There’s a lot written these days on Social Selling. At its core, Social Selling is a modern prospecting methodology that fills the funnel with opportunities. Here are some stats to consider:
- Social Selling is the #1 source of rep generated opportunities
- Social Selling training budgets increased 48% in 2013
- Social Selling’s ‘Lead-to-Close’ conversion rate is 5x marketing sourced leads
When done right, Social Selling is extremely effective. This post will address what Marketing can do to promote, enable and optimize social selling within the organization.
LinkedIn is by far the #1 tool for social selling. The best sales teams are leveraging their LI connections to prospect and generate referral leads. The best marketing leaders are working hard to enable reps to maximize this tool.
Below are five ways to contribute to Social Selling Excellence:
OPTIMIZE THE TEAM’S LINKEDIN PROFILES
Step #1 to Social Selling excellence is a world class LinkedIn profile. Do the sales reps’ individual profiles reflect the company’s brand? Marketing owns branding. As such, the marketing leader should invest time in generating a LinkedIn profile template for each rep to follow. The template should be awash with customer-centric language. Fight the temptation to pontificate on your company’s greatness. Instead, focus on what’s important to the customer and what he’s trying to solve. Think ‘customer-centric’ not ‘company-centric’. Download a copy of the LinkedIn Profile Review Guide.
OPTIMIZE THE COMPANY LINKEDIN PAGE
Compared to B2C, most B2B company LinkedIn pages are pretty lame. They are not dynamic. Make sure you are updating the page regularly – at least once a day. Use the company page to promote upcoming events: webinars, events, etc.
TURN REPS INTO MARKETING CHANNELS
Once optimized, each rep’s LinkedIn page becomes a marketing channel. As they grow and expand their networks with quality connections, company exposure grows. Each new connection represents a potential customer. Leverage this marketing channel to reach a broader audience and expand reach.
DEVELOP CONTENT FOR SYNDICATION
Use the reps LinkedIn page to syndicate content. Marketing should be providing the sales team rich persona-specific content to prospect and nurture their connections. The best reps are already creating and curating content for this purpose. Make it easier for them.
EXPAND THE COMPANY’S SOCIAL REACH
Use your sales team’s collective network to expand the company’s social reach. Every marketing leader should strive to have every rep connected to the corporate LinkedIn page. As updates are published on the corporate page, the reps syndicate that content to their networks.
CALL TO ACTION: Marketing has a big role to play in Social Selling. As a marketing leader, are you working to enable the sales organization to be great social sellers? Are you leveraging the sales team to be another marketing channel. LinkedIn is far and away the most effective tool for social selling. Learn how to leverage the technology to build awareness, reach new customers and drive new business.