Achieving true sales transformation is a process that builds on many stages and demands consistent reinforcement. One of the most important components of a successful sales initiative is a plan to drive adoption.
Social media tools are often overlooked, but can be great assets to a sales leader who is looking to underline key concepts with a new sales initiative.
The tools provide an added way to connect and communicate with your entire team. Here are five ways you can use social media to help reinforce your sales initiative.
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1. LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are an often used tool for marketers who want to target their message to a specific group. Thanks to the group’s privacy settings, they can also be an effective way for you as a sales leader to communicate information regarding your own sales initiative. Our clients who take advantage of LinkedIn Groups leverage them to share:
Key reminders for team members
Motivation around key initiatives
Success stories from other reps
Groups are also an easy way for your salespeople to spark new discussions. Remember, change is difficult. With any new initiative, your salespeople are going to have questions and they’ll need feedback moving forward.
LinkedIn Groups are an effective way to provide a constant stream of information outside of traditional one-on-one feedback sessions.
Don’t let your initiative fall flat because your salespeople can’t get their questions answered. A LinkedIn group provides an easy way for sellers to ask questions and easily source suggestions and feedback not only from managers, but from the entire team.
2. Meet Them Where they Are
How many emails do you get on a daily basis? Most of us, no matter our seniority, have inboxes that are flooded with emails constantly reminding us of our to-do list. Wading through to find the most important information can be a tedious task.
Although, as a sales leader, your emails should always get the attention of your team, it’s easier said than done. Address this fundamental problem by borrowing a multi-faceted communication strategy.
When Nike launches a media campaign, they don’t only do it with one television ad. They do with a multi-media approach. You see their message in print, on social, on the web, with product placement, etc…
Why? Because to get attention, you need to meet people where they are.
You can use the same techniques with your sales team. It’s much easier to ensure that your important message is heard, if you communicate it through multiple channels.
If you have an engaged sales team, they’re likely checking Twitter, LinkedIn, even Facebook on a regular basis.
Use these channels to send out your own reminders, daily reinforcement tips, even success stories from your team. It’s an easy way to rise above the email noise and make sure your message is not only received, but absorbed.
3. Use Social Power to Share Success
Whether it’s internal enterprise social collaboration tools or traditional social media, there’s bottom-line impact in sharing information.
Aberdeen Group’s recent research shows best-in-class companies are 91% more likely to have active levels of engagement on social platforms. It’s clear that high-performing companies see the benefit of sharing information. Likewise, sharing success can be an effective motivator if you‘re in the middle of a new initiative.
Use social media to lift up salespeople or teams that are excelling at your new methodology. Front-line managers can use their own social networks to share best practices among their team, inspiring others to follow course.
Some of our clients use Twitter to promote salespeople who had a successful week executing on best practices. These tweets often elicit engagement from other team members, even higher-ups in the company who are happy to promote success.
When reps hear about the success others are having with new initiatives, it also creates healthy competition within your team.
4. Reinforce the Language
Reinforcement is critical to driving lasting change.
Consistently using the language of the methodology reinforces these new ideas. Using the concepts and calling out the new tools in meetings and email communication underpins the change in behaviors you’re trying to achieve.
Social media provides one more avenue to drive consistency and adoption.
5. Enable Your Team and Set the Precedent
As a sales leader you play a critical role in driving your new sales initiative. But, you can’t do it alone. True sales transformation demands a growth engine that churns from all angles of the organization. You need:
Cross-functional alignment to support and drive the initiative.
Front-line managers who are enabled to lead their teams to success.
Enthusiastic salespeople who are ready to command their new initiative.
Social media tools drive energy.
Enthusiasm for any new initiative is at its highest, immediately after training. Leverage that energy on social media early and keep it going.
When you set the precedent for using social media as a tool, your salespeople will follow. They’ll see it as a valuable resource to help each other, provide feedback and share in each other’s success.
It can take months, if not years, to achieve real change in a sales organization.
Any successful sales transformation initiative not only demands a focused and sustained effort, but a reasonable set of expectations. Remember, people learn best in small increments rather than in large chunks. Social media can be an effective tool to help you leverage the power of communication, motivate your team and reinforce new initiatives.
Rachel Clapp Miller is the Assistant Marketing Director at Force Management. Force Management specializes in sales transformations that help B2B sales organizations increase revenue, improve sales margins and gain market share. Follow them on Twitter: @ForceMGMT and on LinkedIn.