First in a 10-part series.

Before you get too far down the road, engage Sales Leadership in your social selling program.

In many organizations–and your company may be one of them–the Marketing team is more social-savvy than the Sales team. They’ve been running the Facebook page, the Twitter handle, the LinkedIn posts, etc. They’ve been swimming in the social waters.

So it’s often the Marketing team who first gets the idea to run a social selling program and takes it to the Sales team.

If that describes you, you may be tempted to drive social selling on your own, with little more than a polite nod and a rubber-stamp from Sales Leadership. It will get you out of the blocks faster, and spare you the trouble of educating Sales leadership on why this is important.

Here’s some advice: Don’t take that short cut.

If you’re in Marketing or Digital Strategy, getting Sales Leadership on board is key to your success. Great Social selling initiatives are seen as a team-wide initiative. If the Sales team sees it as a Marketing or a Digital Strategy initiative they won’t take it seriously. You must get Sales leadership to talk the talk, and walk the walk.

  • Talk the talk: Be visibly supportive of the initiative. Communicate the value and encourage competition. Share success stories company-wide.
  • Walk the walk: Model the right behaviors for sales teams. Sales leaders are at the front of the line. Updating their profiles, sharing content, and building out their networks will show the way for the teams they lead.

Having trouble getting your Sales leadership to engage? Here’s a tactic that’s never let us down: give sales leaders “white glove” coaching to make sure they’re modeling the right social media behavior for their teams.

Deep down, most Sales leaders know that social is important. They’re embarrassed when their profiles aren’t up to snuff, or when their teams come to them with social selling questions they can’t answer. Give them the hands-on support they need in a high-touch environment that makes it easy.

Your sales leaders will thank you for the help. More important, they’ll get their teams to line up behind your social selling initiative!

Click here to download the full eBook “How to Mobilize Your Sales Team on Social.”