There is a school of thought that websites are becoming less and less important. If you were going to check out a company or an employee of that company, where would you go?
Their website, where they tell you how much better they are than their competition or, do you go to LinkedIn to check their presence and see how they behave?
The rise, rise and rise of Social Media
Today there are 3.97 billion people actively using Social Media.
4.58 billion internet users and 40% of those actively use Social Media for work.
Perhaps you will read this and think this has nothing to do with your business - It does, you just don't realise it yet. I'd love to talk this over with you.
So, we see a huge swing towards using Social Media for business. It also shows that people are getting more and more comfortable with Social Media and use it as part of their day to day business lives.
The numbers are rising every day. This isn’t going away; this is getting bigger and more engrained.
Are you the same person for work and for life?
BC (Before Covid), there seemed to be two ways of thinking. Business life and personal life, as we were told they had to be different (‘Work / Life balance etc…’).
At the weekend, people would sit in cafes or on the sofa, on their phones, laptops or tablets, searching to buy things – Not a Salesperson in sight.
In our personal lives we hate all forms of ‘interruption marketing’.
We fast forward through the ads on the TV or change the channel – I have even seen friends record something and wait a while to watch just so they can speed through the ads. We set our Smartphones up so we no longer have to get cold calls. We unsubscribe from spam email services.
My rule? If you didn’t ask me and add me to your email marketing list, I immediately unsubscribe. I don't want your stuff so why would I assume you want an email from me telling you how great my product is every week or month…?
Before Covid we would wake up, delete spam emails for our inbox, ignore adverts on the radio and on billboards on our drive to work and hang up on cold callers….
Then we get in to work and have our Marketing team spam our clients by email, book adverts that we know will be ignored. Meanwhile, the Sales team are cold calling…???
If you are still desperately clinging on to your precious email marketing campaign, try Marketing legend, Seth Godin’s advice - "If you have an email list, one week / month don't send it and see how many people call you up and say "where's the email?""…
That is the true measure of your email list. Try this with all that you do in sales and marketing, stop it....if nothing changes, it was never working.
The digital winners and losers...
There are clear winners and losers, finding their position in the Social space.
What you need to do right now...
Your business needs to become Digitally Skilled. You need to train your Sales team in a methodology that will enable them to prospect where your clients are... today, that's on Social Media.
They need to have the skills to build relationships in a world where there are no face-to-face meetings.
They need to be able to accelerate their pipeline and close business through social.
Because this is where your prospects are right now and if you are not on social, then you are invisible.
The recent upheaval has likely impacted your cash flow, your ability to generate leads and close deals and, your ability to map out the future.
As business leaders, we have to look at the cost of sales closer than ever before. Take it a level deeper and look at the overall cost and return of sales and marketing. The 18/19 plan is no longer viable. If you stick to it, ‘hoping things come back’ we are all in trouble.
The pre-covid plan won’t work
You need to change and that means you need to take calculated risks. I’m talking about divergent business thinking, what some might call ‘out of the box’.
GDPR killed off email campaigns – so why run them? We ask our students how many people read the “circulars” - none. Like ads, technology has caught up with the unsolicited email senders and they go straight to junk. Do you read your suppliers monthly newsletter? If not, do you really think your clients are waiting with anticipation to read yours..?
Cold calling, the last tactic of a dying Sales and Marketing plan. Again, interrupt and broadcast. As a business person, do you take cold calls from Sales people? See above…
We ignore “corporate marketing” We are told that its essential to build brands, but as all corporate marketing says the same thing, how can it? We are the best! We are number one! It all blends into the Marketing wallpaper we all swipe or walk past every day.
Websites, when did you last open a company website that said “we are the 4th best at what we do in our sector, we are a bit expensive and we are quite slow”. Exactly, websites are all about how great, how solutions focussed, how world class…bla. Run the analytics, are you really getting what you need from that website or do you need a rethink?
Your salesforce needs leads and meetings, as it’s only sales that are going to generate you cash in the short and medium term. You need your Sales teams consistently making and building relationships on Social Media.
A number of you will be saying that you already do this – If you do you will:
- Have trained your people
- Have a Social Media strategy
- Have redefined you entire Sales and Marketing process
- Have defined social Media KPIs
And, you will know exactly how much of your revenue can be directly attributed to you Social media presence and behaviour.
It’s time to put the ego and pride to one side and be honest – this is about saving and securing the business.
Go and look at your LinkedIn profile, look at your marketing people’s LinkedIn profile and look at your sales people’s LinkedIn profiles….are you truly a Socially Mature organisation that leverages all of the business value available to you from Social Media…?
- Does your organisational Social presence and activity create inbound?
- Are you connecting with the right people?
- Is your content working for you or do you post for the sake of it?
- Are you using LinkedIn and other platforms to prospect?
- Are you joining conversations with your prospects and doing this at scale?
- Are you using content to move deals through the pipeline and close sales?
As a leader, have you created a culture where all of your people know how to do this as second nature and work together as one?
Are you looking to the future and actively giving your team the best chance or, do you have your head in the sand, waiting for "things to return to normal....."
We know what when we run our Social Selling and Influencer programs the results are repeatable and predictable. The answer to how to get out of this mess exists within your organisation today, lets put it to good use.
Let's talk about transforming your business through Social - You can reach me here.
Crux / DLA Ignite
"What the decision-makers made clear to us was that the most significant influence on their commitment to a supplier was its presence on LinkedIn. This may be explained by the purpose of LinkedIn, which offers a closer bond than the one-way relationship often found on Twitter and Facebook. The expectation of a supplier having a presence on LinkedIn may also offer a sense of security and transparency..."