CHANNEL PARTNERS EVOLUTION — A sales expert gave an impassioned plea for partners to stop competition on price.
“When you don’t know how to sell value, then it becomes impossible to sell against price,” he told the audience during his keynote speech.
Harris argued that sales teams will get better at value-driven transactions if they incorporate a simple yet untapped strategy: social selling.
“Social selling is using social media to make the connections with your potential customers to [make] a brand in terms of who you are,” he said.
Partners have doubtless heard about social selling and social marketing before (we’ve written about it multiple times), but not everyone fully grasps just how effective they are. Harris said 60 percent of businesses with social media strategies do better than their competition.
One of the obvious reasons social media is important is how heavily people use it. Harris shared that 20 percent of online page views come from Facebook and two people join LinkedIn every second.
Businesses that want to adopt a strong social media strategy need to rethink the purpose of the social media. LinkedIn is a clear example of ineffective use. Harris said sales people tend to use the website to post their career accomplishments.
“LinkedIn is more than just a place you go to dump your resume,” Harris said. “Customers don’t care about that.”
The same goes for promotions. Customers want to see how your skills fit their problems and use cases.
“If you’ve been in same company ever since God made dirt, you don’t have to say it every time you get a little bitty promotion. Nobody wants to read all that mess,” he said.
Harris laid out three ways to outperform competition using social media. The first step is to be known. Harris said one way to get yourself out there is to ensure that your social media account uses a professional photo of you. Once your customers are aware of your presence, you need to be relevant to them. That means showing your specialization and your ability to solve their problems. Finally, a sales person needs to proactively make themselves and their offerings clearly available to prospective customers. Assuming that a customer has the wherewithal to scroll all the way down a page to find your company’s link is laziness on behalf of the sales person.