CEOs Must Lead Their Business In Building a Social Strategy.
It doesn’t matter if it is called digital transformation, digital enablement or any other term. The reality is companies need to discover and implement the most effective systems to start conversations with ideal prospective customers that lead to more business.
Uncertainty with the world around Covid and any type of face-to-face opportunities are still high.
Employees are hard to find and keep because of competition.
Sales professionals have become less and less effective which means companies are paying more money for less effective sales staff. Fewer of our sales reps are actually producing large margins to feed the company’s budgets.
Here are real words shared with me by CEOs and sales leaders in the past few months.
“We tried social selling but it didn’t work”
“We hired a LinkedIn expert for a full day session but it didn’t increase our sales”
“We don’t have time for social media.”
“Our customers are not on social media.”
“We are all over social media already”.
Social media is just like the phone.
Social media is just like email.
Like the phone and email each have their own strategies for using them, social media needs its own strategy and sales system for use to be most effective. If you are like most sales leaders or a CEO, you have tried to use the tool in the wrong way and erroneously came to the conclusion that social media doesn’t work. If I speak on the phone with a prospective customer by reading an email our marketing team sent to them, I will not be successful in moving the customer into a sales opportunity.
If I send an email using a phone call script for the content oof the email, the email will not be effective at all.
I propose, most companies who have said “ we tried social media and it didn’t work.” Or, they have hired a LinkedIn expert for tips and tricks a few times, and experienced the same type of results with social media as the moronic examples I just described.
Social media is a communication tool or opportunity to create sales opportunities from conversations just like the phone, email and a networking event.
But, it should be viewed more like a networking event when it comes to best practices because it is a much richer medium than either the phone or emails.
As a CEO who has built a company, you have most likely been responsible for a lot of your company’s revenues. Especially in the early years of your business, you were most likely more involved in sales than you are now. I was responsible for the first 100,000’s of revenue in a company I lead that grew to $18m.
If you didn’t start the company you run, you probably have a background in making sales or part of the sales process. What was your selling process?
How do you or did you start conversations with prospective customers? How do you approach prospective customers to start a sales effort currently? More directly, think about how you sell?
Do you start your first conversation by sharing your brochure information? Do you tell the prospective customer all about the benefits of your product and ask to plan a time for a demo? Do you tell them about all your awards and expertise in the industry?
Why don’t we do this type of behavior in our first conversation with a prospective customer? It has a very low success rate.
It is viewed as bragging, self centered and honestly, narcissistic. In a face-to-face conversation, the person on the receiving end will be turned off, upset and seek to get out of the conversation as quickly as possible. The opportunity for a follow up conversation is virtually zero.
We know it has a very low success rate but, often sales leaders create sales playbooks for their SDRs, AE or business development team that follow this exact process. They apply a direct message that goes straight to asking for an appointment as a system and then come to the conclusion , “social selling doesn’t work.”
Does this sound familiar?
So, was it that social selling didn’t work or the sales system didn’t work in social media?
It is the latter!
Buyers don’t want to be sold. They want to be served. They would like help from someone they believe in or who they trust to be good at what they do. Buyers want help to make good decisions. Buyers need the opportunity to trust a sales rep and a cold, interruptive message is not the right solution to accomplish it.
If you have not read the “The Buyer’s Circle of Trust” it is a must read for understanding how buyers research and make buying decisions.
We often hear from customers that one of their main objectives is for their sales team to be seen or known as trusted advisors. It is very possible, especially with social media, to achieve this in any industry, but sales reps need to behave like trusted advisors in order for buyers to view them as a trusted advisor.
That is where social media, when used properly, helps sales teams be much more effective, accelerate sales opportunities and win more deals.
That is what our FunnelAmplified customers experience.
Social is the perfect communication medium for sales professionals to start conversations with prospective customers that lead to business opportunities. But, using the same tactics as are used with phone calls or emails just applied to social selling will not create success.
Digital Enablement is the process of creating a sales process and training your sales team to use social media platforms as part of a strategic sales system. Social selling, like any sales strategy, is a complete system that includes creating goals, defining strategy, training, performing daily activities and data acquisition to analyze successes and challenges for continual improvement. When done well, social is the most effective at generating fatter pipelines, filled with qualified customers, more wins and larger average deal sizes. We have the data and case studies to demonstrate it.
What this means for you and your business is fewer sales professionals on your team AND increased revenues and profits. As a CEO or sales leader, I encourage you to explore and test if social-based selling can provide these results for your company and team.
It is the same system I used to start and grow an $18m company. I experienced first hand the success from selling by not selling. I experienced the first hand success of starting conversations with prospective customers as the first step in a sales playbook.
If this article has captured your interest in looking at social selling again from a new perspective, let’s have a chat about it.
If you would like more information on how to best use social media as your most effective sales tool, visit my ContentHub where I publish all of the articles I find most important on this topic. There are a few I have written and some other people have written. Or, take a look at Easy Digital HQ for more a community of people talking and sharing about digital enablement.