A Giant Leap from Direct Sales to Social Selling - Part 2
STONE AGE to DIGITAL AGE - Social Selling – With a Selling HERO
In furtherance to my previous blog post on ‘A Giant Leap from Direct Sales to Social Selling’, here is a sequel on TIPS to be a strong social selling organization.
In social selling, the emphasis is on "social" - relationship building and connecting with potential buyers before moving on to any sales-related interaction. Gone are the days of “cold calling”…Well said LinkedIn & few other top social sellers gathered at the LinkedIn Social Sales Summit in Singapore! Cold is what is dead and not the calling, as it depends on how contextual you are when connecting with your prospects. But where do you get the context?
The transition from direct selling to social selling is however not easy without a valid assist tool. LinkedIn's Sales Navigator (LSN) strives to simplify this concept of social selling and opens up the entire business ecosystem to build meaningful connections.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating - assessing effectiveness of social selling
Is social selling a passing fad? What do the organizational statistics indicate?
A few research reports state that more than 60% of organizations who adopted social selling have enjoyed a tremendous increase in their sales revenue. About 50% of the sales process is cleared digitally through social selling even before the first call between the sales person and the prospect. That's certainly great news! But how many organizations are willing to change?
How will you measure the effectiveness of social selling? WHATIF you had a report card to measure to effectiveness of every sales person’s social selling skills?
The social selling index in Sales Navigator solves this problem by serving as an internal report card of sales performance, providing information on the top scorer.
Now I am sure all of us will agree managing a sales workforce in any organization is no mean task. You will have sales professionals who cross the lines of being commandos to cold mercenaries. Commando is used more with a positive intent as they know how to go after the target and meet the numbers with some broad rules of an organization design. Mercenaries, although they do something similar , they do it in a more cold manner , while the intent of usage here is in a negative tone , they too will the job get done albeit with a selfish motive of making money and beyond the rules of an organization. Different ways of managing a sales organization and a couple of tips which have been leveraged to get us where we are as the top social selling organization [View PR] are ensuring the below best practices:
- The push is top down , we have LinkedIn Sales Navigator (LSN) integrated with the reviews from the CEO’s office
- Having elements of both a carrot and stick when you want to be high performance sales organization to remain focused with high level of sales hygiene in a long term context is key. A leader board of SSI Scores is published across the sales organization in a transparent manner, which creates peer pressure
- Correlating sales pipeline stages of each sales person with SSI index score of the sales person creates different pressure points during reviews
- Leveraging LSN to mapping the customer organization and not be dependent on just one or two connects in the prospect organization
Adhering to the above best practices has helped Ramco streamline our sales process. In addition to these, there were several insights gathered at the LinkedIn Social Sales Summit in Singapore where the top social sellers & users had gathered together to share thoughts & trends in social selling. The video footages of the same will shortly be published.
Are you ready for the digital era of social selling?
About The Author
Harsh Vardhan is an Adventurous Marketer, who loves to explore new frontiers. From emerging companies and leading outsourcers, he has had an exciting journey packed with learnings and challenges. In his words, he loves to ride the business roller coaster, albeit sometimes without seatbelts! After a 12 year stint in the Global System Integration industry which covered the lay of the land from Deep East in Fukuoka (Japan) to West in Abuja (Nigeria), Harsh boomeranged into his second stint in Ramco Systems. Now as Ramco’s Chief Marketing and Ecosystem Officer, Harsh Vardhan is accountable for driving revenues along with building brand Ramco and also developing the ecosystem which will help in force multiplying the reach out.