How to Write a Social Selling SLA

How much do sales organizations dislike marketing organizations and vice versa? Short answer: A lot. Of the terms that sales and marketing use to describe each other, 87% of them are negative.

If your social selling program is going to take off, sales and marketing organizations need to set aside their differences. Social selling programs need alignment between marketing and sales teams.

To facilitate an agreement, consider drafting a sevice level agreement (SLA) between the two teams. Through an SLA, you’ll be able to set clear expectations for your teams.

What Is an SLA?

An SLA is an agreement between two parties. It establishes clear expectations about what services will be rendered between the parties. Perhaps you’ve seen an SLA from a technology vendor. In that document, the vendor typically sets expectations about uptime and customer service response times.

But SLAs aren’t solely for tech providers anymore. More and more marketing and sales organizations are adopting SLAs. Typically, these SLAs focus on the number of leads marketing will provide, definitions of an MQL, and how sales will follow up on MQLs.

Below, you’ll find a slightly different species of SLA. Instead of focusing on lead quantity and definitions, this SLA will focus on the sales team’s efforts on social media. Specifically, we’ll look at the four key sections you should include in your social selling service level agreement.


Before you launch a social selling program, you need to agree on the goals of the program. Why are you encouraging your sales team to be on social media? What do you hope to accomplish?

Putting your goals and objectives in writing will not only provide clarity for the rest of the SLA. These goals will act as guardrails, ensuring that both sales and marketing stay on track as they work together.

Not sure what your goals are? Here are a few ideas:

1. Prospecting – Identify new prospects and break the ice with them. When many people discuss social selling, they’re thinking in terms of prospecting.

2. Nurturing prospects already in your CRM – Chances are good that your marketing team has an e-mail nurturing program for prospects. But perhaps your company wants a more personalized touchpoint on social media. Perhaps you want salespeople to share content with their sales qualified leads on LinkedIn and Twitter.

3. Staying in contact with current customers – 80% of your future revenue will come from 20% of your existing customers (Gartner). It wouldn’t hurt to stay in touch with them, would it?


With social selling, there are many moving parts. Keeping track of who’s in charge can be tricky. So, use the agreement to name your primary stakeholders. You may want to flag the following roles:

  1. Your executive sponsor
  2. Your program manager from sales
  3. Your program manager from marketing
  4. Your content creators
  5. Your content curators
  6. Your trainers

To facilitate communication, indicate how and when salespeople should contact each stakeholder. For example, you don’t want your your account executives e-mailing your executive sponsor, asking for Twitter best practices.

The Responsibilities of Marketing

In most businesses, the marketing team will have two main responsibilities:

  1. Provide content and sample messaging to the sales team
  2. Provide training on social media

Given those responsibilities, marketing’s side of your SLA should include items like these:

The Responsibilities of Sales

Your marketing team plays a supporting role in social selling. Your salespeople are the ones who have to carry out the tactics, and they bear the bulk of the responsibilities.

Here are a few examples of agreements that your sales team could fulfill:

Final Thoughts

Above, we’ve outlined the four sections that every social selling SLA should include. Keep in mind that the content of those sections will vary from company to company. Using your company’s social selling goals, adjust the examples above.

As your program matures and grows, don’t forget to revisit this SLA. You may have to adjust it on a monthly or quarterly basis.

And finally, whatever you do, make sure that you communicate and celebrate your company’s achievements – both on the sales and marketing side of things.

Good luck!


Want to Learn More about Creating a Social Selling Strategy?

Take a few minutes to check out our workbook. It will help you successfully launch your social selling program.

Leave a Reply