Driving consistency, quality and habits across an enterprise sales team (or even a smaller inside sales squad) is often easier said than done. Even though, for example, it’s easy to justify a dedicated focus on LinkedIn best practices to help each rep increase their size, quality and conversion of prospects, putting that in practice is often much more difficult.
Still, there are several best practices you can easily put into practice to help immediately increase the quality and performance of LinkedIn-based social selling practices across your sales team – whether it’s four people or four thousand people. Here are a few places to get started.
Professional photos (get photographer into the office)
Hire a photographer and get everybody’s headshots taken at once. Do it on sales kick-off day or sometime when otherwise the highest % of your reps are in one place at the same time. Consistency and quality of those photos will make a great first impression.
Headline writing consistency
That line under your name? It’s not for your title. LinkedIn calls that space your “headline” for a reason. Help your reps create a value-based, customer-centric message that doesn’t describe their job, but rather describes the benefit you create or enable for your customers. Another great impression builder that speaks to outcomes vs means and roles.
Summary template copy
Many people don’t even both to fill out the Executive Summary section, but in many cases it’s the next thing people will read when “checking out” the sales rep that’s been calling them. And guess what? Your prospects don’t care that you’ve won President’s Club four times! They care about how you’ve helped their peers achieve success. Describe that success and outcome, and otherwise demonstrate (in more words than you’d use in the headline) how you can do it. Marketers – please write those summaries for your sales team. Work in plenty of bullet points to increase engagement from the “scanners” among your prospects too.
Narrow down “Skill & Endorsement” choices
Choose categories that speak to the industries and services your prospects are engaged in and care about. Temporarily “hide” categories that don’t immediately related to that customer value. That way your growing network will endorse you for sales-centric attributes first and foremost. Marketers, help your sales team choose these attributes wisely to increase targeted endorsement value.
Incorporate the Wheel of Destiny (or something close to it)
We recently featured a scrappy but highly effective tool from a client that drive daily social selling engagement. You can read more about it here, but suffice to say the objective was all about developing regular, consistent habits to engage, add to and feed your growing network. The more you engage, the more you get out of it in the way of new referrals, warm leads and repeat purchases.
Share a new “feature of the week” in sales meetings
It could be just five minutes once a week or 1-2 times a month. Help your reps “discover” a new feature or tool (there are tons in LinkedIn they can utilize better) so that you’re not training them on everything all at once. Incorporating one new feature or tool or habit at a time will increase the depth and sustainability of how your reps engage with social selling tools.
Develop a specific pre-call research checklist
I would near guarantee that your reps will enjoy greater conversion of new calls and warm introductions by using the first few minutes to connect on something they have in common with the prospect. And marketers, you can improve consistency and execution by helping reps understand exactly where to look – including educational experience, hobbies and personal interests, links to Facebook and other social channels, etc. Literally think about it as 1-2 minutes to identify 1-2 things you may have in common to break the ice.
Curious what else you may have tried to improve across-the-board sales enablement on LinkedIn and other social channels.