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TH78 - Social Selling Adoption

Key Essentials For A Successful Social Selling Program

By Sander Biehn | Dec 19, 2016

What makes one social selling and marketing program succeed while others fail? While many will say that it comes down to working with certain tools, trainers or consultants, I think the answer is much more concrete. Here’s how my business partner recently answered a client asking that question:


– Why, how & who

1) Typically most people have some experience with LinkedIn, but with Twitter that is often not the case – Both the platforms are quite different. Additionally, there are big differences between using one’s own LinkedIn profile as bait for headhunters and using it for driving sales – training is needed to cover very basic areas and moves. (e.g. we have a hi-quality camera available so everybody has a professional photo on their profile before they leave the training room.)

2) Training goes much better if done by somebody who has experience with sales, instead of “a social media/marketing expert” – the objective is to drive sales and account managers also relate better to the information provided

    Adoption & Sustainability

– Key principals:

You must keep your team’s attention on the program. The program needs a leader to make it go

You must leverage tools to make this happen along with human assets

a) Basic as it may seem somebody has to run this program (account managers will have questions, there will be some challenges with content, people will eventually need help, you want to measure the results, run reporting etc) – there is work to do

b) As for adoption and sustainability – both are a challenge. Using social media takes effort (hunting for content, incorporating strategic hashtags, engaging) – that is why you need a tool that supports doing this for you so that it is very easy for your teams to adopt and use.

Content is King in Social Selling

–    First party vs Third party (you need a healthy amount of both)

–    Global vs Local (pay attention to language and culture)

–    Social copy (it needs to be written in a believable language that your sales people speak)

1) As for content there should be a blend of your own branded content and 3rd party content tracking the thought leadership of your industry. In the end, you want both selling your own products as well as boosting the credibility of your account managers as people who understand the industry

2) If your business operates in multiple countries, localization is necessary – that includes local language and cultural context

3) Social copy – you have ~140 characters on twitter – that’s not much, you need to know the relevant industry/content hashtags –  it is most effective if the social copy is prepared for the account managers to use –  they can edit, but basics are done


– Shares /Views to measure your reach –  eyeballs/ GRPs/impressions – that’s what marketers call it!

– Size of the social bubble / SSI –  LinkedIn provides social selling index, twitter has followers – it makes sense to monitor and drive both to assure the maximum reach

– Engagement/leads – that’s what it boils down to:)

Now, when I ran B2B marketing for a major US Telco I was facing exactly this problem of how to start a social selling/marketing program.  Based on that experience, I have created a company addressing the opportunity.

Feel free to ask follow up questions – no strings attached:)

I think this is fantastic and actionable advice for any social selling program. We are committed to making social selling the future for B2B brands.