“Social selling” is never a one-size-fits-all, turnkey proposition. Here’s a list of questions I put together for organizations who are thinking about creating or expanding a social selling program. By answering these questions—at least provisionally—an organization can create an action plan, line up people and tools, and start social selling at the scale that makes the most sense for them.
I. What’s Our Starting Point?
A. What results do we want to get?
1. Lead generation – new customers
2. Customer loyalty – current customer renewals, cross-selling
3. New/deeper relationships with Influencers – analysts, journalists, experts
4. Sales enablement – speeding up & amplifying sales rep effectiveness
B. Who will participate in our program?
1. Executives! (people prefer hearing from executives over branded channels)
2. Salespeople (outreach with content is more effective via social media, SMS, email)
3. Employees (e.g. engineers influence other engineer’s technology choices)
C. How are we going to accomplish this? (where do we need buy-in / resources / a footprint)
1. Marketing (examples: social media marketing team, ABM team, CMO, others)
2. Sales (example: sales leaders must obtain commitments from sales managers for active participation)
3. Sales Enablement / Sales Operations
4. HR / Internal Comms / PR
D. What does our current platform look like?
1. Existing social media programs / policies / tools
2. Existing internal content distribution mechanisms / tools (email, Slack, Sharepoint)
3. Existing sales content distribution tools (like Brainshark)
II. What will our Social Selling Platform look like?
A. How will we Curate Content?
• Offering up a brand-appropriate, audience-engaging mix of 1st party (company created) and 3rd party content is key
B. How will we Deliver Content?
• Adoption depends on getting the right content to the right people at the right time
C. How will we Measure results?
• Automate tracking of as many of these as possible: curation, content sharing, clicks, social engagement, and impact on pipeline/goals
D. How will we Assess results?
1. Who will examine what happened and what can be improved
2. How will curators get feedback about what content is being consumed and being engaged with
3. How will people who share content get coaching (feedback, attainable goals, success stories)
E. What’s the Roadmap for putting our Platform in place?
1. Identify/recruit internal stakeholders + vendors
2. Develop/refine/approve plan
3. Develop/deliver training to curators, people sharing content, managers/coaches
5. Iterate — What are results? Coach the coaches. Refine. Repeat.
Feel free to ping me if you want to discuss how your organization might create or expand social selling and executive participation in social media.