Digital Enablement may just be another term. I get it.
But the meaning we assign both digital enablement and digital selling need to be more strategic than terms and meanings previously given for social selling. This is so important because the meanings we assign determine how we look at and engage for use within our companies.
I define digital enablement creating vision and mission for using digital tools for our team members to communicate with those who they need and want to influence. This definiton provides space for using it for every person and department in an organization. It is very important because digital communication is and will be the most used communication medium in 2022 and forevermore.
In the early Internet 2.0 days, the term“social selling,” I believe, was hijacked by a lot of so-called social selling experts. They claimed, because they figured out how LinkedIn worked, that they could teach sales in a social setting.
It is like asking a person who can build a phone to train your team how to use that same phone to sell and close deals. Silly isn’t it?
But, for some reason this is what many companies did by hiring “LinkedIn Experts”. Then we discovered the tactics of sending messages, figuring out the right time and day to post and all the other non beneficial tactics didn’t produce results. Unfortunately, many teams came to the false conclusion, “we tried social selling but it didn’t work!”
For 2022 and our near future, I believe we need to focus on both Digital selling and digital enablement in order to equip and enable our teams to sell while they work-from-home. The omicron variant news is not looking good for January SKO’s or Spring conferences.
Here are 4 things your digital selling and digital enablement program needs to be successful.
1. Sales teams trained to use social as a channel to prospect. Not sell.
This is really a mindset shift. Starting with this simple shift is the key to successfully using social media for sales. It all starts with conversations. We need to meet our prospects and create an environment for a first conversation.
SDR success has been dropping for years now. That is because buyers don’t want to be sold. They don’t need to be introduced to another new solution that the seller believes will change their lives.
2. Sales professionals trained and enabled to create and share unique social content
It is not an option anymore. For sales professionals to be successful, they need to consistently create and share social content. But, marketing must resist the temptation to only equip sales professionals with brand content.
The social data clearly demonstrates that brand content is the lowest engaging and lowest performing social content. If the goal is to use content for sales professionals to start conversations with prospects, they need to use content that actually creates conversations. Brand content does not do it.
3. Sales emails coordinated with their social media content
Cold sales emails have increased a lot since the beginning of Covid. It seems that all companies had the same idea when WFH and remote work became the global norm. Most would send more emails and make more phone calls.
But, the results have not been that more equals better. However, our internal data shows emails when coordinated with social media content, can accelerate deals by 30%. Cold emails are easily ignored and deleted. In fact, Hubspot shares emails only have a 2.5% success rate which means 97.5% fail.
When emails are coordinated with original, unique social media content, sales professionals build a unique digital persona. Consistent, unique social media can help position them as a likable human and an industry thought leader at the same time. This is the key to generating more first meetings with ideal customers.
4. A team culture that promotes and equips sales professionals as micro influencers
This is a big one. There are a lot of reasons why companies choose to stay away from this one. Often it is based on fear. Fear of what sales professionals will share publicly. I don’t want to address this entire topic in this article, I have several others that do and I am sure I will write many more.
In a world where buyers have all control of their own buying journey, sales professionals need to be known in their industry as experts, information sharers and influential in the industry to win more deals. Buyers are much more likely to take calls, reply to emails and have a first conversation with a sales professional who they perceive as an industry influencer.
It is time to stop using excuses that sales reps don’t produce content. It is time to stop using excuses that sales professionals don’t have time for social media.
5. Use social KPI’s to make better sales system decisions
Sales are so competitive, it is time for sales teams to start using opportunities for success more than excuses for not enabling your team. In my opinion, there tends to be an excuse around social that teams can’t capture KPI data so they will not use sales professionals time for it. I do find this is more of an excuse than reality.
But, whether it is an excuse or a legit reason, now teams can capture social KPI data, automate recording it in CRM at the contact level and use social as a legitimate, data-driven communication medium. If you want to learn more, check out our FunnelAmplified Digital Prospecting & Selling platform.
If businesses want a huge competitive advantage over their competitors moving into 2022, they have to focus on digital enablement for digital selling. It is more than simple LinkedIn tactics. It is about a mindset shift in how the company perceives digital, social and their team members using digital and social as core communication channels.
Using digital is not about outbound messages alone. It is about using all digital mediums to establish relationship with large networks that lead to more sales conversations. The data is clear too. In one study, sales professionals who perform these types of sale actions were 90% more likely to meet or exceed quota and had an average deal size that was 300% larger than non digital sales professionals.
Curious to learn more or explore how digital selling can improve your business? I would be happy to discuss with you.