I’ve been very busy at InsideView the past few months. After joining and getting waist deep in building strategies around engaging our customers and prospects using social media, a few things became very clear to me. One was that this company has hit on something very hot, giving sales people actionable trigger events to drive business conversations and decisions. Another is that social media in B2B sales is a growing topic of discussion and people from executive levels down to the individual sales rep are hungry to learn how to leverage new media. With these two facts becoming more obvious as each day passed, I started developing a plan in November to deliver real tips and content specifically for sales people that want to leverage social media.
The first step was to test the waters to make sure that my idea of Social Selling was actually something people would want to know more about and at Dreamforce 2010 I did my first presentation to a live audience on what I believe is a paradigm shift in how sales people engage prospects. We have a video of the Social Selling Primer here. As a sales person, I had been leveraging social media for a while but I never expected the hunger by others on how to do this themselves. I did an interview with Marketo talking about social media for sales people and it is one of the more popular videos on their YouTube channel.
With the stars aligning we started making contact with leaders in this space Like Anneke Seley, Jill Konrath, Barbara Giamanco and Nigel E to see if they would have any interest being a part of a series of webinars and other content to educate sales people how to leverage social media. They were all very excited to join the movement.
Today Social Selling University officially launches as the first program to educate sales professionals on how to leverage social media technologies and methodologies to increase sales productivity and drive revenue throughout the entire sales cycle. The first-of-its-kind program instructs sales organizations, consultants and in-house teams about selling to the modern and socially-connected customer — Customer 2.0 — and offers both an on-demand curriculum and live workshops. The program is open to all sales professionals starting today.
Social Selling University’s (SSU) actionable content and interactive learning modules have been developed by expert instructors, including experienced thought leaders, authors and analysts. Classes are designed for all levels of sales professionals, covering a broad range of topics including entry-level social media instruction on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, best practices for managing personal online brands and how to accelerate the sales cycle by leveraging recent business events, social conversations and social relationships (aka “social intelligence”). The program’s instructors will provide expert advice to sales management on how to best incorporate social selling into their organizations, and educate sales professionals on how to utilize social media platforms to drive greater sales productivity.
“Social media is fundamentally changing the way sales professionals navigate the sales cycle — what worked two years ago, doesn’t work anymore because socially savvy buyers know far more about products and companies than ever before,” said Barbara Giamanco, Talent Builders CEO. “Fortunately, SSU levels the playing field by teaching sales executives, managers and reps how to interact with and sell to the modern consumer. These social sales practices breed relationships and eliminate the need for cold calling.”
Who should attend SSU?
Any sales professional — from account rep to sales team leader, director or executive — who CANNOT answer the question: “What is social selling and why does it matter to my sales organization?”
Isn’t social media for marketers? Why does social media matter to sales people?
- Social media marketing grew 50% in 2010 to $1.2 billion, and analysts predict that 2011 is the “year of social integration” for businesses. Social CRM has crested as the new and understood platform for sales and customer service.
“Salespeople who fail to leverage social media do so at their own peril. The problem is, many don’t know how,” said Jill Konrath, best-selling author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. “Thankfully, technologies exist to allow any sales professional to gather and share relevant buyer information and achieve greater sales success. Social Selling University is a great place to start and continue learning what’s possible in the new world of social selling.”
As part of the initiative, SSU will host a Webinar series, featuring a panel of industry thought leaders to answer questions about how to use social media for sales, including:
March 3: Barbara Giamanco, founder and CEO of Talent Builders, Inc
March 8: Koka Sexton, director of Social Selling University
March 10: Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies
March 15: Patrick O’Malley, social media trainer and consultant
March 17: Nigel Edelshain, CEO of Sales 2.0
March 22: Pelin Thorogood, principal, Schulman + Thorogood Group.
March 24: Anneke Seley, CEO and founder of Phone Works and coauthor of Sales 2.0
March 29: Dan Schawbel, managing partner of Millennial Branding, LLC
March 31: Tibor Shanto, principal, Renbor Sales Solutions
On March 8, SSU will host a live, complimentary workshop following the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, where industry thought leaders will discuss the best practices for leveraging social media to increase sales team performance. Visit SSU’s registration page for more information about the agenda, speakers or sign-up information.
“Social media has completely changed the world of selling, and if you and your organization want to stay relevant, then you need to learn how to use these tools before your competitors,” said Dan Schawbel, the author of the number one international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future. ”Social Selling University is the first program to teach salespeople how to use Facebook, Twitter and other social tools to generate ready-to-buy leads and build relationships with customers that result in long-term business growth.”
About Social Selling University
Social Selling University is the world’s first initiative dedicated to teaching the sales profession how to put social media to work within their sales processes and organizations for greater productivity and revenue, through online instruction and in-person workshops. SSU staff includes dozens of the leading experts in social media, sales and Social CRM, and provides courses made specifically for executives, managers and representatives. Founded in 2011 by InsideView, SSU is the leading source of education about using the social Web to increase sales productivity through social intelligence. For more information, visit www.socialsellingu.com.