Members of the sales, marketing, and growth communities have recently received one of the greatest advantages to their field in history: Social Media. Yeah, I know it is 2015 and this is old news. Twitter already hit it big years ago, and even your grandma has Facebook now. But what if I were to tell you that you’re using them all wrong in your sales strategy?
“Social” Selling – The rules are changing
The first rule of social selling is to not sell on social.
The second rule of social selling is to not sell on social.
Ok, now you probably think that I’ve gone full luddite, and that you should just go back to cold calling from the phone book.
There are pundits and experts out there who will tell you all about the “right” ways to use social for your selling efforts–many of those ideas are actually pretty decent.
The problem is that even the experts are missing the point; Social Selling is just the new normal for Sales.
Additionally, as Social becomes the new normal, we are seeing the lines blur between Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, and even Product teams. Once again, something that has been talked about as ideal in the world of software development (cross-functional teams) is bleeding over into the “business” side of the business (similar to how the terms from the Agile software development movement have made their way into Marketing).
As these teams merge, they’ll realize that the overall customer journey with the product is the most important factor in the sales process; social is just one of the avenues in which they’ll experience this voyage. Whether they ask for recommendations on Twitter or Quora, are researching reviews, or even just skimming your company Facebook page, they’re somewhere on that roadmap.
So now what?
So, I’ve told you that Social Selling is just selling. I’ve shown you some shoddily created meme images. I’ve casually announced the merger of your sales and marketing teams. Now what do you do?
First, there are very few silver bullets in business, but this is one of them: Focus on the customer’s wants and needs, and you’ll win in the long term.
Your selling process needs to mirror the customer’s buying process. If they are researching you and your competitors, be there with helpful information. Educate them on the ways in which you can save them time/money/effort. Make it easy for them to get information from your site and social sources. Be responsive via not only social, but also by email and even live chat on your site.
Your sales and marketing departments not only need to be sure they are aligned with the buyers’ expectations, but with each other as well. As your sales process molds to the customer’s buying process you will no longer have a “sales” department and a “marketing” department and a “customer success” department – you’ll have one unified Revenue Department. This is just fundamental to a successful revenue department, now and forever. You can still put together great marketing campaigns, and you’ll still need outbound sales processes, but you have to start here.
Social shouldn’t be your focus – it’s just one of the legs of the table.