The Sales Battle: 3 Data-Backed Risks of NOT #SocialSelling

The sales battle is ripe with competition. In the today’s disruptive landscape, sellers are scrambling to step ahead and be the first ally in their buyers’ journey.
That’s why we’ve created this following infographic — to arm you with valuable insights as you prepare your future sales strategy:

Social sellers realize a 66% greater quota attainment than those using traditional prospecting techniques

Sales professionals using social selling see 81% more appointments per week

90% of top salespeople use social selling tools, compared with 71% of overall sales professionals

Original Post
Category: Uncategorized

The Death Of Cold Calling: 16 Stats That Prove It [Infographic]

There has been many blogs posts, discussions and debates on the value of cold calling. Many suggesting that it is a dead and dying.

My personal opinion is that the cold call is still and should be part of the sellers kit bag. It is only by blending the new required social skills and older sales tactics can a seller truly provide value and credibility.

I came across this infographic from sales for life blog site and would like to share it with you.

What are you thoughts on cold calling? Does it remain? Perhaps now referred to as a warm call?

So is the term “cold” dead but the function still exists? Drop your comments below

Category: Uncategorized

The tunnel vision of Marketing is destroying Social Selling via @AmarSheth

I must admit that I really do like Amar’s posts of late. In this one, I really resonated with some of his statements. For instance:

Social isn’t the miracle medium. It doesn’t reward sloppy sales behavior.”

LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is a powerful beast when used correctly. But when it isn’t, it can become an enemy”

Take the time to read and please add your comments below. Take care.

SALES & MARKETING TUNNEL VISION IS DESTROYING SOCIAL SELLING by Amar Sheth

Social selling is a term that is still entering the sales vernacular, but the definition of what defines a social seller is hasn’t been fully yet determined.

From our perspective, which may seem selfish to our non-sales friends, social selling is the ability to use social networking strategies to build relationships that drive pipeline and revenue. All other activities in the organization that roll up and drive to these fundamental principles are supportive functions.

However, this is not how many in organizations are looking at social selling. Their view is largely shaped by their departmental function. Let’s review some examples below.

THE MARKETING VIEWPOINT

When the marketing team leads the charge on social selling, it’s interesting to see how brand pervasiveness and amplification seem to the central focus. Updating LinkedIn Profiles, deploying employee advocacy platforms, focusing on content creation, etc. are heavily focused on this.

Additionally, when marketing is involved, an organization’s social media marketing team very well may be as well.

These are, programmatically, all necessary steps but very limited to the view that salespeople are simply distribution points of the company’s brand, image, messaging, campaigns and products.

But is that all salespeople are good for? The answer is obvious.

THE SALES VIEWPOINT

What’s more frightening is when sales executes own social selling with limited understanding. Yes, social selling is about building pipeline and revenue, but not at the cost of amplifying dated ideas on a new medium.

What am I referring to?

I’m talking about using the same old way of prospecting on social media. I’ve seen many sales professionals become frustrated after sending dozens of InMails on LinkedIn never to get a response. When analyzing further, it’s evident that their InMails read like cold, cookie-cutter prospecting emails.

Social isn’t the miracle medium. It doesn’t reward sloppy sales behavior.

This happens often when companies invest into products without proper training in changing mindset. I see this often when companies only invest in products like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is a powerful beast when used correctly. But when it isn’t, it can become an enemy.

The investment into tools must be harmonized with sales training on social. The two can’t live without each other. Without this, there is a significant risk of low product usage. When sales professionals don’t know how to effectively drive results, it can be challenging to show a proper ROI on investing in tools.

Sales departments should not expect deep levels of social selling knowhow from tool providers.  It’s just not possible. Their focus is on building world-class products, not how to use the tools to positively impact sales.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The challenge with viewing social selling from these two separate and distinct perspectives is how social is ultimately being affected. Without a unified and programmatic approach to social, impact can be very limited.

Aberdeen Research found that best-in-class companies that aligned sales and marketing experienced an average of 20% growth in annual revenue, compared to a 4% decline in laggard ones.

Secondly, ask yourself this question: can we really wait to battle the inadequacies of existing corporate culture? Can we wait for people to “get comfortable” on social? Or, acknowledge that research should be done online (where else can it be done, the library?)?

Operating something that is so critical as social selling from two silos will limit progress, at best, or destroy the initiative altogether.

If you’ve read this far and are still wondering why social selling is so critically important, ask yourself if customer acquisition and nurturing matter to your business. The buck stops there.

You can reach Amar on Twitter  @AmarSheth or connect on LinkedIn

Original Post

The ULTIMATE SOCIAL SELLING routine for the modern sales pro [INFOGRAPHIC]

What is the perfect social selling routine? Salesforlife crowdsourced from 65,000 sales professionals to find out. They have put the results into a great graphic listed below.

How can you discover relevant content that sparks conversations with buyers? What is the best way to engage buyers online? How to track these interactions? And how do you overcome the dead zone, continually re-engaging buyers so they don’t forget you?

This infographic ensures you’ve got every stage of the buyer’s journey covered — from lead generation to prospecting, closing to nurturing. Enjoy.

The Social Selling Trick Most Companies Miss. Guest post by Amar Sheth

Social selling isn’t rocket science — but in many ways it’s treated like it is. There is definitely a right way and a wrong way of doing it. There are places you shouldn’t have sales professionals waste their time. There are shortcuts and social selling tips and “tricks” that can help accelerate results quickly.

But, despite this, the ability of a program’s success rests on your corporate culture.

When it comes to reinforcing social selling training, there’s a trick that everyone forgets and/or ignores, in hopes of a silver bullet/miracle solution.

TIME IS THE ANSWER

Companies want instant results from social selling and attribute a lack of results to this new way of selling, not the person applying it.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? It’s like me blaming my workout routine – not that I’ve not taken the time to work out more often or seek help.

Do we attribute a lack of desired results to the source or the self?

Here’s the reality: social selling, like all sales activities, takes time. It also takes executive sponsorship and the desire and ability to drive behavioral changes.

That ongoing reinforcement means you’ll need to invest time. And that’s the part I think most aren’t willing to do. They’d much rather put their teams through workshops, seminars, a few classes, etc. but when it comes time to blocking off their sales professionals calendars in order to try social selling and make a real go of it, they’re unwilling.

I’m not sure why we’re expecting results without a proper, daily investment of time.

Where did we get this notion that social selling was the miracle pill? I’m not sure, but reinforcement requires the ability for your sales leadership to devote time to social selling daily.

THE ROUTINE MATTERS

One of the best things you can have your salespeople do is practice social selling daily. Here is a routineyou can try if you’d like to practice social principles that are tied to revenue-generating activities.

Are you willing and able to dedicate 30-60 minutes/day of calendar time per sales professional? That’s what it’ll take to build momentum. The good news is that results will come in and they won’t be linear. We’ve seen tipping points happen quickly with exponential results.

It’s not unusual for a client to see 50X-100X ROI within a year if they’re willing to invest that time.

THE BOTTOM LINE

If you believe the statement that doing is the new learning, attending workshops and classes alone just won’t cut it. It’s a wonderful place to start, but expecting significant shifts in behavior is, quite frankly, a pipe dream.

This graphic from Axonify is a great example of why reinforcement is so critical. Human beings crave repetition. Repeating something helps with memory and retention of application.

Screen_Shot_2016-08-29_at_12.48.24_PM.png

Doing the work on an ongoing basis is the only thing that can radically boost the probability of success.

So that’s my recommendation to you all as you read this. Whether you’re a sales professional, sales leader, sales enablement or marketing professional, test your organization’s ability not to just train your sales teams in social selling, but to see if dedicating 30-60 minutes/day is doable post-training.

Are you practicing social selling daily already or wondering how to? Tweet me your thoughts@AmarSheth or connect with me on LinkedIn to share.

Social Selling – Basic Tools to Gain Influence and Dominate your Territory – Guest Post Timothy Hughes

I’m going to start this blog assuming you know about Social Selling already. That buyers can now cut you the seller out by using Google and other techniques. As a seller you will have already wised up to the fact you need to do something different.

Here is a quick summary of techniques and tools you can use to support your selling efforts.

There are many others tool, if you have any suggestions or “hacks” you want to share, please do in the comments.

LinkedIn: Continue to build your personal brand this has to be buyer centric. That means that if a buyer (usually in salesperson avoidance mode) came across your profile, would they avoid you, or maybe you can convince them to stop by and ask your advice.  But please don’t see Linkedin as some passive “tick box” exercise, your should be using Linkedin to drive “inbound” through your profile.

Sales Navigator: Great tool to allow you to research and monitor your prospects and accounts. LinkedIn quote that for the average Enterprise sale 5.4 people are involved.  The mistake that sales people often make is that it’s easier talking to somebody in your comfort zone.  Often they are part of the problem and not part of the solution.  Sales Navigator allows you to get broader and wider in an account to cover all the bases and lock your competition out.

Twitter: This is a great resource to allow to find and engage with people in your prospects and accounts. While this sounds like Sales Navigator, what you will find is that Changemakers will tend to use Twitter as they see it as a way to grow and connect with influence.

On Twitter you need a clear biography, most corporations will insist that you need a comment that your opinions are my own and a link to your LinkedIn Profile. Don’t link to your corporate website.

Buffer: Buffer is a web browser plugin that allows you to “buffer up” tweets. While automation should be used with care, it is “Social” Media after all, it is a way that you can Tweet and work at the same time.

Tip: Do NOT post to multiple Social Networks at the same time. This is easy to spot and will be seen by followers of yours on multiple platforms to be spammy.

How do you Increase The Visibility of your Tweets?: One tool that will allow you to do this is Crowdfire. It allows you to follow certain hashtags.

Or why not follow all your competitors followers and steal their Influence?

How as a Salesperson can you see what your customers are talking about on Social Media?

Below is the dashboard for my Twitonomy account

 Twitonomy looks very much like the basic Twitter client. You can reply, retweet and favorite individual tweets.

But Twitter analytics is where the tool really shines. Once signed in, you’ll get a Twitonomy profile page that has all kinds of statistics. There is too much really to mention, sign up and have a play.

In terms of your customers it will help find them, you can see who influences them, the hashtags they are using

Want to know your customers better and be alerted in case of important information?

https://www.netvibes.com is a great application, like Google alerts on steroids this allows you to listen to prospects and customers at a micro and macro level.

Want to Create some Funky Content that will Stand Out? 

Picplaypost – This app allows you to create photos and videos collages, great video on Youtube here

https://youtu.be/oHGgz0owzQc via @YouTube

Legend – This app allows you to turn text into stunning animations.
Put your words in motion. Inspire people. Make friends laugh. In just 2 taps! Perfect for Instagram, Twitter, iMessage, WhatsApp. Save video or GIF.

Conclusion: Social Media is your best friends to be visible on the market on what you do well, to be perceived as an expert by your eco system and also to have information about your customers, partners, competitors, etc

But you don’t become best friends in 5 minutes, you need to get to know each other and you can find your prospects and position yourself as being there to help.

In my book Social Selling, there is a whole chapter on technology and a practical way that people can use it to create leads and over achieve your quota quicker. It’s written to help support you both salesperson and sales leader on your Social Selling journey.

Want to know how to sell to the modern, connected buyer?

If you’re interested in a blueprint to help you in your move to digital and social then I recommend my book.  “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers”.  Written in a workbook style, it’s designed to help you implement a digital and Social strategy across Sales and Marketing.

To order follow this link to Amazon there is also a Kindle, eBook version.

About the Author

Tim Hughes is co-founder of Digital Leadership Associates a company that provides support and guidance in all areas of Social as well as Social Selling.  He has been called “an innovator and pioneer” of Social Selling and in the recent Onalytica list of the most influential Social Sellers globally, Tim was named as number 1.

Tim can be contacted on Twitter @timothy_hughes where he has some 150,000 followers or tim@digitalleadershipassociates.com – You can find him at his blog The Social Selling Network

How the New LinkedIn Inbox Helps You Get More Engagement by Brynne Tillman

As LinkedIn continues to change the UX (user experience) there are some things that have a significant impact on workflow, and this is a good one.

Over the years I have had to put hacks in place to make sure I engage with every new connection, but no longer. With the new feature in place, when someone accepts your connection request, you are notified in your inbox. This makes it is simple to send a welcome message that starts the conversation. You will see “Name has accepted your invitation” and if you have included a custom invitation, your note will appear in the messaging thread.

This feature makes it simple to reply with a welcome message. Here are two examples:

Name, Thank you for connecting with me on LinkedIn. After visiting your profile I noticed (SAY SOMETHING RELEVANT) and thought it might make sense for us to connect. If you are open to an introductory phone call, we could explore ways we may be able to work together now or in the future.  To make scheduling easier, here is a link to my calendar http://ScheduleaCallwithBrynne.com – please pick a time that best works for you.

OR if you don’t want a call, but would like to add value:

Name, Thank you for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I am not sure if you are using LinkedIn for sales, but if you are I want to share with you some of our LinkedIn messaging templates that can have a big impact on your business development effortshttp://sslink.co/PeopleLinxLinkedInTemplates.

Good Networking,
Brynne

BONUS: The “Keep in Touch” opportunities show up here now too!

 

Category: LinkedIn