Social Selling Training and Implementation Strategy
Our telecom enterprise customer was already a social media believer. They had implemented a social selling tool a year ago. They had instituted back-office processes in marketing to support the distribution of high-quality content.
However, the magic just refused to happen.
Sales had been clamoring for social selling training to help them get started. They got what they were asking for, but no new leads, sales or relationships were generated over the next 6 months.
Thought Horizon has trained about 1,000 sales reps in social selling over the years and we know how it goes with sales:
1. They see their customers moving to social media for thought leadership
2. They desperately want to be trained in using social media
3. They need access to a social selling content-distribution tool to make it easy
But as soon as the social selling training is over, the real world pokes up its ugly head again.
Emails need responding to, new sales need to be booked and the end of the quarter (or year) is always drawing nearer. Hustle is the name of the game. It is hard to justify the time and energy needed to incorporate the new skills like social media.
We laid out a new plan for our client to drive the desired results and keep the sales team inspired.
First, we ramped up the content. Instead of just promoting their weekly blog and a few marketing pieces, we started curating 15 pieces of content per week. We wrote the social copy and put it into the social sharing tool. Sales just needed to approve the messages we wrote and then automatically post them to their LinkedIn and Twitter. We gave them the option to customize the messages, but many of them preferred to post without any changes. Our messaging was crisp and spoke to target markets and vertical.
Next, we instituted a bi-weekly newsletter that encouraged the team to keep posting. Along with highlight of the content, it included tips and leader boards—we even ran a few contests. Because the content sharing tool allowed sales to schedule postings into the future, we only really needed them share things once every 2 weeks. We streamlined the process so it only took them 10 minutes or so to stay relevant in social.
Finally, we defined the KPI’s clearly around leads and sales. This enabled us to create clear objectives for the sales teams. All of our social efforts were aligned to these KPI’s:
The result? This client improved new leads by 15% per month. These leads were attributed to social selling based on tool analytics and validation with the sales team. Sales increased after one quarter by 5% and have been steadily climbing since. More importantly, this client now knows why they are involved in social selling. Marketers, Sales Leaders and Sales Teams debate the latest content and campaigns and are now better aligned.
Let’s find some time to discuss this case study and others in greater detail.