Episode 166: Rolling Out Social Selling for Your Sales Team, Part 2
We’re continuing the conversation about Rolling Out Social Selling for Your Sales Team. Previously, we discussed the importance of correctly rolling out LinkedIn and social selling to your sales team, and we also introduced the first 4 crucial steps to proper social selling rollout.
In this episode, you’ll discover the final four stages to ensuring your sales team is set up for success when using LinkedIn and social selling to fill their pipelines and grow your company’s revenue. Another reason to tune in on this episode is that Brynne and Bob are also sharing our accompanying guide that you can use to launch your company’s own social selling program.
You can listen to part 1 of this mini series by clicking the link here.
Bob Woods 00:00
Hey everybody, and welcome to Making Sales Social Live! Brought to you by Social Sales Link. I’m Bob Woods, the LinkedIn Sherpa and I’m joined today and as always by fellow LinkedIn and social selling professional aka the LinkedIn whisperer, Brynne Tillman. What’s up, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 00:18
I’m excited to be here. I clicked through to see how many people we had on and it started to play normally it doesn’t.
Bob Woods 00:25
Ohh… I hate it when that happens.
Brynne Tillman 00:27
So yeah, well, you know, technology…
Bob Woods 00:28
works great until it doesn’t.
Brynne Tillman 00:33
That is right. So anyway, I’m excited to continue our conversation, Bob,
Bob Woods 00:37
We are continuing. Absolutely. So today is part two of our mini series, if you will, on rolling out LinkedIn and social selling to an entire sales team, or even sales force within a company and of course, if you are an entrepreneur, or you know on a small sales team, and just doing this by yourself, there are plenty of takeaways that you can bring from this too, so we’re not forgetting anybody out there.
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live! As we share LinkedIn, and social selling training strategies and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business.Join Brynne Tillman, and me Bob Woods every week, Making Sales Socal Live!
Bob Woods 01:22
So just a really, really, really, really quick bullet point. Here’s what we covered in part one. So defining desired outcomes and establishing your key performance indicators or KPIs, Buyer identification and mapping, value centric LinkedIn profile development, and choosing your digital productivity tools. So that’s the first four, we’ve got the Final Four today. And no, that’s not a basketball reference for the first time out of my mouth and I don’t know how long so and we just want to let you know, or remind you, depending on whether or not you know, this exists, that there’s an e book we’ve developed that accompanies both parts one and two, called LinkedIn for social selling program, rollout checklist, and that’s that at socialsaleslink.com/rollout. So with that, let’s roll right into things, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 02:20
Roll right in. So number four, or number five, it was that sales content strategy, do you want to open that up? Or should I take it?
Bob Woods 02:30
I can open it up really quick. Because it’s, you know, when Brynne and I talk, we always say this is huge. This is big. This is so important, because it’s all important. This one’s really important. With sale contract content strategy. Simply put, you need to provide your sales team members with content and resources for them to start conversations, because that’s what social selling is ultimately all about. That content has to be both valuable just in a general sense and value added, you need to bring value of what your product or service does to your sales people or their audiences way before a conversation even starts.
So how do we do that? There are three specific strategies. First one has to do with, of course, creating original content. So that’s things like polls, posts and videos that get uploaded. Yeah, we’re primarily talking about LinkedIn here. You can do other socials if you want as well but you can’t do polls and other socials, which is why we love polls so much here, and Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 03:41
So let’s talk about creating before we go through all three. I want to talk about each one, which would be great. So creating content, most people think I’m not a writer, I can’t do content on LinkedIn, that’s not my thing but Bob touched on a few quick little things that make creating content so much easier. As a sales leader. Now we’re talking about rolling out a whole program inside of an organization.
So often we’ve got marketing support, right now, here’s what we would love to see your marketing team do with your reps when you’re rolling out this program. We want to highlight the thought leadership of the sales team. So if your marketing department is creating an ebook, or even if you’re outsourcing this in their creating an ebook, go get quotes from your salespeople. Use in the quote in the ebook. You can actually have the marketing team record a little video asking them five questions on video and you can help your team repurpose original content.
So we work closely when we’re rolling out a program with a large organization. We will work closely with their marketing team to ensure that they’re incorporating the thought leadership of the sales folks, when they are mentioned in that content, they will use it, they will share it, it gives them a credibility in the marketplace, that if the company is quoting them, and they’re the people we should be working with. So I just wanted to kind of throw that creating in when it comes to rolling out a program versus an individual creating content.
Bob Woods 05:31
Exactly, very, very important point. So creating original content, including polls, posts and videos. And of course, they need to know how exactly to do that and we’re going to get into that in later steps so we’re not really going to push on that one right now. The next one is just, this has to do more with industry trends and resources. So if you cover an industry or several industries, make sure that your salespeople have access to the information that is contributing to these trends just so that they can make informed opinions about what’s happening in their industry or industries that they cover because you want them to become the as I used to put it go to gal or go to guy in the industry. In other words, the industry expert in whatever industry that we’re talking about, basically, you want your people to be seen as experts, thought leaders, so curating industry trends and resources is vital for them to get their sales, content strategies, their individual ones going really well.
Brynne Tillman 06:43
To piggyback on that your industry is important but if they really do some social listening and understand their client’s industries, and their client’s clients industries, they’ll actually have even a higher reputation and credibility. Not only do they know your industry, but they know the industry that you’re serving. So I love that now, there are lots of companies whether you use Feedly as a curation tool, you can use Google Alerts there is for larger companies, there is a wonderful product called vertical IQ. It’s a paid product, but it helps to curate the most trending content across the globe in a certain industry. So you could say I am going to sell into manufacturing today. I want to know what’s going on in manufacturing so that when we share content and start conversations, it’s not always about the industry I’m in, but I’m telling you about their industry and what’s going on there. So I just want to throw that in.
Bob Woods 07:52
Absolutely. No, that was fantastic. So the third sub topic that we’re going to touch on really quickly is something that a lot of people would think is the flip side of content, but it’s really not. So that’s engaging with the right people on the right content. So you’re probably saying to yourself, “But I’m not publishing, how is that content?” This has to do with the fact that because you’re engaging, you’re gonna engage a little bit differently than what most people do, which is to put down a great post, or, you know, whatever, “Thanks for sharing.” When you engage, you’re going to be engaging with insights, you’re going to be engaging with value, you’re going to be adding value to whatever post that you are commenting on, again, with the right people on the right content, so that you can continue your quest to be that “go to guy go to gal” slash industry expert in whatever industry that you serve.
Brynne Tillman 08:54
So you know, there’s some ways to really do this efficiently the first way. And this is about the leadership feeding content, right? So you you can either share content that your reps can share, or have, maybe you have a daily trends that’s coming out that you’re you’re helping them to achieve, like helping them to engage on so marketing finds the articles to comment and share on right like so we find an article that’s put out by manufacturing’s RS. And we said we want our team to engage on that. You can actually click the three dots as a sales leadership, grab that link and send it to the team and say, “Our insights could be very helpful here.”
Now you have to teach them what to do now. They have to read the article. They have to pull out their takeaways. That’s what becomes thought leadership and content. And today when you comment, LinkedIn will say “Hey, do you want to use this comment and share it on your newsfeed?” And when you do that, and it’s new now, all the likes and comments from the original post are showing up so people can see that there’s already a lot of activity.
So this is something that leadership needs to put in place a strategy that’s getting so that your reps don’t have to go searching all the time for this content that is a company you are serving them content, not to just share and post on their newsfeed but to actually engage on and in it.
Bob Woods 10:30
Yep, exactly. So now that we’ve talked about strategies, now we’re going to talk about where the rubber meets the road. And that’s with tailored workflows and templates. So, you know, we all use as salespeople, we all use workflows, we all use templates in many, many different areas. You know, sometimes it’s the same thing in social selling too. Having a playbook that includes what we’re about ready to discuss is the key to social selling success. Some of the elements of this workflows, templates, playbooks, everything should be in one area, obviously, so that people don’t have to, you know, go to like all different areas to do this.
Number one is clearly defined activities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, because with social selling, that everything needs to be done on a daily basis. So I think that a lot of times when people roll out social selling, they’re thinking, “Oh, my God, my salespeople are going to be on LinkedIn all the time.” No, that’s not the case, especially if they know what they’re doing. And they have a playbook telling them what to do daily, weekly, and monthly.
Brynne Tillman 11:33
Absolutely! And this should be included into their daily routine. So this is just a bonus. If you want to look at what a typical daily routine might look like, you can go to socialsaleslink.com/day and download that ebook, even though what we’re talking about today is a socialsaleslink.com/rollout. That’s an additional resource, because we can’t give away too much. Look at what a daily, weekly process looks like but as sales leaders, as we’re rolling out a program, you need to make sure that your reps know what to do and when to do it and what’s the next thing? They connect and someone says yes, what do I say, you know, what are the three things I should do before I send a connection request? So eventually it becomes part of the status quo and it becomes part of the routine but initially, as sales leaders, you need to have a tailored approach with all those right templates when rolling out a program.
Bob Woods 12:30
Yeah! And that flows into the other points really quickly that I’m going to go over really fast only because Ronald Rojas has asked a very, very, very good question and I want to get to that, too. So some of the other elements of the playbook include a step by step process for every activity so that people do know how to do polls, they do know how to do all of these different strategies so they’re not having to feel like that they’re recreating the wheel every single time they go in and do it.
Custom templates available in shortcode. So if you remember from the first part of this, we talked about Magical, so Magical has short codes that you can enter templates into and then when you want to use one, you just type it in really quick and it appears as that’s fantastic for productivity. And then the last one, which is what we talked about a little bit, just in the previous point, a library of evergreen content to help start conversations.
So again, this is huge. You need content to have your salespeople, add value, bring the value before a conversation even starts so that when the person is finally approached to start a conversation, there is enough value. The Ask,offer ratio.. That’s my thought. Okay, yeah.
Brynne Tillman 13:47
So just really quick, GetMagical is a shortcode program. If you go to getmagical.com in Chrome, you can download that. And then we have 17 templates that are a gift to you. It’s socialsaleslink.com/magical We’ve got so many resources today. Yeah, so number seven.
Bob Woods 14:06
Yeah. So well, no, actually, let’s get Ronald’s question up there first, because I think it’s a really, really good question. “What do you think is the best way to generate interest in the sales team and make them feel identified with a social selling strategy?” This is so big, this is so big and Brynne might have a thought or two. I definitely have a thought or two on it. One of the biggest things that I think is important is that there is buy in all the way up to up to the CEO and if possible, even have the CEO and in the upper echelon for lack of a better phrase at the company also participating in this also actually sharing content leading the way so that feeling trickles down to the to the salespeople out there who are ultimately going to benefit the most. But yet, if they see everyone else do it, they’re just going to feel more included and not like that they’re out on an island just doing everything on their own.
Brynne Tillman 15:11
That’s definitely the most important thing, like the foundational piece. Once you’ve got buy in across the organization, now we have to, we need social proof. Why am I going to invest my time as a sales rep to do this? Well, there are a few things that we typically talk about, right? So the first one is, take a look at your profile, is this representing you well? Then you ask them this, right? Like, let’s look at this, is this helping you to get more sales conversations? Or is it just your resume waiting to get recruited away?
Number one, number two, are you sharing enough content and engaging in a way that’s attracting people and showing them and I will actually go through and show a tip, right? So the tip might be, if you just look at all the people, you’re prospecting and ring their bell, you’re notified when they share content. And this is a trigger for you to engage and start a conversation with them without being salesy. It’s not like you’re attacking and saying, “Hey, buy my stuff” but you are engaging in a way that’s important to them. So we teach that, and they go, “Oh, that’s pretty cool.”
The next thing we do is we say, you know, take a look, how many connections? Do you have 780 connections, you know, 10% of those are people that you probably want to have a conversation with, do you know who’s in your network that you’re ignoring? And they go, “Hmm…” So you know, there are lots of things that we can do to help you take inventory of that but you need to know because we’re out there going net new all the time yet you’ve got all these folks living inside your network.
And the last one is, how successful are you as a sales rep and getting those client referrals, I’m sure they love you. But if you’re like most people, when you ask for those referrals, you get the “shrug” and they go, “I can’t think of anyone right now.” But if you could go through their Rolodex and pick out eight or 10 or 12 people that they know that you want to meet and have a conversation with them, you could end up with four or five actual warm introductions and that’s what LinkedIn is. And all of a sudden, when you present this to the salespeople like this, their jaw drops and they say, “I didn’t know LinkedIn could do all that stuff.”
So often and Bob, you know, when we’re going out, and if you’re in corporate, I’m going to offer Bob’s offer to you right now, is we actually do a complimentary Well, we charge for it. But if you’re a big enough company, and you’re interested, we will do it as a complimentary webinar to your team and then we survey and say, “Is there interest or not?” And if there’s no interest, we’re fine, right? And if we teach them all those things, and then if they’re interested, then we talk about what the solution could look like, Bob, I steal your thunder on that.
Bob Woods 17:59
No, that’s fine. But looking at the proverbial time on the clock on the wall, we need to really bring this to a closing. Yeah, actually, our last two are really easy. So the actual training sessions, so it’s not just about training, it’s actually about training and hands on workshops, as well. So the sales team not only learns strategies and tactics, but they have hands on experience with it as well, because they are going to need the hands on experience, not only just from a functional, “Okay, I got to do this, this was looked like this, and then and then we go to that…” but to just you know, really get the flow down, it’s it’s really important for them to have hands on experience.
In addition, it’s optimal that your training programs be tailored to your company, industry and team’s needs. So there are three specific items that we recommend. One is tailored playbooks and workflows, which we’ve already talked about. Any of the training and workshops, thank you workshops, should be recorded and time stamped and easily accessible by anyone who needs access to them for optimal adoption. So they really need to be able to go back and see this stuff, because reinforcement is going to be just as important as the actual sessions themselves.
Brynne Tillman 19:34
Awesome. If you’re looking at what it takes whether we help you or you do it internally, to roll that out? Just give us a little connection and talk to Bob. We have ways to do that. And number eight, this is pretty obvious, but really important.
Bob Woods 19:54
Yeah, continuous coaching. So just like you hopefully have coaching for other areas. Continuous coaching after the initial sessions, you should have the same thing in place for a program that measures your KPIs consistently, we talked about KPIs in part one, and then coaches for improvement. So there’s kind of a caveat here, though, because this is social there, it’s important that we focus on the coaching around the activity that we can control. Because just like in sales, in general, there are things that we can control and there are things that we can’t directly control.
So there are a couple of examples in the eBook, which by the way, is socialsaleslink.com/rollout. But one or two things, you know, we can directly control how many new connection requests that salespeople send out, we cannot control how many people accept those new connection requests, we can control introduction requests going out, we can’t control actual introductions made, there’s just way too many factors there. We can control how many posts we publish, we can’t control how many people who are engaging, although there are things that we can do to encourage engagement, when it comes to that ultimate KPI looking at the raw number type of thing we can’t do that.
And then posts engaged with, we can control the posts that we engage with. Getting back to the point before about engaging with, you know, really good authors and leaving that value added content and thoughts and thought leadership. We can’t, we can’t control who responds to those comments.
Brynne Tillman 21:39
Alright, so the bottom line is, when you’re rolling out a program, none of these are work on their own, they have to all be included. So define your KPIs and goals, and it’s full circle to what we just said in coaching to them. Buyer identification and mapping, value centric profile development, choosing the right productivity tools. So that’s where we talked about get magical.com, a Chrome extension and others. Sales content strategy where we started today, if you don’t have the right content in place for your sales team, It makes this whole process much harder. Tailored workflows and templates so they know what to do and what to say, rolling that out so now you’ve got the program all together and it’s time to roll that out LinkedIn training for sales, and then coaching for improvement. And make sure you got coaching, not just for your sales team, but for the sales leaders to keep supporting the sales. Like it’s important that the sales leaders, you know, have a place to question “Hey, I’ve got this guy. He’s got 700 new connections, but no conversations. What should I say to them?” So it’s both coaching the users and the leaders of the program. And now I’ll let you take it in for a landing my friend
Bob Woods 23:00
We’re taking it in for a landing. So keep in mind, this is part two, we had part one as well. Listen to both parts in order because it won’t make sense if you listen out of order, and socialsaleslink.com/roll for the ebook. It’s really designed for everything to work together. It’s almost like it’s a little bit like an audible offering, I guess, you know, it’s like, you gotta like, stop there and stop here but anyhow, go ahead, use it in good health and thanks again for joining us and Making Sales Social Live!
If you’re with us here on live LinkedIn, if you’re with us live on LinkedIn, rather, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter right now, we do this every week. So keep an eye out for our live sessions. Let’s see, before we…
That’s a good question. So we’re going to pause the outro and we’re going to answer this question from Gunnar. If a company is starting from scratch with this, how much time should they expect to invest in getting a minimum viable solution?
Brynne Tillman 24:03
So I’m gonna just talk to this for a moment? And this is the worst answer anyone can hear is it depends. We have to look at the resources, what they have available. How is the sales team working today? Is there already content in place? Or do we have to design content? Is the team willing to engage marketing and sales to create the right content? From a training perspective and putting a program together, we roll them out in under 30 days, tailored with their own messaging and their own workflow and templates and playbook, right? We can roll that out custom in 30 days, but the time is really if you’re starting from scratch on the content side. And so it really depends on what they’re willing to invest in time, because we can put a program together, 20 minutes a day for a wrap or week if It’s an SDR whose prospecting all day, it may just be intertwined naturally into their outbound calling, right? There’s so many different ways to leverage LinkedIn and part of what we do is tailor it based on resources, you know, other expectations of the people in the company and, and so forth. So it’s a “depends” answer, I’m so sorry.
Bob Woods 25:24
Yeah, it is a dependence thing there. Generally speaking, once we’ve done all of the pre-work and we’re actually in the training process training and workshops together is generally speaking out again, this is highly dependent on the situation. So don’t hold us to anything two times a week training and workshops, generally three weeks to four weeks, maybe five depending and then that extra time to do profile makeovers too because if you’re not making over your profiles, it is going to be much less successful, much less.
Brynne Tillman 26:03
All roads lead back to those profiles. Alright, we circled around the airport. Now we’re coming back down for the landing.
Bob Woods 26:13
Yeah, we are out of the holding pattern, and we’re going to, we’re just going to take it home here if you want more information on our podcast, socialsaleslink.com/podcasts again, the ebook is at socialsaleslink.com/rollout. So when you’re out and about, make your sales social. Thanks, everybody. Bye bye.
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