How to make #SocialSelling work for your organisation

I recently had the opportunity to work with Network Sunday and spent some time talking with Tim Bond, the companies CEO, resulting in a white paper that will guide organisations to the benefits of social selling.

Here are some highlights, followed by the white paper in full, hosted on slideshare.

In 2015 the questions being raised were:

What is social selling? Why aren’t more sales people selling this way? How do we implement it?

Today (October 2016) there is a general consensus that the buyer / seller dynamic has changed and sales people who practice social selling outperform their peers. Clearly organisations now face a new hurdle: ADOPTION

Social selling for Organisations from Ben Martin Social_Ben

 

Learning, Adopting, Improving, Performing – The metric model to use; by Toby Beresford

The Learning Adopting Improving Performing (LAIP) model provides a new tool for categorising personal analytics metrics according to the maturity of the behaviour. This allows program managers to channel behaviour adoption appropriate to business priorities and the current status of the individual and cohort.

The model stems from a collaboration between  Ben Martin and myself when looking at metrics to encourage effective social selling practices.

Anyone creating a personal analytics program may find it a helpful tool when evaluating which metrics to include, when to include them and how to weight them.

The LAIP Model

In our LAIP model, maturity of a behaviour is evaluated along two axes:

  • how established is the behaviour?  has it become a habit?
  • how much value does the behaviour drive? is it worthwhile?

Based on these two axes we can create a boston matrix and into each quadrant we can categorise our metrics.

laip-model-1

Learning

The player is learning the new behaviour and associated tools / processes.

Adoption

The player is seeking to create a regular habit around the new behaviour.

Improving

The player already has a habit but seeks to derive more value from the existing behaviour.

Performance

The player is seeking to achieve higher performance in the adopted behaviour.

Worked Example

Let’s apply this model in the context of an inside sales team looking to drive telephone calls off the back of cold (unsolicited) emails.

Say for example I have the following metrics which I am tracking for each of my sales reps:

  • Total emails sent  (Learning)
  • 20  emails sent per day (Adopting)
  • Responses per email ratio  (Improving)
  • Number of telephone calls arranged (Performing)

laip-model-worked-example-1

Number of cold emails sent is a  Learning metric because it is relatively simple. Sending out emails is a new behaviour and for now I just want to track the total number I’ve sent. This helps me as I get going with sending out those cold emails.

Once I’ve got the hang of sending emails I might want to tighten up the metric so I can be sure I adopt the behaviour I want which is to send 20 each day. So a ratio formula – number of cold emails / day with a goal (20) is a real Adopting metric. This helps me adopt the behaviour I want to achieve.

My Performing metric, in this case, has nothing to do with the underlying behaviour but all to do with the value I am hoping to achieve with my cold emailing behaviour – which is telephone calls with a real lead. So here my metric is number of telephone calls I’ve arranged.  Over time I can make this more sophisticated, perhaps calls per month, per week and so on.

Finally there is a chance that I develop my cold emailing behaviour but it isn’t driving the value that I want. In this case I need to consider anImproving metric – a ratio of email responses to those sent out. This looks at the quality of the emails in terms of who I sent them to and their content. An improving metric assumes that the behaviour is established but is not driving value.

Handling misfit metrics

Like any model, the LAIP model can only offer an approximate view on reality – inevitably there will be some metrics that seem to fit into more than one category or no category at all. The expectation in this case is that the manager will provide a “best fit” assessment when plotting metrics on the matrix.

Conclusion

Overall this model offers gamification gurus a way of categorising metrics, particularly useful in multi-metric scoring systems where scores from multiple behaviours are composited into a single score.

By categorising the metrics,  the program manager can ensure that the personal analytics dashboard is aligned to the current business goals for the individual or current cohort. The program manager does this by weighting and prioritising metrics within the overall score algorithm.

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

Leading with the score – how great leaders keep focusing on the goal by Toby Beresford

keeping-score

As a leader, one of your jobs is to keep those you lead focused on the goals you are trying to reach.

One approach in every leader’s toolkit is to own and share “the score”.

“The score” means how you have decided everyone will measure success, whether as individuals or as a group.

Whether we realise it or not, we all take account of the score. Indeed, if you don’t share the score, people will invent their own.

This can have hideous consequences, as people chase after the wrong activities – look at people who stay late at the office because they think “total amount of time at work” is the score that matters.

Instead of leaving their team or group guessing, great leaders take control of the score by choosing which KPIs matter and communicating them relevantly and regularly.

Leaders identify the scores that matter and communicate them in a relevant way

STEP 1
Identify the important digital signals for your goals. These are the metrics that go into making your score.

 

STEP 2
Next you need to share the score in a relevant way. Your options are:

personal scores – a score for each individual. This approach works best in a ‘group’ setting where everyone is fairly independent – e.g. a conference or a very large business
team scores – a collective score. This works best for internal teams – e.g. focus on a KPI such as number of visitors to our website each month
market comparison – in more mature markets it may be more relevant to focus on the comparison with peers – e.g. we are the number 1 supplier of milk in our region.
STEP 3
Finally, it’s not enough to communicate relevantly, you must also communicate regularly.

Whether a weekly email to a big screen TV leaderboard in the office, you need to remember that facts don’t speak for themselves. You must tell people the score, and keep telling them.

The medium you choose is important – people will take more notice of a great looking leaderboard emailed around once a week with their photo next to their name, than one hastily scrawled on a piece of paper and stapled on a busy noticeboard.

Why add scorekeeping to your leadership skills?

The score is an essential part of leadership. We all take account of the score whether we realise it or not. By communicating the score in a relevant and regular way, you go beyond mere measurement into providing actionable scorekeeping. As a leader you can use the score to achieve the goals you’ve set for your team.

 

So, how do you use scores in your leadership today? What scores are your team really focusing on right now? Have you communicated the right ones? What challenges have you faced when leading with the score?

 

Toby Beresford can be found on LinkedIn and is the CEO/Founder of Rise

The Most Important Digital Transformation Initiatives Ranked

Alitimeter lasted post it their report “the state of digital transformation for 2014” is a highly recommended read.

 

It was interesting to note that whilst 88% of organisations where undergoing a digital transformation, 42% percent of them had not mapped the customer journey but investing in digital channels anyway.

Digital Transformation Initiatives Ben Martin

In previous reports from Altimeter it showed the typically the CEO role was not leading the digital transformation projects. This report  dramatically shows a major shift in sponsorship. These projects are now shown to be driven by the

CMO, CEO and CIO (54%, 42% and 29% respectively)

Also included in their post, Altimeter asked the participants to position the most common challenges that exist for digital transformation initiatives.

Top Challenges for Digital Transformation Ben Martin

Go read the full post now, and download the report, happy reading

 

88% percent of surveyed organisations are undergoing a digital transformation TWEET THIS

Changing company culture is the number 1 challenge according to Altimeter TWEET THIS

Listen “sales”, – There is no such thing as Social Selling!

No doubt this statement will bring the wrath of those “social selling” experts who have arisen over the last few years.
Don’t get me wrong – there is an incredibly powerful and commercially viable way of selling by leveraging social platforms, so let me explain.

First, I have a problem with the phrase “social selling”, mostly because it gives the impression that if you jump onto a social media platform, you will immediately be able to sell something. You won’t, at least not straight away. Using social platforms as an additional channel requires a strategy and one that teaches you to move from a day trader to a long term investor and builder of relationships. Yes you may be stumble upon an update that says ” I need to buy [your product], please contact me” but this is an exception and not the rule.

I also struggle with calling a sales person a “social seller”. Does this individual now only sell on social platforms, or more importantly are they a seller who not only utilises the traditional methods of selling but also blends in the benefits of using social tools to add tremendous value to those traditional face to face and telephone meetings?

Social selling does not work when detached from traditional sales methods. I want to share a strategy that will enhance those traditional methods and if done correctly may even negate the need for cold calling.

Now that I have sorted out the jargon lets look at how the commercially viable Social Sales teams do it. The rule is; create the social wrap.

Below is a suggested approach to blending your traditional methods of selling to enable or influence a purchase decision. Here are my five tips:

1: Build your brand.

2: Contribute to discussions.

3: Network

4: Provide relevance through thought leadership.

5: Practice the law of reciprocity, always.

Build your brand.

Building your brand is key and should be the foundation of any great sales person. You are researching your clients and gaining insights to their personality, interests and business synergies. It would be naive to think that your clients are not similarly checking you out. Right now the strongest platform to convey and market your expertise is LinkedIn, but that platform may not be the only one! Yes you are in marketing now, the marketing of your value and credibility.

Contribute to discussions

Participating in discussions is not just about listening to what your clients are saying or understanding what they are listening to. It is about adding your point of view to the conversation. Don’t sell your product; instead offer advice, strategies, coaching on things to consider, how to guides. Add value to a discussion, and in so doing become the authentic helper.

Network

Network and connect with people. Whether you met face to face or virtually, if you feel that reciprocal value can be achieved then invite them to be part of your network. Top tip; always personalise the invite, because not doing so shows a lack of professionalism and integrity.
Utilise your network. Earn social credit by connecting people to others that will add value and benefit them. By doing so you will increase your network in size.
Also use your network to influence, for instance Twitter is business networking on steroids. Surround your self with people you want to influence and provide them great content, relevance and value.

Provide relevance through thought leadership

You need to understand your network. Two important question you could ask yourself are: What types of information would they benefit from? Where and when are they seeking it? This will help you ascertain which platforms will benefit you the most. Consider blogging, as this will become a huge asset to your branding and thought leadership. As your network increases in size so will the diversity and quantity of your content.

Practice the law of reciprocity

Trading favours is a huge part of doing business in the social world. If you are already utilising your network and introducing people to others, you are already practicing this law. Read more at Wikipedia 

So those are my top five tips for creating a social wrap.
It is all about building a brand, sharing your expertise, offering your helpfulness and building relationships and influence that will enable you to sell more using social media.

Share your best practices and tips below on how you are using social tools to help sales. And don’t forget to practice the law of reciprocity now

You’re busy, but still want to build online credibility – here’s how

Finding time these days to create or add to your “digital” credibility is a huge challenge.,
Perhaps you’re in a role that requires an almost constant attachment to the phone. Or maybe a lot of your time is spent on site visits. I have heard all the explanations, so I know it is difficult for you to find the time to build your authority through content and online contribution. However, not contributing in the social space can be more damaging and costly in the long term.Building credibility, authority and demand for your knowledge will result in a massive return for you, your company and the client experience. For example, a sales person can spend less time prospecting and reinvest the time saved into other areas. I am also a great believer that everyone is in sales regardless of where they sit in an organization.

Here are some activities sorted by time that you can consider to start building your credibility:

Minimal Time Commitment:

Take 30 minutes at the beginning of the week to schedule tweets, LinkedIn posts and even Facebook if you must! (see my previous post, They asked “Do you Facebook? I said no”), all about the areas of your expertise. These can be original ideas that provide value and helpfulness or links to useful content from other locations.

Medium Time Commitment:

Start contributing to groups, forums, or blogs that are in your focus area. Offer your thought leadership. Answer questions and resist the desire to sell or promote your company solution if it is not relevant. Be genuine and authentic and the readers will find you.

Develop relationships with other influencers or content creators in your field. This can be achieved by simply commenting on their posts, connecting at events, reweeting their content and following up. They will expand your reach and send recommendations your way in the long run.

Large Time Commitment:

Start and maintain your own blog on the area of your expertise, or offer yourself to be a regular contributor to a third party site. This does require a larger than average investment in time but research shows that creating regular content will generate upwards of 55% more visits to you and increase your visibility for search engines. Blogging will help you build the top of your funnel to pull in more prospects and hopefully more quality leads.

From my experience the “I don’t have the time” excuse underpins the biggest reason that people don’t participate and that reason is, people have no clue what to write about. There is this shortage of ideas. Equally challenging is the time factor of course, as we all have so many other things we have to do.

So start by committing some time, your competition are! Think about the wealth of knowledge you have and the value that can bring beyond what a website can do. Take part in conversations, start conversations and to coin Nike – Just Do It.

Why Companies Need to be Prepared for Online Criticism

Social media has empowered businesses of all shapes and sizes across almost every industry to raise brand awareness, engage a global audience, boost traffic  and drive sales – when used the right way.

But it’s all about engagement and having a conversation. Social networking by definition implies a two-way relationship and people buy from people, brands need to be prepared to manage the bad with the good. No business model is perfect, and companies make mistakes. Are you ready to deal with the criticism?

Perhaps surprisingly, a recent survey revealed that just 29 percent of companies have a social media strategy in place, and two in five (40 percent) rated themselves as unprepared for online criticism.

Are you?