7 Deadly Sins Sales Leaders are Making with Social Selling

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

Social Selling SinsFIRED!!! That’s my prediction. Not today, not even next year. But within 3-5 years, if you’re a sales leader (or aspiring sales leader) that isn’t helping your sales team leverage social… FIRED.

How could I be bold enough to say this?

There are already 100’s of the world’s greatest brands CRUSHING THEIR QUOTA with Social Selling.

You’re no longer an early adopter. You can no longer claim you’re bringing an evolutionary idea to your company. In fact, your sales reps, executive staff, marketing team are all slowly learning about Social Selling around you. Your competitors ARE ALREADY experimenting with Social Selling.

Technology, Professional Services, Financial Services, Telecom have already begun their emersion into Social Selling.

Do you run a sales team in these industries? Again, too late to be an early adopter. Your competitors are already driving opportunities that you aren’t. They are nurturing your accounts, they are winning deals from you… that you didn’t realize where lost!

If you’re gut feels like any of these 7 Deadly Sins towards Social Selling for your team… get ready, as you’re going to make yourself irrelevant quicker than you realize.

1. Social Selling doesn’t work for my team

Trust me, you’re team isn’t special. You sales cycle isn’t so complex, or so transactional that Social Selling isn’t working. It’s a terrible excuse…

2. This is just a fad

Please, are you telling me that the world you see with Facebook, Google, Twitter… is going to be used less in the future? Your young sales reps are DIGITAL NATIVES, born into the digital world.

3. Social is marketing’s responsibility

50% – yes, marketing plays a vital role in monitoring your macro environment. And marketing also works to develop great content… but marketing can’t touch buyers 1-on-1 in LinkedIn. Marketing doesn’t know that sales reps “John” is working “ABC Company”, nor has the ability to develop an intimate relationship with that buyer. Guess what, your competitors are developing these 1-on-1 relationships using tools like LinkedIn.

4. I’ll wait to see if my competitors have started looking at it

Pick and industry, they are! I’m writing this from our prospective, and the prospective of our network. There are many like me, specializing in helping sales departments in specific industries. Companies big and small are all executing Social Selling strategies.

5. I’m thinking of training, but maybe just a talk at our next sales kick-off is good enough

That’s a great start, but that doesn’t help with adoption. You’re only getting sales reps excited about something they can’t execute on their own. Realize that your sales team is made up of mostly “Digital Immigrants” – not experienced in using Social as a business development tool. Help them go beyond “excited”.

6. I’m going to keep measuring my sales reps based on dials & talk-time

Wow, 2007 wants its metrics back. No one is advocating the idea of abandoning calling, but measuring your sales reps on dials is OLD. When, and I’m telling you the day will come… Social will be part of your sales mix and talk time and dials will become irrelevant. Your competitors using LinkedIn are measuring connections, content sharing that provides value & insight… these are metrics that new age companies are looking at.

7. I can’t build the same strenuous measurements for my sales reps using Social as I do with calling metrics

No problem… but good luck explaining this to your executive team when they notice more and more of your sales team on LinkedIn during the day. You need to understand that LinkedIn is a tool just like the phone. The activity and outcomes of LinkedIn need to be measured effectively.

The Bottom Line:

If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you need to start to take action. The following dozen blog posts on utilizing Social Selling strategies using LinkedIn can help you start. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out – 10 Steps to Building a Social Selling Machine. Find the topic of Social Selling interesting? Click below to book a time in my calendar to explore further!

Jamie Shanks



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The Ultimate Guide to Social Selling