How to Position Social Selling with Your Executive Team
At first, your executive team may not see the value of investing in social selling. Sometimes, you need to spell it out for them. To do so, you need to understand the executives’ priorities. Then, you can help them connect the dots and position social selling in a way that addresses their concerns.
Let’s get started with your company’s five main executives.
Head of Sales
Here’s what’s always on the mind of a sales leader:
- Hit or exceed quota
- Get an accurate sales forecast
- Make customers successful
- Create a repeatable sales process
- Beat competition
Here’s what a sales leader needs to know about social selling:
- Show how social selling is a way to beat your competition. By reaching out to buyers before they approach your company, your sales team can start shaping buyers’ attitudes early on, and in turn, your reps will win more deals.
- Remind sales leaders that buyers are deleting emails and ignoring phone calls. By using social networks, your sales teams will stand a fighting chance of engaging their buyers.
- Highlight the ways in which technology will help you standardize best practices across your sales team.
- Use the statistics and research reports available to you. Highlight the fact that buyers use social media when making purchasing decisions.
- Note that sales teams are more likely to attain their sales quota when they use social media.
Here’s what’s always on the mind of a CMO:
- Strengthen relationships with customers
- Build alignment with the sales department
- Measure and prove marketing ROI
- Protect brand equity
And here are a few tips for connecting the dots:
- Put social sales into context. Identify ways that the marketing team has evolved over years through marketing automation, content marketing, and other initiatives. Then, position social selling as a way of modernizing the sales organization.
- Discuss social selling as an opportunity to bring marketing and sales into better alignment. For example, the program will empower the salespeople to generate their own leads, reducing pressure on marketing.
- Assure the CMO that the company’s brand will be protected. Highlight your plans for social media training, and indicate that marketing can supply content and sample messages to the sales team. Sales reps won’t be on their own.
- Explain that social selling will not compete with marketing’s social media strategy. Social media marketing speaks to large segments of buyers, while social selling offers an opportunity for personalized 1:1 interactions.
- Emphasize the idea that social selling will amplify marketing’s efforts. Sales will rely on marketing’s content to build relationships and check in with customers. Without paying for advertising, more people will see your company’s marketing assets.
These are a few of a CEO’s many concerns:
- Grow revenue
- Attract and retain talent
- Innovate and out-execute the competition
- Enhance collaboration in the organization
How to position social selling:
- Contextualize social selling as the key to top line growth. Supply statistics about how social selling is connected to revenue, and position it as the future of the modern sales organization.
- Highlight how social selling will separate you from your competition. Show how your competitors are relying on the old sales playbook, and contrast your competitors’ efforts with your plan.
- Talk about the performance improvements that you’ll gain from knowing exactly which selling tactics are working and which content items are resonating with your buyers.
Helpful resources: The Connection between Social Selling and Revenue
Here are the chief concerns of a CFO:
- Manage expenses
- Contain risk
- Plan for the future
How to connect the dots for the CFO:
- Present your developed business case.
- Use benchmark statistics to project how social selling will affect revenue. Your CFO will understand if you have to use estimates. Simply note where you are using estimates.
Helpful resources: 5 Tips for Justifying Your Social Selling Budget
Here are the chief concerns of a CIO:
- Control costs
- Innovate and evolve infrastructure for the future
- Manage technology security
- Make investments that support the company’s goals
- Paint a picture of the future. Show how sales teams need software beyond the CRM. They need mobile and social media tools, as well.
- Get buy-in from your marketing team. CIOs are more willing to approve technology if several departments are interested in it.
- Indicate that an enterprise social selling platform is a three-in-one deal. By buying from one vendor, your team has a content discovery platform, a digital asset manager, and a social media tool.
- Answer any technical questions about security and integration by leveraging the knowledge of your preferred vendor.
Getting buy-in for social selling is not always easy. But if you understand your stakeholders’ concerns and position social sales accordingly, you have a good chance of convincing your executive team.
Want Help Pitching Social Selling to Your Company?
Pitching your executives on social selling doesn’t have to be a tall task. Use this slide deck to help you navigate the process.