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3 Tips To Make Your Social Selling Program Succeed

By , on October 15, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Your social selling program should serve two goals: (1) to help your sales team to connect with clients and prospects and (2) to scale your brand’s content and messaging via one-on-one conversations. Keeping your team engaged in a way that works for your brand and for them as individuals — and which avoids a harrowing trip into cat-herding/ goat-rodeo territory — requires patience, discipline and the right strategy.

Here are three simple tips for making your social selling program successful:

1. Make It Easy: No Logins, No Downloads, No Drag

Everyone is busy — especially your sales team. Adding social selling to their daily to-do list can only work for them if it doesn’t steal time from the ways they get paid: prospecting, nurturing and closing clients. When you’re assembling your social selling plan, remind yourself that your sales team is looking to get maximum impact from a minimal investment of time, and the more time they spend futzing with program overhead the less tiem they spend selling.

What it means in practice: don’t burden your team with too much overhead. Apps, intranet sites, new logins — all of these things increase the cost of the program for your users. If there are tools involved, keep them simple and lightweight (email is just fine, for example).

2. Make It Relevant: Acknowledge The Conversation Is Bigger Than Your Brand

Your social selling program should help to promote your brand objectives, but that doesn’t mean that you should use a social selling program to exclusively talk about your brand. Each of your salespeople owns a set of relationships within an industry and a geography that is unique to them — one that will have its own unique set of topics and conversations that matter every day. The content your salespeople share and the conversations they start need to reflect what’s most relevant for them.

What it means in practice: if you’re providing content for your sales team to review and share, be sure to customize that content by geography and industry. Oh, and don’t just push your company’s Owned content; be sure to mix in third-party content on the topics that matter most to your team. If you’re sending them content that they themselves want to read, you’re doing a good job.

3. Make It Human: Let Your Teams Be Themselves

The best part of a social selling program is that it offers your sales team a set of opportunities to be more effective at their jobs. That is, it combines your sales team’s knowledge of their customers and markets with content and channels where they can connect directly with customers and prospects. And if you’re running the program, remember that you can provide the inputs for your team, but they’re they ones who’ll make the outputs successful. Respect that. Give them tools to succeed, and get out of the way.

What it means in practice: let your team be themselves. Don’t be draconian about program rules and content approvals — trust that they’ll make good decisions and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you were looking for an army of people to retweet the company’s latest blog post verbatim you should just set up some dummy accounts and do it yourself.

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Categories: Tips and Tricks