Suppose you and a friend are planning a large party. There are quite a few decisions to make – about food, drinks, music, decorations, and so on. You might need to borrow some chairs or rearrange the furniture.
To put it in business terms, your planning involves working toward an outcome – in this case, a great party, where the guests are happy and everything feels right.
Now imagine that you and a colleague are in charge of your organization’s approach to social selling. Are your salespeople happy? Does everything feel right? Too often, there are disconnected point solutions in place that may be blocking the outcome you intended.
It’s a common scenario: an occasional social marketing campaign with no follow-through, an optional LinkedIn training event for the sales team, and no integration of the social dimension with your sales process and methodology.
A lot depends on how sales leadership understands social selling: Is it a side dish, or a nutrient-dense main dish? Is there enough potential to make it worth the effort to change behaviors and make it part of your sales culture and your marketing culture?
According to the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, only 20.7 percent of global study participants reported having their social selling strategies aligned with marketing’s social strategies.
In other words, four-fifths of the study respondents say they don’t see their marketing and sales functions working together toward a shared goal of boosting sales through social. And that needs to change.
Social offers tremendous potential for sharing our brand messages and engaging with customers. When sales and marketing agree on the purpose, and partner in the planning, and go to the party together, everyone will be happy with the results.