Time to read: 3 minutes. If social selling training is on your to-do list you’re not alone. Choosing the best social selling training for your organization can be daunting. In a world of “instant experts” investing in the wrong social selling trainer can be disastrous. Let’s understand the safest place to start. Follow these steps to make the best decision.
Answering essential questions
First, let’s glance at the below social selling training checklist. Then we’ll get into the details of each step.
1) What should the selection criteria be?
2) How much should the social selling training cost?
3) How do I find candidates?
4) What essential skills should the trainer teach?
5) How can I make sure this training is worth the money?
It’s essential for you or your sales team to DO—not just learn—social selling tactics. Therefore, make sure the training you invest in:
- teaches a practical, repeatable system based in traditional copywriting skills,
- helps sellers take “first steps” to apply the system,
- promises outcomes like more appointments & response, in less time.
One of the most common reasons social selling or LinkedIn training fails is lack of focus on how to get response.
Make sure your training provides more than how-to lessons on managing LinkedIn’s privacy settings and controls.
The more you stick with the above criteria the more you’ll be able to measure the performance of your training investment. Place these criteria in a short, focused request for proposal (RFP) email.
Cost of social selling training
These factors drive cost:
- Quality of trainer
Is the trainer (only) a technical knowledge source or do they also bring sales process and copywriting tactics?
- Skills the training will develop
Will the training focus on technical or “platform” skills or sales process & messaging tactics?
- Delivery of the training
Will it be an on-site event, recorded/video “Home Study” or series of live, online Webinar sessions?
- Coaching services
Some trainers offer “ride along” bonuses like a private LinkedIn group or Google+ community for your team.
If your team is geographically disbursed an online training will be most cost effective.
Are your sellers ambitious do-ers? Will they actually make time for the training? If so, a self-paced, “home study” program may work.
If your sellers will be reluctant to take the training, mandate attendance from your executive sales leader. Also, choose to deliver training using a live Webinar format. Make the training assignable to a date on their calendar.
Using Google and LinkedIn search, scan the horizon for training candidates. Identify a short-list of potential social selling training trainers.
Use your selection criteria (above) to solicit proposals from trainers. If you don’t wish to mail out a formal RFP, no problem. Use your selection criteria as a guide to identify the most capable vendors based on what you see on their Web sites.
Don’t forget to get references. Don’t settle for testimonials. Call a reference or, at least, make sure the references are real people! Seriously. We live in a world of social media charlatans and “instant experts.”
Don’t get caught with your pants down!
What should my social selling trainer teach?
If you don’t know the answer, don’t worry. Think in terms of getting back to basics. What do your front line sellers (or you, yourself) want?
The primary goal of your training should be earning more appointments by increasing response. Make sure training you invest in focuses on a process that creates:
- attention from a targeted group of potential buyers,
- engagement that is provocative enough to spark
- response—conversation that generates a lead or sale.
How can I avoid ANY mistakes?!
Here’s the most overlooked factor.
When considering what social selling trainer is best for you consider “the HOW” of the training. The instructional design—not only the curriculum. Only invest in training that:
- includes worksheets that get sellers DO-ing, (not just learning)
- is directly relevant to current challenges and goals of your sales team,
- focuses on a balance of platform (eg. LinkedIn) and prospecting tactics.
When interviewing final candidates ask them for references who can tell you how their sellers are generating more response after the training.
Beware of this
Social selling trainers often qualify themselves based on how well they know their way around platforms like LinkedIn. Do NOT let this be your main selection criteria.
Beware of social selling training promising outcomes other than measurable increases in response to—and appointments with—your reps and dealers.
Invest in a trainer who measures his/her own success based on sellers taking action. (not merely repeating what they learned)
Assess: Make Sure You Succeed
Make your social selling training relevant and effective. Start with an assessment. Discover your team’s strengths, weaknesses and challenges—right now.
Require your social selling trainer to perform a low-cost assessment to guarantee your success and avoid disaster.
Make sure the assessment:
- justifies your investment,
- identifies and sets performance metrics,
- uncovers current attitudes & experiences with tools like LinkedIn,
- identifies both resistance to social selling and early adopters.
Identifying early adopters will insure success in the eyes of your boss. By finding reps and dealers eager to sharpen their skills you can focus the training on increasing their success (and reporting back to the boss on it).
You can stack the deck in your favor!
Do you have more questions about investing in social selling training? Let me know in comments or send me an email. I’ll be glad to help!