Your employees are probably excited to participate in a social selling training and enablement program. But what happens when the classes are over and they return to their day-to-day job roles?
The gauges of social selling success include how well and how consistently your team executes their lessons in the real business world and add value to your company’s marketing and sales goals – as well as how accurately you are able to monitor their progress and provide guidance. What are some of the practical strategies and best practices to help you encourage strong social selling adoption, maintain momentum, and monitor execution.
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” – Malcolm Gladwell
At its core, social selling is the art of leveraging social networks to build relationship with prospects and customers. When it comes to social selling deployment, put yourself in the salesperson’s shoes. What motivates them? Who do they listen to? How do we make social selling fun for them?
For a social selling program to be successful, we need to enable sales people to engage prospects throughout the buying journey because 70% of a B2B buying journey is already completed before a customer makes the first contact with a salesperson. So each salesperson in the digital age needs to be equipped and dexterous with social selling tools.
Follow-up actions are as important, or more so, than the training and enablement event itself. Trainees who go through training and enablement sessions won’t necessarily remember or execute all that they’ve learned, especially if some of these training sessions exceed three days.
To maintain training momentum, strategies include:
The most important factor for a successful social selling program is maintaining post-training momentum. People can easily forget about the training they’ve received, so it’s vital to provide constant reminders through various channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, newsletters, virtual meetings, and in-person events. The trainees get content on the importance of executing what they’ve learned and stories of peers who have used social selling successfully; this is when an always-on communication strategy comes into play. We’re always in front of the trainees, telling them, “Hey, this thing works!”
When it comes to following up with the trainees, it’s important to have a two-way communication rather than simply pushing content. There needs to be an open discussion about what trainees want to learn and what motivates them to execute what they’ve learned.
Gamification motivates social sellers through friendly competition and incentives. Having several contests each year to drive social selling results through competition creates a fun, exciting atmosphere. The contests can be based on pipeline and revenue attributed to social selling or social selling index (SSI) score.
Recognition is another essential motivational tool. Sharing success stories and featuring outstanding performance during an all-hands call gives trainees validation for their excellent work. We can also award badges to social sellers that they can showcase on their Linked In profile for personal brand-building.
Often, successful social sellers share their success stories both internally and externally to recognize and amplify their success.
Social selling has become such a hot topic that Coffee-Break with Game Changers is dedicating an entire series to exploring its various facets and promoting best practices for salespeople. To listen to other shows in this series, visit the Changing the Game with Social Selling channel.