create content are recognized and rewarded.
In my business, content creation isn’t going above and beyond -- it’s mandatory. Everyone blogs. And believe me, people are raring to take to social when it’s a matter of sharing their own work.
What is your company doing to enable social selling?