From Connections to Conversions: Social Selling Training Essentials
October 25, 2023
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It’s no secret that organizations no longer rely solely on in-person sales. McKinsey found that 80 percent of B2B decision-makers say omnichannel sales are as effective (if not more so) than traditional approaches.
In fact, 75 percent of B2B buyers use social media to research their options, and 84 percent of C-level buyers are influenced by social media. That means social selling is a crucial component to reach today’s buyers.
Discover effective ways to train your sales reps in social selling and help your team meet their revenue goals.
What is social selling?
Social selling uses social media to reach decision-makers and build relationships that lead to future sales.
Some may confuse social selling with social media marketing, but they aren’t the same. Social media marketing builds the brand and raises awareness, whereas social selling involves connecting directly with decision-makers and building rapport.
Social selling gives organizations several advantages over traditional sales interactions.
Sales reps who use social media to build relationships:
- See 45% more sales opportunities
- Are 51% more likely to hit quota
- Outperform peers who don’t use social media
The question is, what can your sales enablement team do to empower reps to win business through social selling?
The answer involves providing the proper training and helpful, customizable sales resources.
How to train sales reps on social selling
Create a solid foundation
Your sales team likely has a mix of experience with online tools. Some reps will be comfortable with social media tools, while others have been face-to-face their entire careers.
That means the first step in proper training is to assess your team’s skill and comfort level and provide a basic foundation. Short, easy-to-understand lessons and microlearning are a great way to get everyone up to speed.
You’ll want to cover topics like:
- How to create a social media profile for social selling
- Your brand’s online voice, so this remains consistent across platforms
- How to use each social media platform’s tools to find leads, send messages, and build relationships
Once everyone is on the same page, you can dive into specific social selling strategies.
The three C’s of social selling
The three C’s of social selling are connection, content, and conversion.
Social selling starts with connection. Your sales reps need to understand their audience and how to build rapport.
Sales reps should focus on building an authentic relationship with prospective customers.
Next, sales reps should use content to educate and nurture leads. Buyers love having information, and 74 percent of buyers in a recent survey chose to buy from the company that was first to provide value.
Unfortunately, this can be a sticking point for sales reps—65 percent say they can’t find meaningful content to share with prospects.
A sales training LMS, like the Learning Cloud from WorkRamp, can help you create and organize sales enablement content in one place to help reps learn and access the materials they need when they need them.
Finally, you want your sales reps to know how to move from nurturing to closing the sale on social media.
This might involve a video meeting, a product demo, or following up with a lead after showing how the product or service meets their needs. As in all sales, a “no” may only be temporary—your reps can continue to nurture their relationships to see if a future opportunity arises.
Encourage alignment between sales and marketing
Because your marketing team is likely also using social media, the sales and marketing messages must be consistent. You don’t want prospects confused by what they see on your company page compared to what they hear from sales reps.
“Your messaging creates memories. If we are going to create memories for customers, we don’t want to create conflicting memories. You want to make sure that all your teams march to the same drum beat. Otherwise, it’s going to feel disjointed. When something feels disjointed to a prospect, they’re not going to feel connected to you. Marketing and sales have to be marching arm in arm so that the sounds that your prospects are hearing are pleasant. Without that, your messaging can get drowned out.”
–Melissa Regan, Senior Sales Enablement Manager, WorkRamp
Alignment between marketing and sales can be challenging because although they work together, they sometimes have conflicting goals. For example, marketing may try to grow market share with a lower price point, while sales goals focus on revenue instead of volume.
The good news is that aligning sales and marketing can increase closed deals by 67 percent. It’s worth getting everyone on the same page, so prioritize this in your sales enablement objectives.
Take advantage of tools that make social selling easier
There are various tools your team can use to make it easier to understand where your ideal clients are spending their time. Once you understand this, your sales reps can use this information to help leads make a buying decision.
For example, your organization might decide that LinkedIn Sales Navigator is necessary for finding the right decision-makers. Sales Navigator helps your team find the right kinds of professionals to reach out to, as well as letting reps save and even segment these leads. You can also use LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index to measure your strategies and see how compelling your brand is to your ideal clients.
Having a tool that makes engaging with leads on social media easy can also be helpful. Some organizations use Sprout Social, while others may use Hootsuite or Oktopost. The key is an easy way to centralize your social media accounts in one place so that your reps can interact with prospects efficiently without changing platforms.
Finally, a video tool can enhance the effectiveness of your social selling. Sales reps can use a tool like Loom or Vidyard to leave short video replies on social media instead of text. This increases personalization and helps prove your sales reps aren’t automated bots.
The role of sales enablement is to encourage leaders to invest in the tools that make sales easier and then train reps on how to maximize their usefulness. When sales are well-equipped, results will improve dramatically.
Set your team up for social selling success
Beyond the training elements, it’s important for the sales enablement team to provide the additional resources reps need. This includes both internal and external sales content.
Internal sales content
Internal content helps sales reps understand the selling process within your organization. You can repurpose some of your existing sales materials to focus on connecting with your ideal audience on social media.
For example, sales reps will need materials that describe:
- Buyer personas for each product or service
- How to connect with the right decision-makers
- Your organization’s online voice and tone
- Customizable scripts that can be used to make connections and nurture relationships
- The social media sales process
- Answers to common questions, objections, and more
With these materials, your sales reps will feel confident approaching and engaging with leads on social media.
External sales content
Finally, the sales enablement team is in charge of creating useful content that reps can share with leads to help educate them about your product or solution.
There are two keys to making this successful:
- Sales content must be customizable so reps can adapt it for specific audiences or use cases
- Sales materials must be organized and easy to find so reps can get what they need when they need it
External sales content that can be shared on social media includes:
- Videos: explainer, showcasing benefits, demo, etc.
- Case studies
- Customer success stories or testimonials
- Blog posts
With the right sales enablement content, your sales reps can be the ones buyers look for—prepared, full of useful information, and ready to answer any questions.
Social selling is how you connect to today’s buyers
Social selling was already a trend before the pandemic, but COVID-19 showed us just how much we could accomplish remotely. And remote and hybrid work are here to stay.
With social selling, your reps can connect directly with decision-makers who would never answer a cold call. Over a dozen industries earn over 50 percent of their revenue from social selling. You can’t afford to be left behind.
As a sales enablement team, you have the power to educate, train, and equip your team memebrs to excel in this arena. The first step is to have the right training platform. With an all-in-one platform like the Learning Cloud, you can make learning a growth engine for your organization.
When you provide engaging training resources, you’ll get buy-in and adoption, making your team more likely to succeed. .
With the right tools, your sales enablement team can plan, execute, and reinforce social selling as an effective approach that significantly impacts your results.
Discover how the Learning Cloud can benefit your organization; contact us for a free, personalized demo.
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Anna SpoonerFreelance Writer
Anna Spooner is a digital strategist and marketer with over 11 years of experience. She writes content for various industries, including SaaS, medical and personal insurance, healthcare, education, marketing, and business. She enjoys the process of putting words around a company’s vision and is an expert at making complex ideas approachable and encouraging an audience to take action.
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