What’s Marketing Got to Do with Social Selling?

In the words of Tina Turner, “What’s marketing got to do, got to do with it? Who needs a marketer when a marketer can be broken?”

Errrm, that last line didn’t quite work out the way we wanted it to. Though, it does capture the sentiment that some sales leaders feel. How many times have you heard the following line? It’s “social selling” – not “social marketing.” Why should marketing be involved?

True, sales reps will be the primary practitioners of social selling. Nevertheless, marketers can and should provide critical support for social selling programs. Let’s take a look at what marketing’s got to do with it.

Before marketers offer a helping hand, they need to understand the differences between B2B social selling and social media marketing. While some tactics will cross over, others will not. Social selling, after all, is much more personal. Its goal is to connect with people, to foster personal relationships with them, and to add value – with the end goal of having sales conversations offline.

The industry analysts have written a lot about social selling, and one message comes across loud and clear: Sales teams need the support of their marketing teams. Forrester specifically prescribes:

“Marketers need to team with their sales counterparts to implement a balanced program that will provide the sales organization with realistic guardrails and quality content, while allowing them the flexibility to engage on social channels in a way that is most relevant to their professional networks.”

Read more tips in this blog post.

The customer’s digital experience is at the core of today’s B2B marketing organization. In a short period of time, content marketing, social media marketing, and marketing automation have gone from “nice-to-haves” to “must-haves” and from “must-haves” to “givens.”

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for today’s sales organizations. By and large, sales teams remain digitally immature. Compared to their marketing counterparts, salespeople have not embraced the modern customer’s experience, and that has profound ramifications for businesses. This post takes a closer look at what’s happening.

Jill Rowley tugs at the same thread, but from a slightly different angle. She highlights that sales teams aren’t part of the digital transformation conversation, and part of the problem stems from sales teams’ unwavering mindsets. The old way of selling was grounded in this thought: we want to SELL something. And that’s where many sales teams are stuck. But nowadays, there’s a new way of selling: we will show you exactly why, when, and how it benefits you to make a purchase.

Read more of Jill’s thoughts on LinkedIn.

Nearly 80% of companies have not aligned their social selling strategies with their marketing’s social strategies. And that’s having negative repercussions on social selling programs.

In today’s complex buying environment, where large buying committees struggle to arrive at a consensus, building deeper relationships with customers is necessary. That’s why it’s more important than ever for sales and marketing teams to work together. This post discusses how the two departments can align their strategies along three poles: the customer, content, and messaging.

Launching a social selling program requires change management. In part, that means engaging stakeholders across departments, especially marketing.

If you’re launching a social selling program for the first time, this blog post is a must-read. It walks you through eight of the essential pillars for launching a new program and entrenching a change in behavior with your sales reps and employees.

Want to Learn More about Social Selling?

Check out the Executive Guide to Social Selling.

Posted byMark Bajus

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