The Future Of Social Selling Starts With Sales And Marketing Integration

Learn how to successfully integrate sales and marketing departments for social selling and peek into the future of digital transformation.

March 22, 2016

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It’s undeniable that in 2016, Social Selling is starting to reach massive adoption. Spearheading social selling adoption at Sales for Life is the CEO, Jamie Shanks. The leading social selling training company that’s working with many of the largest information technology companies globally.

Justin Shriber, Head of Marketing for LinkedIn Sales Solutions had the opportunity to sit down with Jamie for a fireside chat to answer a few questions on how to successfully adopt social selling. He’ll discuss the importance of integration between sales & marketing, the upcoming Digital Growth Conference and a peek into the future of digital and social selling.

Here are a few key excerpts from our conversation:

Justin: What is the biggest disconnect between sales and marketing that’s hindering social selling execution?

Jamie: The disconnect lies within the delta between how each department is measured and the blind spots between the departments. Let me first explain the blind spots. The sales team feels blind on two fronts.

First, sales is unaware of what marketing is actually doing. It’s like a lab of mad scientists that no one can see. Marketing may or may not create content, however the sales team typically feels that the content created is irrelevant and doesn’t address their customer’s pain points.

Second, sales isn’t privy to the Content Consumption Story of their buyers, throughout that buyers journey. The Content Consumption Story is essential the bread crumb trail of content consumed left by prospects. A senior sales executive working an account for six months has no idea that their buyer is on the website right now, looking at your latest infographic. This contextual information could have been critical for a sales conversation.

Marketing automation platforms are just not being deployed properly for sales professionals. Marketing has a blind spot in their confusion to which sales professionals are not sharing content. They can’t tell if sales professionals are sharing, and if they do know this information, they’re confused why sales doesn’t see value in content sharing. According to SiriusDecisions, 60-70% of your content is going unused. This disconnect is a major roadblock for social selling.

Justin: Sales is typically measured on quota attainment, how is marketing being measured?

Jamie: How you measure this presents a bigger fundamental problem. Marketing feels like they’re doing their job, however sales knows that marketing’s contribution is not enough to make sales quota. This is a wake-up call for the CMO because you have to be fully responsible for a portion of sales quota attainment. You are directly responsible for the inbound portion, and share influence/attribution responsibly with the CSO on other sales sources, like outbound.

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Justin: What is the future of digital and social selling?

Jamie: Transforming your organization to meet the modern buyer where they are online. Bringing marketing to the table, and being an equal contributor to the roll-out of any program. Marketing needs to be bought-in, accountable, trained and measured with the same scrutiny as the sales team. In the future, there won’t be separate departments but instead, the silos will be broken down and sales and marketing collaborate. This is called Team Revenue, they share one funnel, one goal, one team.

Justin: On March 29th you’re holding the Digital Growth Conference, what can we expect at the event?

Jamie: How globally recognized technology companies have adopted and scaled social selling. The Digital Growth Conference is being held at 453 Broadway Studios in San Francisco on March 29th. It’s one full day of education on topics for sales, marketing and sales enablement. For social selling to be successful, alignment within your organization is necessary to happen.

I highly recommend you check out the 8:45 AM panel session lead by Jill Rowley, and leaders from SAS, Thomson Reuters, Adobe & CA Technology. If you want to see sales and marketing integration at scale, this is the session to attend. These companies all recognized that social selling is just a by-product of effective sales and marketing integration. 

We’d like to thank Jamie Shanks for sharing his insight on sales and marketing integration and the future of digital and social selling. You can catch him and over 20 leaders in social selling at the Digital Growth Conference on March 29th in San Francisco. Learn insight on what your organization needs to do to transform digitally and meet the modern buyer.