Social Selling in Action: Q&A with Eloqua’s Top Salesperson (Part 3 of 5)


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This is the third of a five-part blog series based on the SalesGuru Community Event “Social Selling in Action: Best Practices from Eloqua’s Top Salesperson“. Special thanks to DocuSign for sponsoring the community and this event. Catch up on part one here and part two here.

Part three of this series focuses on getting the most out of social media and how to get sales management on board.

You really need your sales managers to be on board with social networking as a marketing and sales strategy. You’ve been successful in doing this in part because Eloqua gets it and is supportive of it and your results have clearly proven that. Do you have any advice for people who want to take this approach to management to advocate focusing more of their time on these kinds of activities?

Absolutely! There is a tremendous amount of research available to convince managers that this is the right approach. Corporate Executive Board comes to mind and they have some incredible research that can help support the business case of selling this concept to the Executive. Read The Challenger Sale, it’s an incredible book and could provide some support to sell this to management.

There are articles on Harvard Business Review, there are articles in the Wall Street Journal, on Forbes if that’s the kind of content the Executive consumes about social proximity and social selling and about salespeople needing to be thought leaders, needing to be trusted advisors and how do they become that. And what are the channels that are the appropriate channels to make the investment in.

It’s also important that social isn’t just for sales – it’s about building community.

The idea is to be your authentic self, be active in the social channels where your buyers are. Be where your buyers are, be there when your buyers are there, listen first in the social context and then contribute to the conversation.

Think about amplification; think about amplifying the message of your buyers so that you’re connecting with them.

It definitely makes sense, since sales is still about relationships. I think your point about using these channels and strategies online or offline no matter where you are to build and facilitate relationships is important. And it’s not all about business and it’s not all about white papers and not all about what you’re selling or even what’s happening in a business environment, when you can connect with someone about college football or your families or about something else.

It helps to facilitate and in many cases accelerate the relationship you have. Even in B2B, where it’s not really just business to business. Someone in the business might write the check but it’s an individual who makes the decision. An individual is human and they have emotions, they have interests and they like college football and have a family, in addition to needing to solve problems between 9 and 5.

So I think these strategies you’re talking about can facilitate and can include any number of different topics once you know what that person cares about.

Exactly, and the way you can find out what they care about is via the web. Google someone, visit their LinkedIn profile, check out their tweet activity or read their blog.

When I send an invite to connect with someone on LinkedIn I make it personal. One example, there was one person I wanted to connect with and he used the term mathemetologist in his profile to describe himself. So a unique term and when I invited him to connect on LinkedIn, I complimented the mathemetologist term.

So you have to make it personal and relevant and you need to stand out. And it can’t be about me. I can’t connect with someone on LinkedIn for Jill Rowley to sell them Eloqua. I need to connect with them on LinkedIn to relate from usually a business opportunity. And so maybe it’s referencing a group that we’re co-members of. I’ve leveraged my University of Virginia Alumni Network Group extensively to connect with folks.

So this has to be very, very personal and very relevant. You cannot use these channels to spam people. There is nothing more annoying than getting a LinkedIn invite to connect with someone who says we’re friends and I don’t know who the heck they are. That’s lazy and it’s bad and it gives salespeople a bad name!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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