But how does a Sales VP use social selling? How are you planning for Social in 2014? This question doesn’t get asked that often. And it should. Your use of Social Selling will determine if you make the number in 2014.
Download the Social Selling Guide for Leaders. This guide will:
- Focus you on the three areas to make the number next quarter
- Give you guidance how to coach your managers and reps on Social Selling.
- Improve you talent by focusing on the new style of ‘A’ player reps using Social Selling.
- Eliminate the social selling ‘noise’. Get focused on the results
You can get this guide here.
The Social Selling Process
Social Selling is a modern prospecting methodology that fills the funnel with opportunities. It generates meetings with decision makers at a higher rate. As a Sales VP, you use it to generate referrals in your dream clients. Imagine getting in a prospect at the decision making level. This is done as simply as asking their Sales VP to make an introduction. That peer to peer introduction allows you early access in the buying process. It can also connect you with people to build a virtual bench.
There are three fundamentals of Social Selling that every person needs to be great at:
Your profile is who you are. Most buyers look at who is meeting with them before the actual sales call. They also view the boss more than sales person. The quality of your Linked In profile will determine you and your reps creditability. Even before the sales call, your creditability is being tested. Make sure you pay attention to these key areas:
You will make your 2014 number based on the quantity and quality of connections. Your team will react to the quality and quantity of your connections. Don’t expect your guys to have strong connections if you don’t. Being connected to decision makers results in more quality appointments. This will result in 3.6x more appointments than those who don’t use social selling. And people who have 5000+ connections have a 98% chance of attaining quota. You need to lead by example for your team to improve.
This is where you make money from Social Selling. All the work and effort pays in referral generation. Sales people who generate more than 7 referrals per month have 124% quota attainment. But this requires leading by example. As a Sales VP you can’t execute a sales process entirely. You need your sales rep to ‘sell’ the deal. But you can generate referrals by yourself. Especially those for your team. Coaching sales people on generating referrals means first doing it yourself. How can you coach to referral generation if you don’t do it yourself?
Our case study is about a Sales VP Steve McKenzie. Steve is a Regional Sales Leader for Paychex, a payroll processing company. Steve reluctantly completed a LinkedIn Profile 3 years ago. His exact words to me. “I better get on LinkedIn. You never know when I might need to look for a job.” Things have changed since then. Steve now uses LinkedIn for modern prospecting.
- He now has over 500+ connections.
- Steve mines his data. He does this by creating referrals. And since he knows how to do it, his reps know how to do it.
- Steve tells me he makes the number by sticking to a cadence. This rhythm requires each of his people to send out 5 requests per day. But to do accomplish this goal, Steve makes his sales reps ‘pay it forward’. Creating this ‘social debt’ allows you to ask for a referral with greater success.
Steve has now consistently made his quarterly number. He tells us it is a result of generating referrals. And the easiest way to do this is through LinkedIn.
Call to Action:
- Embrace Social Selling. As a Sales VP, you must focus on the three fundamentals yourself. You have to be the example. When you do, your coaching to Social Selling is impactful
- Set Requirements. Profiles need to be updated monthly. Quality and quantity of connections measured. Referrals generated with decision makers. Improvement goals established. Treat this as you would anything else you coach and manage.
- Consistently Pay it Forward. Creating social debt will increase your referrals and sold business. Making the number next year will rely heavily on you embracing social selling
Since the buyer is changing, you need to change. Social selling gets your sales people early in the buying process. Edelman Trust Barometer says 84% of buyers begin their buying process with a referral. Use it. Coach to it. But don’t ignore it. It is you and your team’s future. Download the Social Selling Guide for Leaders.