Social media strategy dominating sales training, study finds

11th Jul 2013

LinkedIn has never been a more attractive sales tool with sales managers now preferring to train their staff on social media strategy than traditional sales techniques.

That’s according to a survey of sales teams across the financial services, travel and media sales sectors in the UK, USA and UAE by Sales Commando. The findings showed that 54% of organisations preferred to focus their sales training programmes on attracting potential clients via social platforms such as LinkedIn, rather than developing inter-personal sales skills.

Sales Commando’s Doug Tucker said of the findings: “These days, providing a fantastic product and flawless service is no longer enough, clients need to feel as though they are getting maximum value for money. As such it’s more important than ever to engage directly with prospective customers.

“Clearly in today’s connected world, social media has its uses, and it very much should be a part of the marketing mix. However, the one-to-one sales approach, built on a strong rapport, cannot be rivalled to close a deal. 

“Our research underscores how many companies could be missing out on a myriad of sales opportunities because they have forgotten the fundamentals of salesmanship.  Increasingly, companies are focusing on elaborate social media marketing ploys and neglecting to pay attention to the vitally important issue of spiking and maintaining a client’s interest – something which is essential to secure new and repeat business.”

Forrester analyst Mark Lindwall recently wrote that salespeople are failing to understand how value adds up for clients and of the basis for which a prospective customer is really making a decision.

“Think about your own buying experiences,” he says. “Out of all of the salespeople who you’ve ever interacted with, how many can you think of who asked the right questions to really truly understood what you were trying to accomplish and what you and your company were most concerned about (other than price)?  

“To understand buyers is to understand what drives their value decisions,” he said.

Over the coming month, will be exploring how the world of sales is being influenced by mobile, social, Cloud and Big Data.

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