As recently as 1940, 20% of US homes had no electric light and 30% had no running water.  In 1800, 85% of the world lived in absolute poverty and no country had a life expectancy of over 40.  Now the world average is 70.

Since, 1820, the global population has risen sixfold and income per capita has increased ninefold.

It's amazing when we hear about how the world has changed, but so often we don't think the world around us has changed.

So when we hear that 

77% of responding sales professionals said they’re holding more virtual meetings

44% said they anticipated a decrease in responsiveness to outreach

Another 44% said they’re experiencing longer sales cycles

Why do we shrug our shoulders and think it isn't happening to us and why do we not equip our sales team with the digital and social skills they need in these times?

Social Media Has Changed the World

Everybody is online and are used to be online.  Even those managers who said "you have to be in the office" have had to allow people to work from home.  Call centres have shifted to home working.  Church is online, Scouts online, accessing the health system is online.  There is no reason why we leave our homes and for good reason.

This business to consumer (B2C) way we work, we now take to work in our business to business (B2B) world.

How is Social Media Making an Impact?

Simon Kemp in his research says that there are 4.57 Billion people in the world on the internet, that is up 7% on last year.  There are 3.81 Billion people, active, on social media.  That is up 300 million on last year.

So while "Sharon" on facebook left Facebook, 300 million people joined.

In fact the world has changed with social media, from the way ideas are propagated to the way we do business. 

But If We Know our Clients on Social, Why Don't We Move our Sales Operation on There as Well?

Social Selling Is Not Cold Calling on Social

In the past, advertising, cold calling and email marketing are all based on interruption and broadcast.  The mistake people make is they think social selling is the same.

This is why you get these connection messages over Linkedin where people pitch at you.  This is not social selling, it is cold calling on a social network.  My advice is to block people that do this.  I had somebody only this morning, selling me facemasks for when my team return to the office.  We don't have an office.  I would never want to do business with a spammer, so I blocked him and so should you.

Social Selling Also Is Not Writing Content and Hoping

I often hear people saying, that social selling is about writing content and then praying that somebody will contact you.  It's not that either.  We teach people how to prospect on social.  Hope was never a strategy. 

What Is Social Selling?

Social selling is based on three things 

1. Your profile

2. Your network 

3. Content and connecting

Social Selling Methodology

Too many people see social selling as "random acts of social".  They post and hope something will happen.  They send connection requests and hope something will happen.  It's all random and all based on hope.

We teach sales people a methodology, which we have used many, many, many times and if you follow the steps you will create leads and meetings.  Better still, you will create conversations.

But We Tried Social Before

When we started the business 4 years ago, there seems to be this ivory tower and theoretical view in social media.  "Well it just works" seems to be the view of social media from the Gurus.  Social Media works because I say it does, is another common attitude.  But does it really?

I wrote this article back in 2016, How to use Twitter to get 10 C-Level Appointments Per Week — A Case Study which clearly provide a business case to be selling with social.  But even 4 years on, people are questioning the value.

One of the issues is the barrier to entry to be a "social media guru" is low.  People are still setting themselves up as social media gurus and offering nothing more than snake oil.  One of our clients fired their social media person because they were "useless" they told me, they then justified the hire by saying "we thought he would be good at social media, because he had a beard".  I kid you not!

As all we do here at DLA Ignite is social (we are not a full service marketing agency for example) we are able to focus on social and get the best results for our clients.

The next paragraph details an example.

Social Selling Results

Eric Doyle, he's a partner of ours. He's posted about the fact that he has started riding his bike again.  

At the time of writing Eric has 36 likes and 53 comments. That means with the average person having 500 connections on Linkedin that has reached 44,500 people.  Think how long it would take you to build an email list of 44,500 people.  We could assume that those 44,500 have 500 connections, so that connect could be seen by 22 million people.  Who cares? You want leads and meeting after all!

Last time I spoke to him, he has got 6 new business meetings from this, it took him 20 minutes to create.

(I wonder if you can create 6 new business minutes in 20 minutes from advertising, cold calling or email marketing? ... I doubt it, but let me know if you can).

So What? - The Winners are on Social

This Business to Consumer (B2C) world gets pulled into Business to Business (B2B) world. In other words our B2C behaviours, become normal in B2B. How? Because we bring our everyday lives into the world of work.

BMW for example, even before Covid19 was selling through social.  In November last year, they got 28 pieces of inbound (people making an enquiry to buy cars) through LinkedIn.  I'm not talking about their website, I'm talking about people making enquiries through social.

BMW ere able to convert 14 of these into sales.  Let's assume a BMW is $50,000, that's 14 x $50,000 = $700,000

That's an additional $700K that they signed from social media.  This was for zero cost of Marketing.

Ironically, their competitor, Jaguar Land Rover announced in the same month, November 2019 that they were reducing production as they were not selling enough cars.

This is clear evidence that business has moved to social and the winners who are there .... are winners. And the losers who are not there ... are losers.

Changing Times Require Training.

We often hear sales leaders say, "if used the same sales methodology for the last 20 years, it was good enough for me then, it's good enough for me now".  In light of the changes we have all been through over the last 3 months, this surprises us.

It's like saying, I ran a marathon 20 years ago so I can still run one today.

We all know the world has changed, we all know the way people buy has changed, it is our duty as leaders to quip our sales team with the skills they need to sell in this ... "new normal".

You can find me on social here