Sunday, February 26, 2017

Dear Vendor Sales Exec, Social Selling is Not Marketing’s Thing. It’s Yours.

There is a fair amount of writing that goes on nowadays about the importance of social selling.  The genesis of which is a dramatic change in the market from the sellers to a buyer’s controlled matrix, and a new customer journey process to purchase. 

Here is where I hear, I don’t have the time or the best one, “that’s marketing’s role.” No, it’s not marketing’s job.  Social media selling is an organizational participatory event.  Marketing does have a role, a critical role, but it’s not their sole responsibility to social sell.

It’s really about a high degree of individual sales executive’s effort.

The sales executive has to know what is going on in the market, who is reading what publication and e-newsletters.

The sales executive has to read to stay current.

So in reading and staying current why aren’t you sharing those articles on Twitter. LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups, etc.?

Success in social selling comes when the sales executive builds a following by providing relevant and current thought leadership that creates the perception of being seen as a subject matter expert. It’s not about what you know, which is probably not as much as you think you do from living in a fish bowl.

It’s not about marketing going into the sales executives LinkedIn page to post as a share.

That’s the easy way out for sales and an inefficient use of marketing resources and human capital.

So how is social selling done to gain credibility?

Social selling is every day. And it’s not that hard, especially with all is the sharing buttons available on websites that allow you to share on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook Goggle+ and a million other platforms. Less than 30 seconds to point, click, share.

Plus, it’s not asking the sales execs to do anything out of the ordinary either.  If a sales exec is not getting industry e-newsletters and not doing research to stay abreast of industry developments, well, then there is a bigger problem.

Marketing can do an awful lot in creating the toolbox of content, shortened links and create the 144 character tweets so sales can copy and paste. It makes it even easier the company uses a social media crowdsource application like Thunderclap. Everyone in the organization having a personal Twitter account signs up on the business’s page. And then, when the company tweets, it goes out automatically to all followers on their Twitter account.  No fuse, no mus. Marketing can also create a training program on how to do. Once you get started with social sharing for social selling, not that hard. Not that hard at all.

In the end, it starts with sales identifying what social media their clients and prospects are using and following. It’s about connecting on LinkedIn, Twitter, and on whatever social media platforms they use.  It’s about reading client and prospects company blogs leaving relevant comments and sharing their blogs.  It’s about sharing your companies blog post and thought leadership. It’s about marketing running an inbound solution oriented marketing program that gives a reason for prospects to call and inquire.

Social selling takes effort, time, and patience. Never said it would be easy or not take any dedicated time or work.  But, it is how the successful competitors are beating you day in and day out.

Back to the headline. Social selling is not just marketing’s thing.

Michael is a healthcare marketing business, marketing, and communications strategist and thought leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare marketing strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters receives over 20,000 page views a month and read in 52 countries.  He is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association and HubSpot Academy- Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing & Inbound Sales Certified. Post opinions are my own.

For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join his group, Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.

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