LinkedIn and Social Selling – Review and Action Plan

Wurlwind Social Selling Framework ImageAs Social Selling gathers momentum so business people in many roles realise the importance of reviewing their approach and are looking for best practice techniques, which is why we have developed the Social Selling Review and Action Plan service.

Who is the Social Selling Review designed for?

The Social Selling Review service has been designed and delivered for smaller businesses including:

  • independent consultants eg. management consultants, business consultants etc.
  • micro businesses with say 2-10 staff, typically led by the business owner
  • small businesses with say 11-20 staff, typically led by a Managing Director with a management team

NB. The Social Selling Framework is also valid for larger businesses and divisions of large enterprises.

The Review is ideal for Business Leaders who want to identify how to make rapid progress with Social Selling, either from scratch or who are already making some use of LinkedIn and Social Media for Business but now want to step up a gear.

What are the main benefits of the Social Selling Review?

There are many benefits that an independent Review of Social Selling by Wurlwind will deliver, including:

  • Identify potential revenue opportunities at strategic, operational or tactical levels,
  • Identify potential cost savings through productivity and other means, such as better sales opportunity qualification
  • Identify ways to reduce your sales cycle time, such as by guiding prospects through the buying process

The Action Plan will highlight quick wins for an initial phase and outline multiple phases that make up a journey that may well span over more than a year.

A Review and Action Plan from Wurlwind provides a structured approach and plan for the progressive changes needed for effective Social Selling.

What does the Social Selling Review and Action Plan cover?

The review covers TEN inter-related areas. For each area we look at what exists and the future potential to identify the gap and activities to bridge the gap. Activities are then prioritised to give a focused activity plan for activity to upgrade capability through implementation.

The Anchor for effective Social Selling:

1. Goals & Objectives

Business and Sales Goals are the starting point for the review and also the end objective for the action plan. These provide the commercial framework for the scope and scale of the action plan. Without these it’s very tough to track and assess progress and return on investment of money and time. At different levels, the goals might be to double turn-over and/or profit in 12 months, to generate 50 leads a month online within a month, or to increase website traffic from social media by 50% in 3 months.

The Four Foundations of effective Social Selling

2. Your Ideal Customer

It’s surprising (and alarming) how many businesses have a weak or non-existent definition of their ideal customer. We will review this, and if applicable suggest options or further work necessary to identify audiences and define/build customer or client personas.

3. Customer Value Proposition

There is huge value in turning knowledge into products and having a product ladder of increasing value, and price. For effective Social Selling it’s useful to have clear destinations that prospects can be lead towards. We will review the product offerings and collateral and make appropriate recommendations for improvements.

4. Your Personal Brand and Professional Profile

As the lead consultant, business owner or business leader your personal profile is critical for effective social selling. We will review your Linkedin Profile and other social media accounts eg. Twitter, Facebook etc. and search for your name to identify what comes up. We will then recommend improvements aor more significant overhauls necessary to upgrade the professional image and reputation and social proof online.

5. Your Company Page

As well as your website the Company Page that your business has on Linkedin is important. We will review both, (and other social properties) and make recommendations about they can be improved individually and also how links between them can be improved.

The Three Stages of the Social Selling Process

6. Social Prospecting

For many this is the essence of Social Selling. While we believe in a broader view of what Social Selling is there is no denying that Social Prospecting is a powerful way to find prospects, engage and educate them and to start sales conversations. We will review your activities in this area and recommend improvements that will deliver quick wins and longer term gains.

7. The Selling Process

This activity is what most business owners and sales people focus on, to move qualified prospects through to a sale. There are techniques using LinkedIn and other Social platforms that can assist in the process and improve conversion rates. We will review and recommend improvements.

8. Customer Appreciation

Social Media is a fantastic way to gain referrals and one way to encourage that is through customer appreciation. We will review how you currently do this and make recommendations for how it can be improved in future.

Two essential Supporting Resources

9. Educational and Sales Content

Content is an essential part of Social Selling. However there are many mistakes that can be made in this area, from not enough, too much, poor distribution, wrong topics, poor conversion and so on. We will review the available content and identify gaps or weak areas and recommend improvements to support effective social selling.

10. Apps and Tools for Sales & Marketing

Technology will not replace human contact, but it has a role to introduce self-service, to handle repetition very efficiently and cost effectively, to support a 24/7 operation even though the office is closed, and similar new ways of working. The review will identify opportunities to improve outcomes through effective use of technology.

What are the deliverables from the Social Selling Review

We recognise the importance of brief, actionable guidance that aids decision-making by business owners who have 1001 competing priorities for time and budget.

Therefore the approach of the review and action plan is based on the 80:20 principle – and the value of doing 5 things well rather than aiming for perfection on one issue and getting bogged down, or trying to tackle 50 issues and risk losing focus.

There are essentially two element to the deliverables, although in practice each area above will be covered by a review section and immediately and action plan section.

Social Selling Review

This element provides an independent assessment of each of the ten areas at strategic, operational and tactical levels. It will highlight strengths and weaknesses and also the opportunities we see for the client in each area.

Social Selling Action Plan

This element identifies and recommends improvement steps specific to the business, based on the inter-dependence of the various elements.

Overall the Action Plan typically identifies 20-30 focused recommendations for pragmatic improvements for quick wins, and also suggestions for mid-term payback. Where possible these are prioritised and categorised, along with inter-dependencies and other narrative to aid management decision-making and resource allocation.

Social Selling Framework Commercials

With a pragmatic approach to scope and level of detail and reporting back, we typically allocate the following time to the Review and Action Plan:

  • For a Solo business – such as an Independent Consultant – this review takes 1 chargeable day
  • For a small business – Owner Manager and 1-3 sales and marketing staff – 2 chargeable days
  • For a medium sized businessManaging Director, department heads, sales team – 3 chargeable days

Customer Feedback and Testimonials

Previous clients have found the Wurlwind style and approach is very effective. It doesn’t take much of their time, or the time of their sales staff, and they gain value from discussions along the way. The report is easy to assimilate, to make decisions from and tasks are clear and easy to allocate out to appropriate people or suppliers.

For further information, contact me, Mark Stonham, for an initial discussion and to confirm feasibility and potential benefits.