I know there is a very tiresome debate going on about cold calling vs. social selling or inbound vs outbound. Saying that connecting with 5 people a day out of 300 dials is great and better than nothing. As I stated before all systems work but if you are making 300 dials a day like its 1995 and not using social or inbounds methods, than you are going to need a reality check if you are in sales. I am here for the marathon not the sprint.
Most salespeople just don’t understand social selling. They go into it thinking only about likes, comments, shares, inmails and sales are not falling into their lap. When that does not happen, they either give up or say it is not effective to build a pipeline. The problem is, just like cold calling is strategic so is social selling. You have to be strategic, targeted, savvy, and learn all about proper timing.
Another misconception is how the phone works with social selling and people not knowing how to integrate the two or just separating the two. How about if someone views your profile you pick up the phone and call them? You can lead score by viewing companies who view or click on your articles and posts just like you do with email demand generation scoring. You score the lead and pick up the phone and you call them and start the engagement. How about that? Too many SDR’s are graded on dials per day, appointments per week, and discovery calls per week. Thinking about meetings per week instead of actual targeted potential opportunities that turn into REVENUE is the mistake. Why not slow things down? In actuality, if you schedule 6 appointments per week there is a good chance that 0 turn into revenue after those meetings. So why not focus on finding the 1 or 2 that do? If you build a list of those types of prospects, in time you will be closing multiple and large number deals every month and quarter. There are no shortcuts in sales.
There is no harm in slowing things down and thinking realistically and strategically. Again, this is a marathon not a sprint. Being strategic on social and properly integrating the phone and email is the proper way to be effective. That is why inbound and nurturing methodologies work so well with social selling. In reality, it will take 6 months to a year to close a new opportunity by outbound, so no need to accelerate the process with dials or meetings per week. Nobody will move forward with a 50K plus deal after 1 meeting and having to go through 3 tiers of purchasing to move forward. Most likely at that point they will be interested but not ready to move forward as a company. So again, slow things down and be strategic. Sales reps naturally drive towards the numbers game and want to psychologically feel better that they accomplished 5-6 meetings per week even though in the end they are not as qualified as originally thought and are back to square one. Which is a bad feeling.
There is also always the question “what about prospects that are not active on social?” If someone is not active on social but are a good target for your company, you put your outbound hat on and dial or send your personalized cold email. If a prospect doesn’t accept your personalized request to connect, you pick up the phone and you dial or send the cold email. Social selling takes time to learn because it is not straight forward as cold calling or cold emailing, which is why so many people use particular outbound ways and ask why there social selling efforts are not working.
Another reason why salespeople don’t understand social selling is because it takes marketing knowledge to be effective and most salespeople are not natural marketers. You have to create posts that lead to landing pages, you have to understand nurturing, and you have to really understand potential sales qualified opportunities. Most salespeople are not focused on that but rather meetings, demos, face-to-face meetings, webex meetings, follow ups, and more. Scoring leads from there connections on Linkedin is not something on their radar. But as said before, the lines of sales and marketing are blurring every day. Salespeople must learn how to market themselves on social platforms and learn the basics of marketing.
So as people start debating how social selling doesn’t work or how cold calling is alive or what can you do about likes and shares, they should really do tons of research and learn how it can help with pipeline growth. As we go further into the future, no pundits can stop digital selling from evolving and becoming the norm. As technology changes so will selling. All it takes is for that lightbulb to go off, and people you never thought would buy from you end up becoming your customer.
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