If you're training a sales team, it isn’t enough to give them the skills to drive sales.. You also need to equip them with the right tools to get in the door in the first place.
Social media is one such tool. It allows sellers to connect with buyer in a totally unique way, offering the personal touch of outside sales at scale.
Customers might not get the face-to-face interaction they want, but they see behind-the-scenes content on how companies operate.
As social media continues to entrench itself in business, we thought we’d try and do two things:
- Understand how reps should be using social media
- Understand sales enabler’s role in facilitating social media sales training.
So let’s peek under the hood of social media sales training.
What Is Social Selling?
First off, what is social selling?
Social selling is a strategy that uses social media platforms to foster relationships with customers and drive sales.
And odds are, you’re probably already doing it. You’re social selling if:
- Your sales reps use social media to interact directly with customers
- You use LinkedIn in-mail messages to connect with prospects
- Your marketing team creates organic buzz around your company on social networks
There are two specific things to call out here.
First, social selling is really the transition of existing sales tactics to a new channel. It’s just another opportunity to share relevant content, answer questions, and help prospects navigate the selling process.
Second, there is some nuance to it. Not only does social selling sometimes happen in a public forum, but the tone and engagement pattern is unique. That’s where social media sales training comes in for enablers.
Social media sales training
Sales enablement teams driving social media sales training should focus on four key areas:
- How to use each platform
- How to present a unified social media brand for the company
- How individuals can create their own brand within the company
- What content to share and when to share it.
Let’s dig into more detail here.
1. How to use each social platform
First, accept that your reps won’t be on every platform. Marketing often wants everyone, everywhere, but the reality is that’s not going to happen.
Rather, focus on one or two platforms where your reps can make a big impact.
If you’re a B2B company, one of these will undoubtedly be LinkedIn. For B2C, it might be Facebook. For visual brands, it might be Instagram (SoulCycle, for instance, does a great job of leveraging instructors – more on this later).
The goal here is to pick the one or two platforms where your reps can have a big impact with minimal work.
2. Present a unified strategy for the company
Your reps social media (especially on LinkedIn) reflect your company overall. Therefore, it’s important for enablers running social media sales training to include best practices on how to engage. This exercise should be completed in tandem with marketing, so that the company brand is reflected in the individual posts.
An easy way to do this is to commission headshots for your company. It gives every rep a great headshot (which is handy to have) and means your team looks like a cohesive team.
Remember though: personal social media pages are just that: personal. Anything the company asks for (e.g. uploading a specific profile picture) is just that – an ask. Employees have every right to say no, so tread carefully on how you ask for a branded experience across your reps.
3. How individuals can create their own brand within the company
Social media is like anything else: it’s a skill.
If you expect your reps to “know” how to do it intuitively, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
And if you’re planning them automatically knowing “because they’re millenials” think again – while that might be a boost, there’s still a wide gulf in social media savvy.
So as enablers, we need to actively encourage reps to engage their own way in our social media sales training.
This means teaching reps:
- How to find content that’s on-brand for the organization
- How to find and share your own company’s content
- How to reach out and engage with prospects in an organic, helpful way.
A lot of this training will dovetail with existing enablement programs, so if you’re using a sales enablement software platform, you can probably clone and tweak.
(psst! If your tool doesn’t do this, come talk to us).
4. What content to share and when to share it
The final piece of your social media sales training should focus on content. And this is a two part problem.
First, you need to work with marketing to get content that’s ready to be shared on social media. This should be a combination of your own stuff as well as relevant news, articles, and reports from around the internet. Odds are, marketing is already curating this stuff internally, it’s just a matter of sharing it with your reps.
The second part of this social media sales training puzzle is to get your sales reps to create snackable, snappy posts around that content.
Part of this is getting marketing to turn longer content like blog posts into social media posts, and provide a range of content materials to post and share.
The other part is actually training you reps on social media best practices. This might include:
- Where, when, and how to use hashtags on each platform
- How each comment and post displays on each platform
- What content’s expected and appropriate for each platform.
Social media sales training wrap up
Social sales enablement allows your sales reps to work smarter and be more effective in today’s sales climate. With customers constantly on social media it is well worth it to make the most of those connections to boost sales.
Social media sales training, combined with sales enablement platforms for your reps, gives you an incredibly effective tool to drive rep engagement.
And, like any tool, it’s a lot more powerful if you know how to use it.