Are You Using the Right Tool for the Job?

We don’t scrub our cars with toothbrushes, nor do we stir our coffee with shovels. The same should be said of sales teams.

Sales teams have many tools at their disposal. Yet often times, they find themselves choosing the wrong one for the task at hand. This is especially true for social sellers. We continue to hear about sales teams that adopt the wrong technology for social selling, only to have lackluster results. Let’s take a look at where those sales teams go wrong.

They Adopt a Social Media Management Tool

No doubt, social media marketing tools provide great value to marketing organizations. But the reality is that they fall short for sales teams. In our experience, companies that give social media marketing tools to sales reps often experience low adoption rates. (Some as low as 0%!)

From a functional level, social media marketing tools make life difficult for sales representatives. Though powerful, these tools were built for marketers–not for sales enablement and sales teams.

What do I mean by that? Social marketing tools often put the onus on sales people to find content, copy and paste links into the tool, and then share posts. They don’t have a complete workflow that enables content and messaging to flow freely between marketing and sales.

By contrast, a good social selling platform is built to align sales and marketing. It allows marketers and sales enablement teams to build a content library, to write sample messages, to split sales teams according to verticals and regions, and to track results.

They Adopt a Generic Employee Advocacy Tool

If you dig into the design and capabilities, you’ll find that employee advocacy tools are great for increasing awareness and generating leads. With an advocacy tool, marketers can select content for their employees to share and build a content library of pre-approved assets. In turn, advocates can sign in and share content to their followers.

There’s no doubt that sales reps can benefit from a tool that allows them to receive pre-approved content from their marketing teams. But for sales reps, this is not enough. They need a tool that is built for account and pipeline management.

For example, a true social selling tool gives reps more control over their social selling process. Instead of just accepting content from marketing, sales reps can use their platform to research their key accounts – both around the web and on social media. What’s more, a good social selling tool will have integrations with common CRMs, a crucial piece that many advocacy platforms overlook.

They Only Adopt LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator might be part of your social selling program, but many sellers find that LinkedIn’s platform is not enough. When a seller is looking for buyers, Sales Navigator provides an excellent toolset for the initial stages of a buyer-seller relationship. It allows reps the opportunity to find, research, and connect with prospects and customers. But it has its limits when it comes to maintaining those relationships.

1. Sales Navigator Is Limited to LinkedIn

Social selling is about building relationships on the channels your customers use. Sure, many customers might have LinkedIn accounts. But they also might be on Twitter or Facebook. In fact, they might be more active on those networks. By limiting your social selling technology to LinkedIn, you’re limiting your customer-seller relationships.

2. There’s No Easy Way to Deliver Content to Your Sales Team

In the digital age, content is the bond that holds together many of our professional relationships. We send colleagues memes and infographics that make us think of them. We spark conversations by posting articles on social networks. We help our customers stay informed by sharing the latest industry research.

But where does that content come from?

Sales reps should not have to spend their days looking for content. A good social selling platform will include a content workflow. That way, marketing can easily surface the best content for sales and provide sample messaging for reps to use. Sales reps in turn can access that content from anywhere, on any device, and share it with the click of a button.

Unfortunately, Sales Navigator lacks compelling content features, leaving sales reps to dig through emails and shared drives to find relevant content to curate.

3. Analytics and Reporting Are Limited

Sales Navigator’s key metric is the Social Selling Index (SSI). It measures a rep’s professional brand, how many senior decision makers she has connected with, and whether she engages those decision makers with insights.

Many sales leaders have run into problems with the SSI. For starters, the Index measures activity on LinkedIn alone – not on other networks. Plus, the SSI lacks flexibility. It doesn’t enable sales leaders to decide what’s important. For example, the Index measures how many connections a sales rep has. However, in the digital age, the number of connections isn’t as important as the depth of those connections.

Bottom Line: Use the Right Tool for the Job

There’s nothing wrong with an employee advocacy tool or a social media marketing tool – if you’re running an employee advocacy program or in charge of social media marketing for your company. To effectively run a social selling program, you need a social selling platform – one that runs across multiple networks.

Want to learn more about social selling? Check out this resource:

Leave a Reply