Social Selling, Millennials and What You Need to Know from Sales 2.0
2 May 2015

Social Selling, Millennials and What You Need to Know from Sales 2.0

Sales 2.0 was, as always, a great experience. Being in a room full of sales leaders is energizing, to say the least. I just can’t help but feel inspired.

The spark that Alice added as MC ignited the networking and took it to the next level. We made valuable connections there and know that those of you who attended did too.
Alice at Sales 2.0
We covered a lot of territory in 2 days including Big Data, Millennials (selling to, buying from and hiring) and sales processes, but I think the most transformational thing we talked about was social selling. It’s not new, but it’s coming to the forefront in a critical way.

If 84% of senior executives are on LinkedIn, and most Millennials are on multiple social platforms, then we need to be on social too. That was the consensus among the thought leaders at the conference.

While Millennials may not be the economic buyers in most cases, they are involved in the buying decisions, and according to Dustin Grosse, Chief Operating Officer, ClearSlide, if we want to win them over, we need to understand them. They are digital natives raised in a team learning environment and that shapes how they do things. They are comfortable with mobile devices, they are social, they merge personal and business, they expect the brands they are buying from to be on social media, and they seek information from peers using social. To reach them, we need to be where they are.

“Social is the new Country Club.” Millennials, don’t play golf.

Tiffani Bova, IMG_1371Vice President & Distinguished Analyst, Research, Gartner, really drove the social media argument home with the statement, “The most disruptive thing in the market today is not the technology, it is actually the customer.”

We may want to sell the traditional way, but buyers, particularly Millennials, are going through as much as 70% of their buying process before they ever talk to us. They want us, as sales people, to meet them where they are in the buying process. That means, when they are searching on Google, they expect us to be there. When they are searching on social, they expect us to be there. When they reach out to our organization, they expect a response that is appropriate for where they are in the buying process. According to Bova, we upset buyers by trying to take them back to the beginning as if they hadn’t already done the work. If you want to reach customers early in the buying cycle, you need to be posting where they are gathering information.

Hands down, the best presentation on social media was by Dave DiStefano, CRO of PeopleLinx. He made it simple for us. In order to win a sale, we have to do the same things we used to. We have to reach decision-makers earlier, build relationships by establishing credibility and delivering value, and influence the complex buying process with multiple agendas. We just have to do it differently. We need to include social media in your selling process. And, as Dave warned us, “You can’t do that with random acts of social.”

Dave says, “We need to look great, sound great and be great on social media.” We need professional profiles. We need to join and interact on discussion groups, use social to research the people we want to influence, and we need to do it all in a structured way. We need a strategy, we need to learn to use social tools, and we need to incorporate social into our selling processes.

Everyone agreed. To be successful, salespeople have to be on social media. It requires proficiency and consistency. The real problem, according to Dave is that only 26% of salespeople know how to use social media for sales.

If you are part of the 74% that doesn’t know how social selling works, we have a solution for you. You can start by watching this video on LinkedIn (Click Here). Sign up to receive weekly sales insights (click here). Start using social right now, and reach out to her on LinkedIn (click here).

Tip: Send her a connection message that includes that you are reaching out because you read this article.

Schedule a call with Alice, 775-852-5020 or answers@aliceheiman.com

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