84% said "increased use of social media to engage with brands"

78% said "increased preference for digital commerce"

34% said "increased number of stakeholders in purchase decision making" 

Isn't it amazing the evolution that has taken place through the use of digital because of the coronavirus?

Isn't it amazing the lengths that people (buyers) will go through to avoid salespeople.

It's not just Gartner research saying this

Stéphanie Genin, vice president of global enterprise marketing at social media management firm Hootsuite

“After weeks of adapting to Zoom parties, video appointments with doctors, online schooling, social distancing and tapping into social media for virtually everything, will people be happy to go back to their old ways of working and engaging with each other?” 

she asks. 

“The answer will be no. Social media has been holding communities together and organisations will need to assess how to manage the new normal.”

Let's take each of those and unpack it.

84% said "increased use of social media to engage with brands"

In the past social media was seen as a tactic. You posted something on social, nothing happened, which just proved it didn't work.

My advice is that you should check out Simon Kemp's - Digital 2020 - Global Snapshot in he says 

"The world has changed dramatically over the first three months of 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting almost every aspect of our lives. These changes have been clearly evident in the world’s digital behaviours too, especially as billions of people turn to connected devices to help them cope with life and work under lockdown."

He goes on to say.

"The latest data show that the number of internet users and social media users around the world have both increased by more than 300 million over the past twelve months, despite delays in reporting in some key countries due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

DataReportal analysis indicates that 4.57 billion people now use the internet, an increase of more than 7 percent since this time last year. Social media users are growing even faster, up by more than 8 percent since April 2019 to reach 3.81 billion today."

Social is Where Its At

Social is where it's at.  You customers are NOT waiting for you to interrupt them and for you to broadcast at them with advertising, email and cold calling. It pisses them off, so why do it?

But your customers are on social. So why don't you connect to them and build relationships with them.

Social Selling (or Modern Selling as it tends to be called nowadays) enables your at home salesforce, in fact all your employees to prospect (sometimes called social marketing), to take employees through the sales process and for you to close them.  This does not mean you don't have phone conversations or zoom calls, but social can be used all the way through the sales process to support the sales from opening to closing. 

78% said "increased preference for digital commerce"

There is a reason why Facebook pulled forward the launch of their digital stores.  Facebook has always been behind when it comes to their global competition such as Chinese based Wechat.  Where web stores on Wechat now have overtaken websites in terms of hits and transactions.

We all know that by using digital commerce we can (for many things) we can sidestep the seller.  If we want to buy something, we get out our mobiles and start researching, we consumer inspiring and interesting content.  We ignore sales pitches and corporate content. Why?  Because it always says the same thing "buy my stuff because we are great".  Of course we get hit by that same message time after time and we ignore it.

BUT as per the above our buyers are on social, so if we empowered our sales teams, in fact all our employees to be on social.  We empowered them to have interesting and authentic profiles. We empowered them to grow their networks. We empowered them to talk with an authentic voice, just think of the business you could "hoover up"?

34% said "increased number of stakeholders in purchase decision making" 

The problem with legacy sales and marketing you are driven to a one to one relationship, which does not scale and is inefficient.  What do I mean?

If I cold call somebody and it takes me 20 minutes, that is a sunk cost of twenty minutes.

Or I could create a piece of content like this, that takes 20 minutes and it's seen by 500 people, I've converted 20 minutes into 10,000 minutes.  No that is efficient.

If the article get 10 likes. The average person has 500 contacts, so that means the article has been seen by 5,000 people.  Just like you having a 5,000 email list, expect the people want to see it, rather than you pushing it in their inboxes.

Are but how do I know that person I want to see it, sees it? You send it to them and ask for them to comment, or you tag them.

The thing is social selling, can be used for prospecting, it can be used to accelerate leads through the funnel, it can also be used closing business. it can do this at scale.

Covid_19 Decision Making

Even before Covid-19, Gartner reckoned that at least 10 people would be needed to make a decision.  Our clients are telling us that you now need to cover even more bases.  In other words, while decision making was at Board Level, it can even now be at CEO level.

You have to build relationships, without face-to-face meetings at scale and go wider and deeper than you are now.

You could cold call them or email them, and piss them off. You still have to get through gatekeepers. Or you could build deep relationships with people, at all levels of seniority on social.

Cost of Sales and Marketing

As a business, you must be looking at all costs of sales and marketing.  The marketing plan you might have signed off in January, is certainly not the sales and marketing plan you are executing now.

Every line of expenditure, you must be getting a return, all those "fluffy" marketing things you once signed up to before, have no meaning if you don't have cash and a business.

So let me leave you with a business case or three.

Social Selling Business Case

We expect each of the people we train in social selling to be able to make (if they do what we say) at least one additional meeting per week.  Let’s assume that 4 of those meetings turn into proposals and you close 1 of those proposals.  That means you are closing one additional deal per quarter.  If your average deal size is $100,000, then each sales person is closing an additional $400,000 per year.  As sales team of 10 will create $4 million additional revenue per annum.  This isn’t a one off, this is every year. Forever!

Another Business Case

Let's take a large tech supplier as an example. They have 500,000 followers on Twitter, it does make you wonder how many people actually "follow" what they say as they say the same as all of their competitors.  "We are the best", "We are market leader" and nobody believes them.

They have 300,000 employees, even if you only empowered 10% of the work force and that workforce only had 100 followers, you would still be influencing more people (3m) than the corporate account.

Increase the number of people you empower and increase their networks and you increase further the influence.

Another Business Case

In a recent blog, Alex Low from DLA Ignite, described the social business case a different, but still compelling way.

"Assume you have 1000 employees in your business and 100 salespeople. Everyone knows someone or is connected to someone.

If each one of those employees were able to make 1 meaningful business introduction to your sales team.

10 Introductions per Sales Person or 1 new introduction per month, to each salesperson for 10 months.

Your average contract value/order value/sales value is £$€10,000

1000 unique & relevant introductions made, worth a potential of 10,000 each.

1000 x 10,000 = 10 million pounds, dollars, euros etc of potential business opportunity."

This is the power of the network and the power of your people activated through social media.

The Low Risk Approach

Here at DLA Ignite, we are not pivoting, we have been transforming companies to do this for four years.  

We have the track record, we also know what when we run our social selling programs the results are repeatable and predictable.  

It's time for your own innovation in sales and marketing. You know the old ways don't work. You know you have limited time and cash.  You know, as a leader you need to do something to stop the waste and cash burn otherwise you won't have a business.

If you want to get out of this mess, it’s time to talk to us.