Social Selling isn’t living up to its promise. Those promises have been exaggerated and oversold. Social selling is failing.
- Lack of Content: Your social selling program isn’t going to work without content. You may want to make noise on the social channels, and you may want attention. You can’t have attention without content. Salespeople without content are unarmed.
- Link Bait Content Isn’t Content: You see some social gurus and sales experts writing provocative content. If it’s not link bait, it’s comment bait designed to drive engagement simply by being provocative. If you want attention from your peer group, you’ll get it. You are not, however, gaining engaged prospects.
- Content Doesn’t Compel Change: Infographics are really neat. So are inspirational images. And quotes. But they do absolutely nothing to explain to your dream client what’s going on in their world, why they are plagued with dissonance, and why they should change.
- Too Great a Reliance on Content to Drive Leads: Content marketing is not going to generate enough leads for you to make your number unless you are the rare exception, a thought leader with an earned following. Inbound marketing isn’t supposed to provide you with 100 percent of your leads, plus the amount you need to make your number.
- Too Much Faith That Connecting Is Enough: You need to open relationships. You can do that on the social web. The barrier for someone to accept your LinkedIn connection request might now be lower than a friend request on Facebook. Prospecting means asking for a meeting.
- Too Much Time Spent on Social Channels: It is a complete and utter Time suck. Perhaps the greatest time suck and distraction in the history of mankind, approaching levels that exceed television. It is critical that you use the tools. And then it is critical that you set the tools down and do the work you really need to do. If you believe social is urgent and important, you are making a mistake.
- Belief That Social Replaces Traditional Approaches: Social fails when it is used as a replacement for the traditional approaches. You InMail isn’t prospecting. It is approaching spammy.
- Activities Are Not Strategic: Sharing other people’s content is great. Liking and commenting is great, too. Posting status updates can be a great way to share with people you are connected to on social. It just isn’t strategic. If what you are doing doesn’t create value for your prospects and clients, it’s not strategic.
- Lack of an Integrated Approach and Campaigns: What story are you telling with what you publish and share? What is the end goal? How is it aligned with a campaign that is a tailored message designed to move your dream clients to a place where they are willing and interested in engaging in a conversation around change?
- Shift in Platforms Away from B2B: Name all the great social platforms for B2B? If you named SnapChat, you’re just being funny. If you said Instagram, you’re teasing me. LinkedIn is the only platform for professionals, and it looks more like Facebook every day.
If salespeople and sales organization are going to use the social tools to generate sales, we’re going to have to do a whole lot better.
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Filed under: Sales