Social Selling Predictions for 2016

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Social Selling Predictions for 2016

Social Selling in 2016It’s the time of year when everyone is making predictions for 2016. Here are mine for Social Selling.

  1. The Number of Social Selling Apps Will Keep Growing – The dizzying list of social networks, feature enhancements, add-ons, plug-ins, and stand along apps will continue to grow. Categories and some representative applications include:
  • Social Networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+
  • Content Management: HootSuite, EveryoneSocial, GaggleAmp, Dynamic Signal
  • Intelligence: InsideView, KiteDesk, SalesLoft, Social123
  • Visibility/Tracking: YesWare, ToutApp, ClearSlide, SideKick by HubSpot
  • Connectivity: Nudge, Relationship Sciences, Charlieapp, Reach150

Slide11 (1)2. Companies Will Balance Tools with More Training – When I launched my sales consulting business in 2008, most of my work was rescuing poorly implemented Salesforce.com systems. I served clients that rushed to buy the tool without properly planning for training. The result was low adoption. I’ve seen the same thing happen with social selling. As executives examine ROI before renewing software subscriptions, the training that’s requirement to maximize results will be increased.

3. More Niche Social Networks – As the mass-appeal networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter expand functionality to try to be all things to all members, it opens up opportunities for topical or industry-specific social networks to better serve a niche. Some of these networks and their respective audiences include:

  • Academia.edu (Academics/researches)http://www.dreamstime.com/-image14101086
  • Cucumbertown (cooks)
  • Doximity (doctors)
  • Ravelry (knitting/crochet)
  • Spiceworks (Information Technology)

See the complete list on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites

4. Marketing and Sales Will Cooperate to Amplify Content  Content Marketing dreamstime_s_57347611

One of the biggest benefits of a corporate Social Selling initiative occurs when sales people regularly share relevant content with their social networks. This Inbound Marketing activity raises the visibility and credibility of both the individual salesperson as well as those of the company. Marketing will increasingly coach salespeople on concepts, supply them with content, and measure the results to fine-tune the process.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-happy-mature-business-woman-thumbs-up-isolated-white-backgrou-showing-full-length-image316415615. The Value of the B2B Salesperson Will Increase – As recently as this year, a top analyst firm was predicting that technology would make B2B salespeople extinct. I completely disagree. Social networks have elevated the sales role above the efficiencies of commodities sold via search engine results and e-commerce. That’s because relationships are at the center of genuine social networking. The salespeople who builds a large network with deep ties is in an ideal position to educate and influence.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with any of my predications or have one of your own to add?

Want to start 2016 off with a bang? Learn the latest Social Selling techniques on the January 6 webinar:

Leveraging LinkedIn to Make Quota in 2016

January 6, 9:00 AM PT

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Kurt Shaver

Kurt Shaver is a co-founder and Chief Sales Officer of Vengreso. Kurt is an expert at getting sales teams to adopt new sales tools and techniques. Through a successful career in technology sales, Kurt learned what it takes to reach B2B decision makers. As a VP of Sales for a global software company, Kurt was the executive sponsor of a Salesforce.com rollout. That’s how he learned what it takes to get salespeople to adopt new tools and techniques. That knowledge led to him launch his own Salesforce consulting business in 2008. When LinkedIn went public in 2011, Kurt recognized that LinkedIn would be the next great sales technology and that it would require expert training. He pivoted his business and now has over 10,000 hours of experience training corporate sales teams like CenturyLink, Ericsson, and TelePacific Communications. Kurt is the creator of the Social Selling Boot Camp and is a member of the National Speakers Association. He frequently speaks at corporate sales meetings and conferences like Dreamforce, Sales 2.0, and LinkedIn’s Sales Connect.

Comments
  • Thank you for sharing your predictions. I’m glad you are taking a stand Kurt. Also, thank you for including this; “Tell us what you think!” as this tells me that you are open to discussing these predictions.

    I’d like to focus on #4 “One of the biggest benefits of a corporate Social Selling initiative occurs when sales people regularly share relevant content with their social networks.” I agree with the concept, but I’d like to expand on that. Simple shares without context, opinions or engagement have little value and will fail to help the salesperson or company beyond getting a reputation of unwanted spam. Unfortunately, these “simple share” are what I see most often.

    My prediction is this: The B2B social sellers that utilize effective offline skills in the online solial selling world will outperform those that don’t.

    Take these three real world sellers:

    Seller #1) Hands a client a flyer with your predictions printed on them, nothing more.

    Seller #2) Hands the same client the same flyer and says “I found this information from B2B social selling expert Kurt Shaver to be helpful.”

    Seller #3) Hands the same client the same flyer and says “I’d like to get your take on these predictions from B2B social selling expert Kurt Shaver, a trusted member of my personal LinkedIn network. What are your thoughts?”

    Now, do these three online. What do you think will happen? Who will gain the greatest results from their social selling?

    What do you think about my prediction Kurt?

    • Good points, Doug. #4 and #5 go together regarding SALESPEOPLE adding value to the content they share. Without a rep’s added-value comment, it’s not much different than a Marketing post. Salespeople should leverage their in-depth knowledge of their own network due to geographical, vertical industry, product-focus, or other insights.

  • Mike Bonaventura

    Kurt, these are informed and useful anticipations. It’s seldom a bad idea to be aware of the trends(or follow them, or even lead them).

    Your insights are appreciated.

    Happy New Year!
    Mikke

  • Kurt,

    What’s your view on slideshare and the use of short presentations and/or videos as a social marketing and selling tool?

    How do you see slideshare in comparison to youtube and other sites?

    — Allen

    • I should have added Video as another 2016 trend. It will be big. SlideShare’s value as a content distribution platform is boosted by being a LinkedIn property in a similar way that YouTube’s value is boosted by being a Google property. The difference is that LinkedIn reaches the poster’s professional network plus potentially all of LinkedIn’s 400M+.
      One point about SlideShare. The better a slide deck is as a visual aid for a typical narrated presentation, the worse it will be for a SlideShare deck. That’s because a great slide deck minimizes text because it’s articulated by the presenter. SlideShare is best when it’s readable – more like an eBook.

  • Miranjel

    I am very satisfied of the your initiatives and of this great opportunity
    I’m looking forward part take to your initiatives Social Selling
    I wish you all the best for happy new year !
    happy 2016!

    the best !

    Miranjel

  • Hi Kurt,

    Thanks for sharing your 2016 social selling predictions.

    The most useful free tool I started using in 2015 is Buffer. It allows me to automate my LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter posts. Sunday morning post Pilates class is when I do my reading and posting for the week. I schedule a 2 posts a day for each.

    Once all posts are completed Buffer sends me an email with engagement statistics (how many links, retweets, forwards, etc.).

    Thought this might be useful to share with your clients and community.

    Happy Selling,
    Sarah

    • admin

      Thanks. Buffer is a great app for social sharing – Pilates class not required!

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