This article was submitted by Amar Sheth, Sales for Life
It’s 2015 and social selling is catching on. In fact, it will be one of the core, strategic programs that sales enablement will have to address and deploy across the enterprise for the coming years.
Chances are, sales professionals in your company have heard about social selling. In fact, you may already have a few pockets of excellence emerging within the sales team.
Managing Multiple Levels of Learning
While Mary may know social media like the back of her hand, Joe doesn’t know even where to start. Mary is progressing at an incredible speed. The natural tendency is to have Mary disseminate information to the rest of her team. This is a great start but in no way can it be translated into a proper social selling learning program for obvious reasons.
You’d never have your rock star sales rep begin to formally teach anything to the sales team, especially something as important as a learning and development program. They can and should be your evangelists. They can be effective in propagating the message and how it can transform your sales force.
If you allow social to continue unabated, you’ll see growth and pockets of success. However, you’ll help foster a culture of learning in silos and multiple levels of knowledge.
Managing different levels of knowledge and learning can and will quickly spiral out of control. You’ll have the mammoth and uphill task of creating multiple versions of a curriculum that will eat away at your time.
Lack of Best Practice Sharing
If everyone is learning on their own, what chances are there of bringing everyone to “one version of the truth”? It’s vital you focus on formalizing social selling in a process that incorporates your social media policies and company culture.
Having reps act alone in silos will ultimately drive a wedge in sharing best practices. You’ll end up with a system where knowledge isn’t being transferred effectively and some reps are learning more than others.
Loss of Productivity
Remember, your sales reps are in the business of building pipeline, revenue and managing customers. Social has been proven to help with this and reps are starting to learn about it. This presents unique challenges and opportunities to you in sales enablement.
As you looked for new tools, sales processes, playbooks, etc. did you have sales focus on these or did you take the reins to drive mass-scale adoption across the company? The same philosophy is something you should have for social selling.
Keep sales focused and formally enable their social selling efforts to achieve maximum productivity.
The Bottom Line
As you learn and research social selling, keep these risks in mind. Keep sales focused on what they do best while you find/build a world-class curriculum. The overall results of deploying a formal social selling program should be to bring everyone together to collectively drive results.
While it may seem tempting to have sales learn social selling on their own, the best organizations in the world are implementing formal programs that take into account the overall customer experience while driving net new pipeline and revenue.
Are there any other issues you’re having with social selling as you look for solutions? Leave a comment or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter. If you have any questions, you can schedule a call with me here.
Amar Sheth is a sales and marketing professional with a deep passion for social selling. Inspired by the raw and collaborative spirit of social business, Amar focuses on helping bridge the gap between social business goals and execution. He is a Principal at Sales for Life, a firm focused on pushing the boundaries of social in the B2B sales landscape. When not on social media, Amar enjoys traveling the world and volunteering for causes that inspire him.