4 Traits of a Successful Social Selling Program [Video]

Amar Sheth
Amar Sheth

4 ProfessionalsWhether it’s Management, Sales, Enablement or Marketing, one of the most frequently asked questions we get is: what does a successful Social Selling program look like?

It’s a really good and fair question because as professionals we’re always trying to work with the end in mind. We need to have a point of reference or success case outcomes that we can emulate in our organizations.

Check out this video to get started and then read the 4 outcomes of a successful Social Selling program below.

All For One, One For All

As you review this list of successful outcomes it’s important to remember that all four factors must be in place together. Having one missing will impact the overall success.

1. A Vast Amount of Support

Organizationally, Enablement is typically the group that owns ongoing support. Whatever the case in your organization, it’s doubly important that someone owns ongoing support for Social Selling.

I always make the case that Social Selling requires ongoing support from all revenue-impacting team members. This includes Management, Sales, Marketing and Enablement.

Social Selling is very topical and the newness of it will require you to develop a plan to get support in the hands of your sales team quickly. This will mean that when an Account Executive needs help with writing a prospect message or an inside sales rep needs guidance on what content to share, you should have the answer.

If you don’t provide this you’ll end up with random acts of social across the enterprise. Not a coordinated system that is built to help drive net new pipeline and revenue.

2. Tied to Net New Pipeline and Revenue

This is the most obvious reason for building a Social Selling program. Your mission will be to find social media strategies that visibly and tangibly work and have an impact on growing the number.

A program that doesn’t have this as a central objective and outcome will have minimal chances of success. Sales has finite time in the day to try the new things that we bring them. Our goal is to ensure something works before we take it to them. And, if it doesn’t help them with generating pipeline and revenue, the chances of adoption will be extremely low.

Your ability to measure this in your existing CRM system will help bring visibility of success. There are applications and tools to help with this.

3. Curriculum Change Management

From the date of writing this blog, there have been 4 major changes (and about 11 minor changes) in LinkedIn and Twitter that impact the way one would sell. And this is within the last 6 weeks.

Your ability to keep your curriculum fresh and current will be the ultimate test of success. At the end of a successful Social Selling program will be your ability to keep it relevant, contextual and practically applicable.

Because social media is so dynamic with changes, new ways of doing things, new platforms, etc. your sales team needs to know what to do but most importantly what not to do. Of the thousands of features available online, keeping sales focused on the ones tied to pipeline and revenue should be your primary focus.

Therefore, building a plan for curriculum change management is vital to the long-term success of any program.

4. Ongoing Behavioural Change

The most common solution to any problem in the Enterprise is to provide a tool. Specifically, a technology toolset. Social Selling hasn’t been any different. There are a myriad of tools in the market that claim to help increase sales.

If ongoing behavioural change is your goal then providing technology is only half the solution. The initial focus will be to convince your sales team why this is important and that will take some good, old fashioned elbow grease work. Causing a mindset shift will allow sales to understand why social is needed. Once behaviours have demonstrably changed and upside ROI is the output, you can layer technology tools on top to accelerate results.

Sales acceleration happens when mindset is shifted first.

Often times the challenge in any organization is low technology adoption and usage of sales acceleration tools, even Social Selling tools. My suggestion here would be to focus on retooling the mindset first before offering any technology to sales.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re beginning a new Social Selling initiative or currently in one, I would recommend that you keep these goals in mind. Organizations with successful Social Selling programs have put in a significant amount of time and effort to ensure adoption, behavioural shift and can demonstrably measure the impact of on pipeline and revenue.

Do you have questions or feedback regarding these outcomes? Feel free to Tweet me @AmarSheth or connect with me on LinkedIn to continue the dialog.

Happy Social Selling!


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