I’m currently reading “Creativity, INC.” By Ed Catmull who was CEO of Pixar.

He talks about the success that Disney had in the 80s and 90s with “The Little Mermaid”, "Beauty and the Beast”, “Aladdin”, “The Lion King” all great stories and films, but little did Disney know that “Toy Story” was around the corner. Now while “Toy Story” was created for Disney, it did start to make “old” Disney obsolete.

Just like Sales and Marketing today. People look at the 80s and 90s and expect life to carry on, with no impact made by digital.

Disruption is real in sales and marketing and the 80s and 90s were great times, but we all know times have changed and life has shifted. Hanging onto processes from the 1980s or 1990s like advertising, email marketing and cold calling does not cut it anymore.

Yes, but, yes but, yes but ..... I hear you say.  We use cold calling and email and it works you say!

When I was cold calling in the 1990s, the going rate was

100 dials = 10 conversations = 1 meeting

Now, it's 

120 dials = 1 conversation ..... but you need 10 conversations to get a meeting so the figures are actually

1200 dials = 10 conversations = 1 meeting.

As time goes on, to get meetings, you will have to make more and more dials ..... it's cold calling inflation.  It's a downward trajectory and it's only going one way... a race to the bottom.

Email Marketing

The same with email marketing.  As open rates goes down, you have to send more emails to get the same results.  According to Hubspot, the response rate to emails fell to a record low of 2.1% in April. In other words, 98% email marketing efforts fail to reach new prospects. 

Hubspot say in the report "Sales teams are sending about 50% more email to prospects than they were pre-COVID, but responses continue to drop. Last week, sales response rates hit an all-time low for 2020 at 2.1%, a lower response rate than Christmas week 2019."

Diagram from Hubspot showing the number of emails being sent going up and the response reducing. 

Hubspot also said "These trends tell an important story. Email prospecting, to put it bluntly, is out of control. It's easy to send thousands of emails with just a few clicks, and in a chaotic time, we understand why sales teams are sending so many. But volume and quality is a tradeoff — the time a team saves by sending out email blasts is wasted if that outreach isn't personalized, relevant, and helpful. These gaps are clear in the data."

The engagement engagement rates for digital advertising is

1.61% Facebook
1.91% Google
0.35% Programmatic (this is where ads follow you around when you browse)

That means that digital advertising has a 98.81% failure rate and based on the amount of money that is spent on digital advertising, that means that $265 Billion is wasted on digital advertising every year. 

Sorry, there is more bad news.  Like Disney, something has come along to disrupt advertising, cold calling and email.  In fact, it's the skills of the sales dinosaur. 

But Relationships Take Too Long - We Need Revenue and We Need it Now! - (Tim, don't you understand there is a Pandemic on and we need deals quick)

People of say this as an excuse ..... relationships don't take a long time.

Here are 3 examples, of people creating deals from using content and social selling.

In fact, at the end, I challenge any cold caller, advertiser and emailer to make deals this fast!  (This challenge has been up for two weeks now and nobody has challenged me).

Please read on. 

Vimal Rai is one of the team here at DLA Ignite (based in Singapore) and he wrote a post on Linkedin.

Here is some context.  He used to work at Jet Airways, they are selling the crockery.  Anyway it got picked up by the press.  Which is some nice "free advertising" for Vimal and DLA Ignite.  I explain more in a bit.

This is not a post of "buy my product, because we are great" which is what every company says and everybody ignores.  It's humanised, it's fun.  It's not corporate content. 

To give you some idea of what I'm talking about, based on our research here is our "Maslow's Pyramid of Content".  As you can see, paid media, advertising is at the bottom because everybody ignores it.  Then corporate content, or branded content.  Again, this is ignored because it's the same as everybody else "by my product because it's great".

Then we move onto employee advocacy.  Now Danielle Guzman of Mercer, states in this video interview with her, that they get 3 to 4 times the amount of business using employee advocacy than just the brand.  So while Mercer, unlike 99% of businesses has a strong brand, this will generate some inbound. Employee advocacy will generate 3 to 4 times what the brand can do.  This is brilliant and a great result, and Danielle is a star for working hard and getting this results.  But she knows, she can do better.  She also has people creating humanised content.  At the top is humanised content, which we are showcasing some examples in this article.  Let's get back to Vimal.

Vimal says

"A bit of background: I used to work for Jet Airways back in 2008. They went belly up last year. I saw a random listing for an auction of their crockery and did a post on it.  I shared my story about having worked on the design.

I’ve had more than a few messages from aviation folk, ex-Jet staff of course, but also loads of other airlines execs. And then this journalist (and her editor and chief of bureau in Mumbai, India, who checked out my profile and connected). My profile views are up about 145% week on week. I’ve just came off a call where I was introduced as the “person who wrote the LinkedIn algorithm” and am (therefore) being asked to guide the comms folk at design agency Priestman Goode (!!!) on how to promote their events."

This is great, but there are no real leads.  I'm sure Vimal (or Vim as we call him) will get some leads and deals off the back of this, but you are reading this to get leads.  Let's look at another example.

Here is Another Example

James Stirk, another of the team here at DLA Ignite he did this post

It has 77 likes and 23 comments.  That's 100 opportunities to have a conversation. 

(Conversations lead to proposals and deals, right?)

From a Marketing perspective the average person on Linkedin has 930 connections.  When you like or comment on an article that means that the network of the person who likes or shares can see that post.  That means 100,700 people could have seen this content.

Think of that as an email database of 100,700.  Pretty nifty. 

That is also a "shed load" of people who will look at your profile, if you have a great profile, not a CV, not I'm a quota killing sales people as nobody likes that.  But a profile that shows who you are as a person.  Then all of those profile views are like "free" cold calls.  But warm calls.

After all as cold call is where you ring someone up and tell them about your product and service.  A profile view is where somebody, (without interrupting them) checks you out.  It's the same thing, but better.

This is where our social selling methodology is different.  You will see cold callers saying that social selling doesn't work, it's about posting content and hoping.  We all know hope isn't a strategy.

This is very old thinking.  What we do is give you a methodology and take all of those likes and comments and have conversations with the people.  We all know that conversations, turn into proposals and proposals turn into deals.  Another example.

Here's Another Example

Eric Doyle, he's a partner of ours.  He posted a piece of content, it currently has 165 likes and 37 comments and has been viewed 18,292 times.

It's created for him 124 leads.

28 outbound connections.

13 new inbound connections.

6 meetings (1 CEO, 1 COO, 2 MDs, 2 FDs)

1 Proposal

All from 10 minutes of work.

The Challenge - Can Your Advertising, Email Marketing and Cold Calling get Results Like this?

(I wonder if you can create 6 new business meetings in 10 minutes from advertising, cold calling or email marketing? ... I doubt it, but let me know if you can).

Social Selling Better Results Than Your Paid Media?

One of our clients sales guys as created the same number of "clicks" with a single Linkedin post (for free, it took him 20 minutes) than the whole of his marketing team created last quarter with paid media.  OK I lied, it was a few clicks less, but almost the same .... so when we scale that across the sales team of course, the sales team is creating more qualified meetings, for free, than the marketing team on paid media.  There are clear winners and losers here in sales and marketing ... it's time to decide which way your business is going to go.  It's time to switch your budget from paid media into social.

Social Selling Wil Bus Prospects To Your Sales Team

As one client said to us "I cannot believe this, you are in fact just busing prospects to have meetings with my sales team".  Now I know I'm biased and there are millions of people on Linkedin with a quick fix to your pipeline problem.  What you have to do as a leader is pick the one that will make your business survive. 

Let's Think About This

There are a bunch of social selling gurus in the US who say you cannot teach sales people to create content.  Wrong! - Just Look at the money they are leaving on the table!

We tried social and it didn't work. Really? This isn't witchcraft this is real people, getting conversations, proposal and deals.  We have research and data to back all of our training up.  Literally it's "do this" and "do this" and you will get this result.

Social selling is about posting content and hoping! - Anybody who says this is a dinosaur, they don't know what they are talking about.  You can see this from the above.  There was a job advert where the person said "social sellers need no apply" what an idiot! 

It's 2020

Where Do We Go From Here?

For those unsure of what to do, DLA Ignite will complete a review of your current social / digital / virtual / remote selling capability.  For free. 

We will take your team (up top 10) and perform a complete root and branch Social Media Performance Assessment.

Sales, Marketing, Management, Technical, HR. Procurement ....whoever you want to include.

This will include: Profiles, connections, followers, inbound and outbound activity, content, engagement, follow up, results.

(Happy to provide the list of deliverables).

We will map your business against the DLA Ignite baseline and present back to you our findings. We will show you where improvements can be made and what results should be expected.  No hard sell, just present back to you a road map.  

You entered lock down analogue, this is your chance to leave this pandemic, digital.

Please contact me here or one of the DLA Ignite team here, so please pick one of our industry experts or one of our experts in your geographical locality.  Our website is here.