Social media has revolutionized sales. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can be veritable gold mines for salespeople tasked with lead generation. But to fully leverage social media, it’s important to provide reps with the right social sales training. Even if your sales force is comprised of social enthusiasts, it’s easy to misuse social platforms. Without clear guidelines, your reps can do more harm than good. As an example, each day my LinkedIn inbox gets flooded with the same brand of spammy sales emails as my Gmail account. However, with the right training, reps can use LinkedIn and Twitter to hunt for target accounts, identify key trigger events and build powerful relationships with potential customers.
If you’re managing an inside sales team, one of the most powerful things you can do to drive success is to ensure reps are not only using social in their sales process, but using it correctly. For our recent eBook, we asked several top sales experts about how inside sales managers can succeed in their first 90 days on the job. Here are a couple of fantastic quotes from the authors of #1 bestselling business books about the importance of social sales training.
“First, managers need to make sure their team is representing their company’s brand well with completed profiles. A complete, professional looking profile that has been optimized for search engines not only creates a better first impression, but also allows your reps to be found more often by your ideal clients and stand out from your competitors.
Second, managers need to train their team in social selling to improve their lead generation. Providing your team with social selling training ensures that they have the tools and the plan to effectively and efficiently find and connect with your ideal clients. Then, nurture the relationship so that when they are ready to purchase, your company is the only choice.”
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“Just like individual salespeople now require new competencies that build social personal branding, sales managers and senior sales leaders must learn new skills and manage a new set of metrics. You must be active on social networks yourself so you understand the new tools of selling. Managers must realize that when salespeople are interacting on Twitter or updating their LinkedIn profiles, this activity is more likely to contribute toward eventual sales than cold-calling a buyer.
At some organizations, using social networking services during work hours is banned. This is ridiculous, of course. But even in those organizations where it isn’t an outright policy violation, many sales managers don’t allow time for social networking or give credit to the people who use social media effectively to build business.”
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For sales management tips from 19 other top experts, be sure to download your free eBook, The 90 Day Inside Sales Success Plan!