Social selling can be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses.
78% of employees who use social selling outsell their peers who don’t do it, and 51% of employees who use social selling are more likely to reach their quotas.
But, sometimes, it can take a while for the social selling program of a large business to make its way to all the countries or territories within it.
Instead of waiting for the social selling program to reach their country or territory, some areas create their own. Which, instead of helping them to get started effectively, can be counterproductive.
They’ll often end up imitating the mistakes of their colleagues as they get to grips with social selling, all because of a lack of a holistic social selling approach.
So, the whole thing takes longer to become successful, all because of a lack of communication.
Let’s take a look at the issues caused when businesses don’t have a holistic approach to their social selling:
Sometimes, one territory is already paying for a licence, but other territories aren’t aware of what their colleagues are using.
This then risks the company spending more on product or service licences because everyone is buying their own license for the same resource. The cost of this can quickly add up over time.
This overspend could apply to tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator licenses, social selling tools like ZoomInfo, or other software.
If these programs offer personalised training, it may be offered to different teams at different times, meaning some miss out on the best features or techniques.
This lack of communication can mean that teams get tied up in long contracts they’re unable to get out of, too, even if they’ve just discovered another territory is paying for the same thing.
Because of this, sales teams end up with less budget to spend on other areas they could be exploring to develop their social selling approach.
Change Of Pace
When social selling goals are misaligned, everyone starts the approach at different times.
So, if the UK team started social selling a couple of years ago, and they’re confident and successful in their approach, but the Spanish team don’t know their colleagues already use social selling, the Spanish team risks repeating the same mistakes instead of learning from them.
It then takes longer for them to scale their social selling offering, when, if they had a holistic approach, they could be up and running in a fraction of the time the UK team was, simply from better communication.
When there’s no holistic approach, employees can end up using their social selling skills towards different goals. This leads to less inconsistent content, and a confused message between different employees of the same business.
There may also be a risk of someone being hired to manage social selling when there’s already someone who’s a part of the business who does it for other countries or departments, or whose job it is to manage social selling.
What’s The Solution?
There are three options you can choose from – a centralised social selling program, a decentralised social selling program, or a hybrid program.
Each type of social selling program has its pros and cons, but the most important benefit of all of them is that they help businesses stay organised and consistent with their approach, so that everyone in the company knows what they’re doing.
Centralised Social Selling Program
A centralised program means that the budget is controlled centrally, making it easier to move licences around from one person to another. Lead lists are also retained when people leave.
However, one-size-fits-all training doesn’t always work. Every country is different and has different topics or writing styles that resonate with them. Accommodating to different time zones can also be a challenge when running a global program, but that does mean that reporting is centralised and the success of the program is therefore easier to track.
Decentralised Social Selling Program
When a program is decentralised, the budget is provided and justified locally. This can accommodate for the fact that some countries or territories may want to take part, while others may not.
Unfortunately, this also means that when people leave, they’ll take the remaining time left on their expensed license with them.
It also means there’s no central team to manage the program and its rollout. Which makes it harder to measure the overall impact of the program because there’ll be different reports for different countries.
Hybrid Social Selling Program
A hybrid social selling program is a combination of the two versions listed above. This can mean that the budget is managed centrally, which provides better economies of scale. It also allows for license (re) allocation if someone leaves, maximising any software or program investments that are made.
Reports can still be done centrally, too, providing better visibility for the impact the program is having.
Long-term change like this takes time to create, and relies on local volunteers and champions to encourage this change, but when done well, it’s highly scalable long-term.
Get Started With Your Social Selling Program
Would you like some help setting up your company’s social selling program? Check out our free social selling ebook.
Or, if you have some questions, you can book a free 15-minute consultation with our social selling expert, Vanessa.
Why not book a FREE no-commitment, sales-free consultation with our Head of channel social advocacy programs, Vanessa Baker.
Pick Vanessa's brain and gain some insight into which steps would work best to improve its success in your company?
About Vanessa Baker
Hello, I'm Vanessa, Head of Channel Social Advocacy Programs at Tribal Impact, love my role helping clients with their inbound marketing and great social content. Proud Mum to one dog, two boys & four cats.