How to Train Your Sales Team
on Social Selling

Featuring social selling expert, Jamie Shanks.

 
  • Welcome everybody to another HubSpot Academy masterclass. I'm Kyle Jepson. I'm the Inbound sales professor here at HubSpot. We are going to get started in just about one minute. Going to give a little bit of time for the stragglers to join and then we'll be off and running.

    Once again, for those who have just joined I'm Kyle Jepson, the Inbound sales professor here at HubSpot Academy. We're going to get going with this masterclass called How to Train Your Sales Team on Social Selling. I'm joined today by Jamie Shanks who is the CEO and founder of Sales For Life, which is a company that drives measured results by training sales and marketing teams to transition from an analog to a digital sales world. Their social selling mastery certification has been battle tested by 300+ companies and 75,000 sales and marketing professionals. Jamie is also the author of a book called Social Selling Mastery, which I read recently. It's delightful and insightful. He's a regular guest on webinars all across the web. I'm very happy to have him here with us today. Jamie, thanks for joining us.

    Kyle, thank you so much. I feel like I should kind of pat myself on the back with that introduction. Thank you.

    It does sound pretty good. I'm happy to have you here with us. Just to get things running here, social selling is a hot topic on the web and in conference rooms around the world. Can you just start us off with the basic definition of what it is?

    Yeah, the basic definition of social selling is, and now you're going to see a Venn diagram that we're going to go through, it's about applying three sales processes that you're already using today: trigger-based selling, referral-based selling, and insights-based selling, except you’re mechanizing them in a digital way. Basically your buyer is going to learn with or without you and your buyer is already using digital to acquire knowledge and to make purchase decisions. Social selling is about meeting them along the journey and helping them along that journey to finalize and complete a sale. Social selling isn't social media. Social selling isn't also about closing the deal on LinkedIn. Social selling is about applying it into your day-to-day routine or cadence as part of your overall sales strategy.

    I love that, and the way you talk about helping people, it's a very human approach to sales, which is something the world needs a lot more of right now. The topic of today's discussion is How to Train Your Sales Team on Social Selling. What's the role of sales managers in all of this Jamie?

    Sales managers are the make or break, pretty simple. Half of the success or failure of any social selling roll out, whether it’s to five sales professionals or to 5,000, we’ve trained kind of both scenarios, the frontline sales managers are going to ensure accountability and adoption long-term. If the sales managers are not involved in managing and coaching towards the proper digital activities that the sales professionals should be doing, it's going to come to a grinding halt, because the sales professionals will just revert back to the natural sales [inaudible 00:03:22] that they've had before which most likely did not include digital.

    All right. If you want to jump into your slides. I know you have some pretty good visuals worked up for us here.

    Fantastic.

    Well, get into it.

    Perfect. Where I want to take this first is you're a frontline sales manager. Let's assume everybody on the call is either a sales leader, so you're a leader of leaders, or you are a leader of sales professionals. One of the first questions that always comes up is, “Okay, what do I do as a person to better serve either my leaders or better serve the sales professionals?” As I was just talking about before, the three pillars or the three sales principles to social selling are taking three elements of sales that you've already been doing your whole life. I'm going to give the analog and the digital examples.

    Trigger-based selling, an example of that is we all know inherently that a job change, so somebody leaving our existing customer base and migrating to a new company basically your advocate is a fantastic net new opportunity for your company. In an analog world you would hear through the grapevine that somebody has left their job and migrated onto a new business, or they might have called you, but in the digital world with tools like LinkedIn I can create an automatic alert that monitors every named account in our customer database and anytime somebody from the IT department or the finance department leaves that organization, it automatically triggers an email to me, the sales professional, that says, “Hey, one of your advocates, one of your previous buyers is now at a new company that is not in our CRM. Why don't you go after them?”

    Insights-based selling. I'll give you a prime example of insights-based selling. 25 years ago an incredible trainer named Jeff Hoffman out of Boston, a company called Basho, created a concept called why you, why you now. Basically what he would do is he would cut an article out of The Wall Street Journal and he would call the CEO or the decision-makers and say, “Listen, your CEO was just mentioned in The Wall Street Journal and it said that you needed to drop operational expenses by 13%.” That's the why you. The why you now is, “Because you needed to drop operational expenses, we happen to have an ERP software that monitors time and attendance of all your part-time workers and then on average saves 20%.” Now that's the analog world. In the digital world I can create videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars. Everything that we're doing today is a form of intellectual property or insights that you can share with a buyer, should they have questions or concerns or help them along a journey. I can share it in seconds, and I can measure the engagement of it.

    Last is referral-based selling. In the analog world, and listen, I did not invent referral-based selling. It’s been around as long as The Fuller Brush Man, but the reality is in the analog world it was a game of networking that you kind of saw in the movies. Well, that exact same game and networking is coming back full steam, except now I can go into Kyle's LinkedIn network and within a minute reverse-engineer every VP of sales that he knows around the world and ask Kyle for an introduction to the VP of sales at company ABC in Boston, all mechanized through digital tools that weren't available 5, 10 years ago. I hope that that kind of explained the elements within social selling.

    Once you understand that, you as a frontline sales leader or leader of leader need to use one of those three pillars to help support the sales team. Let's give an example. I’m a frontline sales manager. First thing I need to think about is I'm in the office, how can I better serve my sales professionals? One of them, I could be a connector. Let's give the example, let's pretend that Kyle on the phone here is a previous customer I have grown up within the organization. I was once a BDR. Then a field sales rep. I maybe helped manage the customer success team. Now I'm a frontline sales manager. I have all kinds of great connections. I have built relationships in our industry for the last 5, 10 years. As part of this process I could reverse-engineer my own network or the network of others within our organization and be a connector and pass leads to my own sales team. I go into LinkedIn. I break down the relationships of our existing customers, our active customers, our vendors, our partners, and I figure out ways of driving leads back to my sales force.

    Another example is insights. One of the best examples that I can give you is whether you use a free tool, this is a screenshot of a free tool called Feedly, or perhaps you use a premium tool, you could have all kinds of different premium content libraries. We use an employee advocacy tool called Everyone Social as an example. But my job as the leader is to read great content. I'm reading HubSpot’s blog on content marketing every single day, Harvard Business Review, Sastre, whatever is of interest to our buyer persona, and I send it to my team. I say, “Guys, here's part of your homework. Read this. Check this out. Digest this. Send this to your customer.”

    You in essence become a library for your own sales team because your sales professionals are so busy, dollars to donuts, most of them are neglecting the reading of all the micro and the macro details of your industry, so that's what you can do. You have more time to be able to curate great insights to say, “Here's where our market’s going in five years. Here's the M&A activity of some of our top customers that I read on TechCrunch.” You're the content concierge.

    [inaudible 00:09:31] is trigger-based selling. Trigger-based selling is you are the glue between your sales team and your existing customer success team, and measuring and monitoring any micro or macro activities that can help you open a door. A reason to talk, that's what a trigger basically is. An example of one is your sales team might be one of many units. Well, your sales professionals have no idea all the customers your company has signed in the past or is even signing this month. What you're able to do is work with the customer success team to say, “Hey, let me be the conduit, let me be the person that passes leads to our sales force based on job changes or activity within our existing customers. Let us create alerts. Let's get … Let me be the person that passes it to our sales team so that they know it came from a trusted source, they know it's important to follow up.” These are all examples of referral, trigger, and insights that you as a frontline leader can leverage.

    If I can just jump in here for a second Jamie before we switch gears. I want to plug your book again. I read Social Selling Mastery. Anyone who's on the line, who this is interesting to, it's resonating with you, I definitely encourage picking up that book. That last screenshot Jamie was showing has an example of some searches you can do in LinkedIn. The book lays out how to do this, and it's pretty elegant and incredible stuff. It really revolutionized my mind at least as to what LinkedIn is capable of and really made me believe in it as a tool. I just wanted to plug that there. But you can go on Jamie.

    Essentially one of the main concepts here, and we call it the sphere of influence, and the reality is Kyle your sphere of influence are the people that work with you today, the people that used to work with you in the past, your friends and your family, your university and college alumni. I mean these are people that if I told a story about any of them or the companies they work at, it would resonate with you and it would get your attention.

    What people, what sales professionals don't realize is these digital tools have an ability to roadmap a person's or a company's sphere of influence like a spider web. The reality is if I am choosing the accounts that I want to target next, I'm trying to make it, I'm trying to increase my speed to revenue essentially. One of the fastest ways to do this is to interconnect the relationships of people, because once you figure out that the nuances of these digital tools and how fast they can help you navigate relationship roadmapping, now you have stories to tell, and it makes it so much easier to sell a story that somebody can relate to than just a raw cold call in and say, “By the way, we've done business with [inaudible 00:12:35],” and they kind of say [inaudible 00:12:41] sales manager, I want to give you a calls notes, a cheat sheet so to speak of what you as a leader should be looking for in your one-on-ones and what you should be coaching towards.

    Again, our job is to help migrate or kind of transition your sales professionals from an analog seller to a digital seller and give them new tools and cadences. To do this they have to learn what is known as a social selling routine. An effective social selling routine is completed every day in under 30 minutes a day. If you as a sales professional are spending any longer than 30 minutes a day on social, it is detracting from other core sales skills. Whether it's you're using your social selling routine on a specific account or on 15 accounts today, [Jill Reilly 00:13:35] would call it every deal every day, you're doing this routine. You're going to find, engage, educate, and develop. By understanding this you as a coach or a leader can then say, “Okay, how do I coach towards this?”

    Now one of the elements outside of the four pillars that I just described is I would call the table stakes. If you can't get this part right, then all the rest is for naught. The very first piece is around brand. I as a frontline sales manager have to ensure that on our next quarterly business review or our next sales kickoff that we're bringing an SLR camera to the office, we're lining up everybody to a white backdrop, and we're taking everybody and giving everybody a professional photo and a buyer-centric headline and redoing our social profiles, whether that's on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, XING, it could be Weibo QQ. Whatever platform around the world, the tool is irrelevant, but it's the how you use the medium. You as a sales professional have to realize that people buy from people first, and if I really do believe that, I have to treat myself as a brand within a brand, and so I'm going to take my brand seriously and I'm going to make it very buyer-centric.

    Once your team has done that, here's what you as a coach frontline sales managers should be looking for. One of the very first spot audits I would like you to do is pull Johnny off the sales floor and bring him into your office. Bring him in the office and say, “Johnny, I want you to tell me what are the top five accounts you're working on right now, and I'd like you to open up HubSpot CRM and I would like,” or whatever CRM platform you're using, “and outline for me the people you're dealing with,” so that's the decision makers, champions, and influencers.

    I go into CRM and I look at all the names, phone numbers, email addresses that you have for those people. Those are just contact records. Those aren't relationships. I then say, “Okay, Johnny, [inaudible 00:15:45] the top accounts. I would like you to pull up LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook, whatever platform is important to your buyers, and I want to ensure that you are also connected or following, or we call it socially surrounding those same very people and accounts.” And that should be a one-to-one relationship. If it's not a one-to-one relationship you have a problem because you have people logging data into a CRM, but you have people not building relationships with those very same people.

    Of course the more you go downstream, the more you'd sell into the SMB space, this isn't scalable if you know, they have 1,000 accounts that they're dealing with, but again, everyone has those top 5, 10, 15, 20 accounts, they're going to make up probably 80% of their revenue for the next 30, 60, 90 days. That's who they should really be concentrating on in this find section.

    As part of outside of tool like LinkedIn socially surrounding goes to all mediums, whether they're creating Google Alerts around their top accounts, whether they're creating Twitter lists based on the influencers or the topics that are being discussed by those customers. Part of their social selling routine is the more a sales professional is digitally organized … Like what is it? 25-33% of a sales professional’s time is spent finding and doing research? This is one of those after hour exercises where the sales professional is planning themselves in advance, they're getting organized, because when you see when they go to executing, educate, engage and develop, it’s rapid fire because they can drop into an account, start connecting, start conversations because they got organized in advance.

    We now move to engage. Engage is about creating a conversation, creating a conversation based on all kinds of data. We as an example, we’ll make videos and compare their organization versus their top three competitors based on what percentage of their sales professionals are sharing content on LinkedIn. We’ll leverage their Glassdoor information, if they're public, their 10k filing notes based on their CEO’s notes. We’ll take their G2 Crowd information and basically relay what it means them versus competitors on a sales productivity standpoint. We’ll use the three principles of social selling, triggers, referrals, and insights, as a means of getting in the door. I can't stress enough how critical video has come to part of that starting a conversation.

    But what must happen, and this is what you're looking for from your sales professionals, is you're making sure, and you do a spot audit on their last touch points or last messages, that they're never sending a naked message, which means every single connection, every single conversation has value embedded into it. They are sharing articles, insights, they're making videos that are synthesizing and humanizing an article in the market and then contextualizing it for that buyer and saying, “John, based on our last conversations and what's going on based in that Harvard Business Review article, this is what it means to you.” That's what you as a leader need to be making sure, that they're not just calling up and saying, “So you're ready to buy yet? So you're ready to buy yet?” That is useless. What you're looking for is that you have team members who are almost becoming trusted advisors for the customer and sharing data that the customers are like, “Wow, where do you even get this stuff.”

    Once you have a meaning it's now about education. This again is where you as a leader should be spot checking. You have to realize that only a small, and if you've ever seen that pyramid from Chet Holmes International, only 3% of the market is ready to buy today and only another 7% is actively pursuing to buy. That leaves 90% of buyers. It is known as the dead zone. It's the period of time where a buyer says, “I'll get back to you one day,” but they don't. And it takes 90 days, 180 days, 360 days to win their business. What do you think your sales team is going to do in between? Call them up every week, “So you're ready to buy?” Next week, “So you're ready to buy?” They need to be adding tremendous amount of value by sharing insights.

    You as a leader can spot check this and drop into LinkedIn or Twitter and see are they sharing content to their social networks. That is a good indicator that they're doing it even one-on-one. If you have sales professionals that aren't sharing content to their social networks, they're most likely not consuming those insights and also sharing them one-on-one. It gives you a bit of a leading indicator to how they are consumers of new data and insights and learning.

    Now finally, looking at how they're developing their networks. You knew that they needed to be socially surrounding specific accounts, but you can drop into their LinkedIn and Twitter networks to see are they growing that relationship base every week, are they adding the people that are checking them out Inbound on their LinkedIn networks. We call them checking your digital voice mails. Are they adding those people to their social network so they can leverage those people in the future? Every single day they should be developing a larger and larger network that can help better serve them in the future. This is something that you as a coach should be dropping in and saying, “Listen, who did you add this week? Who are you building relationships with this week?” All of this kind of makes a social selling routine.

    Awesome.

    Kyle any thoughts? Any questions?

    No, it’s all right. I am just totally absorbed in this. One thing you mentioned in your book that I really liked, just a couple slides ago you're talking about how you should always be sharing insights. I liked your suggestion to rebrand your marketing team as the insights team. I think a lot of times as we communicate with people, we talk about our brand, we talk about what we're offering, our marketing collateral is all about us, and that's really not the way to make progress. You've got to constantly be helping and aiding people, and if you're providing insights to them, teaching them things they didn't otherwise know, that's how you succeed in the modern space.

    Yeah. In fact, I could have pulled it up on Instagram and you can see photos of it, but I'm a huge believer that what you create inside your own company, whether it's five people or 5,000, is you create what's known as an insights committee. That insights committee is a pocket of sales professionals. A great insights committee has a balance between SDR, BDRs, field sales reps, sales engineers, customer success people, channel sales, and they get together once a month and they start spit-balling pitfalls, challenges. Every objection they've ever heard from a customer, they start sticky-noting it, they write it down, they put it on the wall.

    Basically they pretend that they're hearing problems from a customer, and based on those conversations they start talking about what those problems are, they start talking about how to solve those problems, but all the while they're recording the conversation. They record it and they turn up recording from speech to text and all the sudden you start pumping out sales-centric content that sales people would actually share because it's coming from the mouths of sales people heard from the customer, and now you're creating incredible intellectual property, because the sales person doesn't want to type it out. They have no problem talking 300 words a minute as you can clearly hear from my mouth.

    Yeah. And a big problem for a lot of companies is that marketing produces collateral of some kind or another and sales doesn't use it, doesn't care about it. Sales often just makes their own stuff. I think that relationship you're describing is the way or at least a key to solving that problem.

    Fully agree. If you want to get sales reps and if you want to get sales professionals involved in sharing content, get sales professionals involved in the creation of the content, and that does not mean the typing. That means the talking or that means the thought of the content, the concept.

    Continuing forward I wanted to give some tactical examples of what great leaders have done to be able to drive the importance of a digital transformation in their business. I’m going to give three examples. Tony Magro, chief commercial officer, first met him in HireRight where we scaled social selling at HireRight, and then he moved on to DODGE, Data and Analytics and we did the same. But Tony did when he g … I really noticed it because he was already working at HireRight when we got engaged, but of course we saw him move to DODGE Data. When he got there immediately he talked about the importance of becoming a digital seller. He didn't just talk about it. He brought in the photo guys. At the next quarterly business review he had the sales professionals lineup, redo their LinkedIn profiles. He ensured that everybody took action. People just didn't talk about it, but they made changes in the organization.

    There's a great saying from Jocko Willink from a new book called Extreme Ownership. “It's not what you preach. It's what you tolerate.” A great leader understands that he could talk till he's blue in the face, but all he needed to do is create momentum. So truck in the SLR camera, start taking photos, have a session on changing profiles, start sharing content together, start creating content together, and that's where the cultural shift starts.

    Another great example. When we started deploying this across Sprint, you've got Chris Brydon. Chris Brydon ran a division in the West. It's one thing to talk about how social activity is helping the business. It's another to actually start sharing data and insights. What Chris was incredible at doing is every single week he would find a nugget, a small win. This is important. Think of it like baby steps. If you were just waiting to share, “Oh, I'm not going to share any success stories until we win a contract from a customer on,” so using social or digital, that might take you 90 days or 180 days. But by then the momentum will be lost.

    What he realized is he's going to share the baby steps, so he’s going to share that Susan, Susan now was able to find five new buyers last week that you didn't know existed. Then the next week John actually created a new opportunity with a company in Brazil because of X, Y, Z. Then four weeks later did you know that we have six new proposals in the market that were all driven socially? It all builds upon itself until you have empirical evidence that is starting to show what social has done to the business pre and post, basically what did you look like analog and what do you start to look like digitally.

    Then I'm actually in the month of May flying around the world with Lexmark Koufax as we start launching other divisions becoming social, and upon finalizing a social selling training program what we decided to do was to make it fun. We made it like in the United States it's called Shark’s Tank. In Canada, we have Dragon's Den. We made it as a game at the end. What would happen to become certified in our social selling program every sales professional has to create a net new opportunity in the market using social and then present it back to their leaders. That's just part of the practicum. It's one thing to actually do a class. It's another thing to be able to teach it back to the teacher, and that's the purpose of the program.

    To gamify that what Howard did is we said, “Okay, let's turn it like Shark’s Tank where every sales professional submits their case study of the opportunity or opportunities that they created.” Then the best ones came to Los Angeles and sat in front of us and presented the business case, what they're doing, how they're doing it, the deals that they won, how much it made. It was just like Shark’s Tank, and the winner got laptops, and a trip or … I can't remember all the prizes, but I've seen companies now where if you were close to making Presidents Club, this is what was a great reward. You're close to making Presidents Club but you're the winner of the social selling reward or that you're the digital seller of the year, even if you didn't hit 100% of plan but you're striving to be a better sales professional you got to go to Presidents Club. Companies are finding all kinds of rewards to encourage the digital transformation.

    I love that.

    Yeah I know. The gamified one personally I love it because I remember when I was a sales professional, I was motivated. I was the guy who was motivated by spiffs. I was working at corporate real estate and one month it would be a Mountblanc pen and then the next month it would be a new Blackberry and then the next month it would be … You know how many Montblanc pens I have, like it was … I was motivated by the collection of trinkets. I loved it.

    Anyways. As we kind of, as we wrap up some of the other elements that I want people to focus in on, this is critical, this is called the cone of learning, and this comes back to what I just talked about with Howard. In the cone of learning however you decide to enable a sales professional, and the question you have to ask yourself is why would I enable or train a sales professional, is because if you want to increase the yield and throughput per sales professional, strapping a tool on their back is only going to get them so far.

    I can give you a Ferrari but if you don't know how to drive stick, nor know how to drive, the Ferrari is useless. I need to first convince you a) the mindset shift, riding the bus sucks. Once you've convinced yourself of that, then you say, “Okay, I'm going to go buy a car.” Now I'm going to give you the skill set to drive a car, and then I'm going to give you a skill set to drive it around a track. Then I give you a tool kit that allows you, I move you from a Pinto to a Ferrari or Corvette, and that helps you accelerate it. Well, once you understand that principle, you also realize that you can only get so much out of a sales professional by tools, and you actually have to give them skills, net new skills they didn't have before.

    As you deploy skills there are all kinds of ways that you can teach people. You could be like when we were in undergrad and university and lecture. You could read ebooks and audio. Basically as you move down this chart retention increases. I'll give you an example about me. What I learned about me, I don't read books. I actually can retain very little from every book that I've ever read. But I listen to 50 audiobooks a year, and I could recite from a year ago pages out of Mark Robear's Sales Acceleration Formula because I listened to it when I was cutting grass at my house, I remember where I was. For me audio, I can remember what I listen to an audiobooks.

    But as you go down this scale what you really want to get to, and this is where you'll know it's stuck in people's DNA, you get them to teach it back to you. If I can get somebody … I’m Canadian so we’ll use hockey. If I can get somebody to teach me back how to skate, stop, and do a slap shot with a hockey stick, that means they can do it, it's in their DNA. But if they just watched videos and drills on how to take a slap shot, I'm not quite certain that they'll get it. I have to get them practicing it and teaching it back to me.

    You as a leader as however you start deploying, training, or learning, what I recommend is use a leader. You have to take a look in advance of what they're going to learn, and then you contextualize it, you spin it in, “Well, this is what it means on our business team or our business unit.” Then you have to participate, you have to be engaged in the training program, you have to ask the questions too, because you'll find that the sales professionals at first were a little meek or quiet to ask questions. But you kickstart those questions, you push everybody off their status quo, and then you got to monitor the results. Are they learning? Are they consuming? Are they turning the learning into action? And then you coach towards the deficiencies that they're having based on the actions that they're not doing. That's what you as a leader are responsible with doing.

    Kyle, I hope that the purpose here was to give people a good road … a very basic roadmap to get started in digitizing their sales professionals.

    Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

    Any questions you have or … I'd love to open it up to the floor.

    Yeah, so we've actually had a couple questions come in here, so I'll just read those to you. Chris asks how to encourage sales to use social regularly. You mentioned sales reps should be posting content daily. How do you incentivize people to do that?

    Okay, so there's two ways of doing it obviously carrot versus stick. I'm a huge believer in the carrot rather than the stick. Of course, you could use that first analogy, it's not what I say, it’s what I tolerate, and you could immediately change your coaching cadence and every one-on-one saying you've got to do it. But my recommendation is you identify one or two sales professionals that are most apt to learn new skills and try new things. You get them learning those skills and then you start with a megaphone selling, you start selling the stories of what Susan is doing. “Oh, did you hear Susan? Do you know that Susan just found four more customers?” Three days later, “Did you know that Susan just booked a meeting on LinkedIn?” And then at four days after that, “Do you know that Susan used video and now she's got a proposal in on …”

    Here's what happens. The reason this is critical 15 years ago when I started my sales career we called it the water cooler effect. I sat in a bullpen amongst a million other corporate real estate sales professionals and I would listen, I would hear all these great tips or ideas, and when I would see a sales professional that I admired up and leave the desk and go to the water cooler, I would wander over to the water cooler and I would say, “Now Scott, you said this on the phone,” or, “How do you do this?” I would learn from my peers because I sat next to them. Well, most sales professionals work in a virtual world now and they're not learning from each other. You as the leader are the one that sling stories from one rep to the next. You're the one saying, “Did you know that this is what Susan's doing,” and you start to create a ground swell effect.

    Social selling is going to take hold only with empirical evidence. The first 100 customers we trained, everyone doubted. They're like, “Oh, this isn't going to work for me,” because there wasn't enough empirical evidence in the world for people to truly trust that this is going to work. Five years later I just have to point to a million customer logos and they go, “Oh okay, I get it.” But you're only going to make this take hold if and when you sell data that shows that this is how Susan sold in the past, and look at what she's doing now based on these skills. I hope that answered the question.

    Yeah, I hope it did too. Related to that with posting daily, do you, is there a balance you recommend between content curation and content creation?

    Well, there is an old adage and it was called the 411. It became quite popular as a social sharing cadence. 411 was four pieces of third-party content and/or non product-centric content, one piece of content that could be more of your own companies and/or more product-centric, and then one, the cat picture, one that's more humanizing. I think that's kind of gone away with the dodo bird a little bit. I think that the reality is we share …

    We’re probably 90-10 or 95-10 sales for life and then 5% everybody else, but it's also because we have a content making machine. I don't know that there is any ideal formula anymore. I think what's important is that you're getting great, great, great insights in the hands of your customers every day so you should be sharing. I share in the morning, at lunch, and at dinner time every day, the peak social media times, every single day. I'm sharing very targeted, great tips and insights for my community. I don't know that there's a perfect formula anymore between curated and created, only because that adage was built during a time when most people weren't creating content.

    Right, yeah, that makes sense. I have one last question here though. Anyone on the line who has a question, feel free to chat those in and I'll be happy to send them to Jamie. Devon asks, is it a bad idea to get your team's logins and post to LinkedIn for them?

    Yes. I think I'm back on camera now. That is the laziest way out of this because it's the analogy around fishing. If I fish for you eventually you're going to starve. If I do not teach you to fish as a sales professional, whether it's at your company today or sometime in the future, think of this as a lifelong skill. Somebody had asked me today on the phone. They said, “When do you think that this … Do you think this is a fad?” I said, “Is using social platforms in your business to consumer life, is that a fad?” No, it's digitizing of the world is only going up into the right.

    For sure.

    If you're not willing to give yourself what is going to perceive to be a lifelong skill, it's like learning to type. If you're not willing to give yourself that, you're going to struggle, whether it's today or sometime in the future.

    Yeah, I think that's absolutely fair. I have another question here from Alberto. If I add a new contact to LinkedIn, how much time until I can send them a message?

    Okay, I don't know that there's any given time. It's what you say on your next message. I'm going to use a Gary Vaynerchuk adage, “Jab, jab, jab, right hook.” You've added that new contact. Kyle and I have now become connected on LinkedIn. My next engagement needs to be a value to Kyle. It's not an ask. It's a give. I'm going to give him something that he otherwise couldn't have found on the first page of Google, I'm going to give him an insight, or I'm going to connect him with somebody, or show an inner connection of people that Kyle says, “Wow, this person is trying to help me.” It's the law of reciprocity. Give Kyle first. Then Kyle gives back to Jamie.

    That's true. And this is something, if anyone on the line is not a sales professional, I want to generalize that to all internet communication really, all communication in general, if you're just constantly asking people for updates, if you ever find yourself sending an email saying, “Just checking in,” or, “Just wanted to pick your brain,” or, “Just following up,” you're not adding value. It's when you give to people that you build relationships that will actually be productive.

    I'll use that analogy. Kyle just bought a brand-new Corvette. He came over and he showed it to me and my first question is, “So you’re going to let me drive it?” And he's like, “What? No, no, no.” If you want to drive that Corvette, clean the tires for him, then ask him to then go drive the car.

    Absolutely. I don't actually have a Corvette but if anyone wants to come clean the wheels on my Honda, I'll let you drive it. Gordon asks, what do you think of the LinkedIn SSI score for measurement?

    It is an indicator. It is a form of indication that you are moving in the right direction. If you are using it as your litmus test, as your baseline to success, you're sorely mistaken as to what is measurement of success. What is measurement of success is pipeline of revenue. It's the only thing that matters. But as an early indicator SSI score because it's broken into four categories made up of very important elements to you becoming a social seller, it's a great way of you comparing yourself against you and your peers. That's it. That's what it does.

    Awesome. Jill asks, what is the best tool to transcribe and record sales convos. Yeah.

    To transcribe and record sales conversations?

    Yeah.

    Anything speech to text. When I started doing content I used Dragon Dictation as an example. There's all kinds of free software, and Dragon might be paid, I can't even remember, that you'll be able to use. When it comes to recording video-based sales conversations and sharing with the customer, our preference is we use a tool called Vidyard ViewedIt because it allows me to not only create video like Kyle and I are talking now, but I can do screen in screen. So I could be sharing insights on one part of the screen, and then they're also seeing me. So I'm humanizing and then synthesizing a great article and kind of showing them what they should read and why and what it means to them.

    Awesome. That seems to be the end of our questions. Jamie, thanks again so much for being here. Everyone on the line, check out his book, Social Selling Mastery. Oh, here's one last question coming via Pony Express here. How do you social sell in a place that is socially inactive?

    Great question. Think of it as three circles. Small circle is the buyer or the buying committee on social. No, okay. Is the company or the ecosystem of companies that I'm selling into socially active? No. Then the question is the industry. Is the industry, the analysts, the thought leaders, the people creating market intelligence, are they social? Because I don't need to sell in a social tool, I don't need to use LinkedIn as my means of booking a meeting. I give you social. I'll give the example.

    In our world Mary Shea Forrester is a thought leader of the sales space. Well, I can be taking Mary Shea’s digital information that's all over the web and I could actually be making a video and emailing it to a customer. I'm trying to take the conversation from online to offline as fast as possible, but I'm using digital information to share it in the medium that is best for them, or I might even print it, walk it over to their office, knock on the door and say, “Here's information you might not have ever seen.” The customer’s not active on LinkedIn, don't try to engage them on LinkedIn. Use all the other digital information you can to still have great conversation.

    Awesome. I think I scared the audience and we're getting an avalanche of questions now. They thought I was going to hang up. We have a question about instant messaging. How is that working in sales and what does a good message look like?

    As in texting?

    It says instant messaging, so I don't know if that's through Facebook messenger or text messaging or …

    We've been running experiments incredible engagement you get on Facebook. Here's, I'll give you the example of Facebook. For us I think Facebook's an incredible tool at the customer success level. After winning a customer, now your customer success team starts to build real relationships. I mean, they're dealing with these customers for a year or two or three. Facebook's an incredible tool whereby connecting you get to know Kyle, your Honda, and what you do on the weekends, and your favorite places to travel, and you get to know that about me, my kids, our cottage, the truck I'm rebuilding. When we jump on a call, we have a very different relationship. Facebook has been an incredible tool to help at the customer success level.

    At the instant messenger or text we're finding that it works really well later on in the sales funnel from kind of proposal on especially for Europeans. You try to email a European in France or Germany after 5:00, the entire country’s email systems are getting shut down. But I could text a person in France and have a response in 30 seconds. Text has become a great way of organizing calls and next steps. I hope that answered the question.

    Awesome. How do you start integrating the insights into client emails?

    Okay, so it depends on the tool you're using. As an example on ViewedIt, Vidyard ViewedIt by clicking a button it automatically integrates an iframe of the video right into the email and includes a hyperlink. Otherwise, you may have to hyperlink, copy the hyperlink and embed it into a text based email and say, “Check out this link,” but there are all kinds of tools that embed into email differently.

    The most important piece is that you're sharing an insight that is truly valuable. It would be like if I were trying to sell Kyle and I shared the article What is Content Marketing, you would literally roll your eyes a bit, “Oh my god, who is this person? Like do you realize where I work and what I do?” I think sales professionals forget that. They're selling into CFOs. You just sent an article, What is GAAP Accounting, and they're kinda like, “He's a CFO, he knows this. You need to be teaching him about the new rules and regulations of Sarbanes-Oxley in his industry on page 12 that he might not have read.” That's the kind of insights you need to be giving people.

    Awesome. What's the big mistake you see reps makes from starting to sell socially?

    One and done, giving up. Absolutely it's having a relentless need to learn a new skill at all costs. I can't believe how many sales … and I was, who's kidding, I was that way too, is people giving up and putting up their hands and saying, “Oh, in-mails don't work.” “You sent one. Like what was your cadence? Did you do seven touch points?” “No, I tried one.” “Okay, and that gives you … That is the definitive answer to, it doesn't work.” I would say persistence and also realizing that it's not a silver bullet, it's not you send an in-mail and you've 10x-ed your engagement rate. It's just another medium that happens to be a whole lot more scalable than the telephone. That's really what it is. That's why I got into this space and started this business, is because I realized with one click of the mouse I could communicate with people a lot faster than I could dial on the telephone.

    Absolutely. Yeah. How do you find specific content you give to your customers? You mentioned Feedly, but I don't know if you have any techniques you'd like to mention.

    No, I mean all of these tools have a click to share or a schedule to share system so they make it dead easy. They're basically blog readers and you can organize them by category or theme. Once you see a great article it's just click to share and it will help you put it on your own social platforms.

    I think one thing you mentioned that I'd really like to hit on this point is if you don't have a process, a tool won't really help. You got to figure out what you're doing before you try to automate it.

    It would just be empty. There'd be nothing to read.

    Okay. That does it for our questions. We are pretty much at time here. Jamie, again, thank you so much for being here. This has been really enjoyable. Our audience really let you have it with the questions there and I think it was enlightening for all of us. So thanks again.

    Thank you. You take care.

    Once again, Jamie is at Sales For Life and his book is Social Selling Mastery. I encourage you to check out the website and the book and we'll see you all again later.
  • Kyle Jepson
    Kyle Jepson
    Inbound Professor, HubSpot Academy
  • Jamie Shanks
    Jamie Shanks
    Social Selling Expert

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