It's not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is MOST ADAPTABLE TO CHANGE
To get new revenue you need to prospect and close new business while cross-selling and getting referrals from current clients.
When used correctly, social platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram have the potential to become powerful prospecting tools sales reps can use to create net-new sales opportunities.
When integrated into your existing sales model, the use of social can empower prospecting in efficient and effective ways. The key is social is not something separate but MUST be integrated into your existing sales model. Then, social needs to be measured, monitored, and coached to become part of your sales DNA.
THE INFORMATION AGE HAS CHANGED PROSPECTING
There are numerous statistics substantiating the need to integrate social and your online presence into the sales process. According to studies conducted by (CEB), "Deals are becoming increasingly complex, and customers have access to more information earlier in the sale than ever before. As a result, customers are buying in new ways, delaying initial contact with suppliers and requiring greater consensus to move forward."
There's a dirty little secret inside many sales teams... most reps aren’t prospecting! No wonder you all struggle to grow your business.
We are living and operating in an information-centric age, where data is abundant. Buyers are far more educated, and much more skeptical than ever before.
Stop and think for a moment about your own process when you’re looking for a solution to your problem. You either:
A.) Phone a friend or go directly to the person you think may have the answer
B.) Go to Father Google, enter in your question to see if you can educate yourself better about the solution
A PROSPECTING TRANSFORMATION MUST OCCUR
Sales reps are contending with an increasingly competitive marketplace, an ever-expanding range of products and services, new channels of customer engagement and an expanding list of competitors. The power has shifted from sellers to buyers. They are better informed, better educated and always connected to a world of opinion, advice and information; all thanks to Google, mobile and social technologies. Now the customer controls the conversation.
Attention to all EXECUTIVES your sales team must adopt a 21st century approach to the sales profession.
As much as technology continues to change, the sales process as well as prospecting tools sales reps use must propel them into the 21st century. In order to do this, there must be a transformation and a renewed focus on driving tighter alignment between people, process and available technologies to help drive net new business.
3 WAYS TO MEASURE THE ROI OF SOCIAL
Sales leaders... I encourage you to answer the following questions:
- What's the return I will receive by having each member of my sales team convert at least one net new client per quarter?
- What's the cost of your sales reps having an outdated online presence that screams “I don’t care enough about me to update my profile, therefore I won’t care enough to take of my clients?"
- Will using social tools to drive conversation help my sales team in developing additional sales opportunities?
NET NEW BUSINESS
What's nice about the modern business world is there are a multitude of ways to open new conversations and new relationships with people. Real-life networking (face to face prospecting) still has its place, but social platforms have opened up a world of possibilities for meeting potential new clients.
Think about social and how sales reps utilize this as their online trade show. For example, LinkedIn can be their online stage, their brand; their samples can be content providing them with an air of validity. It’s a perfect way for prospects to check out sales reps and to discover more about them.
"How many sales reps social profiles say they are open for business, closed for business or in need of tenant improvements?"
Communication on any social platform directly impacts all aspects of the sales funnel. Conversation and collaboration leads to conversion!
How could sales reps leverage social to drive more net new appointments?
For example, let's take (1) sales rep who engages in 5 new conversations per week via social. There are 4 weeks in a month equating to 20 new conversations. Take this over a year and this becomes 240 new conversations! Using a 10% conversion ratio to appointments and this means 24 new opportunities added to their sales funnel.
Duplicate this through the entire sales team to get the full impact.
New conversations fuel the sales funnel!
A frequently-cited stat from the CEB is on average there are 6.8 people involved in today’s B2B purchasing journey. Driven by decentralization and organizational structures, these people may be distributed across different divisions within their company or even locations.
Client retention is tightened as sales reps develop relationships with at least 6 people inside every single one of their current accounts. Sales reps must strengthen their personal relationship as well as their social relationship with each of these accounts. A social fortress must be built around their current clients.
How could you increase the likelihood your clients will continue to do business with you?
One way to increase retention is through social listening. This provides sales reps great intelligence tools that can be used to:
- Help understand your clients
- Help to provide great customer service
- Gain a better idea of what's important to them and how you can serve them
Social provides the tools to help sales reps gain a better insight into what their clients are thinking. This allows them to be in better position to open up conversations to deliver what they need, when they need it.
CROSS SELL SERVICES
Unfortunately, many sales organizations leave a ton of money on the table because they don’t have processes in place to cross-sell their products and services into their client base.
Getting your customers to increase their spending with your company doesn’t have to be about chasing the almighty dollar, it should be about providing the best solution to help them do better business.
To be in a position to cross sell services think about the following:
- How could the stage be set to cross sell conversations to additional products, services, and/or solutions?
- Are there other decision makers or influencers in the company that you must get to know?
- Are there other locations, divisions, or departments that could benefit from your product or service?
To be effective in cross selling sales reps must harness the power of listening. Whether this is through social intelligence tools or face to face - don’t listen just to sell a product or solution, listen to become the solution for them.
Social platforms become a great way for sales reps to stay top of mind to their clients. Making themselves visible even when they're not face to face with their clients is the power of social. It's about continually educating your clients and sharing insights. Integrating the use of social allows sales reps to drip out constant educational content positioning themselves as credible experts.
The secret to cross-selling is to treat your clients as prospects. They may be doing business with you today, but that doesn’t guarantee they will tomorrow.
How many of your products, solutions or services are currently deployed inside your current client base?
SOCIALLY ADJUST YOUR MINDSET
Getting in front of a potential client for a first-in meeting now requires socially adjusting your mindset. This means integrating additional prospecting strategies as:
- Prospects require a higher level of introduction before granting a meeting
- Networking in person and online is essential to sales growth
- Prospecting and nourishing relationships must be practiced with patience and reeled in with conversation
- Being relevant and memorable is the new differentiator
- Becoming visible, valuable and using social is a must
The business world is constantly changing. Social is a critical part of selling, particularly in the modern digital business world; social techniques alone won't get you the success you deserve.
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way!
I'm writing a book. The title is Selling From the Heart! I'm pouring my heart into every page of this book and I think you're going to love it.Enter your email address here in this hyperlink and you'll be updated as the book is released. You'll also become part of our launch team. As a thank you, I'll have some special bonuses waiting for you!
In 2016, I was recognized by ENX Magazine as, “The Difference Maker,” as someone who is making a difference inside the B2B office technology sector. I am passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image.
You can find more advanced training material inside the Social Sales Academy website.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my stories. Integrating the use of social and sharing my story on LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive office technology world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire sales teams to grow new business by helping them share their story and how they communicate it out by integrating the use of social inside the sales process. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Social Sales Academy and on my podcast by clicking on Selling from the Heart.