I talk to CEOs daily and the feedback I get can be summarised in these bullets:-

Companies are operating in an increasingly challenging market, suffering from declining pipe and increased pressure on margin.

Their, previous strategies that relied heavily on our install-base for sales pipeline are no longer delivering the opportunity numbers to meet their revenue targets.

Let's be honest here, the days of relying on Global / Regional Marketing to deliver  success alone are behind them. 

COVID-19 has accelerated the need to do more with less and changed the selling landscape in a permanent manner.

In so many cases we hear that the sales funnel has been declining and is now empty.

Traditional ‘analogue’ selling (cold calling, email marketing and advertising) is no longer able to create the opportunity pipe needed to meet their sales targets.

Since time began companies need new logos and organic growth to create success round the sale funnel and these legacy sales methods are just not working.

And using legacy sales methods means that companies are increasingly engaging too late in the sales cycle and not able to exert adequate control or influence on the outcome, resulting in poor conversion rates.

Doing nothing will not deliver commercial success.  We all know that hope is not a strategy.

The New Normal is Digital

So when Stéphanie Genin, vice president of global enterprise marketing at social media management firm Hootsuite said this, I wasn't surprised, are you?

“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 then goes on to ask. 

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

What does this mean for buyers and sellers and what does it mean for business leaders?

Social Media is Now Defacto For Your Sales and Marketing Teams

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."

But Once This Covid Thing is Over It Will Go Back to The Way it Was?

Sorry, recent Gartner research showed that once this is all over people said ... 

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?

The Analogue Selling Conundrum

The longer Covid-19 goes on, the more we will build "network" skills and the more we will expect the people selling to us to behave in the same way.

The more cold calling, cold emails and advertising seems to be from a bygone age.  

Getting Your Sales Team on Social

I'm going to have to talk about the "elephant in the room" which is about your own sales team and the fact they are NOT social.

Social is not posting, social is not posting corporate content that marketing have told you to post.  Social Selling (often called Modern Selling) is a methodology to enable you to sell more, or right now in the Covid-19 world .... or put it another way it enables you to sell.

Take a look at your sales people's Linkedin profiles are they working hard for them?  Do they stand out  from the competition or do they look like every other salesperson?  Are they using their Linkedin profile to qualify deals, so they only sell to the people who will buy from them? Think of the efficiency saving if you stop chasing business you cannot close / win.

Are they using content to accelerate deals through the pipe?  Are they using social to prospect? Are they using social to close deals?

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.

Sales Has Changed Have You?

Selling has been reinvented, not by me or by any of us at DLA Ignite, but by your buyers.  It's time your business got in synch with those digital buyers and right now, you have the time to do it.

If you want to chat about how we can transform your sales team, you can contact me here