One of the biggest barriers to launching a successful social selling program is securing executive buy-in from upper management. Especially as Jill Rowley says, “that 50-year-old white guy on his 3rd marriage who probably manages your sales team,” still might not see value in social. But this support is key: without it, programs don’t gain the traction they need to spark long-term behavioural change.
That’s why we’ve armed you with a list of 4 common objections every VP of Sales has about social selling and how to tackle them.
1) What is the difference between social selling and social media marketing?
In this blog we wrote about a month ago, we define social selling as “the process of building, nurturing and leveraging relationships with prospects through online platforms which ultimately drive revenue.” While many equate social selling with social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, it encompasses a much larger strategy including sharing relevant content, interacting directly with prospects and customers, personal branding, social listening and surrounding.”
Basically what separates both practices comes down to ownership. Social media marketing belongs purely to marketing (as the name suggests) whereas social selling involves both departments.
Though salespeople distribute content and educate buyers, they need marketing and/or sales enablement to supply them with the messaging and content. It’s a team effort, sure, and it’s done right everybody wins. We’ll get to that soon.
In the meantime, take a look at this awesome chart from Trap!t that further highlights the differences:
Trap!t makes another strong point about the benefits of social selling:
“While marketers are trying to speak to multiple people at once, salespeople can speak to individual buyers. In that sense, sales reps have a unique opportunity to shape each buyer’s individual journey.
Plus, it helps that, with social selling, messages are coming from real people, who have faces and names and to whom buyers can relate. With social sales, customers are no longer interacting with nameless, faceless corporate accounts.
Let’s face it. It feels a little awkward speaking to a company’s Twitter account.”
2) Does social selling generate revenue?
Ah, the million-dollar question. Short answer — yes! Tons in pipeline and revenue. Here are some stats to prove it:
Top social sellers have 45% more opportunities per quarter than social selling laggards. (LinkedIn)
Social sellers realize 66% greater quota attainment than those using traditional selling techniques. (Sales Benchmark Index)
IBM increased their sales by 400% in one quarter thanks to their inbound social selling program. (IBM)
Still not convinced? Scroll through this super popular infographic we made in February about the ROI of social selling.
3) Won’t social selling cut into my sales teams’ selling time?
Initially, yes, social selling will take time to implement. But if sales leaders truly see the long-term value, they must be willing to allow their sales professionals to take a moment off the floor to learn a new skill. In other words, they have to be flexible.
At Sales for Life, we helped train over 60,000 sales professionals and from experience, for VPs of Sales, taking time off the floor is way easier said than done. As one sales leader says: “That crushes a sales leader’s soul, but you have to be willing to say, our team is going to take a step backwards to increase our skillset so we can take three steps forward.”
After talking to more than 50,000 sales professionals around the world, we created an easy social selling routine to help get you started that only takes less than 30 minutes per day.
This short routine helps sales professionals maximize the time they actually spend selling, because sellers know what buyers need and buyers know who they are talking to. SAS can attest to this.
4) How does social selling integrate with our existing sales methodologies?
Jamie Shanks always says, “Truly great enablement teams aren’t afraid to press refresh.” While this rings true in today’s modern sales environment, it is useful to think of social selling as a compliment, rather than a replacement of your existing sales methodologies.
As we wrote in January, no matter what sales methodology your organization has adopted, social selling can be easily integrated. Thanks to Xerox in 1967, and David Sandler in 1968, millions of sales professionals over the last 50 years have learned a structured sales process.
There have been multiple variations on how to approach a buyer, but in the last five years the buyer has evolved so dramatically, that it has left sales organizations scrambling! According to Forrester Research, 74% of today’s B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase. The answer to this is social selling.
Social selling is an additive sales methodology that is agnostic to any baseline sales methodology. From demand generation, inside sales, field sales, customer success to channel selling, social selling uses your current sales process, but interacts with your buyer where they learn: online.