by Peter Strid
on November 6, 2014

You Can't Spell Social Selling without CRM

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by these facts:

FACTOn Twitter, every day over 200 million tweets about companies, products and services spew into the social universe.

FACTOn LinkedIn, over 300 Million Users and 187 Million Unique Monthly visitors are posting liking and commenting on profiles, content and group pages.

If you are a sales leader or someone charged with sales enablement, you are probably asking yourself: “How is it possible to make sense of it all? Isn’t it just noise? How can this actually benefit my sales team without being a distraction?”

Here’s my advice: Don’t boil the ocean. Following hundreds or thousands of people might be a good strategy for super-savvy social marketers like Gary Vaynerchuk @GaryVee, Liz Bullock, @lizbullock, Koka Sexton @KokaSexton and Brian Solis @BrianSolis. But for the hard charging sales pro, firm partner, or VP who is strapped for time, it just adds up to noise.

Since 2009, PeopleLinx has been working with some of the largest B2B brands in the world helping them develop strategies for their sales and customer facing teams that are meaningful, efficient and productive. Not only must social be simple, but in order to get adoption, is has to fit into the existing workflow of a sales professional or it won’t stick.

Here are some of the key elements of social strategy design to consider:

1) Clear Value for the User: “What’s in it for me”?  What we are setting out to solve is the challenge that a sales person has with the balance of doing their day job, selling, strengthening relationships and marketing themselves in the digital age. Give your reps clear understanding that Social is something that will help them save time and make more money. Show examples and encourage the behavior from top down.

2) Make It Simple: The design of your strategy shouldn’t be too complex.  Make it as simple as providing a rep a targeted and exact way to engage on social to build relationships with the people that matter to them.

3) Integrate Into Workflow: Take stock of your existing workflow and process and find ways to integrate repeatable social action that can scale.  Follow companies, connect to people, create alerts, all at the right time.

4) Make it Reportable: Find ways to capture metrics.  Pay attention to the numbers and customize until you find the formula that works for you and your team.

5) Dedicate Resources: This isn’t going to happen unless someone is on top of it.  Find champions in your organization that are committed and excited about this opportunity.

All of which brings me to CRM.

Sales reps should always be connecting with their customers and prospects. Those people drive your book of business, so connecting to them is always relevant.

If your CRM system is well-managed, it knows what accounts you’re working, who you’re talking to, and what’s in your pipeline. (Many CRM’s aren’t well-managed, but that’s a different blog post.) If you want to avoid boiling the ocean, that’s a natural place to start. Follow leads and accounts you’re working on Twitter. Fire off LinkedIn contact requests to prospects as they progress further down the sales cycle.

Integrate with CRM, and you’ll never boil the ocean. Even if you can hardly spell “social selling”.

I previously wrote on LinkedIn about this concept HERE.

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