Buying is a social game.
Over and over, research shows social networks play a major role in buying decisions, whether it’s scoping out options, doing research, finding referrals, or seeking opinions.
Social sharing is linked to higher levels of buyer trust, quota attainment, and more (better) leads. It helps with a broad range of tasks, from prospecting to research and call prep.
A full 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions, and 84% of executives do the same. It makes sense to be where buyers are already hanging out.
We could spend all day telling you why social sharing matters, but you’re already interested. It’s your reps you need to get on board.
How do you get them to share your content? To foster a culture of social sharing, you need to remove four barriers first.
1. Reps don’t have the right content
Although marketing churns out a ton of content, up to 80% of it sits on the shelf, gathering dust. You can’t expect your reps to share if they don’t have anything of value to, well, share.
Work with marketing to create stuff worth sharing
Your reps know your prospects and leads better than anyone – what keeps them up at night, what they’re excited about, all of it. Marketing knows how to plan and craft messages that engage audiences.
Why not combine those superpowers and align your goals to create high-value, useful content around topics like:
- The most common questions about your product or service
- The objections that reps handle most often
- The value your brand and delivers (and how it’s different from your competitors)
- The latest trends and news in your industry
Encourage content they create themselves
A well-rounded social presence includes your reps’ personal brands, not just sales messages. A quick post about a topic they’re personally interested in? Stories, pictures, and videos from that tradeshow they attended? You never know what’ll create a bridge between your reps and their prospects.
2. They don’t know how to get started
Okay, the content’s there – but do your reps know how to use it effectively? Make it easy for absolutely everyone on your team to start sharing… and start seeing results.
Bake it into your sales processes
Think about each stage of the selling process, and match social activities to each one. For example, if reps are prospecting, provide tips on finding, researching, and engaging with key decision-makers on social networks (in a non-creepy way). Later in the process, pick out key pieces of content to share.
Set goals and start slow
For a rep who’s new to social selling, asking for an original post every day might seem like a bit much. Set a cadence for all sharing activity, whether it’s liking, commenting, sharing, or posting, and ramp it up over time to create new habits in your reps’ regular routines.
3. They don’t understand the value
If your reps see social sharing as an unnecessary time sink in an already packed schedule, no amount of great content will convince them to make a commitment. Connecting it to their development and performance, however, will.
Provide training beyond the technical
Training makes the single biggest impact on social success, so it’s important to get it right. Yes, the fundamentals on how to use the technology matter, but understanding and building the underlying skills will connect the practice to your reps’ own success in a tangible way.
Learn from others on your team
Demonstrate the value with actual, lived experience from reps who already share socially – and do it well. It’s one thing to read all the great reasons why social rocks on the outside, but it’s quite another to connect with the day-to-day impact from the inside.
4. Content is hard to find
Now that your reps are on board and revving their social sharing engines, how will they find all that great content you’ve created? Make sharing easy by building bridges between teams and between reps.
Invest in the tools of the trade
There’s tons of technology out there to help your reps find the content they’re looking for and share it with the world. Look for tools that make sharing easy not only between marketing and sales, but also between members of your team – and that integrates with the platforms you use, like your CRM and chat.
Promote sharing by sharing from within
What do other reps share? What performs best for them? Keep that content close at hand and make it available for everyone on the team to use, whether it’s part of a shared playbook or in your knowledge database.