Should Leaders Practice Social Selling Or Leave It To Their Team?

Amar Sheth
Amar Sheth

Should Leaders Practice Social Selling or Leave It to Their TeamGenerals lead by example. In every historically-notable war story, we’ve witnessed this common, underlying trend. As leaders, the generals provide inspiration, motivation and help instill discipline. But, they also provide guidance, coaching, mentorship and that spirit to become our best.

This post is not about why C-Level Executives aren’t active on social media – there are enough articles on the internet about that. On the flip side, this post is meant to offer some core, fundamental reasons on why there needs to be a shift. As the generals of your organizations, I believe the upside for being on social media is tremendously positive.

Why? Let’s explore the reasons below.

Ensuring Troops Understand a New Landscape

It’s not often that a new form of communication presents itself in human civilization.

Put yourself back in the late 1800’s and imagine using the telephone for the very first time. This medium allowed societies to transform in every possible area, from education, to health, to trade and commerce.

Similarly, social media has allowed for communication to occur with potential buyers at the earliest stages of their research. Empowering your employees, through your example, can serve as a strong signal on the growing importance of social. Make no mistake about it, this has consequences for your bottom line as well.

Data from LinkedIn, for example, vividly illustrates that sales teams that are active with Social Selling efforts create 45% more opportunities and are 51% more likely to hit quota.

Greater Networking Opportunities

In the course of business, executives can create more business opportunities. How, you may wonder?

In this Fast Company article, you will see how Peer Networks are proving to be a secure, educational and fun learning environment for C-Levels. There is no pressure from outsiders, technology gaps are swiftly overcome all while boosting the confidence that is needed to operate.

If you’re a Sales, Marketing or Enablement Leader reading this, you’ll want to assist your Executive Leadership team to learn social through this channel.

It’s in these networking opportunities that business relationships can blossom and prosper.

Before writing on this topic, I decided to reach out to a COO of a leading software provider with nearly 1,000 employees. He mentioned to me that in his social media Peer Network, Executives from around the country met virtually, exchanged ideas on risk and compliance quite often, but in a few months – as comfort and confidence set in – discussion of monetizing the raw power of social surfaced much more.

These Executives, once focused on the risk of using social media, were now able to see the raw and collaborative nature of social to speed up business and create more opportunities for their organizations. They took charge and now serve as inspiration to their employees whose social efforts are lagging.

Revenue – The Ultimate Lever

It’s difficult to discuss all of the nice and positive reasons on C-Levels being on social media without all of this tying back to the financial motive – greater revenue.

The data pouring in from all sides is abundantly clear: organizations that practice social networking (what you do on social media) are churning out more sales conversations, building more opportunities all resulting in greater revenues.

Despite social media existing for a long time, the business world is now realizing the capabilities of it all. And this is in 2015!

Imagine how the market will look and feel in 5 short years?

The Bottom Line & the Bottoms Up Approach

If you’re a Sales Professional or Leader reading this, you need not wait for your general to take action. In this hyper & interconnected world we live in, information is the new currency of power.

There are a plethora of resources you can use to get started yourself in using social in the sales process. Clever solutions exist – it’s up to you to use them. Try these out for size.

And lastly, do you feel your C-Levels need to be more active on social media? Tweet me your thoughts @AmarSheth or connect with me on LinkedIn.


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The Ultimate Guide to Social Selling