The relationship between Marketing VPs and sales management isn’t just about handing off leads. Social selling, the fast-growing phenomenon born from social media, has blurred the lines between sales and marketing responsibilities – and innovative companies are taking advantage of the opportunity for collaboration.
Since social selling is still new, many companies haven’t figured out who should “own” it. Is it Marketing’s responsibility because of its ties to social media? But the content needs to be delivered to sales reps’ networks… so is it on Sales? Social selling doesn’t have a formal place in either department and can get backlogged indefinitely as a result.
But studies have shown the very compelling benefits of social selling. The Aberdeen Research Group, for example, reports that sales reps that leverage social selling in their sales process are 79% more likely to attain their quota than those who don’t. Companies who ignore these statistics are turning down an opportunity for increased revenue. But sales reps already have a lot of responsibilities and they can’t own social selling on their own – this is where Marketing comes in.
How Marketing Can Help
Generate a LinkedIn profile template for sales reps. I wrote a blog post in October about how to craft a sell-worthy LinkedIn profile by moving away from the classic online resume. Reps’ personal LinkedIn profiles reflect the company’s brand and Marketing owns branding, so it makes sense for Marketing to build a basic template every rep can use and personalize. It is important that the template does not center on your company – it should focus on what’s important to the customer and include customer-centric language.
Draft social media promotions for reps to send to their networks. Is your company hosting an event, holding a webinar, releasing a new eBook? Reps should make it a common practice to post content written by the marketing team to keep the company’s brand alive in their networks. Ask Marketing to regularly send the sales team short emails with samples of what to post to their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Make sure the wording is different than the posts from the company account – there are people following the company account and your reps’ accounts, and you don’t want to seem robotic.
Social selling is a shared effort between the sales and marketing teams. Ideally, Marketing produces the messaging and Sales utilizes their networks to deliver the content to potential buyers. How does your company collaborate for social selling?