As we finish the first half of 2015, I’m delighted to see the number of companies starting to look at, understand and evaluate Social Selling. This just wasn’t the case two years.
How time flies!
However, we’re still very early in the days of Social Selling adoption. Most companies we speak with today are just starting to teach their sales professionals Social Selling tips. Teaching tips is a great place to start – they excite and demonstrate the potential of incorporating social into the sales process.
But, make no mistake my friends, once you start teaching tips you’ll need a clear and logical path to take the organization to full-scale transformation.
Check out this video to see what I’m talking about.
Start With Tips
By far, one of the best ways to showcase the power of Social Selling is to teach sales professionals very tangible tips. Not only will their eyes open to the possibilities of how it can impact sales, they will begin to see how social overall can benefit customers.
In speaking with many sales enablement leaders, however, a fallacy exists. It’s believed that teaching social amounts to throwing together a few tips, hoping and praying that the sales team learns them, and that’s it. There’s no concrete follow-up plan to ensure that strategies turn into actionable process that helps drive more pipeline and revenue.
This type of thinking would never exist for classic sales training. Yet, this is the state of where we are with Social Selling.
In short, the plan to incorporate social into the overall sales process and activity cadence should be the goal.
Move to Social Transformation
Once teaching Social Selling tips causes a stir, it’s time to expand. Your initial reward will be a high-level of interest and possible engagement without much adoption. As you teach more tips, the probability of this situation will only persist. That’s right, teaching more tips doesn’t correlate to more adoption.
And herein lies the rub.
Tips don’t equate to full-scale transformation. In order for social transformation to take place, you’ll need engagement and active involvement (in various degrees) from leadership, enablement, marketing and sales.
The goal should be to bake social into the overall sales process so it’s working in tandem with your phone and email efforts.
Remember that social isn’t nebulous. It’s not adjunct. If it remains outside of your overall sales process, it will never take a proper foothold and adoption will be a pipedream.
The Bottom Line
The slow trickles of Social Selling adoption are happening. There are organizations working overtime to incorporate social into their overall sales process, integrating marketing, sales enablement, leadership, etc. to truly bring about a social transformation to the enterprise.
What will be interesting to see now is how many organizations teaching “Social Selling tips” will consider a move to take their efforts to the next logical level.
Only time will tell. But, one thing for sure: don’t get caught up in tips too long. Use the energy and momentum you create to build something sustainable and long-lasting.