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Social Selling is Simply Selling With Koka Sexton [Episode 500]

Beyond the buzzwords, are any sales behaviors really anything different from each other?

Koka Sexton, Global Industry Principal for Social Selling at Hootsuite, and formerly of LinkedIn, joins me on this episode.


Koka says the single biggest challenge facing salespeople today is how to fill the pipeline for their quota; how to adapt to changing buyer behaviors.

Koka considers the changing behavior of buyers to have significant effects on the sales process. Koka would like a name for the changes, to have resources applied to them.

Andy recalls selling for startups, before the internet. Models have changed, but sales performance hasn’t improved. Koka notes that the data indicates how to acquire customers and renewals. There’s no excuse for not adapting.

There is still some denial around the idea of social selling. Koka says some of the buzz is leveling out, but there is still migration to social selling. It is simply becoming sales.

Modern sales requires tech, and social channels. Each industry is at a different stage of maturity in the modern sales model. Tech is mature, while manufacturing may be inexperienced. Koka cites an example.

Education is a positive way to move industries. Sheer disruption is the other. Companies can get ahead by paying attention to trends in sales and marketing, and using them. Executives need to see where the world of sales is going.

Koka campaigned for social selling, as they called it, in 2010, claiming for shock value that cold calling was dead. Whatever the medium, sales is still sales. Social selling needed a spotlight. An issue needs a name in order to get attention.

Traditional cold calls alone are a path to failure. Warm calls work better. Social selling is a tool, along with warm calls, to get in front of customers. Use all the tools available. Every buyer has a different way in which they can be engaged.

Social selling is the long game. It’s about how you are establishing yourself as an industry professional, with the idea of generating new opportunities and connecting with the right people. Visibility creates opportunity.

Buyers want to connect with thought leaders, who post interesting content. Sales professionals want to be seen as industry experts. Don’t base your profile around how well you sell. Your online profile should be buyer-centric, not a resume.

Post articles, not updates. LinkedIn is not Facebook or Twitter. If you tag someone, tag them in an article of interest and of value to them.

What do 38% of sellers on social media not know about social? Koka explains. Andy has additional ideas. The point is to track activity and outcomes. Koka suggests how.

The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.