Social Selling

What You Don’t Know About Social Selling Can Kill Your Career #df13

Christopher Tuttle

Killer Bee

What’s your social selling IQ?

Social selling has been a buzzword for years, but many sales pros still struggle to understand what it is, why they should care, and how they can use it to close more deals.

Even though the reps who master it prosper, most organizations haven’t educated their sales teams or created scalable processes. As it gets harder to reach busy buyers, sales pros must adapt to new buying behaviors or risk falling further behind.

A panel of esteemed experts will provide practical social selling tips at the popular salesforce.com conference, Dreamforce 2013.

In the highly anticipated session, “Cracking the Code on Social Selling,” you’ll get actionable advice from the following thought leaders:

  • Ralf VonSosen, LinkedIn

  • Mark Synek, Sales Benchmark Index

  • MariAnne Vanella, The Vanella Group

  • Seema Kumar, salesforce.com

  • David Rogers, Pandora

Here’s a quick preview of what you’ll learn in this session.

Mark Synek explains how the buyer’s journey has changed

Mark SynekMark Synek, principal at Sales Benchmark Index, says a sizable portion of business leaders still don’t believe their buyers conduct the majority of their buying journeys on their own. So, one of his goals is to educate executives.

Synek will share compelling data from Google and the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals that highlights the importance of social.

He advocates a three-step approach for using LinkedIn:

1. Profiles: Your profile must match the buyer’s journey and map to the problems buyers are trying to solve.

2. Reach: Determine how many of your ideal buyers you already have in your network. Identify additional allies and proactively connect with them.

3. Referrals: Scour your second-degree connections for profiles who look like good prospects. Ask your first-degree connections who are already connected to your potential prospects for introductions (but only after you’ve earned the right to ask).

LinkedIn shows you how to get the most from its platform

Ralf VonSosenRalf VonSosen, LinkedIn’s head of marketing for sales solutions, has seen large enterprise companies successfully implement social selling strategies. He’ll lay out a proven framework that you can use in your own organization.

VonSosen will cover:

1. How to find the right people to talk to.
2. What to talk about.
3. How to use your connections strategically.
4. How to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

MariAnne Vanella shares steps you can take right now

MariAnne VanellaMariAnne Vanella, founder and CEO of The Vanella Group, knows that many organizations have yet to implement standardized social selling processes. She doesn’t want you to get lost in the weeds or become disillusioned by following bad advice.

Vanella will discuss how to use social selling tools to do pre-call research and maintain lasting business relationships.

She often tells sales reps, “You might not research your prospects, but you can be pretty sure they research you. So, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.”

Vanella says it’s crucial to prepare for meetings, so you’re not asking questions about publicly available information. That alienates your prospects and wastes time you could spend talking about more important topics that actually move the sale forward.

If your sales team doesn’t have a process in place, your reps might waste a lot of time doing the wrong things.

Catch this session at Dreamforce 2013

Cracking the Code on Social Selling-How Salesforce + Data.com + LinkedIn = Club

Monday, Nov. 18: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena – Salon 9

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Image credit: Marcelo César Augusto Romeo