As a sales consultant that works with organizations on their sales process and sales training I speak to a lot of sales leaders about their experiences in sales, and over the past couple of years, I’ve heard all of the following from clients:
“Prospects don’t answer the phone.”
“I can’t reach decision makers.”
“My sales cycle is getting longer.”
“Prospects already know what they want.”
“Even though I have over 100K likes on my Facebook page, 259K Twitter followers, and 4K LinkedIn contacts, we are still not meeting our goals!”
Facebook likes, Twitter retweets, and LinkedIn contacts by themselves are not equal to results in sales. Furthermore, it does not matter how many sales videos you watch by Grant Cardone, Gary Vaynerchuk, or anybody else—they will not improve the ability of a sales organization.
If you are not content with your sales today and you focus on inbound marketing, social media, and YouTube, you will be unhappy tomorrow! There is no doubt that over the past decade, there has been a cataclysmic change in sales and sales training, and that change will not stop. If anything, it will continue to accelerate. If you are responsible for a sales organization, you already know there are salespeople and sales managers who don’t have the right sales DNA to continue in sales.
Social media has ruined sales, salespeople, and sales training by giving salespeople false hope.
This false hope is understandable because, over the past decade, salespeople have measured their social success based on likes. We know that getting likes and interacting with others via our cell phones excites the pleasure centers of our brains and releases dopamine.
With so many gurus on social media telling salespeople that they will never have to pick up their phones again, salespeople are invested in social media. However, they are not getting the success they were promised.
Disappointed in their sales results, salespeople go back to social media and YouTube and watch videos that tell them they just need to hustle. What do they do next? They do more, they promote their posts, generate more tweets and LinkedIn connections before getting the opposite of the results they’re looking for. The prospects the salespeople have been hammering via their hustle are ignoring them!
Social media is a tool and it is great for marketing to generate brand awareness. It can be a way to fill your sales funnel, generate leads and it can result in sales. However, your salespeople must be able to have peer-level conversations with clients, use a repeatable process that will help them discover clients’ needs, determine who the decision makers are, and find out if clients have the necessary budget.
Finally, remember that sales is a contact sport. If you want to get better at it, find a training program that will give you the tools and hold you accountable for learning by applying the tools. Watching a video is a static exercise that may increase your knowledge, but salespeople will not see the results they desire until they apply the knowledge.
Full disclosure: You may be reading this article via my blog or on LinkedIn, or you may have been directed to it via one of my own multiple social media accounts. Let me be clear that there is a place for social media, but it will not replace being a valued partner and having the ability to engage prospects using something other than Snapchat.