Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Social Selling: 3 Critical Questions Answered By the Pros

October 8, 2014

There are a lot more than three, but here are some of the top social selling concerns that today’s businesses are facing.

As I’ve said before on this blog, many of the core tenets of salesmanship have remained the same since there was stuff to sell and people to sell it.

Todd Martin 072313 image 1But the social relationships with customers that have been made possible by internet connections, combined with our ability to better distribute information about our products and services, challenge us find new ways to meet old needs.

A recent webinar co-hosted by HubSpot, LinkedIn, and Evernote caught my attention because of the three questions asked of the hosts at the end of the presentation. I have my own answers for them, which I’ll explain next week.

Here are the questions and excerpts of the answers provided by speakers Mark Roberge, chief revenue officer at HubSpot; Koka Sexton, senior social marketing manager at LinkedIn; and Josh Zerkel, user education specialist at Evernote.

My sales team doesn’t have the right materials to help my prospects solve their problems. What should I do?

Roberge: “There is no social selling without content.”

Zerkel: “When it comes to sales and marketing, I think it’s helpful to make sure there’s an open channel of communication so that collaboration can occur.”

Sexton: “I think context is something that’s often overlooked because where the buyer is within the sales cycle should determine what type of content you’re handing them, and ultimately how you’re delivering it to them.”

Our marketing team creates a lot of content each month, but the sales team never uses it. How can I solve this problem?

Zerkel: “Sales might not be aware where the tools are or it may be that they feel it’s too difficult to access them.” Or, “… the tools that marketing thinks are so awesome may not, in fact, be so awesome when it comes to real world deployment and social selling.”

Roberge: “It’s next to impossible, at this point, for those salespeople to know exactly the right content to follow up with — there’s just too much out there.” So HubSpot is experimenting with solutions like tagging content based on topic or persona, or having sales designate problems different personas are experiencing in its CRM.

How do you present yourself on social media in order to do social selling? How do you leverage your social presence as a salesperson?

Sexton: It’s about, “…how you use your online persona, building your reputation and becoming that brand that draws people in… If a salesperson is consistently posting great content about the industry, provided by the marketing team, it will be so much easier for that salesperson to build that personal brand and that social media credibility. That’s really what social selling is all about: Giving salespeople the tools they need to have genuine interactions on social media that help them in their sales processes.”

How would you answer these questions?

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