Segment 18 - Koka Sexton: Building Social Selling
gonna bring up our next guest expert Panelist. He is the senior social media manager at linked in. And I was really pretty excited for this because I think I told you guys when I when we were talking about having Coca Sexton join us is that a lot of times we see these social networks as their logo, right, The Twitter bird, the linked in thing, the Facebook. And we don't realize that they're actually people that run these things because it all just seems like it's just this us networking with each other. So I think this will be a great opportunity for us to realize that they're actually people in these social networks to Coca Sexton. Please join us. All right? And it's all yours. Take it away. Let's hear about linked in Thank you for the great introduction. A little bit of background on me. I kind of had the same type of true, actually that Jill had I was a sales rep for many, many years and my pain point waas, how do I get how I identify these buyers how to identify people who are look...
ing for the products that we were selling and I eventually just became an expert on my own doing research. I had 50 tabs open in my browser to look at people and looking for information that could make a relevant conversation within these within these new buyers. In that process, Social Media started popping up, signed for Lincoln, signed up for Twitter. Then I started realizing that I could start seeing where the lines are blurring between the different conversations. People were very polished. It, you know, on LinkedIn. They're talking about things that were doing on the weekends on Twitter, and when I learned how to blend that together, a bigger picture started, opened up and allowed for much more relevant conversations. And that eventually led me into becoming an evangelist of building social selling and being standing on that soapbox and talking about it. And that's when Lincoln kind of caught wind and said What? You can do this for us? So that's one of things that I do for linked in. And I'm sure most of you already know all about lengthen. It was 300 million members were connecting the world's professionals. That's the goal of the company. It's our mission, and you know we do everything we can to make that mission become a reality. So one of things that we want to talk about outside of the context of social selling is who are the buyers? And we look at social buying as leveraging your professional network to make informed decisions and to make those decisions feel better as you're making them. So this is how we define social buying. And what we found in our research was that the social buyers are making their using social media. These decision makers air leveraging social media. What's really profound about this is that there's a lot of question as we're building out social selling and you hear people talk about social selling and leveraging social media as a sales person or entrepreneur or small business. I think inherently we believed it, that our customers were out there and there are leveraging his networks, but there wasn't a whole lot of data around it, so we wanted to kind of find this information. So in the world of B two B, what we also found was that buyers for use social media for purchasing spent 84% more, so they're spending more money and we believe that's because they're leveraging their networks and they're actually doing a lot more research. So when they end up buying something right there, spending a little bit more money because they feel that good, they're buying on feeling they feel that good about the purchase they're making, that they're actually spending more money. There were also 61% more purchases on average. So what this is saying is that people who are leveraging social media during the buying process actually buying were often so as as a as a company. You want to make sure that your invested in this because if these buyers are actually spending more money and they're spending it more often, you want to be in front of them. Is offense possible and social buyers have a higher level of company influence. So as we kind of conducted the research, what we wanted to know was, Are you buying it for your team? Are you buying it for your apartment or you buying it for your entire company? And what we found actually amazes because this was against what I would have thought what I thought that social, you know, the social buyer was buying it for smaller groups. We find that big purchasing decisions for entire companies. These people are leveraging social media. So where sales and and these buyers can really start kind of building. That foundation is around social proximity, and it's been mentioned earlier. Jilib mentioned before as a sales person, if you're leveraging your connections, if you're looking at your network in a way that is your net worth, you're able to find those businesses that are looking for your product or service your social presence. Are you out there? Can they find you? And when they do find you, are they gonna want to run away? Are they gonna want to learn more? Are they gonna lean in on that? And I think that's one of the things that a lot of companies entrepreneurs all the way up to. The big the big businesses they haven't really fully adopted yet, And when that happens at scale and we're starting to see it in some industries, we're starting to see that a lot more money is being spent and they're investing more in this social presence of their employees and then social capital. They're doing their homework just as Jill. It's mentioned earlier. When your customers are looking to buy something and you pop up on their radar, they're gonna go right to your linked in profile. They're gonna look atyou on Twitter. They're going to see what and who you're about, because at the end of the day, they want to make sure that you're not just gonna take their money and run that you're in it for the long haul. And that, because very obvious, if your presence on social media is transparent, it's become very clear them very quickly. This person's legit. They know what they're talking about. They are a resource for me. So with that in mind, the whole buying process at Lincoln we defined social selling, and we define it as leveraging your professional brand. So who you are to fill your pipeline with the right people, leveraging insights and relationships? We chose these words very carefully because wanted to make sure that the buyers as well as the sales people, understood that there were clear lines and there was things that you're not supposed to do, as well as the things that you are supposed to dio. So your professional brand is who you are. You know, I like to say a lot that all of the you know when when your a small business or entrepreneur or you're in a big business, you are the CEO of me, Inc. Everything you do should be around building your own brand. And when you have your own brand, you're you're conveying an emotion upon your buyers, and that's what makes them want to come back and make someone to spend more money. If your brand is solid, people are gonna talk about you. People are gonna echo your voice, and it's just gonna be a natural reflection of who you are. So this is your This is your own personal brand, your professional brand to fill your pipeline to actually get business with the right people. You don't want to target the wrong people know there's no business in that. With insights, we always talk about leading with insights. The more you can tell and address the needs of your buyer and lean into that, the better as well as those relationships. So who are you connected with? Are you leveraging those connections to actually get business done? So who is responsible for lead generation in most of these most these companies. What we keep hearing is that marketing is only responsible for 30%. In fact, this is really high. If marketing is producing 30% of the lead volume, they're actually doing really good. The other 70% is supposed to be on the individual reps, the people who are actually front line within the companies. So how are these 70? How is the other 70% going to take place? The only way to do that is if they're literally hunting for this business, they're looking for it. And if they're looking for in the wrong place or they're looking for it saying or doing the wrong things, there's not gonna be any business to be had there not been paying attention. Your customers gonna unfollowed you un connect with you. They're gonna run away from you and eventually being the CEO of me. Think this is gonna translate to your entire company and people are gonna look at your brand your bigger company and say I don't do business with them just from one bad rap. So building that culture and getting them to understand that this is important if this is the reality of the 70% having to be driven from the individual within the company. So what makes social sellers more successful? Let's use Erin is an example. Some research that was conducted by the C B showed that salespeople need to personally own their only generation based on what I've just shown you as well. Sale If market is like producing 30 most of it's happening to be done by sales. People lead with insights. How are you adding relevant conversation into that? In that stream? You can't go right after the buyer and say bye for me by for me. They're gonna turn you off. In this day and age, the buyers air so well educated that if you're not the one educating them, you might as well not even have a seat at the table. And then using social media is a critical channel most most reps. In order to scale their business, most businesses in order to scale, need to be leveraging social media. That's the greatest part of social media right now is the fact that any small business and I've seen it time and time again. It doesn't matter. If you have one employee, 10 employees or 50 employees, you can look and act as big as a tooth 2000 employees business. If you leverage social media the right way, it scales wonderfully. So Lincoln, looking at the sales ecosystem, said, We need to build a product that actually helps salespeople perform better outside of just what Lincoln dot com has but a product that actually leverages your insights and your networks in a way that helps you do more business. So as Lincoln 300 million members, two billion member updates a week two billion people on our network are talking about the things that are of interest to them because in the context of Lincoln, they're not talking about what they have for lunch. They're talking about the things that are affecting their business. They're talking about insights around their industry. They're sharing information that, in a professional context, will actually be of value to you. And there's billions of connections out there. I've got, I've got a large network. My team has got a large network. If I look into the second and third degree of my connections, start realizing that we're all connected in some way. There was actually a study done not too long ago, and it's it's amazing that they were actually able to get to these numbers. But the whole seven degrees of separation is a myth. Now. We no longer have that. We're all I think. I think that the data was showing that it's like 3.6 degrees of separation between anybody in the world just based on all the social graphs. If you overlay them together, that if I need to get a hold of somebody, I'm really only less than four connections away to finding a way to get in touch with whoever that person ISS it's. It's amazing what social media is done for the business process. So who were the right people? So if I'm Aaron and I'm looking for someone leveraging using LinkedIn, I'm ableto find based on company based on geography, found 79,000 Lincoln members who worked at Microsoft, and that's really nice because it's a really big bucket that I'd go after. But the reality is that's almost too overwhelming as a as a business person. How am I gonna go after 79,000 people, then I start identifying the key decision makers. Using Advanced Search, I start drilling in very specifically to the people individual roles that I'm looking for to actually solve and sell into. And using these search filters, I get down to people. So from 79,630 seems a lot more digestible for a business to handle using the free Lincoln Network. What we're able to find is that my connections are kind of limited. I'm able to see some people that may be able to give me an introduction because we know that leveraging introductions has an exponentially higher rate of return when it comes to getting introduction introduced into new business than by trying to go in cold, we just know that people don't answer their phones. People don't responsive to cold emails or cold calls were all busy. And if I get an email for somebody, I don't know, not a movement. Trash it and spend time on the things that I that matter to may. But if somebody sent me and says, Hey, I know John or what if Johnson's medieval says Coca, I want to introduce you so and so I'm gonna reply to that because relationships matter and the stronger your relationships and stronger connections are, the better you're gonna be. But looking at the entire social graph as a business and tying in all of the networks. So again, going from a business of five employees up to a few if you leverage the networks and everybody that you can connect with, you start realizing that you could have the ability to find people within companies that by yourself you would not have had access to so discovering actionable insights. How do you leverage a platform like Lincoln to get insights on these individuals? You can see it in the streams. What news? Air? The updating. What kind of things were they talking about? Things specifically from their profile, What schools and they go to What are the what are their interests groups? That they're a member off you? Joel was mentioning earlier about how people have really just have built their business by literally going into groups and finding interested people who are asking questions in these groups and then leverage a common connection. Celebrity Lincoln Erin would be able to find Yeah, no one he doesn't have any Texas, maybe into Microsoft. But when he starts looking at his entire company that his connections, connections, he's able to find that he's got thousands. He's able to now connect with many people, and we were talking earlier about single threaded versus multi threat. I mean, this is the importance of it being able to go in and know that here's seven people that I need to know in this company and not just the one, because if you have multiple connections into place, you're able to get a lot more business done. You'll find out here, champions are you're gonna find out. You know who's who's actually pulling the strings, who consigned the check. And if somebody leaves the company for one reason or another, you're not kind of left holding back there still business to be had because you have multiple connections in that organization. And we say that when you when you go in, you should get at least 4 to 5 decision makers because what we're also finding is that most bigger purchases there are upwards, you know, I think it's just under its right around five, I think, based on the research decision makers in a company. And if you only have two connections or one connection into that business, the chance of you when that deal is less than like 6% you have to multi threat into businesses. You have to get to know as many people within your customers as possible, so that when business is being done, the bright people are talking to each other. So leverage, common connections. How are you leveraging your connections, your connections? You. I'll say it time and time again. Relationships matter. If you're not leveraging your Lincoln Network and fostering it and communicating you with it and having good conversations with your network, they're basically collecting dust. So you have to find a way to engage them on a regular basis and find ways to leverage that information to get referrals into new businesses. If your connections were happy with you, if they're getting value from the things that you're sharing that they're getting value from, you know, other outputs that you have through the network, be it through group conversations or your status updates, they're going to be more invested. When you reach out and say, Hey, I see that you're connected with So and so would you mind giving me an introduction? So we have something called Team Link that goes from work overlap all the way through your individual connections. And what this will tell you is, hey, I don't know somebody at Microsoft, but using Team Link John over on the other side of the office, it does. So it's not just your immediate network could be the person in accounting that went to college with the person you're trying prospect into. And if you realize that, Hey, the guy in accounting who I wasn't a connection with because I'm not connect with my county department, which a school was so and so and that turns out that they have shared classes and they used to hang out on the weekends in the chance of that individual that you're trying to contact. Answering the phone for their buddy from college is much higher, so learn toe, leverage your connections and build those relationships. Relationships matter. One of things we also able to do because we have so much data is due lead recommendations. So when you're looking at companies, you no longer have to guess, you know, we call it the difference between serendipity and science. Most businesses are going through serendipity, waiting for the right person to show up there, walking through a desert, waiting for the right buyer to raise their hand versus science. When you look at like a topographical map of like a heat map and shows you exactly where things were happening, that's the data that we're able to provide to you. I mean, all of your connections are part of this graph that you're able to look at, say, this is the one place I want to spend my time as opposed, walking around aimlessly, looking for someone. That's what lead a recommendation does. It uses that data and says, You're looking at John. Here's four other people in John's company that you meeting to know based on title, and some and some other algorithms were taking the guesswork out of it for visit for businesses. We're making it so that when you go to somebody's profile, you're able to see not just the one person who you've already identified for one reason or there, maybe they've come into you. But who are the other people that you need to multi threatened to based on their connections and things that they've engaged with. It's powerful stuff, and then you end up getting a meeting we're having them commit. Who's realised that the relationships matter when you're leveraging those connections, that actually pays off at a much higher rate than if you're just trying to connect with them outside of the network. So with that, opened the questions. Very happy to talk about Lincoln Social selling Yes, for you. When it relates, this seems very sales oriented for a sales person. A lot of us sitting here are solo printers. Um, my husband has paid for the premium Lincoln. What about somebody say I have a marketing consulting business and I work with much smaller businesses and, um, you know, I have over 500 contacts. How would paying for Lincoln Benefit may Great question, you know, in the rule that I live in is to be to be in the enterprise. But because of the work that I dio, I got to talk to a lot of solar preneurs. I get to talk to a lot of small businesses I got to talk to, you know, the mom and pop shops, all the way to, you know, start ups, which is still technically a small business because they're still growing. But it becomes very powerful for you because you will start building that network and it doesn't matter. So, you know, there's a lot of people that say I need to have 100 million followers on Twitter. It doesn't matter you, it's garbage. If you have people that care about what you're saying 50 connections on LinkedIn, 100 connections or 100 people following you on Twitter or on instagram or whatever social channels your buyers are spending time on, that's all that matters. You praise them, find ways toe for your connections, for the people who are following you finally has to elevate their voice. One of the things that we do it linked in We have what we call the voice, remember we trying to elevate the voice of our members as much as possible, and I think that that is a great business use for anybody who's leveraging social media. And I've actually tried adopting that, even Maurin, my own personal life. Even with all the connections that I've gotten through, whatever social network I'm part of it was usually just me, either talking about things that I was doing or talking about, you know, things that I may be involved in our places. I was going or whatever. The event wasn't at the moment, but then I started realizing that all these people that were engaging with me I wasn't really doing a whole lot for them and if a little selfish on my side. So why not use my network to elevate my network? And I think that again, it doesn't matter if you've got 50 connections or 100 or you've got 100 people following on Twitter, whatever the channel is again, find ways to elevate them, finally said, and bring them into the conversation, and that's we're going to see all the value. And you're going to see that when you're engaging this way that your networks are to grow very quickly because as I engage with you and you're engaging back, all of your followers start seeing that eventually they want to know what's going on, because then you start becoming a resource and people keep keep coming into you. Most of my connections are not prospects, um, but by engaging with them, spending time elevating them, then that gives me visibility to their networks. More let and more likely to get a referral. Absolutely OK. And you know you linked in you. When I look at social networking landscape, there's the Big Three Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. You know, in in the BTC space works very well. You're building your still building relationships and especially the still open your you're using Facebook in a much different way than I would. When you look at Twitter, it's all about news. You're pushing stuff out. You're having some fleeting conversations with people. And then there's linked. And Lincoln is the only network that any activity that is taking place on your updates actually spreads through their networks. So if I see an update from you and I give it a thumb's up, my entire network sees that I think you gave that comes up. If I comment on an update that you have, it's gonna show up in my stream as well on Twitter. That doesn't happen. In order for me to elevate your voice on Twitter, actually have to give you a retweet, which you know, happens a lot, Lincoln is only one that any activity any action you take on somebody's update actually spreads to their network as well. So it really depends on where your buyers are. It may not be linked in it. Maybe Instagram finally elevate them on Instagram. If it's on Twitter, find is many mean. This is why I love Twitter. Fact, if I wasn't linked in, I would be a Twitter because I'm you know, in many ways I'm addicted to it because on Lincoln I have to be connected with you in order. Have a conversation on Twitter. I just have to know who you are and I can engage you and you don't. You may not even be, you know this buyer is yet, but you can find based on conversations, search streams, other things that are happening and start engaging with them in that way.