Social selling is an alternative, or complement, to traditional approaches toward sales in enterprise technology. Unlike older sales models based on an adversarial relationship with customers, social selling attempts to bridge the gap and drive sales with helpfulness.   

Jill Rowley is the name perhaps most associated with the social selling movement. She is an established salesperson, having worked over 52 quarters in companies such as Oracle. On this Lightning Edition, teaches us the art and science of social selling.

Transcript

Michael:

(00:04) We’re all salespeople, we’re all selling something in business. Sales is the lifeblood of business and the world of sale is changing dramatically. Today on episode number 132 of CXOTalk, we’re speaking with Jill Rowley, who is a social selling evangelist. And I think that term underplays what she actually does. I’m Michael Krigsman and Jill Rowley welcome to CXOTalk

Jill:

(00:42) Thanks Michael, I am super excited to be here today.

Michael:

(00:46) Well you know, I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time and I’m just thrilled, and I’m very excited to learn about social selling and to learn about how social selling is different than traditional selling.

(01:00) Now this is a lightning edition, and what that means Jill, I’m going to ask you a series of rapid-fire questions, put you on the spot and you’re going to answer back, how’s that?

Jill:

(01:15) I’m ready.

Michael:

(01:16) Alright, well to begin, give us a sense of your background and what you do and your consulting. So let’s establish some context that way.

Jill:

(01:27) Yeah, so the perspective goes back to university. I was an undergraduate business school student at the University of Virginia. So I learned a lot about how business works and then I was in consulting for six years. So I learned a lot about discovery, digging deep, asking questions, uncovering issues, putting the other solutions.

(01:48) And then I actually joined salesforce.com in 2000. I spent two year as a kind of executive at salesforce and then spent about 10 years on quota at Eloqua where my buyer was marketing.

(02:03) So I am a sales professional trapped in a marketers body and now I spend all my time evangelizing the concept of social selling and how to adapt to the modern buyer.

Michael:

(02:19) Okay, and with that introduction, it’s a perfect way to transition into our lightning round questions. So Jill, let’s begin with what is social selling?

Jill:

(02:30) Sure so I put a stake in the ground and I define social selling as using social networks like LinkedIn, like Twitter to do research, to be relevant, to build relationships that drives revenue. I define it differently from social media. Social media is about reach. Social networks are about relationships.

(02:57) And so again it’s using these social networks to do research on the buyer, the buying committee and their sphere of influence, so you can be more relevant to the buyer, so you can build a better relationship with the buyer, that ultimately drives revenue from the buyer.

Michael:

(03:14) And how is social selling different from traditional selling?

Jill:

(03:18) So social is just an incremental and additional channel to doing research, to be relevant, to build relationships that drive revenue. There are some concepts that are different, but I actually think that all great salespeople have had the mindset of what we’re defining now as a social seller.

(03:41) And the mindset is that you’re helping the buyer buy. You’re not forcing your sales process down the buyers throat, but you have this perspective of helping solve business problems, achieve better business outcomes, not jamming your sales process down the buyers throat.

Michael:

(04:02) So this implies that traditional sales means jamming something down the buyers throat.

Jill:

(04:09) In some context I think that because of the power dynamic that sales used to have over the buyer, there was quite a bit of that. and now the modern buyer is empowered. The modern buyer can learn on her own. She can leverage the digital web. she can leverage social networks to get educated and get informed. She isn’t reliant on the sales professional for access to information and also access to people like reference customers.

(04:51) So the dynamic has changed and the reality is that the buyer has changed more in the past 10 years than in the past 100 and sales

Michael:

(00:04) We’re all salespeople, we’re all selling something in business. Sales is the lifeblood of business and the world of sale is changing dramatically. Today on episode number 132 of CXOTalk, we’re speaking with Jill Rowley, who is a social selling evangelist. And I think that term underplays what she actually does. I’m Michael Krigsman and Jill Rowley welcome to CXOTalk

Jill:

(00:42) Thanks Michael, I am super excited to be here today.

Michael:

(00:46) Well you know, I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time and I’m just thrilled, and I’m very excited to learn about social selling and to learn about how social selling is different than traditional selling.

(01:00) Now this is a lightning edition, and what that means Jill, I’m going to ask you a series of rapid-fire questions, put you on the spot and you’re going to answer back, how’s that?

Jill:

(01:15) I’m ready.

Michael:

(01:16) Alright, well to begin, give us a sense of your background and what you do and your consulting. So let’s establish some context that way.

Jill:

(01:27) Yeah, so the perspective goes back to university. I was an undergraduate business school student at the University of Virginia. So I learned a lot about how business works and then I was in consulting for six years. So I learned a lot about discovery, digging deep, asking questions, uncovering issues, putting the other solutions.

(01:48) And then I actually joined salesforce.com in 2000. I spent two year as a kind of executive at salesforce and then spent about 10 years on quota at Eloqua where my buyer was marketing.

(02:03) So I am a sales professional trapped in a marketers body and now I spend all my time evangelizing the concept of social selling and how to adapt to the modern buyer.

Michael:

(02:19) Okay, and with that introduction, it’s a perfect way to transition into our lightning round questions. So Jill, let’s begin with what is social selling?

Jill:

(02:30) Sure so I put a stake in the ground and I define social selling as using social networks like LinkedIn, like Twitter to do research, to be relevant, to build relationships that drives revenue. I define it differently from social media. Social media is about reach. Social networks are about relationships.

(02:57) And so again it’s using these social networks to do research on the buyer, the buying committee and their sphere of influence, so you can be more relevant to the buyer, so you can build a better relationship with the buyer, that ultimately drives revenue from the buyer.

Michael:

(03:14) And how is social selling different from traditional selling?

Jill:

(03:18) So social is just an incremental and additional channel to doing research, to be relevant, to build relationships that drive revenue. There are some concepts that are different, but I actually think that all great salespeople have had the mindset of what we’re defining now as a social seller.

(03:41) And the mindset is that you’re helping the buyer buy. You’re not forcing your sales process down the buyers throat, but you have this perspective of helping solve business problems, achieve better business outcomes, not jamming your sales process down the buyers throat.

Michael:

(04:02) So this implies that traditional sales means jamming something down the buyers throat.

Jill:

(04:09) In some context I think that because of the power dynamic that sales used to have over the buyer, there was quite a bit of that. and now the modern buyer is empowered. The modern buyer can learn on her own. She can leverage the digital web. she can leverage social networks to get educated and get informed. She isn’t reliant on the sales professional for access to information and also access to people like reference customers.

(04:51) So the dynamic has changed and the reality is that the buyer has changed more in the past 10 years than in the past 100 and sales has to adapt.

Michael:

(05:03) When you talk about the empowered buyer what does that mean?

Jill:

(05:07) Sure, so if I think about when I want something, for example, I’ll use a business consumer example yesterday. Our daughter’s turning 17 tomorrow, and so me, last minute mom needs to get her a gift. And so I actually go onto Tiffany website and I look at the products that are under $500 and I narrow it down to two items, and then I send those images to my husband who was going to be in the area where there was a Tiffany, and he goes into the store and makes the purchase.

(05:42) So I didn’t have to go into Tiffany to purchase, and had we done this in advance I could have actually bought the necklace on the web. I wouldn’t of even had to go into Tiffany, and going into Tiffany then opens me up to Tiffany upselling me more product.

(06:03) So that dynamic of getting information via the web, doing a price comparison of the various products, that is how business buyers are starting their buying process as well via the digital web.

Michael:

(06:17) So what are the basics of social selling?

Jill:

(06:22) Well I can look at it from a sales professional perspective and from an organizational perspective. So from a sales professional, a salesperson perspective, really I think of five principles, practices pillars and it starts with your online presence, your digital reputation.

(06:48) And often times, LinkedIn is the primary channel for business to business sales professionals. Often times LinkedIn profile is optimized for the recruiter, so you’re bragging about your quota crushing capabilities, your president’s club awards that you won. Your expert negotiating skills, and you’re not actually looking at it through the eyes of the customer, the buyer who is trying to figure out whether you can add incremental value to them, to their business.

(07:18) And so your digital presence and how you look in social, that’s like a traditional maybe pushy, pushy, sell, sell sales rep and more like a subject matter expert, a business professional who can help the buyer, that digital presence is number one.

Michael:

(07:38) Now you’ve spoken about social proximity. What is social proximity?

Jill:

(07:46) Sure, so social proximity is all about how close you are to the buyer in the social web. And so when I talk about the pillar number two, ABC, always be connecting not always be closing. Always be connecting because your network is network. I talk about connecting with the buyer, connecting with the buying committee, and connecting with the people who influence the buyer.

(08:15) And so social proximity, if the buyer is learning from certain analysts in their industry, then that sales professional should also be learning from those analysts, should also be connected to those analysts. Should also be following those analysts on twitter, should be engaging and sharing that analysts content. And that’s number three pillar principle is content is the currency of the modern sales professional.

(08:43) And so I help sales professionals understand who the experts are in their buyers world, find them, surround them, engage with their content, share their content and that gets you closer to the buyer. More proximity to the buyer, because you look more like the buyer, you’re learning what the buyer learns, you’re following the same people that the buyer follows.

Michael:

(09:05) Now Jill you’ve spoken about closing and connecting, what is the difference between closing and connecting?

Jill:

(09:16) Sure, ultimately the end goal, beyond the further end goal is to create a successful customer who then becomes your advocate. That should be the ultimate goal of an organization is to create happy customers who are generating massive value from your solutions, that they’re willing to be your advocates.

(09:40) But in sales, traditionally the comp plan drives the behavior and the com plan in sales is about getting that deal closed. It’s about getting the signature on the agreement and closing that deal. That still is absolutely important. I’m not telling sales people to stop closing, but I’m helping them do it in a different mindset.

(10:05) The mindset of not rushing them to signature, but coaching them to success throughout their buying process. Helping that buyer get to the point where they’re able to actually make a purchase decision, and they will always be connecting is about understanding the buying atmosphere. The committee of people who are part of a buying decision, that connecting not just the one person who is returning all your calls, responding to all your emails, taking all your meetings, but surrounding a wider sphere of influence to their buying decision.

(10:49) So the will always be connecting is really important because it’s the connection that leads to the conversation that ultimately is helping your buyer to buy, which is all about getting them to a close.

Michael:

(11:01) So traditional sales you said is focused in bringing the buyer to the close in order to maximize revenue as quickly as possible – you didn’t say that last part, but it’s to maximize revenue as quickly as possible for the salesperson. So does social selling then could it have a negative effect on gaining revenue for the salesperson?

Jill:

(11:31) It actually could in the short term. And where I’m using the term – let me make a clarification. I’m using the term social selling to have a bigger conversation that needs to be had in the sales world. And the fact that social selling is a hot somewhat buzzy word, I’m saying that good selling is all about understanding who the ideal customer is, who the best fit customers are, and the best fit that you can generate massive value for and then understanding how you can help them with their business objectives, their goals, their personal goals and looking at it through the eyes of that customer, and even you know saying no to deals that aren’t good for the customer. Because if the deals aren’t good for the customer then it becomes not good for your business and it’s all elated to buyers today have more choice and they also have louder voice.

(12:37) And so if your sales reps are closing bad deals, your customers who were oversold will take to their social networks and say negative things. Not only that, in the SaaS world where it’s a subscription they’re not going to renew. They’re not going to buy more. And so you’re going to have attrition and churn is the death of a SaaS company. It isn’t just you know in the Siebel days, where the system cost tens of millions of dollars and you’ve got all of that money upfront from the customer, and it was really in the customers domain to actually make the system work. It wasn’t ever important to create that success in advocacy because it was years, sometimes a decade after before they would get to the point where they need to pay you more money.

Michael:

(13:40) So then social selling is a means to develop strong, long term relationships with the customer.

Jill:

(13:50) It’s all about the relationship and this becomes challenging for sales leaders. I’m not naïve. I’m in my 40s, so I know that in particular public companies the sales leader has a quarterly number that they must hit. And if they don’t hit the number, the stock market usually will punish that organization, that sales leader, that CEO.

(14:19) And so I know that this is challenging to really look at this more altruistic view of only bringing on customers that are good fit customers. But the sooner the organization actually embeds that into the culture of the company and then into everything that the company does, from the outbound marketing really be targeted to the companies that are in that ideal customer profile.

(14:47) So this build products that work, you know, user friendly, that are quick to deploy, that don’t have a lot of buzz. So it starts at not having a crappy product, no false advertising in your marketing messages. Sales reps not closing bad deals, to ultimately ge to the point where we create these better relationships with our customers because we are helping them generate massive value.

Michael:

(15:12) So are there certain types of product or services that are most amenable to the social selling approach.

Jill:

(15:21) I think it’s less about the product and more about the buyer. So I talk about it at looking through the eyes of the buyer, and if the buyer is on the web doing research – I always think of the modern buyer as digitally driven, socially connected, mobile with multiple devices and empowered.

(15:43) If you’re in an industry where the buyer isn’t leveraging digital content, leveraging communities, leveraging social networks to get information and to get informed. They’re not listening to podcasts, they’re not attending webinars, they’re not downloading eBooks, they’re not viewing infographics, they’re not watching videos then the buyer isn’t in social.

(16:13) So the sales is less urgent for sales people to be in social. The mindset though of serving and helping versus selling is universal. It’s that skillset of doing it via the social web and the new tools to be doing it in social. But if the buyer isn’t there, the sales reps don’t need to be there now.

Michael:

(16:39) Okay so now  again to help us understand what this is, let’s go back to traditional enterprise sales and you have a lot of experience as a quota carrying traditional enterprise salesperson. So just give us a sense of the core attributes or features so to speak of traditional enterprise technology sales.

Jill:

(17:06) Yeah, so I think about my process as a quota carrying sales rep in 2000. And I think about the waiting for the inbound call from a potential buyer. And I use the word buyer, you’ve probably noticed I’m not calling that person a prospect. I don’t really like the word prospect. I would prefer to call them a buyer than a prospect. And I think of them not as  a prospect but as a future advocate of my company, of my product of me.

(17:51) So that mindset is really important but the process was, I remember my days at salesforce. I would literally go over to the Raw, and I would get a stack of article reprints, and it might be an article in the Wall Street Journal, it might be an article in the CIO magazine. And I would take those pieces of content and I would then put them in an envelope, and I would grab a hat or a T-shirt. And I would stuff it in the envelope and I would send it to the buyer.

(18:27) And that was me sending one package to one person. but I knew I needed to find who else was going to be part of this decision and I wanted to create that water cooler effect if you will.

(18:41) So I started to say ok, where can I find who else is going to be involved in this purchase decision. So sometimes that was actually calling reception and finding out who the sales ops leader was.

(18:54) Oftentimes I’d go to the company website, but the company website only had the senior management team. When people had out of office email responders, that’s one of my favorites still today, it will say, I’m out of the office, on vacation. If you have any questions about content, contact Jonny. If you have questions about compensation issues, contact Susie. And I would take those new names and I would add them to my CRM database.

(19:20) But if you think about that, I was physically sending mail to one person, not knowing if they received it or not. Then the evolution was email. I could take all those articles prints and put them in email format, and I could then send a series of emails, to a series of people over a longer period of time.

(19:43) And really, the evolution now is I’m taking that same approach and I’m applying it to social. So I’ll read articles, I’ll watch CXOTalk episodes. And when I watch CXOTalk episodes, usually I’m trying to watch the episodes where there is someone I’m trying to build a relationship with because I think they’re going to be a good fit for my product or service. So I watch the CXOTalk hangout because I learn about my buyer.

(20:12) I’m learning about my buyer, what they care about, what they’re interested in. I’m learning about their personality. Are they stiff, are they funny. So that’s this new channel for learning more about the buyer, particularly more relevant to the buyer. I actually think that the great enterprise sales reps have this mindset, but they’re channels are actually different today.

Michael:

(20:38) So how would you summarize the weaknesses of traditional selling.

Jill:

(20:46) I think and I see a lot of this happening today, even in social. It’s this generic approach. It’s this product, company, me focused message. It’s this leading with what you have as a product or company you, versus leading to the product, the company you. It’s this show up and throw up versus discover, uncover, engage. And I think it’s you know, one of those expressions I learned from a great leader I worked with is to be interesting, be interested in something other than yourself.

(21:41) And to get the attention of a buyer, and then ultimately you’re earning their trust, you have to show that you’re interested in them and doing that by leading with them is a much more effective approach.

(21:59) Too often we’re seeing generic messages, generic scripted calls, and even from really large companies who should be embracing social, I when I download a piece of content, I get the same generic email not showing any knowledge of who I am, my business and that’s just not going to cut through the clutter. It’s noise. It’s adding more noise to the dramatic amount of noise that I already have.

Michael:

(22:35) So Jill you said something very important just now which is earn the buyers trust, so how do we earn the buyers trust.

Jill:

(22:45) Yeah, earning the trust is it’s over time. It’s not immediate. I sent an email the other day, a sales leader reached out to me to help with their social selling initiative, and I looked at his LinkedIn profile and and before responding. And I read the recommendations on his LinkedIn profile that other people had written about him. And I was fired up, I was like whooo! I am so excited to respond to this person, because this person gets it. They get it done, and they get it done right. And I knew that not what he had put on his profile about himself, but what other people who had worked with him had written about him.

(23:36) I immediately knew that he was an awesome internal collaborator. He could bring different departments to a conversation, to a project. He could create that collaboration internally that’s required to be successful with what I want to help him with which is social selling, which will require sales leadership by-in, which will require front-line sales managers, sales people, sales enablement, sales training, marketing.

(24:09) And so what I want to help him with requires this cross functional commitment on collaboration and teamwork, and when I read his recommendations on LinkedIn and saw that other people were endorsing him for that, it immediately earned him trust. And my point to him was, how many of your salespeople’s LinkedIn profiles look like yours.

Michael:

(24:32) Yeah, fantastic. That issue of trust is so fundamental, and I want to tell everybody, remind everybody that you are watching episode number 132 of CXOTalk, and today we are speaking with Jill Rowley about social selling. Now is a perfect time to subscribe to the CXOTalk newsletter, and I hope you will do that because we’ll send you good stuff and you’ll love it.

(25:00) So Jill, how does social selling overcome the challenges, the obstacles, the weaknesses of traditional enterprise selling that you were just describing.

Jill:

(25:14) Yeah, so social selling is about that real genuine authentic relationship. It’s about helping, continuing to be a resources, a subject matter expert for your customer, for new customers.

(25:34) Social selling is about creating an connecting your existing customers with each other. Creating an connecting your existing customers with other new sources, resources, subject matter experts, complimentary solutions to ensure that they are more successful. Social selling is more of a team sport than an individual sport. It’s about sharing information openly. It’s about really thinking about how do we create this more vibrant, more passionate ecosystem to ultimately help the customer in a longer term environment versus my monthly number, my quarterly number, my annual number. But thinking about customers as people, not as targets and really thinking about how you help those people.

(26:49) And social selling – you know, I can get really tactical Michael. I speak very strategically because I understand it from that level, because at Oracle I was actually responsible for social selling overall, with the initiative for getting the leaders, the managers, the salespeople getting marketing getting sales and sales training together. Creating a curriculum, a training curriculum which you know it’s so important. So many people in social selling they think it’s a tool. And they run out and they buy a tool and they think they are doing social selling, and a fool with a tool is still a fool. A fool with lots of tools is an even bigger tool, and so that mindset of helping the buyer, facilitating the buyers journey, understanding the various buyers personas over the buying process, then the skills of leveraging social networks to do that help work, that sale work and then ultimately the tools.

(27:54) And so I think there is one Google plus hangout will not teach salespeople or sales leaders, or sales enablement leaders, or sales training or marketers what social selling and how to actually be good at it. This is almost like CRM right, or marketing automation.

(28:18) This is a lot of transformation, a lot of change, and I continue every day to research, to read more analyst reports, to talk to more companies on the journey to see how they’re doing doing it, to attend conferences. And I as “the expert, the Queen of social selling”, I have to continue to learn so that I can be a better teacher to my buyers.

Michael:

(28:40) We have a great question from Zachary Genes, who is a loyal listener of CXOTalk, a loyal participant I would say and Zachary thank you very much for that and he asks, what are the obstacles that enterprises have to adopting social selling.

Jill:

(29:00) There are lots of obstacle to adopting social selling and its first stills with culture. And if you think about companies that have traditionally been more command and control, hierarchical, top-down, and less open, and sharing and collaborative. Culture is going to be a big deal, and particular because you have salespeople out there, leveraging the social web to not only find buyers, to listen to them, to relate to them, and to connect and engage with them. But done well, social selling is about being found by buyers, because you are sharing so much valuable information and insights and content. And you’re engaging in a public way.

(30:00) Then companies that aren’t okay with their sales professionals really creating and establishing a personal brand, a strong professional personal brand, they’re going to struggle with social selling.

(30:17) Also, another obstacle, traditionally is sales leadership. And if you think about the average age of a senior level sales leader, and you think about the channels for communication versus juxtapose that to the millennial’s, who I’d say are digital natives born with a mobile device in their hand, are used to collaborating and communicating. Those are very drastic differences.

(30:55) So sales leaders didn’t grow up with social, and often times without enough understanding of social for business, they might think it’s social for popularity or a waste of time. And so I think there is a lot of education around how social is actually another channel unto help and ultimately meet the revenue goal and the success of the customer.

Michael:

(31:22) Okay Jill so we only have 15 minutes left and there’s a lot that I still want to ask you, so let’s do a lightning lightning edition okay.

Jill:

(31:33) I’m going to keep it short then.

Michael:

(31:34) Keep it really short and let’s see if we can go through these because there is all this stuff that I want to learn from you and I’m sure the audience does as well. So to begin, how can somebody become a social seller?

Jill:

(31:38) Yeah, you don’t have to wait for your organization to embrace this. You can optimize your LinkedIn profile for the buyer not the recruiter. You can grow your professional network by always be connecting. Business cards are LinkedIn connections. There are new people to follow on Twitter. You can figure out what your buyers read, read those articles, read those blogs, subscribe to those newsletters, and share that content across your social networks.

(32:17) And you can set up triggers so that you can get job change alerts. When someone goes from one company to another company, then you can be the first to congratulate them. You don’t have to wait. You can start right away.

Michael:

(32:32) Great! What is social intelligence and I was going to say what is social intelligence and why is it important.

Jill:

(32:40) Yeah, so social intelligence, so I mentioned earlier, so if there is a guest on CXOTalk that I’m trying to engage, I listen to the interview. And then I’ll Tweet that interview, the salient points, the relevant points that will connect me to that interviewee, that hangout guest.

(33:02) Social intelligence is going to podcasts and searching on Beth Comstock GE and looking for podcasts that she’s been interviewed for, and listening to those so you can get better inside the head of Beth at GE. It’s seeing who Beth follows on Twitter, and understanding what her interests are and who she learns from.

(33:27) Social intelligence is widespread and it’s a Google search away.

Michael:

(33:33) This is the money question. How can we inspire prospects to become customers?

Jill:

(33:40) By helping them. What you need to figure out is what are the questions that my buyer has to answer to be at the point where they can buy. And so for me at Eloqua let’s say, I would say the buyer needs to answer, why marketing automation? Why not an email service provider? So why marketing automation? Why Eloqua and not one of our competitors, and why now? Why not wait? Why not delay?

(34:13) And so I now asks okay, my buyer needs to say, why social selling? Why not keep cold calling and sending unsolicited emails? Why not just fully invest in tradeshows or search engine optimization? So why social selling, why social selling training? Why work with Jill Rowley, and why do it now versus again waiting. So the way you can turn potential buyers into customers is by helping them buy.

Michael:

(34:45) And what is the best way – you mentioned personal brands, what is the best way to build a personal brand?

Jill:

(34:53) Yeah, I’ll even give you a resource Google it, it’s personal branding for dummies and it walks you through a series of exercises where your personal brand isn’t what you make it up to be it is who you truly and authentically are and representing that in every channel.

(35:17) And so I won’t I go to an event, I have brush my hair, I have dressed professionally, I shop with a smile on my face, with energy and enthusiasm. So there is a lot that’s on the web and often times people will find you first via the web, and then they’ll meet you in real life.

(35:45) The personal branding is who you really are, what you’re interested in, what your best in class act, and what makes you do different and unique, and what makes you tick and building that via the social web.

Michael:

(35:57) Okay, now give us power tips for using LinkedIn effectively.

Jill:

(36:03) Yeah, I will start with never send a generic invite to connect. Generic invite are social stupid and they are showing that you’re just plain lazy. So when you invite Michael Krigsman to connect on LinkedIn, Michael, I love CXOTalk. In particular the episode with Jill Rowley on social selling was one of my favorites. I’d be honored to be in your network and delighted to have you in mine. That’s one power tip.

Michael:

(36:41) Give us another one. That’s great and it’s really accurate to what you’ve just said, so tell us more about LinkedIn.

Jill:

(36:48) Yeah, one of my other favorites is using your alumni network. So I went to University of Virginia UVA, and there are over 120,000 UVA alumni on LinkedIn. So if I’m trying to expand my professional network with sales enablement leaders, I go to the UVA alumni page on LinkedIn. I look at students at alumni, I then search for anyone with sales enablement in their profile. That gets me to about from 120,00 to under 300. And then if I’m focusing on a geographic area, New York, Atlanta, I filter that. And I can get to like for sales enablement professionals, UVA, Atlanta that I can use the art of a LinkedIn invite, I too went to UVA and connect with them.

(37:46) Michael though, not can I just use UVA. My husband went to Stanford, so I would do the same process and go and filter on alumni Stanford sales enablement and reference that my husband went to Stanford. It’s all about connecting the dots.

Michael:

(38:07) Connecting the dots, okay, what about Twitter, give us your tips and advice for using Twitter effectively for business.

Jill:

(38:14) Absolutely, so hashtags are probably one of my favorite things to do. So let’s say there’s an event, a physical event and I can’t actually be at the event. Well I will follow the event hashtag and I will see who’s tweeting about the event. And then I will engage with those people as if I’m at the event. I will learn what’s being shared at the event, so I become smarter. And these are traditionally events that might buyers are at that I can’t physically be there, but I can be there virtually via the hashtag. That’s one Twitter tip

Michael:

(39:02) And finally Facebook, give us your tips for using Facebook for business, and Facebook is a strange hybrid isn’t it between the business and the personal so what’s your advice for using Facebook?

Jill:

(39:15) First, you have to decide whether you want Facebook to be strictly personal or whether you want it to blend. And when I talk about social selling and the networks that you can use, where are your buyers and where are your buyers willing to engage with you. And so don’t be creepy on social and go friend someone on Facebook if you haven’t figured out whether Facebook is a channel that they want to engage with you in in. For me, I have a mix because I think people need to get to know you fully. So I share information about my kids, about where I travel, but that’s me personally,

(40:02) I would say the biggest tip I would can give you is respect other peoples boundaries and don’t be social creepy or social slutty and really respect their boundaries and if it’s clear that they have Facebook for personal, don’t friend them on Facebook.

Michael:

(40:23) Okay, well you know, we have been talking for 40 minutes and I sure have learned a lot about social selling with Jill Rowley. Jill, thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

Jill:

(40:36) Absolutely Michael. I think more marketing sales leaders need to really determine whether social selling is something that is a priority today. And if they do, they need to think about it strategically, they need to think about it operationally. And they need to think about the mindset and the skillset and the toolkit of the modern sales professional.

Michael:

(40:58) Okay, well I think we’re just about done. We have been talking with Jill Rowley, who is – if you search for social selling, Jill I think you’re the person who comes up right a the top isn’t that so?

Jill:

(41:15) Probably. I share a lot of content. I’m down with OPC – other peoples content.

Michael:

(41:23) Other peoples content love it! so this has been episode number 132 of CXOTalk. Now this coming Friday, it is – I was going to say the night before Christmas, but it’s the Friday before Labor Day and that means there is no CXOTalk show. But a week from Friday, we’re having a CXOTalk debate between two great industry analysts Esteban Kolsky and Graeme Hill, who are going to talk about customer experience. And these are two really smart guys and it’s going to be a lot of fun. So thank you for watching. Jill Rowley, thank you for being here today and have a great Labor Day everybody if you’re in the United States and we’ll see you next time, bye bye.

 

Companies mentioned on today’s show:    

CIO Magazine:                          www.cio.com/magazine

CXOTalk Newsletter signup:   www.cxotalk.com/subscribe

Eloqua – Oracle:                       www.oracle.com

Facebook:                                  www.facebook.com

GE:                                              www.ge.com

Google Hangouts:                    https://hangouts.google.com 

LinkedIn:                                    www.linkedin.com

Oracle:                                       www.oracle.com

SaaS:                                          www.saas.com

Salesforce:                                www.salesforce.com

Tiffany:                                      www.tiffany.com

Twitter:                                      www.twitter.com

Wall Street Journal:                  www.wsj.com