At the 2012 American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) Leadership Summit in Dallas, the top minds of inside sales have seen the power shift. The shift was very obvious – our traditional cold calling tactics, basic email campaigns, and voicemail drops was a 2008 strategy. Any company that are only using these tools to drive business will be left behind in 2013. The top inside sales talent in North America are now focusing their attention on a new phenomenon – Social Selling.
Social Selling is simple to understand – using your social presence as a means to guide and influence prospects through their buying process. The key here are two pieces.
Meaning the telephone is only one tool now. Up until 2010, most sales teams were building their metaphorical houses with two tools, the hammer and saw (telephone and email). Today, world-class sales teams lead business development initiatives wearing a tool belt, filed with Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, Personal Microsites, Infographics, Text Marketing – dozens on mediums to engage prospects.
Since the buying process has changed so much over the years with the plethora of information on the internet, it’s critical that you are not using Social Media to talk about yourself in your message. Beating your chest saying “look at how amazing we are” is not going to help solve your buyer’s problems. They only care about their problems and they are going to solve them. If you truly understand how you can solve their problems then use Social Media to help guide them on how they can solve them and in the process establish yourself as the logical choice solution over your competitors.
The shift to Social Selling is going to create a new breed of sales rep. This sales rep will no longer be a master of the telephone. The new hybrid sales rep with be both aggressive and creative – blending skills from sales & marketing. Marketing will no longer be a silo that designs random campaigns and sprays webinars and whitepapers to everyone in your CRM. The world-class sales organizations will empower their sales reps to become Micro Marketers.
Micro Marketers will be the individual sales reps that executes highly tactical sales & marketing campaigns to their prospects via multiple mediums. Your Micro Marketer is responsible for the creation, planning and execution of these micro campaigns, using both the telephone and Linkedin, Twitter, Email, Blogs, Mobile Texting, Infographics, Webinars – all that are very specific to their particular prospects. Micro Marketers are able to distribute exponentially more content, to the right decision-makers, in opportune moments during their buying cycle – than traditional marketing campaigns.
Micro Marketers will work in COLLABORTION with your marketing department – where marketing will vet content and ensure it matches your overall corporate objectives. But now your Mirco Marketers are developing content at feverish rate and placing this directly in the right prospects hands.
Your Micro Marketers will be far more engaged as their job descriptions have expanded to be dynamic and creative. We envision this new model will also help increase the longevity and retention of sales reps in their current roles, as they’re roles are far more dynamic.
Social Selling via Linkedin InMail has driven our cost-per-lead down to $20, with a 20%+ conversion from initial contact to opportunity created. This is impossible to achieve with 100’s of phone calls and emails, and our team truly enjoys the strategic execution of using these multiple tools on their sales tool belts.