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.

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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

Three Things Your Web Presence Needs To Have Supporting It

Your web presence is one of the best ways to help your business grow to new heights. It can show you new ways to reach customers. To offer them better services than ever. To learn more about the business that you would without the reach of the internet. But you need to make sure that you’re prioritizing three aspects of it. Below, we’re going to look at the three things that need to back up the online presence of any business.

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Visibility

Perhaps the best thing that the internet has to offer to the business owner is the sheer potential of reach that it can offer. You can have your business suddenly by thousands, even millions of people it you do it right. Of course, you shouldn’t look for a lucky break. You should be working to make it easier to see at every opportunity. You should be finding the right communities and social media channels to spread your message. You should be developing the content that gives people more reasons to come visit your web page. You should be using companies like RelativitySEO.com to make it easier for your site to pop up for people browsing the internet. Always think about new ways you can make your business more visible on the internet.

 

Service

It’s not just about being able to reach more people, either. It’s about how you make your business a more pleasant one to interact with for each individual customer. It’s about toning the design of your site so that it’s simple and intuitive. It’s about finding better ways to offer customer service. Whether it’s live on social media, through organized email or using online chat. You want to make your customer’s experience with your company as simple for them as it can be. This is one of the most effective ways to increase the sales in online business. If you’re not doing the best to offer customer service, they’ll move to those who give them a better experience.

 

Learning

If they are moving to your competitors, why exactly are they doing that? You shouldn’t be content to keep doing things the way you are. You need to learn better methods. One of the ways you can do that is by better watching your competitors. Seeing what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. Adapting your approach so they don’t offer anything you don’t. Similarly, you should be looking at the data behind every online interaction you have. Whether it’s how successful your social media posts are or how many people visit your site. Marketingland.com makes it clear that the data driven approach to social media can be the most successful. Learn from your failures and your successes to continuously reiterate and improve.

 

Having a website and a social media presence isn’t enough. You need to work to make it reach more people than before. You need to use it to make it easier for your customers to choose you. Most importantly, you need to learn. You need to collect data and use it to constantly improve.

 

Category: Marketing

Social Media: The Perfect Testing Ground For New Products?

social media

If you have a new product idea – software or physical – then you should consider using social media as a testing ground. It’s a great way to gauge reaction, and it can help you build an enormous buzz to build up to launch day. In this guide, I’m going to take you through several ways you can use social media to test the water on your new product’s popularity. Read on to find out more.

The basics

First of all, make sure you have a product to talk about. In an ideal world, you will have everything ready to send out or sell straight away. But, prototypes from a plastic injection moulding company or beta software can often be a great pull, too. You also need to concentrate on priming your audience for some big news. People love to be ahead of the game and will take a lot more interest in your product if they believe they are getting insider knowledge or exclusive info.

Teaser shots

Next, use the good old art of photography to share teaser shots with your followers. If you are creating a physical product, it is worth hiring a professional photographer to make your images as striking as possible. They will be able to create moody lighting, and give your photos a lot more impact. For software on online products, a screenshot can work in your favour. Again, just give a little glimpse of what people can expect, without revealing too much. The idea is to build excitement and to keep people coming back for more and sharing your news on their feeds.

Take notes

Make sure you are taking notes of any reactions that your audience is giving you. You might find some interesting ideas that you can apply to your product, or it could even open up a market that you hadn’t considered before.

 

Offer opportunity

Once you have created a little buzz about your product, consider offering your audience the chance to get their hands on it. You can do this via a competition, or a draw where you put the name of everyone that shares your page with others into a hat. It’s a great way to build up even more of an audience and get more eyes on your product.

 

Send out the first batch

Now you have a bunch of people who want to use your product, take down their details and send it to them. As part of the T&Cs, you can ask them to share their thoughts with you on your social media page, or their personal blogs. Again, it’s a great chance for you to spread the word even further. And, given the product is free for the recipient, they are likely to be more positive with their opinions.

 

Use video

You can also create a video about your product – they are popular, and give people a more in-depth look at what you are trying to do. If your video – and product – is good enough, you can almost guarantee it will spread like wildfire.

As you can see, social media is a fantastic tool for testing out the marketability of a new product. Make sure you are using some of these tips – and let me know the results!

Category: Social Media

Office Relocation: Three Main Considerations

It is in the nature of businesses to grow as time goes on. Of course, this is what most business owners are hoping for. There is little use in having a business unless you work towards making it as successful as possible. With increasing success comes a changing business. Often, this means that big changes have to be made to accommodate the business’ newfound size. If your business is at this point, then congratulations are in order. Watching a business you started get to this kind of point of expansion is a real joy. However, there is also a lot that you need to think about. A lot of the time, such a sudden spike in sales will means that big changes will have to be made. One such change is the relocation of the office. This is often necessary to deal with the growing business, especially if you also need to take new people on board. If you are thinking about relocating your office, then there is plenty to consider. Let’s have a look at what you need to think about.

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Equipment & Furnishings

Let’s look at what you will stock your new office with first. It is worth thinking about this first of all, because it is often a major expense during such a transitional period as this. A larger office needs more equipment and more furniture, particularly with new people on board. That’s why it is so much in your interest to save as much money as you can on these essentials. There are many ways you can do this. More info here: www.smarta.com/advice/general/the-ultimate-guide-to-moving-into-a-new-office/

 

The first, and most obvious, is to reuse some of the old equipment from the previous office. The truth is, you will probably find yourself reusing the majority of the computers. However, you might not. Some business owners like to make the most of this time during a business’ growth. Such people might well splash out on new systems. At the very least, it is worth considering – or selling the old machines to pay for the new ones.

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Another large concern for any office is the smaller equipment and stationery. It might not seem like these take up much of the budget – but you’d be surprised. In fact, it soon adds up, so it is worth sourcing cheap supplies. Have a look at www.filmsourceinc.net/pouch-laminator-machines-426-ctg.html for some examples.

Lastly, you need to find a sustainable way to source your furniture. This is deceptively important, as comfort makes for a much happier workforce. Never skimp on ensuring that your employees are as comfortable as possible in the workplace.

 

Space

It can be difficult working out how much space you need in your new office. To remedy this difficulty, I would highly recommend making a plan of the new office long before you need to relocate. This is vital for the successful completion of the transition. With a proper plan in place, you can see at a glance what exactly needs doing. It is much easier, on paper, to work out the space required and make it work for you and everyone involved. When you are working out what space you need, it helps if you have a clear idea of how many new people you will be employing. The ideal office space, for many, is one which has a combination of open and closed areas. Different people work in different ways, so it makes sense to cater to their individual needs. Ensure that you have both areas which foster collaboration and areas which allow individuals to work in peace.

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Beyond that, make sure that there is also a fair amount of ‘dead’ space. The last thing anyone wants is to work in an office which is crammed to the walls with desks and computers. Your employees will work best if they feel that they have a bit of space to move around. It is a great idea, for this reason, to introduce a comfy relaxation area as well. What’s more, it helps to have a little space for the business to ‘grow into’. After all, there is every chance that your business will continue to grow in the future. It is helpful if you don’t have to change offices again straight away. Plan well; think of the future.

 

Location

There is one rule which applies equally as well to business as it does to real estate: location, location, location. This famous adage works very well when it comes to choosing the right office space to move into. The location of your office is paramount, after all. Your employees need to be able to get there easily and without much fuss, for a start. If you relocate to somewhere further away, then people are unlikely to be very happy about it. You should ideally try to stay fairly central. Of course, it depends on where your business is located. But there is a fine balancing act which you need to consider if you want your office to work as smoothly as possible. If you are located in the city, don’t suddenly move your office to the suburbs. Your employees won’t appreciate the commute. However, there are downsides to being placed too centrally as well. For a lot of people, it helps to work somewhere slightly away from the centre of things. More information on the importance of location can be found at www.inc.com/magazine/20091001/.

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The location also plays an important role for you financially. Let’s not forget that you will be paying rent for your new office space. With that in mind, be sure to find somewhere which does not drain the business of its resources. There is little use in spending all of your money on new office space. There is a fine line to draw here – you don’t want to sacrifice on quality either. Finding the right balance can be difficult – but it is worth it and it pays off in the long run.
With a little dedication and some serious time put into it, you can find your new office easily. As long as you remember the importance of keeping your staff happy, and watching the pennies, you should be fine.

Category: Business