We all know that there's no miracle fix in life, but like a lot of people I know I’m sometimes guilty of buying (or lusting after) a new tool, app or gadget hoping it’s the solution to a new, “better me”. (Whilst secretly knowing better.) Especially when those products are on an Amazon best-seller list or Black Friday offer!
LinkedIn Sales Navigator licences are one of those must-have tools for business. Even before the pandemic, LinkedIn licences were often bought en masse as the “solution” to meeting the changing needs of B2B buyers. Now, many organisations are in a state of panic. Social selling on LinkedIn is no longer a plan to address in the future. Instead, it’s been thrust upon organisations, no matter how willing.
Will LinkedIn Sales Navigator turn traditional sales teams into top-performing social sellers overnight? On its own, I very much doubt it. (Just like I know I need to commit to putting my must-have LED face mask on daily – not when I feel like it – and that less wine and chocolate, as well as more sleep, is also needed!)
The truth is that Sales Navigator can be a powerful tool but it isn’t a miracle solution for social selling on LinkedIn.
Here’s why – and the complementary fixes that help overcome this.
Why Sales Navigator doesn’t guarantee success with social selling on LinkedIn
Just read any of our blogs and you’ll see that we’re avid fans of Sales Navigator, quick to sing the praises of its many powerful features for social selling on LinkedIn. But too often organisations fall prey to the following problems when rolling out their licences:
New tool, same tricks
When sales teams are first introduced to LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s features, it’s eye-opening. Suddenly there’s no “gatekeeper”. Decision-makers (and buying influencers) can be found within a few searches. But selling with social media can quickly become a new sales playground for repeating the same old techniques that modern B2B buyers don’t like.
- Cold InMails replace cold calls. (We’ve all been on the receiving end of irrelevant InMails where the person hasn’t bothered to take the time to get to know us or pretends to understand what we need. It doesn’t work any more than a cold call doing the same!)
- Pitching solutions too soon instead of building relationships.
- Interrupting buyers with sales message posts.
- Not helping B2B buyers self-serve.
- Pushing for a meeting too soon.
Sales will need training in the art of social selling on LinkedIn if they’re going to become top sellers online – from the basics through to more targeted training and coaching that’s specific to their needs.
Sales are fighting with competing KPIs
In many organisations, call time logs are still used as a metric to measure sales performance. If your sales team's performance is still measured on old KPIs and if social selling is simply seen as something “to give a go”, it will never work.
Instead, your sales teams’ KPIs need to include LinkedIn social selling metrics such as:
- Number of account leads saved
- Number of contacts saved at each account
- LinkedIn SSI score % increase
- Engagement figures on posts
You can see what typical metrics look like by role here: LinkedIn Sales Navigator Benchmarks: What Does Good Really Look Like?
That takes buy-in from management and so both they and their sales managers will need to understand why these KPIs matter.
They need to believe
Social Selling with LinkedIn involves a cultural mindset shift and if your sales team are going to fully get behind it they’ll need to see evidence that it can work for them. Industry reports and statistics on social selling will only get you so far.
If you can get one or two shining examples of people like them that have exceeded their targets (and will see a handsome bonus), your sales team will be queuing up to find out how to emulate that success. Stir up that healthy competition!
Recommended reading: Why A Pilot Is A Must-Do For Social Business Transformation
The going will get tough
In our experience, most social sellers see some initial success and it spurs them on. They’ll start to see engagement on their posts have more connection requests with prospects accepted and see their LinkedIn Social Selling Index score increase. After this initial success, things can reach a plateau as the longer-term success requires persistence.
This is when increasingly more targeted and personalised social selling training is needed to help salespeople overcome the barriers they face when putting their training into practice – and seeing it through for the long-term results. As we say at Tribal, training should progress from “Train the Masses” to “Train the Many” to “Train the Few”.
Recommended Reading: How to Choose the Best Partner for Social Business Transformation
A program: the real solution for social selling on LinkedIn
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a wonderful tool but to achieve the ROI it can deliver you must make it part of a wider Social Selling Program – which includes these fixes and more.
The first time you introduce your sales teams to Social Selling on LinkedIn using Sales Navigator is the best time to get them on-board, so make sure you maximise your opportunity with the right strategy.
Learn how to launch a Social Selling program that delivers with our eBook: The Ultimate Kick Start Guide To Launching A Social Selling Program