This is the third post in an ongoing series about social proximity selling. Many forward-thinking sales professionals have built their own social selling platforms and strategies, but more and more start-ups are attempting to systematize and scale the execution and impact of relationship-based selling. Reachable is doing some particularly interesting things in this regard, and CEO Al Campa below shares some of his perspective on what social selling means and how to scale it.

What does social proximity selling mean to you?
It means better leveraging the social connections of your sales team when assigning leads, allocating accounts and dividing up territories. We all have networks of people that we know and have established relationships with over time. Sales people leverage them when they can because it’s more effective than cold-calling.

Research shows that if you have a connection inside an account, meaning you know someone, or know someone who knows someone, there is a 5 times better chance you’ll get a call-back than if you know no one at all.

Social Proximity Selling takes these social connections into account when assigning opportunities. It’s more about who has the best chance to get in the door and close this account, rather than who is the closest geographically.

Why is it so hard for sales organizations to recognize and adopt this more actively?
Sales people recognize the value of their network and use it all the time. To date, it’s never been possible to evaluate social connection strength across an entire sales force against a set of targeted accounts. We’re now able to deliver this capability.

How do you scale social selling beyond the Jill Rowley‘s of the world? How do you make it less manual, less individualized, and more integrated for sales organizations?
Jill Rowley is like the Michael Phelps of social selling. She makes it looks so easy because she’s a natural at it. Most swimmers are not Michael Phelps, but can still swim. And most sales people are not Jill Rowley, but can still social sell. It’s as easy as leveraging the connections you already have, which most sales reps already do.

Reachable institutionalizes this across an entire sales force, integrates it directly into their CRM system and makes it a core function that their CRM systems deliver. It’s like rolling a ball downhill. It takes off on its own momentum.

How should sales leaders get started with this? What are the first steps to start integrating social selling into their organizations?
Take your top target accounts and see who on your sales team has the strongest social connections to those accounts. Compare this to the social connection strength of the current account owners to see if there is a large discrepancy. You might find that the Sales Rep in the best position to close the account is not assigned to that account and you may need to reassign your target accounts to better optimize your resources.

Social Proximity Selling is all about putting your best foot forward and leveraging all the social assets your team brings to their job to maximize sales effectiveness.