SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform

Sales Process Meets Social Selling

  • by Elay Cohen
  • September 22, 2016

Jill Rowley is a good friend and a leader in the social selling movement. She’s on a mission to modernize the role of salespeople. Jill did an amazing keynote at SalesHood’s 2016 Sales Productivity Conference. She beautifully inspired a room full of sales and marketing leaders with her words of social selling wisdom. She believes:

“The buyer has changed more in the past 10 years than the past 100; sales hasn’t. With all these productivity and automation tools, it’s never been more important to sell like a human.”

Hmmmm, it got me thinking: What are all the ways we can use social selling beyond the front of the funnel prospecting activity? What are all the ways we can use Jill’s inspirational and thought provoking words to al of our sales activity across the entire sales process ? How does it apply to discovery, decision-making-processes, influence maps and relationship building? How can we use social selling to create more connection at every stage of the sales process? There is so much we can do with social business networking tools to accelerate deals and increase win rates. Let’s explore. to our sales processes with our teams:

Here’s a checklist we can use to begin a conversation with our teams:

Stage #1 Qualification

Use social networks to be relevant, research and learn more about our prospect’s business and industry.

Uncover trigger and compelling events by staying on top of press releases, event news and customer sentinent.

Stage #2: Discovery

Get to know interests, professional backgronds, personal backgrounds, shared connections and biases of champions, economic buyers and influencers. Consider everyone involved in the decision process.

Engage prospective buyers by connecting and sharing value add content using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social neworks. Build relationships in real time with senior, influential buyers. Don’t stock. Be sincere.

Stage #3: Show and Prove Value

Overcome competitive strengths and plant traps highlighting competitive weaknesses by using Twitter Followers & LinkedIn Shared Connections to know our competition in deals.

Connect with champions, economic buyers and influencers by tweeting and retweeting their relevant content.  Use their content and priorities in demonstrations and business cases.

Stage #4: Proposal Review & Go-Live Plan

Use social networks to build out oranizational charts for deals and account plans to know who is directly and indirectly involved in a decision-making process.

Accelerate deals and build trust by using social networks to idenfity and share referrals, recommendations and customers stories that are relevant to buyers.

Check references faster. Do backdoor references easier.

Stage #5: Negotiate & Finalize Agreement

Send hand-written thank you notes to champion, economic buyer and influencers for setting up meetings, sharing information and partnering. (Social selling transcends the digital with hand-written notes.)

Jill summarizes why it’s so important to think about social selling across the entire sales process:

“Laying out how social is embedded into the existing sales process and methodology is the way to drive adoption vs treating it as a separate, standalone thing reps need to find time in their day to do.”

I’m sure there are many more sales process activities that leverage social selling to accelerate. Which ones did I miss?

How do you use social networks and social selling to accelerate your sales process and buyer’s journey?

About the Author
Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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