This blog series explores key tactics and strategies for implementing social selling by empowering sales teams to start using social media and reap the benefits. Let's start with the most obvious and widely used social network for social sales, LinkedIn. In order to ensure successful implementation of social selling, sales operations and management must work with marketing to ensure consistent and proper use of each platform. Here are 5 implementation tips to ensure LinkedIn success:
Step 1: Have each member of the sales team create a LinkedIn and Twitter profile. This includes having a professionally done photograph. Ensure that every rep’s profile is 100% completed. Marketing should give some guidelines on language used.
Step 2: Connect with everyone in your company. This will allow each rep access to the rest of the organization’s network and increase the number of 2nd and 3rd degree connections. Having these are crucial not only for network growth but also getting referred or introduced through trusted sources in your company.
Step 3: Join atleast 15 LinkedIn groups - if you do this correctly you can add thousands to your network. Groups allow you to send messages to those who aren’t your 1st degree connections, and allow you to join in the conversation with your prospects. I share Mike Ellsworth's view on following the 4-to-1 rule: Comment on four posts for every post that you write. Give — invest — in the relationship before you ask for anything:
• 5 networking groups (the executive suite)
• 5 general groups
• 5 specific specialized groups
Step 4: If you have less than 10 LinkedIn recommendations you're selling short. Ask your past and current colleagues, customers, or vendors to recommend you. Potential partners or prospects are likely to check out your profile when considering doing business with you.
Step 5: Interact more than once a day through your activity stream. Most of your home page is taken up with updates from your connections. Use one or more of these methods to connect:
• Send a message — When your connections make new connections or take several actions on LinkedIn, this information shows up in your activity feed.
• Favorite — Posts from other social media sites often enable you to favorite the posts. For Twitter posts, you can retweet or reply as well.
• Like — Changes in status and other actions enable you to Like the post.