It's 06:15 AM and I'm about to start a webinar at 07:00 AM for the Asian geographic sales team on social selling.
I have another webinar at 15:00 my time for the same company but the European and US sales teams.
Last week I presented to 500 mortgage advisers in Australia, which was at 03:00 AM my time.
Now this isn't one of those I get up early and punch the day blogs. I'm just pointing out how things have changed.
Back in February of this year, I would have been asked to fly out to the locality, now it is quite natural to have Zoom or Microsoft Teams calls.
Yesterday I talk to a senior Sales Leader at Microsoft and it was natural to have a call on Teams. Where as, BC (before covid19) we would have gone backwards and forwards working out where we could meet up. In many cases this is making people more accessible and speeding up sales.
While Live Has Changed Has The Way We Sell Changed?
I often come across people that say to me "if it was good for me twenty years ago, it's still good for me now".
Which is like saying, if I ran a marathon twenty years ago, that means I'm still fit to run one today.
Even pre-covid19 we saw the world change, the internet, mobile phones the rise of social media. Covid_19 had accelerated this.
"As COVID-19 impacts every aspect of our work and life, we've seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Things seem to be speeding up.
Covid19 has been the catalyst to so many things.
There are now 300 million daily participants on Zoom. Add to that the 200 million participants on Microsoft Teams. Slack has 12 million. Plus all the other products, there seems to have been a massive switch taken place from analogue to digital?
The Always Online Society
As soon as the lockdown hit, we had to find ways to get our groceries. In fact "everybody" moved online to get deliveries, so in fact, here in the UK, there we no delivery slots left.
In fact everybody has switched to online shopping, even my Council is complaining about the increase in cardboard. The London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames (my council) said in a recent statement about the increase in cardboard collection.
"Since mid-May, there has been a further increase to an average of 391 tonnes of these materials each week. In the same period last year, residents presented just 316 tonnes of these materials on average, per week."
Think of that replicated across the UK even, Europe and the world? While that shows that cardboard and internet shopping has increased it means, everybody in the technology laggards are now online and comfortable with buying online.
If there had been a plan to try and experiment over the weekend, nothing would have changed. But people have been forced to change their behaviours, and they have changed.
The New Normal is Digital
“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.”
Farewell BC (before coronavirus). Welcome AD (after domestication)
In this article by the Economist (sorry a subscription is needed) they talk about "BC" being the life before Covid19 and "AD" after domestication.
Just as we have had to change the way we work, we have to change the way we sell and market.
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 they will maintain their"increased use of social media to engage with brands"
78% said they will continue with their"increased preference for digital commerce"
34% said there are now an"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.
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 is not having emojis in your Linkedin profile, something that actually impacts the algorithm negatively. Social Selling (often called Modern Selling) is a methodology to enable you to sell more, or right now in the Covid-19 world 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?
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.
I just completed the webinar and I'm pleased to say the feedback was excellent, one sales leader said to me with regard to Linkedin and social selling "On LinkedIn when Covid started I targeted all the banks with personal notes and we are now engaged in 2 of the big 4. It’s the best tool we have, where we don’t have contacts in market."
To quote my good friend Larry Levine
"has the window of relevancy closed with many of your customers and prospects?"
If you want to chat about how we can transform your sales team, you can contact me here
Shelter-in-place and work-at-home policies have highlighted a general lack of basic work necessities at home, such as reliable Internet connections and secure Wi-Fi. But because the needs of a remote sales team are consistent, it's relatively easy to compile a list of the specific tools they need to succeed.