Sales Enablement is the modern approach to fostering connections for success. Sales teams are leveraging it to maximize their time and pinpoint the best leads.
Where does this process even begin? One piece is getting to know your leads and stakeholders on a personal and professional level–and cutting out the admin time to organize the workflow.
Sales Enablement starts with visualizing your communication and content strategy into pillars. In essence, aligning sales and marketing. Every organization has different needs, goal pathways, and buyer personas. Sending the right messaging to the right market segments ensures that your people sound relevant in their digital selling efforts. This mindset must be aligned from the executives down to the customer-facing folks.
Digital selling tools, when used effectively, maximize productivity and give leaders an appropriate view of the big picture. After all, you’re paying for these services and you should be utilizing every bit of them. A widely-ignored and highly important component is social media. Social media, namely LinkedIn, has effectively reshaped the modern buying and selling marketplace.
Digital Selling Routines
The companies that will win in the modern business ecosystem are the ones that effectively use digital tools and social platforms. While sales workflows are busy as ever, the funnel refills differently these days. Gone are the days of overfarmed cold call leads. Late baby boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y are adept at research and are open to listening to solutions.
The modern seller must also recognize that lead time has shortened. Decisions happen quickly because information is widely available. The seller needs to position themselves as a thought leader and also reach out to the right decision-makers to ensure the funnel keeps refilling. The main channel they’ll likely use is LinkedIn. Ultimately, the goal is to build relationships and turn online connections into real-life conversations.
On average, internet users spend around 2 hours per day on social media. This block of time is an incredible opportunity to get in front of people’s eyes as often as possible. Properly timed messages can help savvy salespeople lock in more meetings and close more deals.
Digital Selling Definition
Digital selling has been used interchangeably with social selling. In truth, they are starkly different. Digital selling aims to convert more than it aims to engage. It can be split into two efforts. The first targets inbound leads that have engaged with your digital marketing efforts. You already know that they’re interested in learning more, so it’s up to your people to start the conversation. The second piece is outbound–the so-called “cold outreach.” When properly executed, there is nothing cold or abrupt about it. Sales teams will leverage their resources to pinpoint the best people to prospect as leads.
This approach works the best when the entire organization is involved and aligned. The C-Suite needs to act as thought leaders on social media and make sure other high-level managers are also following suit. Your marketing team needs to work closely with the sales team to ensure messaging and content is aligned with what people want to see and that the content produced is creating conversions. To make this work, sales leaders and sellers need effective coaching. The organization as a whole needs to understand exactly how to maximize this approach and be able to teach it to others.
Digital Selling Basics
Digital selling does include social selling, but there are a lot more moving parts to consider. It aggregates all of the possible digital assets to pinpoint, engage, and drive revenue. Social media is only one piece of the equation. Digital selling is the full suite customer-facing digital marketing materials available online. This includes your website, landing pages, blogs, social media profile, and email newsletters.
An important aspect of digital selling is digital listening. There are a number of tools available on the market today specialized in pulling the various types of data you need to refine your process. Social listening tools help organizations optimize their social media efforts to ensure that all outgoing posts are maximizing on ROI. Inversely, they also allow businesses to monitor what current and potential clients are engaging with online. Email tools such as MailChimp and SendGrid feedback analytics on open, click-through, and conversion rates in designated segments.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a paid add-on feature that will help you and your team take outreach and relationship-building to the next level. Within the partition, you’ll be able to conduct highly filtered searches by title, location, industry, and connection level. You’ll also be able to sort and categorize the chats and import/export data into your sales force to maximize the time spent on outreach. Adding LinkedIn outreach to your digital selling routine ensures that messaging is aligned–positioning the organization and its members as thought leaders.
How can sales enablement measure success in developing digital selling skills?
Digital networking tools play a crucial role in ensuring the sales team’s success. However, it is not enough to just have the tools, they need to be utilized to their full extent. Enter the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI). LinkedIn generates this score based on how well you brand yourself, build relationships, share relevant content, and effectively use their platform.
How important is the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)? Very important. Savvy salespeople that tap into the power of social media outperform 78% of their peers that don’t use it. Imagine having to conduct all of your lead communications through the phone and email–things would move a bit slower, no? These changes rolled out back in 2014, this is a significant amount of time where the process has been refined and the results of the modern approach are clear.
Your SSI score shouldn’t aim for perfection, it should aim for consistency. You only need to take as many as 15-20 minutes per day for LinkedIn. SSI is measured against four pillars and how well you attend to them. The first is personal branding. This should be built around prospective customers and current clients. Ideally, salespeople should aim to share content and articles that resonate with their target audience, positioning them as a thought leader in their niche.
The second pillar and third pillars are connecting with the right people and fostering relationships. LinkedIn has powerful search filters to help users sift for the most relevant people to connect with. It shouldn’t stop at the connection request, social sellers need to take time to build relationships with the individual and the company. The fourth pillar is engaging with insights. LinkedIn is data-rich and full of insights that you can tap into to further strengthen your position within your industry.
How To Find My Social Selling Index Score
This number isn’t hidden. In fact, LinkedIn has made it highly accessible so that users can work to improve in areas where they’re lacking. To get started, navigate to https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi. Here you’ll see where you rank within your industry and then within your network. The second section breaks down your score based on the four aforementioned pillars. The subsequent sections stack you against people in your industry as well as people in your network.
LinkedIn’s Digital Selling Tools
LinkedIn Sales Navigator paired with your CRM has a wealth of capabilities that can make your sales team more effective. Heavy-duty filtering aside, InMail allows users to directly email batches of connections to either begin or move the sales process along. The filtering function can be used to save groups of leads or specific accounts. Essentially, when you pair LinkedIn Sales Navigator with your CRM, you’re saving countless hours spent on data entry because the two pieces communicate with one another.
Do you have multiple buyer’s journeys to suit the different personas? Aligning Sales Navigator with your CRM effectively tracks the length of the sales cycle and can help upper management spot inefficiencies. These stumbling blocks are actually opportunities to refine the product, the process, or help the team upskill.
Digital Selling and Coaching Training
At Tricycle Europe, we enable technology companies to win in the digital space. Our team will guide your leaders in selecting the right mix of tools and approaches that can then be passed down to the sales team. These improved digital selling habits ensure stronger client relationships and better results in today’s business ecosystem. Reach out to us to learn more.
If you’re ready to dive deeper into the digital transformation and the social selling journey, join our Scaling Digital Selling Webinar on August 12 at 16:30 CET. Job Thomassen – Digital Selling Consultant at Tricycle Europe, will share with you key insights and steps towards selecting the right digital selling tools and how it fits into the overall sales enablement strategy for large organizations.