Building and Inspiring Your Social Selling Dream Team

Here are some preliminary steps sales team leaders and members can take to kickstart their social selling efforts.

March 2, 2016

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You may be a social selling star. But chances are, you do your best work by teaming up with others. Sales professionals don’t just work in teams—they work together as teams, keeping one another accountable, engaging in friendly (and occasionally fierce) competitions, and firing each other up.

In the age of social selling, collaboration and camaraderie are crucial. But what does that mean about ownership over your contacts, helping your colleagues out, or working in other, traditionally competitive ways?

What We Can Do as Coaches

Any team effort starts with leadership. Here are a few starting points to get your team on board with social selling.

Show you care. Naturally sales leadership must set the example. You have to demonstrate your commitment to becoming a socially minded sales organization, before you can expect the same of your team.

Have a plan. It’s not enough to say, “Today we start social selling. Go!” As with any new initiative, planning, training, and development are necessary for success. Don’t assume just because your sales pros are already on social networks that they’ll immediately become successful social sellers.

Encourage collaboration. It’s a brave new world. Sales professionals can no longer keep their contacts behind lock and key if an organization is to thrive. Encourage team members to share their networks, make introductions, and be more collaborative. It’s a cultural shift that will take time, but can succeed if it starts at the top.

Introduce social selling metrics. Don’t throw away the rulebook, but a social selling strategy requires a new set of metrics to incentivize your team. Start measuring and incentivizing your sales pros with metrics like LinkedIn’s SSI (Social Selling Index).

Share social stats. If you’re encouraging your team to support marketing efforts on social media, show them how it’s paying off. Get your marketing team to share exciting social stats with the sales team on a regular basis.

What We Can Do as Players

So you’re ready to be a team player, but you don’t know where to begin. First of all, follow strong leadership and trust in the power of social selling. Here are some additional tips to set you on the right path:

Think long-term. As in real life, social selling relationships take time to nurture. A connection today could be your ticket to a key decision-maker several months down the line. Don’t devalue the everyday efforts your leadership is asking you to make.

Remember the new buyer. With the Internet, buyers can get most of their research done long before getting in touch with you. What additional information or value you can convey as a social seller to someone who may already be familiar with your product or your pricing model?

Be an advisor. Be more than a seller. Be a consultant. Know the prospect on an individual level (with the help of rich profile data). Understand their particular concerns and create content that will help the prospect do their job better. 

Use data. Social sellers have a great deal of customer data at their fingertips. There’s no excuse not to personalize interactions, prioritize contacts with lists, and look into a prospect’s network for mutual connections.

Still not 100% in on social selling? Change is hard, especially for those who find their old strategies still effective. It doesn’t hurt to remember, 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers.

There are 400 million members on LinkedIn alone, get to know them!

To keep your team on the right track, check out our Sales Leader's Checklist.

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