When will Social Selling Executive be a role in every sales organisation?

Take a look at the diagram. It illustrates The Chasm, an idea by Geoffrey A.Moore, on how early adopters take risks before the mass market, but reap the rewards.
As Mike Derezin, VP of Sales at LinkedIn Sales Solutions put it. ‘We are in the early majority stage of crossing the chasm. How are you going to take advantage of this moment in time?’
Where does your company sit on this diagram?

What is Social Selling?

 

If you’re wondering what Social Selling is, I imagine you’re definitely on the right side of the diagram, but let me briefly explain.
In a nutshell, Social Selling is lead generation using social media. It’s reaching customers where they hang out, on their preferred social platform, and using a variety of methods to engage them, educate them, build trust, provide value and ultimately, sell.
Mike Derezin again. ‘This approach is changing the face of sales for the better by improving the entire process for both the buyer and the seller.’

Why does it work?

Social Selling works because the internet has changed the relationship between the buyer and seller. Buyers are more informed and prefer to do their own research, rather than speak to a salesperson in the traditional sense. In fact, 70% of purchases are now completed before the buyer contacts a salesperson.
Social media offers salespeople the opportunity to become likeable influencers rather than sellers, coupled with the fact that it’s easy to target the right people. You can build strong relationships with your prospects by providing value.

How to do Social Selling well

I’m fanatical about Social Selling. Last year I was thrilled to be Number One on the LinkedIn Social Selling Index. You can read more about how I did it in this article. However, you may have noticed that this article is part of my Social Selling strategy. I’ve written an article which (hopefully) you’ll find interesting and educational. This article, combined with the others I’ve written should (hopefully again) make you think that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to sales. They help me build a relationship and build trust with my network. In a sales environment, when I have a solution to your problem, hopefully it puts me ahead of my competitors.
Anyway, enough about me. The Social Selling Index measures 4 components:
Creating a professional brandBuilding relationshipsFinding the right people (building a network around a sale rather than just engaging with one person)Engaging with insights
If you can perform well in these areas, you’ll be on the right track.

The answer

Back to the question in the title, when will every sales organisation employ a Social Selling Executive?
There will never be 100% adoption of Social Selling. In any industry there are laggards, people who are either too conservative, unwilling to take risks, or just think they know better.
Yet as trends amongst buyers continue, eventually these companies will lose. That’s how 100% adoption will be achieved.
Mike Derezin, in charge of Social Selling at LinkedIn, believes that we’re in the ‘early majority’ stage still. Social Selling adoption will hit the 50% mark around 2018 or 2019, and there will be further take-up in the years to come.
My advice is to nurture your Social Selling skills, and those of your team, because you’ll need it as buyers desert traditional salespeople. Train your salespeople to be social leaders. I will keep bringing you tips on how to do that, so make sure you follow me to stay updated.
Are you a Social Selling Executive, or something like it? Can you share any Social Selling successes? Leave us a comment down below.

About the Author

James Ski works for Linkedin and advises companies on recruitment, employer branding and how to achieve scalable, predictable sales growth.
If you would like to be first to read his published posts focused on sales confidence sign up to his blog here
You can also follow him on Linkedin or on Twitter @jamesas
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