5 Ways to Hook Your Sales Team on Employee Advocacy
Sales are the most important members of your employee advocacy program. No one understands or relates to your prospects and customers better than sales. Ideally, sharing content on social media becomes another powerful tool that sales should add to their toolkit. A tool which helps them close more opportunities or draw in prospects.
That being said, sales team members don’t share as much content as they should. In a report by IDC, it stated that 80% of the content that marketing generate goes untouched and unnoticed, even though most of it has been created for sales enablement. In other words, only 1 in 5 content pieces gets shared!
In light of this problem, the primary hurdles that sales faces for sharing content are twofold: (1) they don’t understand the value in sharing content; (2) they find it frustrating and counterproductive to find the right information for their target audience.
By providing your sales team with proper guidance, you can encourage them to share more content and become key members of your employee advocacy program. Here are the 5 biggest factors that get your sales team hooked on employee advocacy:
1. Connect Sales with Marketing
Marketing and sales need to talk more. At the moment, they’re two different departments with two different objectives. Before getting sales to share your content, they need to be taught on the purpose of such content. Why do marketing create content in the first place? Why is it important that it reaches more people? What does success looks like for marketing? Translate this success into clear numbers e.g. out of 500 webinar leads, 5% become customers. Aligning sales and marketing ensures both teams are pushing towards the same results.
Next, it’s important that your sales team understand the role of content at different stages of the buyer’s journey, pointing to how sales fits into process. Creating this transparency ensures that sales understand the importance of sharing content, in turn making it easier for you to get them onboard.
2. Leverage Sales’ Knowledge
If anything, your sales know your customers better than anyone else in the company. Open up a discussion where you can gather all of this knowledge to better understand your prospects and what they are looking for. Leverage this knowledge to develop content that resonates with prospects and addresses their needs. This will make your sales team realize that they are a significant asset to your employee advocacy program.
3. Sell Sales on Advocacy
While you’re spilling great content on sales to share, none of it will matter if you don’t give them an incentive. At this point, you must wear the sales hat and tell them the direct benefits of content sharing. Luckily, there are a bunch of reports and statistics that demonstrate the success of sales people on social media.
Among the lot, here are a few key ways that sales can benefit:
- Better understanding of prospects: When sales people share content on social media, they become more engaged in industry-related communities. This gives them greater access to the needs and interests of prospects, which makes for warmer interactions.
- Thought leadership: Sales reps with an active and engaging social profile are more likely to be recognized in industry. They are also more likely to earn the loyalty and trust of prospects, which helps solidify the relationship. Their mere presence on social media ensures that more people are aware of the company and product they represent.
- Higher revenue: In comparison to their non-social peers, sales members who use social media in their efforts achieve 78% more sales. Another study shows that 64% of sales reps who engage in social selling hit their team quota.
4. Introduce Platform & Guidelines
The number one rule when choosing a employee advocacy platform is ‘make sure it’s simple’. Your sales team are busy enough with calls, weekly meetings, and demos. They need an efficient platform that will make it easy for them to share, share, and share! A difficult process will harm participation.
Oktopost has an employee advocacy platform that allows team members to access a large library of ready-made social content, which they can instantly share to their personal networks. Members can also filter the content by ‘network’ or ‘topic’ in order to find the best information for their audience. On top of this, advocates can view their own performance and ranking in the program in relation to others.
Once you’ve got everyone comfortable with the platform, it’s essential that you provide clear social media guidelines — what to do and not to do. The following article explains how to:
- Optimize employees’ social profiles
- Introduce the company’s social networks
- Equip sales team with practical social media skills
- Scrutinize the company’s social media policy
Make yourself available to answer any questions that your sales team might have regarding sharing content or using the platform. Show that you are invested in helping them succeed and they will return the favor.
5. Foster Trust
Creating an environment where your sales advocates feel trusted will ensure that they promote your company in the most authentic way. On one hand, your marketing team should provide sales with ready-made content. On the other hand, you need to give them the freedom to alter the post or message in a way that better resonates with their audience. Sales professionals want to feel that they can shape the employee advocacy program.
Another way to demonstrate trust is by letting sales make content suggestions. As mentioned earlier, your salespeople have a much better understanding of the ideal customer profile. Weaving their ideas into your content will certainly make them feel more valued.
Your sales team can be your best employee advocates. After all, they’re already committed to driving revenue for your company. Take their commitment a notch higher by handing them the right knowledge, skills, and training. Get them hooked on your employee advocacy program and you’ll have a team that’s willing to increase your company’s promotion.
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Originally published at www.oktopost.com on July 18, 2017.