What's your plan to increase sales and drive awareness around your brand? A website is always a great start. Is your company on social media? Terrific! Maybe you're trying to drive sales, traffic, or a positive perception of your brand by running online and offline campaigns. These are swell, time-tested marketing initiatives. But what about your sales force? Are they a part of your social marketing plan?
While often overlooked as just “sales guys”, sales reps can be a brand’s biggest advocates, yet most brands haven't harnessed the power of their voices. Here’s where employee advocacy comes into play.
What is Employee Advocacy?
Generally speaking (and in any article on the subject) the term "Employee Advocacy" is used to describe "the exposure that employees generate for brands using their own online assets". While social media is often the main medium for employee advocacy, these “online assets” include email, chat, forums, discussion boards and more.
Employee Advocacy: Why Not?
If employee advocacy is so effective why isn't everyone doing it? There are some very valid reasons why employees and sales teams aren't using social to their (and your) advantage. Mainly it boils down to three issues: 1) They don't have the time 2) They don't know what to say, and(maybe most importantly) 3) They are worried that they'll say the wrong thing. Here are some facts:
- 2/3 of companies have no social media strategy for their sales organizations. (Source)
- 80% believe their sales force would be more productive with a greater social media presence.(Source: Sales Management Association)
- 93% of sales executives have not received any formal training on social selling. (Source: Accenture)
- 53% of salespeople want help in understanding social selling better.(Source: A Sales Guy Consulting)
Employee Advocacy: Why?
Why not? I've already told you that your sales reps are one of your biggest assets. No one knows your products/brand better than your sales force. Plus your sales team WANTS to make more sales! Can having a sales force that's active on social accomplish everyone's goals? Yes. They can. Here's proof:
- Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads (Source: IBM)
- Sales reps using social media as part of their sales techniques outsell 78% of their peers (Source: Forbes)
- 10.8% of social sellers have closed 5 or more deals attributed to social media. (Source: A Sales Guy Consulting)
- 54% of social salespeople have tracked their social selling back to at least 1 closed deal.(Source: A Sales Guy Consulting)
- 72.6% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often.
Employee advocacy is already being called the next social media mega trend and companies are starting to actively look for a solution to help them manage and foster this change.
What is Soundboard?
Soundboard is a smart marketing automation tool that takes the guesswork out of what your sale force is saying about your brand on social. They are always saying the right thing at the right time because the messaging is approved by you. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing, and conversation is your brand's biggest asset. Here's what we mean: