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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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The Modern Marketing Challenge: Juggling Social Media Control vs Autonomy


Social SellingSales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a guest post from Amar Sheth, Principal at Sales for Life.

If there is anything that the NYPD and US Airways social media disasters have taught us in the world of sales (and business for that matter), it’s that you’ve got to do a far better job of organizing messaging than ever before.

The Fine Line

As organizations start to experiment and dabble in social selling, the challenge is control vs. autonomy.  How can the marketing department ensure ironclad brand and messaging protection while still giving sales an opportunity to have autonomy in the content they share?

As you can imagine, if you work for a company with 5 sales reps, it becomes challenging to monitor what everyone is doing all the time.  Now imagine hundreds, if not thousands, of sales reps at a company.

The Liability Factor

There are also a few liabilities you’ll have to consider.  Here’s a partial list of examples:

  1. Sales reps saying things that are incorrect and/or not approved by the marketing department
  2. Employees using your company name in their Twitter handle.  Here’s something you may not have considered:  they’re not going to be an employee forever!  They can cause havoc if they ever leave with a Twitter handle like @YourCompany_TheirName.
  3. Ensuring brand consistency across with all messages in all mediums.

If you’re not prepared to address these issues as a company today, you’re exposing yourself to more risk than you realize. 

Also, there are technology solutions to the above situations.  You would be wise as a company to investigate them, especially if you are in an industry that is highly regulated and under constant legal scrutiny. 

I was speaking with a sales leader at one of the world’s largest financial services companies recently and she told me about their challenges.  Whatever they say verbally can’t be said as simply over social media; it would have to be backed up by a page of disclaimers.  While this example may seem extreme to you, it doesn’t negate the fact that controlling your message has never been as important.

It’s Possible and Doable

Helping your sales team while controlling the overall message they deliver can seem like a tightrope to walk, but it is possible.  We have clients that are doing it successfully.  There is a blueprint behind it that will allow your company to take full control of the brand and messaging while still allowing sales reps to contribute and share content.

The Bottom Line

Sure, it sounds difficult to juggle all of these moving parts.  The good news is that there have been others before you that have done the heavy lifting; they’ve figured it out and have left clues for success for you.

Remember that you’ve got a massive opportunity before you today: you can use the sales reps in your company to supercharge your messaging.  It just takes some patience and coordination to bring all of this together.  And a blueprint doesn’t hurt.

Amar Sheth is a consummate business development, sales and marketing leader with a passion for social media technologies. With over a decade of experience, he has been providing technology and digital marketing solutions to some of the largest organizations in North America. Through a series of progressively senior roles throughout his career, he has been responsible for introducing and implementing marketing and sales strategies for new products and services. Follow him on Twitter


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