This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Jill Rowley, Chief Growth Officer at Marketo, to discuss “The Key Pillars of Social Selling.” Marketo offers automation software that helps marketers build brand value, grow revenue, and prove impact. The Adobe company focuses on scalability, reliability, and openness for its CMO users and sells products across a wide range of industries.
Jill first discusses how her personal success as a sales professional helped her develop the idea of social selling: using social networks, not media, to do research on buyers, customer lifetime value, and relationships that drive revenue. Over time, through social selling, you transition from finding buyers to being found by buyers. When conducted effectively, social selling directly correlates with pipeline generation.
She then establishes the five key pillars of social selling:
1. Personal Credibility. Look as good online as you do offline. You’re one Google search away from being reviewed by your buyers, so your LinkedIn profile should be buyer-centric. Position yourself as someone who is knowledgeable and genuinely passionate about helping customers solve problems.
2. ABC-ing and Socially Surrounding. Your network is your net worth. Take the people you meet offline and extend digital online connections to create a deeper network. Remember, if you’re sending generic invites on LinkedIn, you’re already one step behind. Personalize your outreach.
3. Content As Currency. Read and share buyer-centric content across your social network. Read to get smarter about what impacts your buyers, and share to be more visible and valuable to them.
4. Social Listening. If your buyers are active online, you should know what they’re saying. Enable real-time notifications and track specific tag lines. It’ll help you keep up with the people you need to continue to build better relationships with.
5. Measurement. Measure what matters. Set up systems to track new activity, and establish KPIs and benchmarks that you can track over time.
After walking through the pillars, Jill explains the some common issues. Such as, many salespeople have recruiter-centric LinkedIn profiles, not buyer-centric ones. They don’t tailor their profiles to buyers, because they simply don’t know how. Workshops and LinkedIn profile makeover teams can help remedy this. Another common issue is people skip the reading and share content automatically. Not only is this unproductive for personal learning, but it also results in members of the same company sharing overlapping content. Lastly, Jill think that no genuine leadership commitment is another issue. Many leaders may engage in social selling outwardly, but are not truly invested in the effort. As a result, if a sales team misses expectations, leadership tends to automatically revert back to traditional sales outreach. This reflects a failure to understand the need for patience in network-building.
According to Jill, within an organization, sales enablement should should own social selling. When sales enablement is weak or nonexistent, marketing tends to own the effort instead. In this case, however, the focus inevitably becomes social media and reach, not relationships, which are the true core of social selling. Sales enablement, across the board, is still emerging and becoming strategic—companies should focus on tightly aligning enablement with sales strategy and marketing.
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Jill Rowley currently serves as Chief Growth Officer at both Marketo and Sales for Life, the largest social selling and digital sales training organization in the world. She previously founded her own consulting practice, #SocialSelling, to help sales and marketing organizations evolve their digital transformation. Rowley has a rich history of success driving excellence at enterprise SaaS companies, having spent time at Oracle building a world-class training curriculum for the company’s global salesforce. She joined Oracle through its acquisition of Eloqua, where she helped companies modernize their marketing for more than 10 years. Prior to Eloqua, Rowley worked at Salesforce.com. She has also held notable advisory positions at TrackMaven, HubSpot, and Affinio, among others.
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