8 Key Roles for Your Social Selling Program
Most sales teams have to generate 85% of their own leads.
That’s a lot of leads. Talk about putting pressure on your salespeople. To help generate and nurture leads, sales leaders are launching social selling programs.
If you’re thinking about using social media for sales prospecting and pipeline generation, take some time to think about the composition of your social sales team. The composition of your team can make or break your program.
Below, you’ll find a list of eight key roles that you will need for social selling success. As you look at the key players, consider your team members’ skills and map them to the functions below. Keep in mind that some people may play more than one role.
You need someone on the executive team to buy into social media and the modern sales process. Why? It legitimizes your project, and it communicates to your sales team that they need to take your program seriously.
The executive needs to be vocal about his or her support of your goals and objectives. To give your executive sponsor confidence, you need to brief him or her on your team’s endeavors and results. And in an ideal situation, the executive sponsor should provide guidance on the project.
If you’re looking to speak with the executive team about using social media for sales, you should check out our list of common objections – with tips on overcoming them and getting the executive buy-in you need.
Internal Project Manager
Who’s going to oversee your program? Who’s going to create a project plan and a series of best practices for your team? Who’s going to give status reports to the executive team?
That’s what your project manager does.
The project manager will work with the vendor’s customer success team (see below) and will manage deliverables. The individual will also be in charge of communicating the vision of your program to your sales team, providing status reports, sharing best practices, scheduling team meetings, and managing risk, issue, and change during the program.
For example, let’s say that your sales team wants instruction on LinkedIn best practices. The project manager will coordinate with the marketing team and set up an instructional session with sales and marketing. Then, the project manager will ensure that the sales team applies the training insights to their own LinkedIn profiles and prospecting techniques.
For tips on recruiting project managers, check out this blog post.
If social selling is going to work at your company, you need content. Your salespeople need blog posts, white papers, infographics, and customer testimonials to share on social media.
Good content makes your salespeople look smart on social media, and more importantly, good content helps buyers identify their problems and solve them, ultimately leading to a purchasing decision.
Most likely, your marketing team has someone who creates content for early, mid, and late stage campaigns. It’s important that your sales team has a say in what gets created. Hold regular meetings with your marketing and sales team, and discuss the types of content that the sales organization needs for success.
Having content is one thing. Curating it is another.
You need someone who can write sample messages that accompany the white papers, blog posts, and infographics on social media.
This may be your content creator; it might be your social media manager. The role will shift from company to company.
Regardless of your company’s organizational structure, it often helps if you create a content library, where you can store key pieces of content and key messages.
Chances are good, though, that your marketing team is not able to create enough content to keep your sales team active on social media.
There’s no shame in that. The Aberdeen Group has found that 68% of marketers are unable to create enough content to satiate their audience. So, your curators need to discover additional third-party content that your salespeople can use.
Helpful tip: A good platform will make content discovery easy for you. Here’s a list of 15 questions to ask when evaluating social selling platforms.
These people have their finger on the social pulse. They spend part of their day listening to conversations on social media to see what buyers are discussing.
At times, the social listeners are looking for insights that will allow them improve their products. Let’s say that they read a product review that highlights ways your user interface could become more intuitive. The listeners can provide feedback to your product team.
At other times, the listeners are looking for opportunities to enter into a conversation with a potential buyer. Say, someone on social media is inquiring about alternatives to Microsoft Word, and your company happens to make word processing software. Perhaps one of your salespeople should strike up a conversation.
These are your sales team members. Your social sellers are responsible for being active on social media. They are responsible for being professional on social media. And they are responsible for identifying and nurturing prospects on social media.
They have a lot on their plate. And they need the support of the other key players on their team.
From marketing, your salespeople need access to key content and assets. From your analytics team, they need feedback on how they can improve their use of social media. And they need to be kept in the loop by your project manager. Your salespeople need to know how to leverage their sales platform for social media and how the tool fits into your overall sales strategy.
Here are a few resources to help your sales team understand how to use social media effectively:
Use these interview questions to recruit the right salespeople for your team.
Metrics and Analytics
Your analysts need to review metrics and analyze for success. They take their insights and provide them to the project manager so that they can improve their process.
Here are a few questions that your analysts can answer:
- Which salespeople are the most engaging on social media?
- Which salespeople are bringing in the most deals?
- Which types of content (e.g. infographics, blog posts, videos, etc.) are resonating the most with our audiences?
- On which social networks are the salespeople having the most success?
Vendor’s Customer Success Team
When thinking about organizational charts for our projects, we often focus solely on our internal teams. In so doing, we forget about our vendors.
That’s a shame because your vendor’s customer success managers are equally as important. They can either make for a very speedy implementation or for a very slow implementation.
Depending on your vendor, the customer success team might help with the following:
- Project planning
- Guidance for deployments
- Best practices
- Training your sales team
When evaluating platforms, make sure you find out more about your vendor’s customer success team. How hands-on will they be when it comes to launching your new program?
Are you ready?
What does your department look like? Do you have the roles needed to transform your sales team into a modern sales team that uses social media?
If you’re ready, we’d love to show you how Trapit can help. We’ll make social selling easy for you and your team.
Do you want help launching your social selling program?
Download our social selling workbook!