Getting Your Sales Team on Social Media | How it Benefits Them
Even with marketing staff firmly behind using social media as a promotional tool, some dealerships are finding it harder to get their sales team on social media. All that sharing seems to go against their grain – their competitive working environment and their focus on near-term quotas and results. If that’s an issue for your dealership, here are some ways you can give sales reps a different perspective on social media.
Getting your sales team on social media – really making the most of these opportunities – requires them to step out of their comfort zone to write blog articles, post tweets, etc. But why should they? What’s in it for them as sales reps? It’s your job as a manager to replace their reluctance with enthusiasm, demonstrating value the same way your sales reps demonstrate value to prospects when talking about your equipment and services.
Incorporate social media stats in your incentive program criteria.
Create new incentives surrounding social media such as the number of comments received on blog articles, recommendations on LinkedIn, Twitter followers, virtual attendees for a webinar they teach. Keep it light, so it’s fun, but measure “social strengths” just as you do other benchmarks for measuring performance.
Ultimately, isn’t the goal to increase overall dealership sales? Encouraging your sales reps to compete with each other is fine, but celebrate dealership-wide social media advances, too, to reward “team-manship.”
Encourage a longer view of success.
If your sales people are rewarded only for closing sales, you’ll never get your sales team on social media. They’ll see all that effort to incrementally build relationships through engagement as a wasted effort that cuts into their time to focus on ready-to-buy prospects. Help them use social media analytics to track how their efforts actually move leads through your sales funnel, so they can see the return on their personal investment.
Sales people are good number-crunchers. And as a side-benefit, they’re likely to provide some valuable new insight about those numbers to enhance your overall marketing efforts.
Encourage them to get off the fence.
Sales professionals are careful not to offend potential customers by having a strong opinion or openly disagreeing with them, because they’re afraid of losing potential sales. But they can dip their toe in the social media waters with topics that allow them to express themselves without taking a big risk.
Ask them to share their product knowledge or “how to be a better buyer” tips. Knowledge sharing is an important component of any successful sales effort, especially for busy trucking or construction industry prospects who are searching for smart, cost-effective business solutions. Or ask your sales reps to write a blog article about why they joined your dealership.
Topics like these allow your sales team to reveal a bit about themselves via topics that are comfortable. They’re building confidence in social media. They’re providing valuable content for your dealership. And they’re taking an important step toward humanizing your dealership by personalizing themselves.
Getting your sales team on social media is just another way to support their personal development, and that’s a key component of ongoing professional development.
Somewhere along the line we’ve all been taught that you can’t make any kind of progress in life without taking some level of risk. Trying new things. Ask your sales reps to think back to their very first sales call — and how far they’ve come. Now social media may feel new and strange to them, but they can tackle it bit by bit.