Social Selling is the coordination of Social Reps and Sales Reps to manage the qualification and hand-off of social media prospects in a way that doesn’t undermine your brand experience. Sales Reps convert water flowing over the dam into revenue. Social Reps focus on making sure there’s always a steady supply of water behind the dam.
Everyone’s talking about Social Selling these days, trying to get their arms around what it means and how it works. While much of the focus now is on tools and techniques, it’s important to recognize that there are different approaches and different styles of social selling, each of which are appropriate for different sales personalities and brands. What kind of Social Sales persona is right for you?
Over the past several months, social selling has become the hottest topic in social media. Depending on who’s talking it’s either the pinnacle of modern marketing or a cynical repackaging of social marketing hype. So what exactly? is social selling, why is it trending, and how is it any different from the waves of social media trends that have washed over the web in the past few years?
A few years ago my friend and colleague Maria Sipka introduced me to a couple of professors at Wharton working on a collaborative project about the future of advertising. They invited me to submit an essay on CRM to social, one of what grew to more than 200 essays from colleagues eventually published in the online Advertising 2020 project. They promoted dialog, researched and analyzed the topics of discussion and ultimately wrote a book on their findings, recently published by Wiley.
I got a chance to see a manuscript of the book when it was being written, so I was excited to see they used a quote from my essay—one that I thought was provocative. It was a quote about the degree to which, I believe, advertising has missed the point of social media by focusing on metrics that emphasize quantity more than quality. It’s the kind of criticism that doesn’t always win friends among colleagues, so when I finally got a copy of the published book, I was surprised to find they’d doubled down and selected a second quote, one for the opening page of the book.
LinkedIn has owned the spotlight for business-oriented social media for a long time. Twitter can be leveraged as a continuing news feed and to engage with thought leaders. Facebook is a great platform to showcase a company’s culture, engage existing customers and advertise products. But LinkedIn is considered the crème de la crème of professional networking, helping professionals craft meaningful business relationships and share content that resonates with prospects. Does anyone even use Google+?
Yes, Google+ is still a relevant platform, and it may become a lot more relevant as frustration grows with LinkedIn noise and increasing spam.