A lot has been said about #SocialSelling. I’ve said some of it and even some of LinkedIn’s own have written a lot about it and it’s always directed to the same people: the sales shark, the one chasing the dollars, the quota-makers, the early adopter who wants to shine…or in short: the sales rep.
Put together a bunch of sales reps and you have a sales team. Add the various techniques #SocialSelling teaches and they’ll achieve amazing results in no time. You’ll even have to promote a few within 12 months. Can you see where it goes? It all revolves about them stepping up their prospecting/engaging techniques. It’s about using the right tools, establishing a discipline, rinse and repeat over and over. Every article, every note, every webinar they attend on this…it’s about them.
And they’ll fail if you’re not riding the same train they are. That’s one of the biggest finds I’ve had as a Sales Manager: let them ride alone, and they will eventually stop doing it. Train them as hard as you want, pay for whatever live sessions they need to attend to so they become stars…but drop the ball on them, and they will fail.
The one thing that makes the whole #Social movement powerful is that everyone can easily learn and use it and you are no exception and what’s more important: if you manage a sales team, you should become a master yourself before you can guide others into success. Or well, maybe not a master but at least an evangelist, an apostle, the example to follow…or well, basically, a Leader.
Take just a few of the basics of #SociaSelling as an example of things you, as a Leader, should do in order to walk the walk with your team:
Build your own brand
This is probably the quintessential concept for anything related to selling through Social Media and what’s most important, this is the one you can affect the most. You are not just a sales person with a certain hierarchy on a sales team, you are also the Leader of that team. Your brand should reflect just that. It’s not just about your LinkedIn profile picture, it is also about how active you are building your network and engaging others, which puts you in a very delicate and specific spot: Leaders lead, which implies action. You must act on your brand, you can’t just let it be. If you build it right, if your brand tells the story of the Leader you are, you will become the locomotive of the train your team will want to take. Build it for them.
Ever heard the term “thought leader” and wondered what the hell that is? A basic translation would be: “a person that knows a lot about something and is recognized for that”. Well, here’s the thing: you don’t need to become a savant on #SocialSelling to become a Thought Leader for your team. They key to it has 2 parts: a) the content you provide and b) how you use it to engage with others. You don’t need to engage anyone outside your team to get them excited about it, but you can. Let them see you know your stuff, write about it on a blog or even on LinkedIn or other publishing platforms. Be original, show them how invested you are on this. Tag them when you publish your content, or tag others they would like to engage with. Show them the way.
Sales Management is not about getting your team to follow a certain process to achieve the result you want. It is also about you and them creating a path to success. Gamification alone does not equal motivation. You need to step your game up, you need to show them how it’s done and you can’t sop, otherwise…you’ll just miss the train.