Jill Rowley is a social-selling advocate, a speaker, and a trainer. She worked as one of the top sales reps at Eloqua for 13 years, and companies from Salesforce.com to Oracle have enlisted Jill to help transform their lead management processes.
I invited Jill to Marketing Smarts to talk about the sales revolution and how organizations of all types need to master social selling to stay relevant.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
Salespeople need to deliver references up front, or modern buyers will find their own (02:44): "The modern buyer is digitally driven. She's socially connected. She's mobile with multiple devices, and she has really unlimited access to information. Therefore, the modern buyer doesn't need the salesperson for information, nor for access to reference customers... I was a quota-carrying sales rep for 13 years—52 quarters. So, I was, and still am as an entrepreneur, a salesperson. What we used to do in sales (and I think a lot of people are still doing this) is they wait until the end of that buyer's buying process to provide references. And the reality is that as a modern buyer you can go to LinkedIn, and if you're looking for people, colleagues, similar type professionals who have implemented marketing automation, you can find those individuals by doing a quick search on LinkedIn for "marketing automation," or for vendor names, and you can find people who have actually bought and used and implemented those products without even having to ask the salesperson."
Don't just get your salespeople using social networks: You need to completely shift their mindset (09:27): "It's only by showing them that the new way works, and...I really focus a lot on mindset shifts in sales organizations, and in particular a mindset shift in very traditional sales organizations where...it's not even good enough to win, you've got to crush your competition while winning, and that type of mentality just doesn't work for the modern buyer. What I really help sales professionals understand is how different the world is today, because buyers have unlimited access to information and people. No one's ever wanted to be sold to, and now they have a choice. As a salesperson, you are measured by your number, so I would remind salespeople [to ask themselves]...every day, every deal in my pipeline, what am I doing to help that buyer get to the point where they can purchase? What do they need to know? What are the questions that they have that are unanswered still?"
Share the right content for each part of the sales funnel (13:27): "Top of the funnel's more thought leadership, much more non-company-branded content. Then as the buyer starts to progress an they get more educated... I would always say: Why marketing automation? Why Eloqua? Why now? And so [for] the 'why marketing automation?' I would use [others people's content], thought leadership on the value and the benefit of marketing automation. [For] 'Why Eloqua?' I would use information that would help our buyers understand life after you sign the contract. This isn't just about buying software as a service. This is about getting on a journey to become a modern marketer, and that journey is not easy... Why are we different? Why are we the vendor to make you successful?"
Jill and I covered a lot more ground, including why turning down business might ultimately be good for your long-term sales results, and how sales compensation models are about to undergo a massive change, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
This episode brought to you by:
Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Jill Rowley, founder and chief evangelist at #SocialSelling.