How to Turn Your Salesforce Into Social Stars

4 steps to empowering your salesforce to share smart content with their networks.

June 8, 2016

  • salesforce-into-social-selling-superstars

Marketers aren’t the only ones seeing the benefits of sharing on social media. According to LinkedIn data, salespeople who regularly share content to their social networks are 45% more likely to exceed quota, and their companies are 57% more likely to get increased sales leads. It’s no wonder then that more and more companies are encouraging salespeople to share content.

While it’s true that salespeople who share content perform better, in reality it’s difficult for most salespeople to regularly source quality content given all their other responsibilities.  Which is where employee advocacy comes in. With employee advocacy, companies make it easy for salespeople to share by sourcing and suggesting the content for them. This puts the power of marketing into the hands of sales and enables reps to regularly nurture their networks of customers and prospects.

Successfully launching an employee advocacy program boils down to four simple steps:

Step 1: Set Your Strategy

What do you want to get out of your program? The first step is to answer this question by setting your goals and program strategy. Some examples could be an increase in the Social Selling Index (SSI) score of your salespeople or more leads and traffic to your website.

With these goals in mind, select the salespeople who you want to be a part of the program. LinkedIn Elevate, a leading employee advocacy tool, can help you identify salespeople who are already active socially, setting you up for success.

Content is the final piece of the strategy. We recommend a balance between company-related, industry-related and general content such as leadership. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than 25% of your content be company-specific, in order to drive more engagement with both your employees and their networks.

Step 2: Explain the Benefits

With your program strategy in place, it’s time to educate your salesforce on what’s in it for them. Regularly communicate that sharing content regularly will not only help them build their professional reputations, it will also help them more easily attract quality leads and close deals.

Even though you may be starting with your social stars, not everyone has the same level of comfort with social media. To get everyone on the same page, hold Social Media 101 trainings, including how to build a top notch LinkedIn profile. Sharing content on a company’s behalf may be a new concept, so it’s also helpful to clearly outline your social media guidelines to ease any worries.

Step 3: Launch Your Program

You’ve set your goals and educated your salesforce on the benefits - now all that’s left to do is launch! Leverage your existing communication channels such as email, intranet postings, or a national sales meeting where you have a captive audience.

Communications coming from senior executives tend to have the most impact. Arm them with materials to share out with their groups, so that the call to action comes from these influencers within your organization.

Your employee advocacy program doesn’t end once you’ve launched. Keep the momentum going with regular reminders about the program and success you’re seeing, especially as you grow to new groups. LinkedIn Elevate also has several built-in features that keep employees engaged, such as notifications, daily emails, and reputation metrics like increase in profile views due to sharing.

Step 4: Measure Your Results

Now that you’ve launched, it’s time to track how your employee advocacy program is performing against your initial goals, and to see how much more your salespeople are sharing as a result.

LinkedIn Elevate has helped companies like CEB and Fortinet successfully activate their sales teams to share quality content. Salespeople using Elevate share, on average, 4x more frequently than before and see a 19% increase in their Social Selling Index.  

As you can see implementing an employee advocacy program doesn’t have to be a daunting task. To learn more about how LinkedIn Elevate can help you launch your own program, visit business.linkedin.com/elevate.

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