Part three of a five-part series

My last post talked about how Social Media Policy is necessary, but doesn’t lift sales performance.

In today’s post, I’ll cover the stage in the Social Selling journey when sales teams start to see real productivity gains: Training.

Having established a marketing, legal, and compliance foundation, companies are now in a position to empower their sales teams with broad-based social selling initiatives.

At this stage, these initiatives take the form of training. Whether delivered via e-learning or classroom, outsourced or internally staffed, these trainings educate sales teams on the basics of selling with social. Curriculum covers selling techniques like personal branding, etiquette for making new contacts, social prospecting, and content sharing, as well as compliance policy around topics like endorsements, client confidentiality, and intellectual property.

Social selling increases noticeably with this stage of the SSMM. Once limited to early adopter reps who naturally embrace new technologies, social selling awareness is spreading across the full team. Leadership signals a desire, perhaps even an expectation, that salespeople use social networks to sell. Marketing supports the effort by supplying Sales with vetted, approved content to post and share online.

ROI perspective: PeopleLinx survey data indicates that formal training programs expand social selling participation from 20-25% to 70-75%. Sales professionals whose companies offer formal training report greater than 2x the influence on revenue generation as compared with peers whose companies do not offer training. These forces combine to generate a 7-8% productivity improvement at this stage of social selling maturity.

Frequency: We estimate that at most 10% of B2B sales organizations are at the Training stage of social selling maturity.

Next Installment: Stage 4 – Process Integration.

You can download the full Social Selling Maturity Model from our website.