12 questions to answer before implementing a social selling program

sales sales leaders social selling social selling program Aug 03, 2023
12 questions to answer before a social selling program

Are you a marketer or a sales leader seeking to generate more revenue through social selling? Here, we provide a detailed roadmap to create a robust social selling program, avoid pitfalls, and save time and budget.

Numerous companies have discovered that a single LinkedIn training is insufficient to ensure a substantial return on investment from social selling. Implementing social selling is a transformational process that should follow a strategic agenda, requiring deliberate initiation and proper evolution. It's vital to understand that social selling programs are unique to each organization due to varying levels of digital maturity and resource availability.

Where to begin?

The first step is to analyze your company's current status before making changes. As the typical initiator of a social selling program, the marketing department should undertake this initial analysis.

What should the analysis include?

An effective social selling maturity audit consists of 16 to 80 questions to better understand the organization. Only with this in-depth understanding can a suitable strategy be formulated that is deeply rooted in organizational reality.

The Pillars of Social Selling

A strong social selling program is underpinned by four main pillars:

  • Commitment and Buy-in
  • Marketing
  • Sales 
  • Tools, Support, and Measurement

To truly grasp these areas, we have three critical questions within each pillar.

  1. Commitment and Buy-In

    - Why implement a social selling program?
    Identifying the purpose behind your program – customer acquisition, sales development, or retention of existing customers – is essential. Strive for a balanced focus between acquisition, retention, and development goals.

    How supportive are the management board and sales leaders of social selling?
    Overcoming scepticism and securing buy-in are crucial. This involves explaining social selling, demonstrating how it can address challenges, presenting competitor analysis, and addressing any concerns.

    What is the salespeople's attitude towards social selling?
    If past attempts at social selling failed, it's crucial to identify the activities they engaged in and where they went wrong.

  2. Marketing

    How does the company utilize content marketing today?
    Content is the fuel for social selling, and the marketing department is responsible for its delivery.

    What is the relationship between marketing and sales?
    Cooperation between these departments is key, and understanding their past relationship is insightful.

    How convergent is the marketing ideal customer profile (ICP) with the sales ICP?
    Aligning the marketing and sales ICPs is crucial for the success of any social selling program.

  3. Sales

    - Do salespeople understand customer pain points?
    This knowledge helps the marketing department create relevant content.

    - Is the company divided into hunters and farmers?
    If the program's goal is customer acquisition, it's vital to have a 'hunter' structure in place.

    - What level of expert knowledge do salespeople have?
    They need to be confident enough to share their expertise publicly, especially on platforms like LinkedIn.

  4. Tools, Support, and Measurement

    - Does the organization plan to implement an accountant publishing platform or Sales Navigator licenses?
    These tools are invaluable, especially for large programs.

    - Can the organization provide regular training and consultations?
    Changes in attitudes, knowledge, and skills require constant access to knowledge and practical tips.

    - How will the organization measure the results of the pilot program?
    Establishing relevant KPIs is critical to understanding the success of your program. The effectiveness of a social selling program can be measured in three primary areas: program evaluation, competence development, and sales impact.

Social selling is a powerful tool, but it's vital not to rush into it without a solid foundation. By understanding these areas and asking these essential questions, you can embark on a fruitful social selling journey.

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