It’s time for sales leadership to ask themselves if they are insane. Yes, a ‘mirror-mirror-on-the-wall moment’ may be in order.

Albert Einstein stated that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you are training or selling the same way that you were 2 years ago and not improving your sales performance, then you should make an appointment with Dr. Einstein.

Screen Shot 2014 07 29 at 10.00.52 PM Suffering From Selling Insanity?

Many credible sources tell us how sales representatives who layer on or add social media engagement to their daily sales motion (i.e., social selling) perform better than their non-social-media-using peers.

Social Selling Success Persists Despite Sales Management Lack of Adoption

  • Aberdeen states 64% of sales teams who use social selling reach sales quota vs. 49% who do not adopt it
  • LinkedIn passes on that sales representatives who use LinkedIn, in a way, that generates a high social selling index are 5!% more likely to attain quota,than social selling laggards
  • Aberdeen indicates that social selling use correlates into 15% more contract renewals

Are You Embracing Your Inner GlennGary Glen Ross’s Blake?

Even with this key research, sales management continues to expect their sales teams to sell the same way to get different results. No wonder sales team turnover is so high – a Harvard Business Review blog notes that 32% of reps leave because of a poor first-line manager relationship. “Call more!” “Email more!” “Where are the sales opportunities?!?” Are they Willie Loman fans? Do they embrace Alec Baldwin’s Blake character in GlenGarry Glen Ross? Or, are they just too busy to focus on the changing way in which customers are buying.

85101 e1406686576918 Suffering From Selling Insanity?

Are you always trying to close? Maybe you should always be connecting to help you attain quota!

This behavior reminds me of the caveman that said “Don’t tell me about that match idea while I’m rubbing two sticks together to light a fire.” Face it, the average sales manager has been in sales for over 10 years – the amount of years that LinkedIn indicates are the lowest adopters of social selling their platform.

5 Questions To Ask To Your Sales Management Or Reps

1. Are your phone calls being returned as much as they were 2 years ago? TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group states that the average sales rep needs to make 8 cold calls to get through to the right contact.SiriusDecisions indicates the average rep only makes 2 cold calls to make the contact. No wonder with the amount of ‘manual labor’ with researching and waiting on hold! Funny though,LinkedIn states 63% of B2B decision makers engage with vendors, likely your competition, on social media. So, who’s using the phone to make a first contact anymore?

2. Are your emails not being answered as often as they were 1 year ago? 92% of C-level decision makers note they never answer cold call emails anymore, states InsideView. Even if you have great relationships with your customers, your email is likely one of 300 they receive on a regular basis. It’s hard to break through to today’s modern buyer; 75% of whom engage on multiple social and community platforms, says Marketo. One thing is for sure, sending more emails to expect an answer or a different results is not working – especially for the first touch. Using an alternative channel, that your client uses, is a great way to get their attention or nurture your relationship in a nonintrusive way. There are only so many ‘just checking in’ phone calls you can make. There are even less of these types of calls your clients want to receive.

3. Are your customers coming to you more often with their problems framed and their solutions researched more and more every day? Since Forrester reports that 57% of the purchase decision is made before you contact and others state that 89% of purchases start with a search (75% for B2B), it’s likely, you have run into a situation where your customer has laid out exactly what they need.

4. Is your problem-solving reputation becoming more important to get you in the door for a first appointment or to help sell into another department? DemandGen says that 51% of customers are doing a final ROI analysis, up from 21% in 2012. LInkedIn states that 70% of buyers look to solve a problem vs. 30% who look to gain something. This research indicates customers are looking for problem solvers more than ‘sales guys.’ Establish yourself as a problem-solver by tuning up your LinkedIn Profile messaging on a daily basis on Twitter and LInkedIn and maybe even do a little blogging!

5. Do you know where your customers are going to stay on top of their industry knowledge? A saying I have in all of my demand generation and social selling coaching sessions is that you have to fish where the fish are. If you are not reading what your clients and customers are reading or know where there are going to get their information, then you are not going to reel in the big sale. At least if you know that 40% of customers are using LinkedIn Groups to vet their decisions, then use an advanced LinkedIn search to find the groups your customers belong.

Do you have another question to pose that sets off the social selling ‘a-ha’ moment? If so, please share below

You don’t have to be an Einstein to see if you are doing the same old stuff and expecting results. I encourage you to ask yourself these five questions and see how you can begin to become more relevant to your client, more important to your sales team and more productive with your quota.