Social Selling Training in 2017: A Predictive Approach

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

social-selling-in-2017-a-predictive-approach.jpgThe next year in social selling training is going to see some huge jumps. Companies and individuals are going to be able to track their progress like never before, translating into better performance more efficient training.

The biggest leap is going to be analytics that lead to prescriptive improvements for both sales professionals and companies.

Our company has run over 300 training programs globally and trained over 60,000 sales professionals. We have huge amounts of data on how these sales professionals learn, how they take that knowledge and create long-term behavioural change, and how that change translates into results. And we’re going to use this learning management systems data to create a prescriptive approach for keeping organizations and individuals sales pros on track.

Course Correcting Laggards

We’re already plotting all of the students in a given company and ranking their effort and ability to learn, attend class, complete their assignments and ask questions during our Ask The Expert Sessions. Moving forward, we’re going to use this data to  to benchmark and course-correct those falling behind. 

Sales leaders already know that their best learners are your top sales pros, so it’s an early warning sign when students aren’t engaging with the material. We want to showcase that, and hold those professionals early on in their journey.

For example, an IT company with 3,000 sales professionals on staff invested in our social selling training program. They wanted to measure the difference between sales professionals who completed the program and became certified, versus those who only completed 50% of the training. They wanted to see from a behavioral standpoint who felt that learning wasn’t a priority (i.e., who gave up), in contrast to those who finished what they started.

After one year, the sales pros that completed the social selling training program outperformed their colleagues who only did 50% of the course by 55% of revenue generation!

On the flip side, those same pros who were most likely to adjust their behaviour were the most likely to take action in the market faster than their peers.

The Company Level

At a macro level, we’ll be able to compare both current companies and new companies based on existing trends. On week 2 and 3, we can say, “you as a customer are behind other successful organizations.” And what that means for you is that within a few weeks or a few months, you most likely will not have the same successes these organizations see. Why? Because you haven’t created leadership buy-in, you’re not creating accountability for your sales professionals and so forth.

The Sales Pro Level

We’ll also be able to look at specific sales professionals and start segmenting them into three buckets:

  • Rockstars

  • Core performers

  • Laggards

Industry data shows us most sales teams are comprised of 15% laggards, 70% core performers and 15% rock stars. CEB stats show that if sales teams can improve the skillset of these core performers by 5%, they’ll see up to a 60-70% revenue increase for your business perhaps in a year or two.

We’ll be able to predict, with a bit of extra effort, that these core performers will have X, Y and X performance in the future. This prescriptive way of working with this big group of core performers will increase their performance and get better results.

Projecting how individuals will perform will also allow us to identify who the laggards are up front and let organizations decide, “do we want to concentrate our efforts on these individuals? Or is their lack of commitment or going to have very little final sales results impact for the organization in the future?”

It becomes a collection of comparing companies against companies with historical patterns of successes. That way, every company that makes an investment in social selling knows we’ll be able to course correct them based on patterns that others have had, and be able to make very prescriptive recommendations on how improve. That’s going to the future of social selling in 2017.


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