[Infographic] The Eight Stages of an Enterprise Social Selling Program
Enterprise teams are embracing social selling as a must-have in their sales process. Many have brought in LinkedIn and thought leadership training programs, others have created goals, and maybe even a few KPIs for their sales reps to follow. But these siloed efforts make implementing a productive social selling platform a challenge.
We’ve identified 8 essential stages that make up a successful social selling program for sales reps:
- Define Desired Outcomes – The first step is to identify what you’re looking to get out of your social selling program. Is it brand amplification, qualified phone calls, attendance to webinars or gaining access to specific titles in targeted companies?
- Buyer Mapping – Now that you know what you want to achieve, spend some time articulating who you want to engage with. Begin with your current clients, and identify the titles of all the decision-makers, influencers and users that are touched throughout the sales process. Now match LinkedIn and/or Twitter filters to the stakeholders to make it easy to find more people like them.
- Developing a Playbook – This all begins with putting KPIs around your desired outcomes. Establish a cadence for sharing content to gain access to targeted prospects. Determine positioning to get more client referrals. Figure out which types of activity gets you noticed by the “right people” and are aligned with the goals of the sales team. A playbook outlines all of these goals and is essential to getting the highest adoption of the program. (For clients using the PeopleLinx platform, your Playbook action items are your recommendation cards.)
- Writing Templates – “What should I say?” is one of the biggest challenges we hear when it comes to implementing LinkedIn and social selling strategies. By providing suggested templates for each of the defined social selling activities from the playbook, it takes the guessing out of engagement and makes implementation simple and effective.
- Training – Once the foundation is complete, it’s time to roll it out to the sales team. For enterprise organizations, it’s important that you have customized training–one that truly focuses on your initiatives, process, and expectations. Canned programs create confusion and even disillusion, so be sure to work with a group the integrates your KPIs and helps to develop the Playbook with you.
- Profile Branding – Now that your reps will be actively adding social selling to their routine, it is vital that their profiles attract, teach, and engage their target market to think differently about their current situation, company, or industry. In fact, making a shift from resume to resource is one of the best ways to convert qualified profile visitors to phone calls. And, because they’re representing you and your brand, it is of utmost importance that your message on social is consistent with your website and other online platforms.
- Integrate, Gamify, Reinforce and Measure – They know what to do, they know what to say and they know how to do it, but will they? It’s so vital that there be a daily reminder that integrates with their current sales process that keeps the just in time activity in front of the sales reps on a consistent basis to get them to perform. In addition, integrating the reps social selling KPIs, playbook, templates and preformed activities into your current CRM is the best way to get engagement and measure the results.
- Coach for Improvement – As with all sales activity, checking in on a consistent basis, identifying what’s working and not working and tweaking for improvement is crucial to the ongoing success of an enterprise social selling program. Improving the number of the right connections, increasing engagement rate, converting new connections to phone calls and ultimately to clients is an ongoing process. Having a mentor, coach and/or accountability partner is key to consistent successes for the individual team members and company as a whole.
BONUS: At the same time, the Marketing Team can support the Social Selling Playbook efforts by curating content and writing content that supports the reps throughout the entire sales process.
By not integrating all the stages of the social selling process, enterprise teams never fully leverage the power of social selling for business development. Each stage builds on the next one, so be sure to include all the elements so your team succeeds.
This is a guest blog post by Brynne Tillman, CEO of Social Sales Link. Brynne is a successful sales professional, sales trainer and coach spanning over 3 decades and author of a comprehensive workbook and guide, LinkedIn for Business Development. Read her other guest posts here.
Download our white paper: The Social Selling Maturity Model. The Social Selling Maturity Model provides the world’s first diagnostic framework for sales leaders to benchmark their current performance and plan the companies’ journey to social selling.