In the digital era, sales professionals need to embrace social selling training to remain relevant and successful. This equips them with vital skills to engage with prospects on their preferred social media platforms, building meaningful relationships that lead to increased revenue. Let’s embark on a journey towards social selling mastery!
- What is Social Selling, and why does your sales team need it?
- Why some companies, teams and individuals resist it.
- Tips for adoption of social selling training.
- The Pros and Cons of Digital and Social Selling Programs.
- Valuable information about using social selling to get more leads, increase deal sizes and close deals.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is the art of using social media tools to locate, contact, and nurture potential leads, enhancing the accomplishments of sales teams. It’s about achieving the perfect outcome – an eager prospect keenly awaiting a phone call or personal meeting.
Digital marketing can leverage this skill to establish lasting customer loyalty and improved brand awareness.
The four pillars of this training are:
- Harnessing the power of social networks effectively.
- Professional connection building.
- Nurturing prospects.
- Applying proper strategies for sales via these platforms.
One of the best social networks for sales, especially in the B2B space, is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for salespeople to find, engage, and connect with prospects to develop correspondence that leads to offline sales conversations.
So, while the simplest, most basic answer is that social selling is using social networks to sell, that is an inaccurate definition. As mentioned earlier, successful sales reps don’t sell on social media. That is not how you develop a relationship built on trust and value with a prospect.
Instead, social selling combines two elements:
- Outbound prospecting: This is where you use the social platform (such as LinkedIn) to build your network, connect with your prospects, and ask current connections for referrals.
- Marketing for sales: This is the process of feeding your network with relevant content to build engagement built on trust. By sharing content, your sellers can develop their thought leadership and provide opportunities to expand their network through the interactions they receive on their posts.
By combining these two elements, and with a proper connection strategy in place, your sellers will be able to grow their networks and turn their online connections into offline sales conversations.
The Importance of Social Selling Training
Social selling training offers tremendous rewards to sales professionals, enabling them to stay ahead of competitors and effectively tackle challenges in achieving their objectives. It’s crucial to invest in comprehensive education that equips employees with the necessary skills and understanding for maximum effect from such strategies.
Why Social Selling Matters
Digital and social selling skills are a must-have for successful salespeople in the digital age. It helps to build relationships, gain trust, facilitates interactions with prospects on their preferred channels; all of which contribute towards lead generation.
In order to maximize its potential, you need an intensive education plan that considers business marketing skills as well as overall understanding of the social selling process. Social Selling plays a pivotal role by giving users data that assists them making decisions wisely, thus producing leads qualified according to those choices.
Challenges Faced by Sales Professionals
Salespeople often face challenges in approaching decision-makers, targeting their audience effectively, and utilizing outdated sales tactics. Additionally, they must stay updated on changing social trends for successful social selling.
For those involved in the sale of products or services with methods using social platforms, there exist several other difficulties. The biggest is promoting through these channels without adding any value to a network that they may or may not have researched. Too often sellers think building relationships on social is all about pushing their content, when really it’s all about listening, and then providing buyer-centric content.
3 Reasons Why Businesses Haven’t Embraced Social Selling Training
Despite the benefits of social selling training, many businesses resist due to misunderstandings, company size factors, and resistance to change.
It can be difficult for them to understand the value and buy in – which is why we, at Vengreso, are so passionate about helping out!
Larger corporations that may resist transformation as part of their complex operations require a special approach when providing social selling coaching and programs. There might be hesitation in investing resources into the skills needed by their sales team to develop a modern sales methodology in their outreach. This should not stop businesses from reaping the rewards of active sales learning experiences.
Social selling is beneficial to most B2B companies. In fact, studies show that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn.
However, some businesses still haven’t embraced a digital sales strategy. Below are some reasons why and how this is hurting their revenue.
Leaders Misunderstand “Social Selling”
As mentioned, social selling is a strategy that focuses on nurturing engagement with a target audience of potential clients and decision-makers. It involves providing value and connecting with more prospects through their preferred channels, ultimately guiding them towards conversions.
This strategy leverages platforms like social media and online tools to establish connections, enhance credibility, foster robust customer engagement – so that sellers can close deals effectively. However, many leaders struggle to fully comprehend this concept, often misinterpreting it as just another marketing tactic rather than the business building strategy it truly is.
Inertia Due to Company Size
Large organizations may find it challenging to adopt new approaches due to their size and existing structures. Implementing social and digital practices in large businesses involves ensuring that all the insights, skills, and techniques are understood by representatives.
Leadership must be confident that the learned skills will in fact lead to sellers and other employees taking the right action to engage with prospects. It’s equally exciting and challenging to assess the impact of such a program on sales performance, which is crucial when attempting to master these strategies.
In the past, many sales leaders had to rely on cold calling, door-to-door sales, and local networking groups to make new connections. As a result, these are the methods they often revert to when onboarding new salespeople. Many sales leaders remain uncertain about how to use digital platforms effectively to generate leads and build interactions with prospects without appearing spammy. Unfortunately, when they hear the term “social,” they often think of Facebook and the spammy messages that fill their inboxes.
Sales leaders often hesitate to shift from traditional sales approaches to modern sales methods due to the size of their organization. These leaders doubt whether their sellers will fully embrace new techniques, fearing that it may only lead to chaos. They often prefer to maintain the status quo rather than strive for improvement.
Change Is Inconvenient
Businesses that make the effort to invest in comprehensive training for social selling, coupled with an understanding of how to utilize appropriate channels and create value, can experience great sales success.
But change may be difficult as it can take up a lot of resources – not just money – but time. A business must accept these changes if they want to take advantage of all aspects involved in successful social selling. Resistance is likely to come from sales personnel because they are accustomed to traditional ways for conducting business and sales. Leadership must tackle these issues head-on so that their organizations can capitalize on this powerful tool without missing out on any opportunities for growth and development.
Viewing change as an inconvenience is not a good perspective; however, some businesses still think this way. New processes, tools to learn, and skills to acquire can be received as a hassle. And, if there isn’t buy-in from executives or sales leaders, any social selling training will not stick. Despite these reasons, there’s still hope. Many of these sales leaders only need to see the results that effective and ongoing digital sales coaching has on the performance of their sales team.
Building a Strong Personal and Business Brand
Achievement in social selling requires sales professionals to create a strong business and personal brand. With this, they can make themselves distinct from competitors and build trust among their network and prospects.
Through optimizing their LinkedIn profile, having consistent communication strategies, and highlighting the skills they possess, these professionals can generate increased visibility and credibility. Strengthening one’s individual persona is key for triumph when reaching out to clients through technology-driven media outlets like social networks.
A LinkedIn profile should not be a big sell fest. Instead, it should focus on social selling goals like more business with a target audience. Providing answers to questions buyers may not have even asked yet, and sharing media which, of course, will provide value.
In order to make a compelling impression and attract the right connections, it’s crucial for one to optimize their LinkedIn profile. The focus should be on client-centric messaging that addresses a prospect’s challenges, thereby positioning oneself as a reliable source of assistance. It’s vital to illustrate how the utilization of one’s services will yield efficient outcomes promptly, thereby enhancing credibility.
To maximize a LinkedIn Profile, it’s necessary to possess a professional persona and craft captivating headlines, about sections, experience and education. Infusing these sections with pertinent keywords can make a significant difference! If you don’t have the time to create your own profile, we can help you with that! Check out our LinkedIn Profile Optimization packages.
Consistent Messaging and Engagement
Sales professionals should take advantage of social media as a way to bolster their efforts and establish trust with prospects. Utilizing the platforms on an ongoing basis can showcase expertise, engage target audiences in meaningful conversations, and create connections with prospects that last.
Taking part in discussions related to sales topics not only keeps individuals informed, but demonstrates dedication towards helping clients by providing helpful content addressing customer needs and pain points.
Essential Social Selling Skills
In order to maintain relevancy and achieve social selling success, sales professionals must develop their skills in the areas of prospecting and research, relationship building & nurturing, as well as closing deals with the help of social media. By honing these abilities, they will be able to properly leverage them to effectively interact with prospects while forming strong relationships that can ultimately lead to more closed deals.
Having a grasp of essential skills necessary for effective Social Selling is key if one wishes to stay competitive within this ever-changing world of sales.
Relationship Building and Nurturing
Sales professionals should prioritize honing and strengthening the engagement they have with their prospects to gain more sales opportunities. This can be achieved by being honest, regularly communicating, developing mutual trust through personalization of interactions, addressing issues promptly, and making sure that it is all about customer’s needs in the end, rather than any potential benefits for themselves.
Continuous engagement on social media channels will also help create positive connections between a business and its customers, which could lead to greater accomplishments when seeking out new deals or increasing current ones.
Closing Deals Through Social Media
Salespeople should approach the sales process on social media with a targeted strategy and be aware of their customers’ needs. They must stay proactive, interact in relevant conversations, remain relevant, and share helpful information that will address any issues or pain points that prospects may have.
By establishing an ongoing presence across these channels, they can demonstrate their capabilities while also creating genuine connections which can result in successful deals with potential clients.
Implementing a Social Selling Training Program
Businesses can adopt a systematic method to enhance their triumph in social selling through educational initiatives. Evaluating existing sales competencies, selecting the suitable facilitator for the initiative, monitoring advancement, and measuring results are all crucial elements of ensuring a prosperous return from this type of initiative. A well-executed social selling education will be pivotal in augmenting revenue, prospects and fostering the overall potential for growth in businesses.
The Vengreso 10 step digital selling program is uniquely designed to get the buy-in you want from the sales team. Our proven method creates behavioral change and measurable outcomes that prove ROI. Each step is designed with the seller in mind. In fact, most of the core elements were designed and field-tested when I was in the field as an RVP of Sales at a software technology company. Think about the game-changing impact a digital sales strategy can have on your sales team and their results.
Assessing Current Skill Levels
In order to maximize the efficiency of a training program designed for sales personnel, it is essential to evaluate current skill levels. The best method includes assessing verbal and written communication proficiency, goal-orientation capacity, ability in presentation development, as well as researching skills. Assessments are used during hiring processes which help discern aptitude level plus values concerning attitude, conduct and abilities that could benefit your company when selecting individuals with strong sales capabilities.
Selecting the Right Training Provider
When selecting the perfect provider, businesses should examine their distinguished performance record and whether they supply modified content suited to the needs of the sales team. It is essential that providers understand your particular industry as well as daily reality so that maximum effect can be achieved.
By affiliating with a reliable trainer for social selling initiatives, firms will ensure their personnel receive up-to-date instruction relating to this specific area of sales best practices tailored precisely according to requirements in order to meet company goals and targets efficiently.
Monitoring Progress and Measuring Success
In order to evaluate the positive outcome of a social selling and training program, businesses must set realistic goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for both individual representatives and teams. Examining reports that track progress in crucial areas should help them achieve this goal, using these results will then allow firms to adjust the objectives accordingly. By monitoring developments closely while measuring successes, businesses can confirm if their sales training is having a positive effect before making any alterations as necessary.
Can a Social Selling Training Curriculum Really Help a Company’s Sales Pipeline to Grow?
Companies may improve their sales pipeline and promote growth by taking advantage of a suitably developed social selling course.
When marketing their products and services, forms can:
- Increase trustworthiness.
- Expidite deal closure.
- Reach a wider audience.
They will outperform their rivals’ sales due to more effective lead generation, and increased interest among prospects. By committing resources towards a complete program oriented toward mastering the art of successful online social selling and business transactions, it is possible that businesses reap rewards ultimately helping them realize set targets in regard to this subject.
Companies can prepare their sales professionals with the best training possible by researching social selling options and discovering what suits them. This could be through making use of internal specialists like those in the sales enablement field, experienced reps or employing a social media manager. External vendors may also provide solutions for companies who are seeking specialized guidance specifically 2. tailored to their requirements and objectives.
It is important that corporations explore every option when providing effective working knowledge within the realm of selling, as this plays an integral role in successful outcomes associated with business growth.
1.Your Social Media Manager
Companies can make sure that their sales professionals are furnished with the suitable skills and expertise for successful social selling by relying on the experience of a social media manager. By utilizing this specialist, organizations can come up with campaigns and content to develop followership across different platforms, increase connections in digital spaces, as well as cultivate more prospects through transactions.
With such insights given into best practices surrounding usage of online networks provided by a social sales professional or media expert, companies will benefit from the knowledge being passed down ensuring positive outcomes like increased profits.
- Pro: Social media managers know effective social media strategy. They are well-versed on how to connect with the market through different social platforms. Additionally, they know your company, your marketing message, and your products or services.
- Con: They are versed in top of the funnel strategies, but most aren’t salespeople and have never been in sales. They do not understand the sales process, how to effectively engage with prospects, and how to apply content sharing strategies that apply to different stages of the sales funnel.
2.LinkedIn Savvy Sales Reps
Proven successful sales reps can share their tactics and approaches for getting the best out of LinkedIn and other social sites with their colleagues. By successfully leveraging these platforms, these sales reps know how to, and can demonstrate best practices when creating connections, sales conversations thereby qualifying leads that eventually become clients. As a result, they are highly valuable as resources when teaching others how to get better results from social selling activities.
- Pro: They already understand the sales business, as well as your organization, and can provide personalized tips that have worked for your target buyer.
- Con: You would have to take one of your top-performing salespeople out of the field to create all the necessary materials needed for effective training such as playbooks, templates, etc. They also need to coach their fellow sellers for about four to five months to enable their modern selling skills.
3.Internal Sales Training as Delivered by Sales Enablement
Companies can ensure their sales professionals are receiving the right training by engaging with internal sales enablement teams. They will be able to identify appropriate platforms, devise a policy for using them, prioritize coaching opportunities and provide ongoing support and guidance when it comes to learning how best to use these tools in order to meet company objectives. This way they stay relevant and up-to-date on all matters related not only to social media but also overall selling strategies as well.
- Pro: They are your own employees, therefore you wouldn’t need to spend on outsourced training. They also have good knowledge of the company and your salespeople.
- Con: Unless they were out in the field selling within the past 5 years, they don’t have the relevant experience for effective coaching. They will only rely on what they’ve read, which doesn’t provide subject expertise.
4.Traditional Sales Methodology or Sales Training Vendor
Companies that wish to improve their digital and social selling, can partner with established sales methodology or training vendors for guidance. These experts are able to provide tailored programs which have been designed specifically around the company’s individual needs, including best practices and valuable insights pertaining to Social Selling techniques.
Through this approach of partnering with traditional sales sellers, companies will be providing their professionals the necessary knowledge and skills needed and resources needed for optimum results in their approaches towards successful sales processes.
- Pro: If they have already worked with you in the past, they already know your organization. Approval from the decision-makers can also be less time-consuming as they should now belong to your company’s list of approved vendors.
- Con: Most traditional sales training companies were created 30 to 40 years ago—way before the Internet. It is safe to say that they lack experience in digital sales, and don’t have a full grasp of understanding the practice of social selling.
5.Dedicated Social Sales Training Company
Opting for a dedicated social selling company over a traditional methodology company offers numerous advantages. These include specialized digital expertise, up-to-date strategies, enhanced customer engagement, effective data utilization, increased brand visibility, and cost-effectiveness.
Additionally, such companies often provide customized training tailored to your specific industry, audience, and business goals.
- Pro: They specialize in giving training and coaching for sales professionals to be successful digital and social sellers, and can scale to the size of your organization. These companies, such as Vengreso, have a long track record of successful deployment and have the client testimonials to back it up. IN addition, their approach is multithreaded to ensure maximum results. You can invest in a social selling course for an individual sales person, or social selling strategies for your whole sales team.
- Con: You need to invest, but for sure, you will get a high ROI.
How to Launch a Social Selling Training Program
Creating and launching a training program that provides the right environment for your sellers to be successful requires a number of different elements.
One of the most important steps is realizing that the old way of selling is no longer as effective as it was in the past. To succeed in the modern sales environment, your team needs to establish a digital selling mindset.
This is a required first step before you begin your training in social selling. Without the right mindset, the behaviors of your sellers will not change, and your results won’t improve after the training. That’s why so many half-day or full-day training sessions aren’t successful.
Immediately afterward, sellers are ramped up and can’t wait to try new techniques. But, then there is no follow-up or coaching on specific phrasing to use or an effective sales cadence. Once it becomes difficult, sellers stop trying new techniques and resort back to their old methods.
Who Needs to Be Involved in the Decision?
As a sales leader, before you decide if your team is going to transform into social sellers, you need to get the approval of your C-level executive. Securing their buy-in directly influences your efforts and the outcome of the program.
If you get the “go” signal, sales leaders, marketing leaders, and whoever is in between—sales enablement, sales training, field marketing—all need to work with adopting the digital transformation in order to produce favorable outcomes. This includes identifying your customer acquisition goals, the KPIs you use to determine whether the training has been successful, creating buyer personas, and mapping the buyer’s journey.
How Long Does Social Selling Training Take?
Every training program is different. In our experience, a successful training providing the right social selling skills with lasting results cannot be completed in a few hours in a classroom.
To create the new mindset and implement the behavior change needed to be successful in digital selling techniques requires more time. For instance, our training has two months of planning and creating customized playbooks for the organization, and four months of training and coaching. Overall, six months is the best option for the new strategies to stick.
Now, I know what you’re thinking—six months is too long! Yes, but it’s only an hour a week because:
What Are the Key Metrics of Success for this Type of Sales Training?
As your sales team undergoes digital sales transformation, social metrics such as their network size, social content engagement, and LinkedIn SSI score will receive a boost. These social metrics are early indicators that things are headed in the right direction.
Once your team fully adopts a social selling strategy, expect that they will have a surge in appointments set, as well as an increase in win rates.
Best Tools and Resources for Social Selling
Sales professionals can use the power of social media and tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator to benefit from their selling strategies. They are able to find, contact, and create more sales conversations with potential customers more efficiently.
Sales Navigator is a useful asset for sales professionals, helping them locate and communicate with potential customers more efficiently. This complete system makes account-based selling easier than ever by streamlining many of the tasks that are usually done on an ordinary LinkedIn account.
By leveraging Sales Navigator’s features, sales teams can:
- Customize their LinkedIn profiles to build stronger branding.
- Access advanced search filters to quickly find relevant prospects.
- Save searches for easy reference.
- Pinpoint influencers and decision makers
- Reveal buying circles connected to specific targets.
- Start conversations directly through commenting, liking or sharing posts related to targeted persons/groups.
With all these tools at hand, any seasoned professional dealing in sales will be able to take full advantage of this efficient tool set without difficulty!
Content Curation and Sharing Platforms
Sales reps can utilize content curation and sharing platforms to increase their sales by establishing trust with prospects. These effective tools help them pick, customize, label sources for quality material from reliable sources, and then share posts quickly while measuring the outcome.
By using these resources, sales reps and other employees can build the credibility that is essential when trying to increase social selling success by targeting qualified leads with relevant information in a quick and easy way.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 4 pillars of social selling?
Social Selling utilizes four key components – Promotion, Conversation, Education and Entertainment. By combining these strategies together on social media platforms one can achieve the optimal results in selling products or services.
How do I become a social seller?
To increase your sales through social media, it is essential to establish yourself as a credible source and be consistently present. Optimizing profiles allows you to make connections with potential customers and create an effective selling environment. Joining relevant forums or discussion boards can help build trust between consumers & sellers, so they feel more comfortable doing business together. Through consistent engagement in all these areas of social media marketing, success can truly follow when looking for ways to boost your number of sales!
Is social selling worth it?
Social selling is a highly advantageous tactic for driving up sales results, as it can help businesses secure larger deals and reach more prospective buyers. Sales teams are able to take advantage of social media platforms in order to build relationships with potential customers by delivering personalized experiences while also elevating their visibility within the marketplace. This has been proven successful in terms of generating leads and closing additional deals. It’s clear that investing time into developing strong relationships via social media offers beneficial returns when executing effective sales strategies.
What is the main goal of social selling?
The aim of social selling is to encourage prospects to engage with you, enhancing your sales success!
It’s a great way for businesses to establish relationships with their potential customers while boosting the visibility and recognition of the brand. This strategy can help firms garner leads that eventually lead them towards making more deals. By taking advantage of these tools one has access not only to open doors but also deeper customer connections that they will remember even after closing any kind of transactions.