Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Social Selling today

  Think about this for a moment - Whenever you are on line there is an opportunity to amplify and reinforce your corporate brand and its value to your clients.

People buy from people, not companies 

People trust individuals, not corporations 

It’s the way business has always been done,

So how,  one might  ask does social selling 3.0  come into all this?

Clara Shih in Harvard Business Review suggests that social business complements traditional methods and allows for companies and their employees to manage and measure this engagement at scale.

She suggests that social business has developed in a series of waves.

The first wave of social business was all about employee collaboration, giving rise to products like Yammer, Jive, and Salesforce Chatter

Then came the next wave, external social business, rooted in customer service, corporate marketing, and communications. Many companies are still working through this stage by managing all social media at the corporate level. Here many in selling would associate where they are with social selling at present.

During last year, there was already executive commitment and discussion around turning internal social media projects into strategic imperatives owned by lines of business. Instead of discouraging employees from social media or making it optional, companies are making social business mandatory and part of the “standard issue” of communication just as email accounts became standard issue a decade ago.

In 2014, more and more companies will usher in the third wave of social business by empowering everyone across the organisation to participate. While corporate marketing teams continue to use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for brand awareness,

What this means for Selling

 Sales teams and other customer-facing roles will increasingly tap into social networks for ways to authentically reach and engage their customers and prospects, build their credibility as a trusted advisor through value-added content, and provide higher levels of service – all to ultimately  increase business  and deepen relationships.

 Even for Non-sales employees in non-customer facing roles, the expectation will be that they represent the company whenever on line to amplify and reinforce the corporate brand and its value to customers.

To make it all work, Clara suggests companies instituting standardised operational procedures social business by
 (1) enabling and training employees to effectively use social media for business,

 (2) creating social business programs and guidelines,

and (3) applying key business metrics to turn grand visions of social media into real business 
process and ROI.

Related Links

Inarticulate Social Selling 3.0

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