Sales Coaching Simplified: 3 Indicators Of Effective Social Selling

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks
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3 Indicators of Effective Social Selling“The harsh truth is that those in sales and sales leadership who understand and master the basics thrive, and those who ignore them perpetually struggle.” – Mike Weinberg

I’m in the middle of listening to an incredible book right now called Sales Management Simplified by Mike Weinberg. It’s about sales coaching and training development, and how you as a sales leader can create true accountability for your sales team. If you’re trying to incorporate Social Selling into your business, as a Regional Vice Presidents (RVP), how can you coach your team on Social Selling?

Bringing back the one-on-one

According to Mike’s book, managers need to bring back one critical core element—the coaching one-on-one meeting. Even I’ve gotten away from this, so you’re not alone!

Weinberg puts it simply, “The successful sales manager doesn’t win on her own; she wins through her people by helping them succeed. Think about other key sales management responsibilities: Leading team meetings. Developing talent. Encouraging hearts. Removing obstacles. Coaching others. Challenging data, false assumptions, wrong attitudes, and complacency. Pushing for more. Putting the needs of your team members ahead of your own.”

Some of the tips in the book may seem simple or fundamental, but as I looked back at my own experience, I realized I was missing some of these foundational elements, such as the one-on-one meeting. However, because the one-on-one meeting is so fundamental, we’ve addressed this in our Social Selling curriculum to ensure that RVPs and front line managers are sitting down with and coaching each sales professional one-on-one.

How does the one-on-one meeting work?

These meetings start out at a very high level, but if a sales professional isn’t hitting quota or struggling with creating opportunities and developing pipeline, the one-on-one meetings are a great opportunity for you to look at Social Selling, and understand how you’re going to measure success.

Three silos for measuring success

To measure success, RVPs need to divide their measurements into three silos:

  • Leading indicators;
  • Current indicators; and
  • Lagging indicators.

Let’s examine each indicator in more detail.

Leading indicators

As an RVP, you need to figure out what behaviors will translate into sales pipeline. This is where your leading indicators can help.

  • Socially surrounding

You can measure leading indicators by using the tools stack or sales stack you already have, such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator. With those tools, you can start the simple process of socially surrounding. This means that you want to make sure your sales professionals are building a robust account base and building relationships with multiple decision makers, champions, and influencers—and ensuring that information is in your CRM. You’re getting to know everyone in the account so you minimize the damage if someone builds those one-on-one relationships and then leaves the organization—which is that the company ends up getting screwed.

  • Create one-to-one relationships with your social network

Another leading indicator we’re seeing RVPs leverage is that for any assigned named accounts, you want to ensure your CRM relationships, named accounts, and contacts with that account are one-to-one relationships with your social network. Say, for example, if you have 10 accounts and there are 5 people in each account that you need to get to know, that’s 50 contacts you need to leverage.

CRM data is just a historical record of conversation. However, your social network is a dynamic way of building those relationships. So as an RVP, you want to see that your reps are making attempts to connect with those 50 contacts and start developing relationships.

Current indicators

While leading indicators showcase the changing dynamics in which you’re approaching relationships socially, you also want to see that you’re taking some of those ideas and behaviors and translating them into daily activity. These are your current indicators.

  • Social Selling—a part of your daily routine

I’ve seen companies who use LinkedIn Navigator to monitor something as simple as daily login activity. At a minimum, you want to see that your sales professionals have incorporated a Social Selling tool like LinkedIn into their daily routine.

  • Sharing content

Another way for RVPs to measure current indicators is to measure employee engagement with their employee advocacy tools. This means that your sales reps are taking the time to share content with their social networks. They’re changing the behavior and creating Social Selling outcomes.

  • Conversations

The next current indicator is creating an understanding of social or email conversations that are leveraging insights and content.

All of these measurements can determine if your sales reps are making day-to-day changes in their behavior to ultimately build pipeline. You can learn more in-depth about how to measure the ROI of Social Selling in our eBook here.

Lagging indicators

Here, your one-on-one’s are going to start. Your meetings will typically focus on revenue creation, pipeline development, and net new opportunities created in the last 30, 60, or 90 days. But you still need to monitor the leading and current indicators because your sales reps aren’t achieving their goals. So you have to look back at the activities that were or weren’t happening to achieve those goals.

As an RVP, now that you have a simple checklist of current and leading indicators to see if your sales pros are trying to change their behavior and become social sellers, you can leverage your one-on-one’s. You can use the same time slots usually allocated for your one-on-one’s to coach and train your sales pros that Social Selling is an additive process, and a complement to their existing sales practice.


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