the six steps to social selling success
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the six steps to social selling success

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This is an updated version of my "six imperatives of digital selling" presentation. This one uses the more common phrase, "social selling." There are also a few other minor updates. ...

This is an updated version of my "six imperatives of digital selling" presentation. This one uses the more common phrase, "social selling." There are also a few other minor updates.

The presentation covers how to determine whether social selling is right for you now, the ticket to entry (the three p's) that you need to do now, either way, and if social selling is right for you... I offer six steps to social selling success that I've seen work very effectively.

More in: Sales , Social Media
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  • I bet there are some people on this call like me, who remember the good ol’ days. <br /> <br /> As someone who grew up when social media wasn’t even a gleam in Mark Zuckerberg’s mother’s eye, this cartoon really resonates with me. The LinkedIn rolodex and those little Twitter post-it notes just kill me.
  • Today, things are a little different, aren’t they? <br /> <br /> As far as I’m concerned, it’s always been all about ME, but social ME-dia certainly has amplified that. Now everyone is screaming ME.
  • So if you’re feeling a little nostalgic about the days when you had it all figured out, and felt “current,” or even if you’re not feeling behind the times and just want to maximize the brave new social world… I’ve got an agenda that will help you do that.
  • In our time together today, I’ll provide an overview of social selling, talk about the ticket for entry or what you need just to get into the game, share my the six steps for social selling success, and answer as many questions as time allows.
  • For the overview, let’s start with some context. <br /> <br /> I’m using the term social selling here because it’s popular and better understood, but I really prefer the phrase digital selling, or even better, selling through digital channels. I think it’s more descriptive and accurate. Social selling is simply selling through the digital channels of social media. <br /> <br /> I also encourage you to think of the social selling advice I offer as simply another tool in your Sales Utility Belt. And yes, I do want you to think “Batman,” when you hear that. Whatever situation the caped crusader found himself in, he was always able to reach into his utility belt and pull out just the right thing at the right time to save the day, wasn’t he? That’s the concept behind the sales utility belt. Social selling is just one of tools in that belt. Despite the impression you may get from some of the social selling gurus, social selling is not a religion, and it hasn’t changed or replaced everything we’ve ever known about selling. <br /> <br /> There’s also a great debate raging between sales consultants about whether cold calling is dead, and you may be seeing some of that in blog posts and out in the social sphere. I think this is mostly a semantics argument, but it does create quite a stir sometimes. Trish Bertuzzi probably says it best for me, when she says it’s not the calling that’s dead, it’s the cold part. And in the industries where social media has influenced buying behavior, and when your buyers are using it, that’s exactly right. But some of the gurus are so busy trying to change the world, that they lose perspective. Cold calling is not dead. It’s just changing.
  • My best advice is that context and nuance trump absolute, black and white thinking. New doesn’t always replace old. In many cases, it’s not an matter and “and / or,” it’s more additive, or “and / and.” <br /> <br /> This is exactly why I recommend taking a balanced, practical approach, and a realistic look and how to adapt to our digital world and sell through digital channels.
  • Fortunately, I’m not alone on this. Gerry Moran is the Head of Social Media at SAP in North America and founder of MarketingThink.com, a social media and marketing blog.  <br /> <br /> Like many of the social gurus, Gerry refers to himself as an evangelist, but I’ve been impressed with his practical advice, and this slide is example of what I mean, and what I’m trying to get across. <br /> <br /> Being a social seller is not about just selling with social media. It’s about layering in social media to your natural selling process to make it easier and more effective. Thanks Gerry, because I couldn’t agree more.
  • If you’re still wondering whether social selling is a fad or will ever produce real sales results, consider these facts. <br /> <br /> I won’t read these to you, but it’s research is starting to show that where social selling is applicable, B2B sales reps who use it, are outperforming those who don’t. <br />
  • Here’s a slice of a study by Aberdeen that point to the same result. Users of B2B social selling are achieving more. <br /> <br /> Just in case anyone out there is still thinking that LinkedIn is just for career networking and finding jobs, it’s time to change that mindset.
  • So, it’s obvious that things are changing. But even armed with that information about how social media is changing the world of selling, the first question you need to ask yourself, in my opinion, is whether selling through digital channels is right for you NOW, and to what degree. <br /> <br /> And this isn’t something you’ll typically hear from many of the social selling gurus. <br /> <br /> The best answer to these questions, is always about your customers. [CLICK] <br />
  • I can’t say it any better than my friend Greg Alexander of Sales Benchmark Index. Greg wrote a post awhile back called the applicability of social selling by industry, and I think it’s one of the smartest posts of the year on social selling, because it delivers the straight message than many of the gurus won’t say. I’m going to share the first four lines of that post verbatim, because they’re perfect. <br /> The potential impact of Social Selling varies greatly by industry. <br /> Social Selling will be highly disruptive to some industries. Not so much to others. <br /> If you are in an industry where social selling has high applicability, peddle faster. <br /> If you are in an industry where social selling has low applicability, ignore it. <br /> <br /> This is helpful if you have the benchmark data that Greg’s company has, but if you don’t have that advantage…
  • … the questions to ask yourself, are “where are your customers,” and “where are their influencers?”
  • As you’re doing sales intelligence and sourcing trigger events, if you see your customers and their centers of influence on these social media sites, especially LinkedIn, and you’re seeing them participate, it’s a solid indication to peddle faster, as Greg suggested.
  • If you don’t see them actively participating in the social sphere, and have to rely solely on other sales intelligence tools, like these, to research and learn about your prospects, perhaps social selling will not be as successful for you, out of the gate. <br /> <br /> By the way… just so it’s said… even if your customers ARE participating in social media, you should still use these other tools – in particular search and alerts, but that’s just good sense. Again… the balanced view is not “and / or”… it’s “and / and.” <br /> <br /> This leads us finally to the ticket for entry. <br /> <br />
  • Because even if you can’t find your customers on social media, or they don’t participate heavily, they can still find you… and they should be able to. What they see about you is going to influence their impression, so it’s important. <br /> <br /> There are 3 Ps in the ticket to entry… presence, profiles, and participation.
  • Where you play, is up to you, based on where your customers play. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be everywhere. Especially when you’re just starting. You might start with the foundation, which for B2B selling is LinkedIn, and maybe Twitter, because they can feed and support each other.
  • From a profile perspective, the single most important, and most complex profile, is LinkedIn. You need to get this one right, because as I said -- even if you can’t find your customers, they can find you. Don’t go this alone… there is a lot of great advice out there about building a great profile. <br /> I’ve included some links in the appendix to help you, and once again, I’ll point here to some solid advice from Gerry Moran. We’re not going to cover this in detail now…. the link is right here and is also in the appendix. along with others.
  • From a participation perspective, wherever you decide to play… learn the platform and begin by sharing relevant content in your field and building relevant contacts. <br /> <br /> You can build Twitter lists to track certain people, tag your LinkedIn contacts and organize them, create circles to organize people on Google+, and follow, like, RT and share relevant content. Again, your participation levels should vary based on your customer’s activity, but as a baseline, you want to get started if you’re not already, by establishing a presence, creating good profiles and participating. <br /> <br /> But how do you connect with relevant contacts if your customers aren’t there, or how do you build a great center of influence, even if they are?
  • Here’s an example. <br /> Let’s say in you sell solutions in the exciting field of thermodynamics… A search for themodynamics produced less than 39,000 hits for me. Not so good. <br /> <br /> You probably won’t find all your customers there, so you’d have to connect with those you can, and their influencers. What do I mean by that? Let’s look at another example.
  • Now let’s say you work in the exciting field of machine tools, like some of our GE Capital customers on this webinar… It’s not 3 million people, but it’s sure a lot better than 39,000. <br /> <br /> In this case, you can see that it’s time to peddle faster and be moving toward social selling. To do that, you can use an old concept of “centers of influence”… <br />
  • … and apply that to the new digital world. For example, you can… <br /> <br /> Find and connect with owners, follow competitor companies, connect with analysts, CEOs and Presidents and other C-suite leaders, plant managers, application engineers, procurement managers, researchers, professors, tool and tie pros, and as they come onboard and adopt social media… your customers, prospective customers, and others like them. <br /> <br /> The idea here is to “socially surround” your customers and their influencers, to firmly establish your presence and influence in the marketplace. You might think it’s odd that I included professors and researchers, but they could very well be influencers of some of your customers, and by connecting with them, you can also use them as a source of relevant industry content that you can share. <br /> <br /> Before we move form this concept, I do want to offer a warning and some advice about connecting with people on LinkedIn. If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn’s Terms of Service or TOS, please read it, so you understand it. Yes, I know, I just said that you should actually read the TOS, and I mean it. If you invite people who don’t know you, and enough of them SAY they don’t know you, you can lose your LinkedIn privileges. I don’t agree with this, but it’s how it is, today. There are ways to avoid this, and I’ll share a few ideas in a moment, but it’s more than I can share in an hour while covering this and the six steps. There is a lot of training out there about how to use LinkedIn for sales and that discusses this topic in more detail. I’ve provided some resources in the appendix, but will at least say this… you should never send the stock LinkedIn invite… always customize it to tell people why you want to connect and the value to them (and it isn’t about how you can sell them something)… and whenever possible, use introductions to meet and connect with people that you don’t know.
  • One other thing to consider to help with the participation aspect, is automation. People have differing opinions on automation, and you’ll have to decide what’s right for you. I use a lot of it to share content, but I always respond to people personally. <br /> <br /> Some of these tools are individual tools, and some are full-fledged enterprise applications, but this will give you some things to look into, to help you share relevant content without spending a lot of time. Which, of course, allows you to spend your time on social media engaging, introducing, meeting, and connecting with people, which is what really matters. <br /> <br /> So, that covers the overview and the elements of the ticket for entry, at a high level. With that foundation, let’s talk about…
  • … the six steps to social selling success, which are: <br /> conduct research <br /> make a connection <br /> generate awareness <br /> create interest <br /> build relationships <br /> convert r2r, or relationships to revenue
  • Before we dive into each step… let’s take a quick tour through them, to share a few nuances that aren’t readily apparent from a list. <br /> <br /> It starts with conducting research…
  • … moves to making a connection with someone…
  • .. Which creates an awareness, as you share relevant content. If you share the right stuff, in general or with an individual… you’ll eventually…
  • … create interest. At that point, you move into a sales nurturing cycle, very similar to lead nurturing on the marketing side.
  • … as your contacts get to know you, enjoy your content, and begin to trust you and interact with you, you’ll start to develop a relationship.
  • This nurture cycle can continue for awhile, increasing awareness and…
  • … interest…
  • deepening the relationship… until…
  • … there is some sort of trigger event, that propels you into a problem-solving event or buying and selling cycle…
  • … which if all goes well, leads to you acquiring the account and earning their business, or, as I say, to converting “relationships to revenue.” <br /> <br /> And those are the six steps, in a nutshell. Now, let’s take a closer look at each step.
  • The first of which, is research.
  • This should look familiar, right? These are the social sites and sales intelligence tools we breezed through earlier.
  • Interestingly, the tools to decide whether you should focus on social selling… … are the same ones you use to research prospects & clients. <br />
  • And these are some ways you can do it. <br /> <br /> Mike Lee talked about social listening on our last webinar and offered some great advice. You can also…. [list] <br /> <br /> You can also go beyond social with… <br />
  • … other tools, to really round out your research. The idea here is to look for every commonality… every thread or hinge that connects you. <br /> <br /> There are so many ways that you can find to make connections with people, that I’m always surprised at how few people do this when they prospect me.
  • But even if it isn’t done a lot, the concept is still basic, right? You’re really just observing someone’s social and digital footprint, and looking for connections and commonalities, or cues and clues about how to approach them. <br />
  • Our second step is connecting…. This cartoon made me grin, but there’s some real truth to it, isn’t there? <br />
  • Now we’re moving from researching, to connecting. <br /> <br /> from a sales perspective: studies remind us how many touches it takes to get attention or make contact.    <br /> from a learning perspective: the value of spaced repetition, or reinforcing things over time, is well known, to increase retention. <br /> The same principles are at play here. <br /> <br /> BTW, I’m not recommending soliciting your buyers through multiple channels… recommending: <br /> Following their digital footprint – being where they are <br /> Listening, observing, and learning about them <br /> Being part of their universe and creating multiple touch points, that will make it easy to ask them to connect with you,. especially on LinkedIn. <br />
  • And fortunately, there are a ton of ways to do that. <br /> <br /> If you have the 3 Ps down and are sharing good content, you’ll actually magnetize some people to you. I get invites to connect on LinkedIn, every single day, solely because I share a lot of great content about sales, marketing, training and organizational performance improvement. <br /> <br /> It’s safer to follow people on Twitter, so I often find them on LinkedIn, search out their Twitter link, if they have one, and follow them there first. My Twitter profile leads them to other ways to connect with me, including LinkedIn, so often, they’ll invite me. I also send new followers a Direct Message that encourages them to connect elsewhere. But you can also follow the other advice on this slide, and… <br /> leverage connectors and commonalities <br /> use LinkedIn open group discussions <br /> ask for LinkedIn referrals or introductions <br /> comment on blogs / tweets / discussions / LinkedIn updates. If someone comments on my updates, I often ask if they want to connect, and when they do, I pick up connections that way. I use LinkedIn InMail to write to people in my field who view my profile too, and try to connect with them. <br /> Of course, you’ll meet people at conferences / trade shows / associations and when you travel, offline, and can ask to connect with them on LinkedIn. I just connected with a top-notch sales pro in the equipment logistics space, who I say next to on a plane ride. <br /> Just a note here that unless there is a clear trigger event… something that indicates that they need your solution…. don’t pounce or be over-eager. This is a real turn-off for most people who are social savvy.
  • Since this is so important, I want to offer some additional “do and don’t” advice, especially for connecting on LinkedIn. I mentioned some of this when we talked about socially surroundi9ng your clients and prospects and just one slide previously, but it bears repeating. <br /> <br /> Do… [list] <br /> <br /> I should add here that it’s a great idea to always respond back with a nice, personalized, but non-sales note, when people DO connect with you. I’m surprised how many people don’t do that. <br /> <br /> Don’t… [list] <br /> <br /> BTW, the advice on this slide should help reduce the risk of people saying they don’t know you, and if you’ll pardon the phrase, this it’s why it’s so important to “make a connection, before you make a connection.” <br />
  • The bottom-line here… is to get connected, and get on their radar. <br /> <br />
  • Because the third step is awareness. Now obviously, there is a level of awareness created before a connection and just by making a connection. That’s not what I mean here. What I’m talking about here, is a deeper level of awareness. Knowing you exist is one thing. Getting connected is another. Now you need to increase the awareness of you and your expertise. <br /> <br /> By the way, you DO all read my tweets, right? Just checking… <br />
  • Here’s another gem from Gerry Moran that relates to awareness. Now that you’ve connected, and got on their radar, he offers some great tips for staying on their radar and increasing their awareness that you’re a player and a thought leader. <br />
  • If you hang where your buyers hang, and are seen as part of their world, you’re halfway there.  Now you need to interact with them in their sandbox, to move from general recognition toward awareness of your expertise and what you do.  The goal here is to enhance credibility, begin building trust, and to offer value and generally be seen as a valuable resource. <br /> The next step is to create interest. <br /> <br /> This is a full topic for another webinar or a book by itself, but suffice it to say that the relevancy of your content and the things you purposefully share should be guided by the research you did to understand your buyer and their potential or real challenges. <br /> <br /> Does that makes sense? Because it’s important. You tailor your content that you share, based on the interests of the people you want to magnetize to you. You can… <br /> Comment in their group discussions, to add value from your experience <br /> See what books they’ve listed on Goodreads, or see if they’ve done reviews on Amazon, and ask their opinion, and share some ideas <br /> Learn where they have traveled on TripIt and see what travel experiences you’ve had in common, and parlay it into a discussion about why they were traveling and what they are trying to accomplish <br /> Comment on presentations they posted or commented on, on SlideShare… lead to a discussion about what they’re doing or an interest or need <br /> RT something they seem passionate about on Twitter… share your approval or interest in the topic <br /> …basically, using what you learned about them to forge a connection, build awareness, and generate interest. The goal is…. <br /> <br />
  • Simply… to be known, develop a deeper awareness, and a reputation. <br /> <br />
  • Interest can be a little trickier, as this cartoon by Eric Blumthal warns us… but it’s our next step, if you’re going to make social selling work for you. <br />
  • Now we need to move from awareness to interest. <br /> <br /> My biggest caution to you, is don’t follow the herd <br /> In many cases, sales reps immediately enroll new connections to their marketing automation systems or newsletters, without any opt-in or warning, simply because you connected with them.  Or worse, immediately after connecting, you get the boilerplate InMail solicitation, introducing them, their company, product and/or service, with a sloppy call to action for a meeting to “get your feedback” or “explore options for helping each other” or seeing “how we might do business together.” That’s about as smooth as 40-grit sandpaper, folks. Social approaches should be far more subtle.  It’s not always possible, but again – it’s far better if you can “magnetize” them toward you… and get them to reach out to you. <br /> <br /> The other side of the coin, is don’t be anti-selling either <br /> If you’re attending this webinar because you knew me or you read my blog, you know I’m not anti-selling.  I’ve spent a career supporting sales organizations.  I do stand for sales excellence and believe we need to elevate our profession.  But if there is a compelling reason to move quickly… a need being discussed openly in a LinkedIn group, a referral from a mutual colleague who believes their contact needs your help, or some other Trigger Event you’ve uncovered… don’t just sit there contemplating how you will wow them through your social savvy.  As Joanne Black says, in her book, pick up the damn phone! Sorry, I’m not swearing at you… that is the title of her book. <br /> <br /> Look, you’ll be able to gauge interest by their reactions and actions – downloads, likes, comments, shares, and questions or emails. Interest does not always equal “ready to buy” or “ready to have a sales conversation,” so don’t pounce, but do watch for interest. <br /> <br />
  • You goal in this stage, is to observe reaction, generate engagement, and gauge their interest levels, as best you can. <br />
  • As you’re moving through this nurture cycle, and building credibility, respect and trust… hopefully, you’re moving toward building a relationship. <br /> <br /> If you think you can’t do this through online, you’re dead wrong. I eventually try to take my most interesting and trusted online relationships to a voice to voice connection at some point, but I have developed some great relationships with people that I’ve never met face to face, and have mostly interacted online and through email. <br /> <br /> It’s less common with people my age, I suppose, I’m 54, but it’s certainly the case with younger generations, and when the digital natives hit the buyer’s chairs and corner offices, it’s going to be a whole new world. On the way to this future, try to remember this cartoon. It’s hard to shoot someone with a sales cannon first, and expect a great relationship to build later. <br />
  • The other thing I want to say here, is that this advice isn’t meant to be as linear as the rest.  This is just a good principle to adhere to, in social and digital channels.  I’d like to say this isn’t news, because the pundits all talk about how relationships come first.  But realistically, the advice is often unheeded by the hungry horde of reps that see LinkedIn as a massive email marketing database. <br /> <br /> I hate to make this analogy, but it’s a little like dating… and people can see through the thin veneer of pretense of the hungry horde approaches. Buyers can smell sales desperation, too. Sincerity, authenticity, transparency & ethics, matter a great deal, both offline and online. <br /> <br />
  • How do you grow the relationship organically and authentically? <br /> When possible, move at their pace <br /> With humor, empathy, social debt, dot connections (social debt is when you do something nice for someone online) <br /> You can also grow relationships organically through common interests, common goals, common people, common problems – misery loves company right? Make dot connections. <br /> How you act makes all the difference. The social sphere is all about pay it forward, giving and sharing, connecting others, stewardship / leadership / and being a go-giver, which is a great book by Bob Burg <br /> <br /> <br />
  • I’ll say again.. If there is a trigger event or a declared need somewhere, I’m not saying you should sit on your hands. But remember that you are nurturing future customers, and you want them to some day be referencable customers who will endorse, recommend and introduce you to others… so act accordingly to gain credibility, earn respect and build trust. These are likely pre-pipeline account and contacts, or buyers within current accounts who you want to influence… so behave accordingly and use your manners. And eat your vegetables. <br /> <br />
  • After saying all this, I want to be clear that I am NOT a psychedelic drug user and I am NOT having hallucinations. <br /> <br /> I don’t believe for a second that social selling is the only way, or that it’s the only thing you’ve got going on. You have opportunities in various stages of your pipeline, and you’re moving them through from stage to stage, and if you’re going to stay employed, you have to close deals, like this young sales pro in the cartoon who is maximizing mobile! <br /> <br /> At some point, you simply have to be able to convert social relationships to real revenue. <br />
  • This may not be the best way to do it, however. I think this guy graduated from the Gorden Gekko school of sales, where Greed is Good. <br />
  • That’s not us, either, right? Professional selling is about a blend of <br /> helping, guiding, serving, solving, adding value <br /> it’s also about making quota, achieving goals, staying employed <br /> it’s about finding the buyers with problems you solve <br /> it’s creating real value and using your influence skills to win deals <br /> and it’s about converting r2r, or relationships to revenue <br />
  • If you can’t do this part, meaning R2R or converting Relationships to Revenue, social media is just a fun hobby. <br /> Hobbies are nice, but they don’t pay the bills, they don’t help you make your number, they don’t get you a ticket for the President’s Club cruise, and they don’t earn your spot on next year’s sales team at your current company. <br /> <br /> The timeframe will vary and it’s not something I can tell you, without knowing more about your situation and context – but you need to move with purpose and clarity through the previous 5 steps to get to this point of R2R “as soon as possible…” (and to paraphrase the quote about simplicity that is often attributed to Einstein)… “…but no sooner.” <br /> <br /> At this point, without knowing context about your situation, I always feel like my recommendations are generic and weak, but in general… <br /> Use a referral or introduction, if possible – preferably from someone you’ve helped or who will give you a favorable introduction. <br /> If possible, give to get, pay it forward, demonstrate servant leadership, or connect them to someone who might interest them, or help them in some way (or better, perhaps someone they can help). <br /> Always remember this “give to get” maxim, and be a provider of valuable information and connector of people who can help each other… if you can help your prospect in some way, prior, it will help open the door for your R2R approach <br /> Leverage news, Trigger Events, social comments, press releases, your research (something you read about your prospect company in their recent 10-K, perhaps) or what you know from another connection, as a reason to reach out and create or shape an opportunity and begin the opportunity pursuit process. The bottom line here is to find the opportunity to leverage the social debt, credibility, respect, and trust you gained in previous steps, to create an opportunity, and enter into the buying and selling process.
  • This is a whole ‘nuther topic, as they say, but this is about diagnosis, problem-solving, creating real value for the buyer, and eventually winning the deal and acquiring the account. <br /> <br /> This is way beyond the scope of this session today, but if you want to dig into this, I have a lot of material on SlideShare and at my blog about this – and it’s all free – and I’m not selling anything – I was a sales consultant but I work here at GE now and just like to share what I’ve done and has worked for me. So there’s more available on value creation if you’re interested, and if you can’t find it easily, you can find me easily.
  • Here’s a final thought on the revenue step that might be helpful… it’s about unleashing your army of advocates. Every good sales rep has clients behind them, right? <br />
  • But how many actually engage those clients to help them? I’ve done this and I’ve seen it done, and when you have the right relationship with your clients, this is magic. Get your clients in front of your prospects, at the point you see they have an issue you can resolve. It might sound like this… <br /> <br /> “Dave, I caught your message, in the Sales & Marketing Management LinkedIn group, about how your last sales training session didn’t get the results you hoped for. I know you have a big year ahead and are considering whether you should do some additional training or not. I worked with Barb at ACME Software to help resolve that issue for her and she drove a 32% YOY increase in sales last year, as a result of the training we did together and the effective learning systems she put in place. Based on the analysis we helped her do, her CFO and CEO attributed the bulk of that increase, to her efforts. Would it be helpful to speak with Barb about that experience?” <br /> <br /> What’s Dave likely to say? Exactly. <br />
  • Well, that’s my somewhat balanced and completely opinionated take on selling through digital channels.  As the old joke goes, it’s only half the story with twice the words, but I sincerely hope some of the ideas are helpful. <br /> <br /> Two quick thoughts before we move into questions and to check-in with you. <br /> If you’re concerned about social selling because people can see your online activity, there are some ways to operate in stealth mode, especially on LinkedIn, so look into that, if that applies to you. <br /> Also, social selling, and social media in general, can be a huge time drain if not managed well. <br /> focus on outcomes <br /> manage your time  <br /> use automation to free time for research and engagement <br /> continue to learn from others (see appendix resources) <br /> <br /> As a friend of mine says, please don’t hear what I’m not saying.  I think social selling is mandatory in some cases, and an incredibly smart and necessary strategy.  In other cases, it’s good idea to start migrating toward it.  And yes, in some (and probably far fewer cases) it’s a downright a waste of time.  When it’s time for you to make the move or hone your approach, be a pro about it, and consider these six steps… because we all need to work harder to elevate the sales profession. <br />
  • I have an Appendix to show you, but let’s pause here for questions or discussion.

Transcript

  • 1. selling through digital channels: is it right for you? to what degree? The right answer is always about your customer finding trigger events sales intelligence :: mike kunkle :: :: transforming sales results :: x the six steps to social selling success
  • 2. that was then… http://wronghands1.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/vintage-social-networking/ the six steps to social selling success 2:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 3. this is now… http://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/social-media1.jpg the six steps to social selling success 3:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 4. social selling overview http://wronghands1.wordpress.com/gallery-3/#jp-carousel-1422 the six steps to social selling success 4:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 5. social selling overview the ticket for entry the six steps questions
  • 6. social selling overview context social selling = selling through digital channels think “tool in my sales utility belt” – not “religion” the semantics / “shock value” around cold calling the six steps to social selling success 6:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 7. social selling overview advice context and nuance trump absolutes new doesn’t always replace old (additive) take a balanced, practical approach the six steps to social selling success 7:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 8. social selling overview selling through digital channels is social selling right for me? to what degree? more context the six steps to social selling success 9:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: in 2012, 78.6% of sales people using social media to sell out performed those who weren’t using social for sales. of reps exceeding sales quota by more than 10%, social sellers were 23% more successful than their non-social peers. - Jim Keenan, A Sales Guy Consulting (report) the lead to conversion rate for social selling is about 15%, at least five times greater than the average conversion prospecting success rate for marketing activities. - Sales Benchmark Index high achievers were 2.5 times more likely to use social selling to close contracts than low achievers. - Dynamic Signal report
  • 9. social selling overview selling through digital channels is social selling right for me? to what degree? more context the six steps to social selling success 10:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: report link
  • 10. social selling overview selling through digital channels is social selling right for me? to what degree? the right answer is always about your customers the six steps to social selling success 11:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 11. social selling overview selling through digital channels is social selling right for me? to what degree? The potential impact of Social Selling varies greatly by industry. Social Selling will be highly disruptive to some industries. Not so much to others. If you are in an industry where social selling has high applicability, peddle faster. If you are in an industry where social selling has low applicability, ignore it. http://www.salesbenchmarkindex.com/bid/104840/Social-Selling-Applicability-by-Industry the right answer is always about your customers the six steps to social selling success 12:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 12. social selling overview selling through digital channels is social selling right for me? to what degree? finding trigger events sales intelligence the right answer is always about your customers where are they? where are their influencers? the six steps to social selling success 13:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 13. social selling overview selling through digital channels is social selling right for me? to what degree? finding trigger events sales intelligence the right answer is always about your customers blogs the six steps to social selling success 14:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 14. social selling overview selling through digital channels is social selling right for me? to what degree? finding trigger events sales intelligence the right answer is always about your customers the six steps to social selling success 15:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 15. ticket for entry – the 3 p’s presence profiles participation the six steps to social selling success 16:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 16. ticket for entry – the 3 p’s presence profiles participation blogs the six steps to social selling success 17:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 17. ticket for entry – the 3 p’s presence profiles participation http://marketingthink.com/social-branding-how-to-create-the-perfect-linkedin-profile-blueprint/ the six steps to social selling success 18:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 18. presence profiles participation ticket for entry – the 3 p’s begin by sharing relevant content in your field and building relevant contacts blog comments tweets shares discussions posts RTs likes the six steps to social selling success 19:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 19. presence profiles participation ticket for entry – the 3 p’s begin by sharing relevant content in your field and building relevant contacts blog comments tweets shares discussions posts RTs likes Oops! the six steps to social selling success 20:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 20. presence profiles participation ticket for entry – the 3 p’s begin by sharing relevant content in your field and building relevant contacts blog comments tweets shares discussions posts RTs likes Much better! the six steps to social selling success 21:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 21. presence profiles participation ticket for entry – the 3 p’s begin by sharing relevant content in your field and building relevant contacts blog comments tweets shares discussions posts RTs likes Much better! owners competitor companies ceo / presidents analysts customers prospective customers procurement managers application engineers researchers/ professors centers of influence tool & die moldmakers others like them plant managers the six steps to social selling success 22:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 22. presence profiles participation ticket for entry – the 3 p’s consider automation the six steps to social selling success 23:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 23. six steps to social selling success conduct research make a connection generate awareness create interest build relationships convert r2r / revenue the six steps to social selling success 24:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 24. six steps to social selling success research awareness interestrelationship connection revenue
  • 25. six steps to social selling success research awareness interestrelationship connection revenue
  • 26. six steps to social selling success research awareness interestrelationship connection revenue
  • 27. six steps to social selling success research awareness interestrelationship connection revenue nurture cycle
  • 28. six steps to social selling success research awareness interest connection revenue relationship nurture cycle
  • 29. six steps to social selling success research awareness interestrelationship connection revenue nurture cycle
  • 30. six steps to social selling success research awareness interestrelationship connection revenue nurture cycle
  • 31. six steps to social selling success research awareness interest connection revenue relationship nurture cycle
  • 32. six steps to social selling success research awareness interest connection revenue relationship nurture cycle trigger sales cycle
  • 33. six steps to social selling success research awareness interestrelationship connection revenue nurture cycleacquisition sales cycle trigger
  • 34. one :: research the six steps to social selling success 35:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: .six steps to social selling success
  • 35. one :: research look familiar? the six steps to social selling success 36:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 36. one :: research look familiar? … are the same you use to research prospects & clients the tools to decide whether you should focus on social selling… the six steps to social selling success 37:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 37. one :: research social research social listening review profiles (LinkedIn and other social sites) see who they’re connected to note LinkedIn groups and discussions observe which companies they follow watch status updates and comments search engine, alert service… philanthropic ventures, personal interests, photo postings, alma mater ties, fraternal or association affiliations, community involvement… and more the six steps to social selling success 38:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 38. one :: research social research social listening review profiles (LinkedIn and other social sites) see who they’re connected to note LinkedIn groups and discussions observe which companies they follow watch status updates and comments beyond social search engine, alert service… philanthropic ventures, personal interests, photo postings, alma mater ties, fraternal or association affiliations, community involvement… and more the six steps to social selling success 39:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 39. one :: research social research social listening review profiles (LinkedIn and other social sites) see who they’re connected to note LinkedIn groups and discussions observe which companies they follow watch status updates and comments beyond social search engine, alert service… philanthropic ventures, personal interests, photo postings, alma mater ties, fraternal or association affiliations, community involvement… and more the six steps to social selling success 40:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: observe their social / digital footprint
  • 40. two :: connect the six steps to social selling success 41:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: .six steps to social selling success
  • 41. two :: connect move from research to connect follow their digital footprint – be where they are listen, observe, and learn about them look for connectors or commonalities reach out to connect be part of their world / multiple touch points note: not saying solicit through multiple channels the six steps to social selling success 42:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 42. two :: connect how to connect follow on Twitter leap from Twitter to LinkedIn leverage connectors / commonalities use LinkedIn open group discussions ask for LinkedIn referrals / introductions comment on blogs / tweets / discussions conferences / trade shows / associations see http://www.mikekunkle.com/connect unless there is a trigger event, do not “sell” yet the six steps to social selling success 43:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 43. two :: connect connections: additional advice the six steps to social selling success 44:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: do don’t customize your invites (avoid mobile invites) pounce (you’ll see this again & again from me) leverage introductions or groups ask for “feedback on your product” use “connectors” or shared experience try to set an appointment make it about them, not you respond with a company/product dump make it natural & human, not “salesy” add to your newsletter or email marketing
  • 44. two :: connect connections: additional advice the six steps to social selling success 45:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: do don’t customize your invites (avoid mobile invites) pounce (you’ll see this again) leverage introductions ask for “feedback on your product” use “connectors” or shared experience try to set an appointment make it about them, not you respond with a company/product dump make it natural & human, not “salesy” add to your newsletter or email marketing get on their radar
  • 45. three :: awareness http://geekandpoke.typepad.com/geekandpoke/2008/04/the-last-judgem.html the six steps to social selling success 46:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: .six steps to social selling success
  • 46. three :: awareness move from connect to awareness sales perspective: multiple digital touches learning perspective: value of spaced repetition interact be “social,” share, like, RT, help, pay it forward share relevant content based on your research perception: credibility, trust, valuable resource the six steps to social selling success 48:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 47. three :: awareness move from connect to awareness sales perspective: multiple digital touches learning perspective: value of spaced repetition interact be “social,” share, like, RT, help, pay it forward share relevant content based on your research perception: credibility, trust, valuable resource be known / develop your reputation the six steps to social selling success 49:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 48. four :: interest the six steps to social selling success 50:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: .six steps to social selling success
  • 49. four :: interest move from awareness to interest don’t follow the hungry herd / don’t pounce social = subtle don’t be anti-selling, either the great “sell vs. help debate” gauge interest in your “awareness campaign” likes, comments, downloads, shares, questions, emails, responses watch for triggers… challenges, opportunities, issues, changes, questions, signals the six steps to social selling success 51:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 50. four :: interest move from awareness to interest don’t follow the hungry herd / don’t pounce social = subtle don’t be anti-selling, either the great “sell vs. help debate” gauge interest in your “awareness campaign” likes, comments, downloads, shares, questions, emails, responses watch for triggers… challenges, opportunities, issues, changes, questions, signals observe reactions / gauge interest the six steps to social selling success 52:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 51. five :: relationships the six steps to social selling success 53:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: .six steps to social selling success
  • 52. not linear starts before “connect” / never ends “business dating” / nurturing sincerity, authenticity, transparency & ethics matter grow organically (unless triggered) when possible, move at their pace humor, empathy, social debt, dot connections ommon: interests, goals, people, problems ehavior: pay it forward, give / share, connect others, stewardship / leadership / go-give. five :: relationships the six steps to social selling success 54:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 53. not linear starts before “connect” / never ends “business dating” / nurturing sincerity, authenticity, transparency & ethics matter grow organically (unless triggered) when possible, move at their pace humor, empathy, social debt, dot connections common: interests, goals, people, problems behavior: pay it forward, give / share, connect others, stewardship / leadership / go-giver five :: relationships the six steps to social selling success 55:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 54. not linear starts before “connect” / never ends “business dating” / nurturing sincerity, authenticity, transparency & ethics matter grow organically (unless triggered) when possible, move at their pace humor, empathy, social debt, dot connections common: interests, goals, people, problems behavior: pay it forward, give / share, connect others, stewardship / leadership / go-giver five :: relationships credibility / respect / trust the six steps to social selling success 56:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 55. six :: revenue http://www.glasbergen.com/wp-content/gallery/cartoons-about-sales-salespeople/toon550.gif the six steps to social selling success 57:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results :: .six steps to social selling success
  • 56. six :: revenue http://www.glasbergen.com/wp-content/gallery/sales/sell50.gif the six steps to social selling success 58:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 57. six :: revenue helping, guiding, serving, solving, adding value making quota, achieving goals, staying employed finding the buyers with problems you solve value creation and influence to win deals converting r2r or relationships to revenue http://www.glasbergen.com/wp-content/gallery/sales/sell50.gif professional selling is… the six steps to social selling success 59:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 58. six :: revenue convert r2r – move into a sales cycle magnetize buyers to you, but reach out, too partner with marketing (nurturing, content, mql) watch for problems you solve – reach out then look for triggers to enter the buying cycle early share insights to create opportunity use “favorable introductions” to begin sales conversations leverage the social debt, credibility, respect, and trust you gained in previous steps the six steps to social selling success 60:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 59. six :: revenue convert r2r – move into a sales cycle magnetize buyers to you, but reach out, too partner with marketing (nurturing, content, mql) watch for problems you solve – reach out then look for triggers to enter the buying cycle early share insights to create opportunity use “favorable introductions” to begin sales conversations leverage the social debt, credibility, trust and respect you gained in previous steps value creation / account acquisition the six steps to social selling success 61:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 60. six :: revenue unleash your army of advocates every good sales rep has clients behind them the six steps to social selling success 62:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 61. six :: revenue unleash your army of advocates every good sales rep has clients behind them social savvy reps have clients in front of prospects “Dave, I caught your message about [topic] in [LinkedIn group]. I worked with [client name / company] to help resolve [that issue] for her and [deliver this value]. Would it be helpful to speak with [name] about her experience?” the six steps to social selling success 63:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 62. closing thoughts :: summary other considerations for social selling stealth mode you can hide activity on LinkedIn, hide your connections, avoid commenting to prospects in groups (until you’re ready to make a public connection) if not managed well, social media can be a huge time drain for little return focus on outcomes manage your time use automation to free time for research and engagement continue to learn from others (see appendix resources) the six steps to social selling success 64:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 63. questions | discussion
  • 64. about mike mike is a training and organization effectiveness leader with special expertise in sales force transformation. after his initial years on the frontline in sales and sales management, he spent the next 21 years as a corporate manager or consultant, leading departments and projects with one purpose – improve sales results. today, in his role as commercial training & development manager for GE Capital’s equipment finance platform, mike uses his in expertise in best-in-class learning strategies, methods, processes, and change leadership to develop the capabilities of sales representatives and sales managers to drive business results. mike freely shares his own sales transformation methodology, speaking at conferences and writing online (see http://slidesha.re/PerfLevers082011 and http://bit.ly/EffectiveSalesLearningSystems as examples) and can be reached at <mike at mikekunkle dotcom>, through his blog at http://www.mikekunkle.com, or on various social media sites. linkedin twitter google+ slideshare let’s get connected! http://www.mikekunkle.com/about-me the thoughts, opinions and content expressed here are my own the six steps to social selling success 66:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 65. a p p e n d i x :: transforming sales results :: :: mike kunkle :: :: the six steps to social selling success ::
  • 66. appendix – links building a linkedin profile http://www.salesforlife.com/sales-resources/9-steps-to-a-winning-linkedin-profile-for-sales- professionals/ http://topdogsocialmedia.com/linkedin-marketing-infographic/ http://marketingthink.com/social-branding-how-to-create-the-perfect-linkedin-profile-blueprint/ http://blog.hootsuite.com/social-selling-action-plan-compelling-profiles/ other social selling resources http://funnelholic.vidcaster.com/k5kbb/the-guide-to-social-selling-strategy-how-to-use-social-to- crush-your-number/ http://www.slideshare.net/jillrowley/social-selling-jill-rowleys-wakeup-call-deck http://wurlwind.co.uk/sales-applications/social-media/linkedin-for-personal-and-company-lead- generation/ http://www.salesforlife.com/sales-resources/ http://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/c/14/3/7-ways-sales-professionals-drive-revenue-with- social-selling.html http://www.eloqua.com/resources/grande-guides/grande-guide-to-social-selling.html http://blog.hootsuite.com/social-selling-action-plan-compelling-profiles/ the six steps to social selling success 68:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::
  • 67. appendix – links other social selling resources (continued) http://blogs.salesforce.com/company/2014/05/free-e-book-the-smart-guide-to-social-selling-.html http://www.slideshare.net/linkedin-sales-solutions/linkedin-foolproof-guide-to-social-selling http://learnmore.insideview.com/TheUltimateGuide_Twitter.html http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/questions-social-selling-answered-linkedin-evernote-hubspot-qa http://www.exacttarget.com/blog/10-smart-social-selling-tips-for-2014/ http://www.marketingprofs.com/podcasts/2014/24906/social-selling-jill-rowley-marketing-smarts http://www.businessesgrow.com/2014/03/20/social-selling/ http://wurlwind.co.uk/2013/01/sales-productivity-and-social-selling-how-to-increase-benefits-and- reduce-time-ff56/ http://blog.introhive.com/blog/2014/04/03/social-selling-20-quick-yet-essential-tips-you-should- know/ http://marketingthink.com/10-ways-to-get-found-more-easily-on-linkedin-social-selling-advice/ http://marketingthink.com/what-does-twitter-success-look-like/ http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2014/25107/how-people-use-linkedin-infographic http://www.slideshare.net/linkedin-sales-solutions/social-selling-impact-aberdeen-report-2013 https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/archive/2013/10/14/social-selling-has- become-mission-critical.aspx the six steps to social selling success 69:: mike kunkle :: transforming sales results ::