Many teams struggle with selling social media assets. In my opinion there are 2 reasons why:
- Cultural Issues
- Skill Gaps
A few years ago, I was a fairly lone voice in my position on selling social media assets to corporate sponsors.
Today, digital assets are premium buys and social remains the most dynamic property available. Trouble is, many teams are challenged in selling it (it’s a solution sell, not a transactional sale) and some sponsors think they need it but don’t know what to do or why.
One challenge that holds up sales teams is the classic QUOTA. The development or standardization of social assets means that quotas will go up, and sales manager/director targets go up in turn. This is a cultural issue – teams continually are looking for revenue stream development, yet some stand in the way of adopting this category of digital inventory. Broader thinking is required here…
The other problem is rooted in skill.
I mentioned that social is a solution sell – one that takes a different set of skills and discovery questioning. Often, sponsors need some guidance here to develop a social strategy for the deal. In this way, many web/technical resources have become “sales engineers” of a sort – as they better understand the platforms involved – and can lend good skill sets to these sales conversations.
Since some sellers struggle with how to sell social assets – here’s a list of questions to use in your own sales process to help uncover deals with social media activations:
- What are your own goals with social media?
- How does your company handle admin of your social sites?
- How does social fit into the rest of your marketing mix?
- What results will make a promotion/activation a success for you?
- What , specifically, would you like to accomplish here?
- Are they any examples of successful social campaigns that resonate with you?
- What are your expectations of my team/brand?
What we’re trying to avoid here is “Do you want to buy some Facebook updates and Twitter posts? They are $X each – how many would you like?”. These are simply conversation starters to get your partners talking – there are endless ways to structure a promotion, but you need to start somewhere.
Here are some other tips:
- Keep it high level (to start)
- Bring ideas and facilitate brainstorming
- Understand their goals and experience
- Work to conceptualize with your internal resources
- Present options that meet those needs
- Be prepared to adapt/adjust
One last thing… both problems – Cultural and Skill – are very solvable for organizations looking to uncover the dollar. I can help with both.