How to Identify Your Sales Team’s Readiness to Leverage Social CRM

If you are considering embarking on a Social CRM strategy, one of the first things that you must do is assess your sales force’s readiness to adopt new tools and adapt to the new world.

For their book, The New Power Base Selling, Jim Holden and Ryan Kubacki interviewed more than 28,000 business-to-business sellers in 35 countries during the years 1998–2011. The researchers measured the salespeople and their skills in the following seven core competencies that a successful salesperson has. They list the first three competencies that follow as the most important ones:

  • Value creation: This is the ability to articulate the value that the salesperson’s solution brings. Those who are successful in this category can pull the focus away from features and benefits and talk directly about how their solution brings a range of improvements — both immediately and over time.

  • Political advantage: The salesperson with a political advantage can size up the political situation in the company and exploit it to his own advantage. Every organization has its own set of politics, so being able to work within those constraints is the mark of a true sales professional.

  • Competitive differentiation: This skill allows salespeople to communicate how their company is both different and better than the competition.

  • Business acumen: These salespeople can leverage the existing climate with emerging trends to develop solutions.

  • Relationship adeptness: This refers to a salesperson’s ability to form relationships with all the people involved in the process, including support people and members of other departments.

  • Executive bonding: Salespeople who excel at executive bonding have the knack of forming a relationship with the executives who make the decision, even if they aren’t working directly with them.

  • Resource optimization: Those salespeople who optimize their resources need to understand how their company’s products can be a good fit with the customer’s assets.

To help your sales staff cultivate these characteristics, offer training and reading lists. You need to make it as easy as possible for salespeople to make the transition to social CRM.

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