Is there a single CEO or sales leader out there who wouldn’t want to see their sellers hit 160% of quota? Well that’s exactly what SAP, a client of Seismic’s was able to achieve by going all in on social selling. Steve is the Director of Marketing for Seismic, which is why we are talking about this amazing case study. Amongst other things, Steve lives and breathes social selling and personal branding himself and specifically calls it buyer-centric social selling, which you can learn more about in this episode.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • The mindsets, skillsets and toolsets you will need to build a successful personal brand and be successful at social selling.
  • What metrics you should be looking at as it pertains to personal branding and social selling.
  • How to build credibility by SHOWING to your prospective customers that you have walked many miles in their shoes.
  • What the difference is between personal branding, thought leadership and social selling.
  • Why relevancy is the most important thing in personal branding and social selling, and how to build relevancy.
  • How to build your personal content strategy.

Steve’s recommendations:

  1. Think of LinkedIn as a giant ongoing business conversation.
  2. Make sure you aren’t just counting the wins, but also the losses.
  3. How much better active social sellers perform compared to their non-active counterparts
  4. Social Selling isn’t about fixing broken companies, it’s a way to help already successful ones get even better.
  5. The qualitative data – the individual success stories are often the most direct way to measure success and evaluate performance… and it helps to incentivize and encourage others to get on board.
  6. The labels don’t necessarily matter. What matters is the opportunity and the mindsets, skillsets and toolsets.
  7. The best sellers have been marketers and the best marketers have been sellers at some point in their careers. Also the best sellers have been buyers.

You’ll need to listen to the full episode if you want to hear the Lightning Round, but here are a few highlights:

  • Steve is looking forward to testing out more personalized video in social selling.
  • Steve can’t stand all the cliche prospecting messages that we have all likely grown to hate over the past several years (e.g. “how are you doing in these unprecedented times?”). Many more examples mentioned in the episode if you need a good laugh.

Proofpoint’s POV:

We at Proofpoint are all in on personal branding and social selling. The majority of our business has been built via those efforts, and we are now building out training courses for our clients and the community at large. 

Marketing is changing. Corporate brands are being built on the backs of employee personal brands, and we are really starting to see the emergence of the “employee influencer”. Interestingly, SaaS companies are the ones leading the charge here, with organizations like Gong, Dooly, Alyce and of course Seismic taking it to the next level. What’s interesting is these organizations are selling products. Yet when we look at service companies, whose entire business model is built on personal relationships, and most of them are still following the old playbooks. The only caveat is marketing agencies.

Think about consulting companies, engineering firms, architecture firms, etc. These are organizations that should be maximizing the already built-in personal relationships and presence of their employees, by empowering, enabling and training them to build their personal brands, and show their thought leadership.

As sales and marketing evolve over the coming years, we will see the two disciplines blend and overlap more and more. The best sales people will have to become great marketers and the best marketers will have to become great salespeople.

Sales people will need to build their personal brands and show their thought leadership in the field/industry they are in. They will need to understand content strategy, and will need to become good copywriters and content creators. Marketers will need to understand the psychology of their buyers – their ICP – and be able to create content that sells.

A bit more about Steve:

Steve is the former VP of Marketing for Grapevine6 which was acquired by Seismic. He is a big hockey fan – not surprising since he hails from Toronto, and he lives and breathes personal branding. You can find him poignantly opining about it on LinkedIn.

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