According to Wikipedia, a cyborg is an organism that has restored function or enhanced abilities due to the integration of some artificial component or technology. A Cyborg Seller, therefore, may be described as the ultimate selling machine that will combine sales acumen and content together with social media to build a defensible position in your accounts. Sounds great, right? But how do we become Cyborg Sellers?
The Evolution of Social Selling
Everyone is running around telling you to use social media: post, Tweet, Snap and LIKE your customers to death. What’s interesting is that LinkedIn launched their entire platform as a recruitment tool with little mind to the true power of the platform for sales people. Now they are selling LinkedIn Sales Navigator and offering training classes as though they unlocked a secret sales process through networking.
But the reality is that this concept is really nothing new; Frank Bettger, the author of How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Sales, wrote about this concept 100 years ago. The only thing that has changed are the tools we use for this networking; LinkedIn has certainly made this easier. Additionally, the social networking giant is trying to capture the social selling measurement standard with their Social Selling Index (SSI), which we will address in a different blog post.
How to Become a Cyborg Seller
Let us now turn our attention to how you can become a Cyborg Seller and demonstrate your ability to build a following and educate your clients on trends in your industry, leveraging the content from your marketing team.
There are 2 types of content that we talk about: original assets (like this blog post) or curated content which, when carefully selected, enables you to repost and Retweet material developed by other thought leaders. Sales people have to constantly adapt by learning new ways to build credibility and add value for their prospects. By using social media to differentiate yourself and educate clients and prospects, you are adding value and showcasing thought leadership.
The process of becoming a Cyborg Seller is broken into 4 specific actions:
- Determine your starting point
- Choose your social media tools
- Build a library of content
- Automate your process
Determine Your Starting Point
The first thing you need to do is to measure your current social influence using 2 different tools Klout and LinkedIn SSI. These scores will provide you with a baseline to start with and enable you to see how your social selling progress will enhance your scores and sales process.
Choose Your Social Media Tools
There are so many out there: LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. For Sales Gauge we are using LinkedIn and Twitter as our tools of choice. Posting to your network 2 to 3 times a week is a good start and Tweeting 2-3 times per day about your industry, customer successes and other trade news will build your following. Once you build some momentum, people will follow you if you provide some strong insights and helpful information that helps them in a concrete way.
Build a Library of Content
While there are many tools out there that can help you search and locate great content, our preferred tool of choice is a Chrome browser plugin called Pocket. Pocket allows us to read articles and then save them to the “pocket” for later use. Doing a quick search of articles or using a tool like Feedly to gather interesting articles and save them off to share later is very efficient.
Automate Your Process
We certainly understand that sales people, like everyone else, are very busy doing their sales jobs and adding this task of Cyborg Selling is one more item on the list. But what do you do when you have a repetitive task? AUTOMATE!
There are many tools to do this, both free and paid: HubSpot, Hootsuite or, our tool of choice, Buffer. Buffer enables me to connect to all of my social networks in one place and then schedule out the posts. In just 1 hour per week or 15 minutes per day you can grab articles from Pocket, load them into Buffer, and then utilize the scheduling feature within Buffer to post at certain times of the day. Consider morning, lunch and evening commute time in LinkedIn and Twitter or maybe just Linkedin or Twitter. In either case you can set up an entire week’s worth of posts and time them to go out without having to log in to each separate social network at each of those scheduled times.
As we mention during our training, if you want to make more money in sales than you did last year you need to do things differently. This process, coupled with the right technology tools, gives you the enhanced ability to increase your sales pipeline.