My BIG reveal:
I've been on an 'eye-opening' learning journey over the past three months, and I feel compelled to share: The art of Social Selling (principals, practices) and the associated benefits must be considered by ALL business professionals as the most effective method to raise brand awareness, build influence and ensure what each of us is expected to achieve Growth... > REALLY?
Well, I've had the pleasure of working alongside #DLAignite - the worlds leading social media organisation for the past couple of months, and I have to say based on my own experience and learnings, the answer to this question is a resounding YES.
We must all learn to professionally connect 'in part' to the 3.96BN folk across the globe who are already using social media, as the opportunity this presents is colossal.
Source: DataReportal analysis shows that people using social media today, accounts for roughly 51% of the global population.
Without wishing to sound trite, my belief as a Sales Leader was that I totally understood Social Media principals and the benefits it could derive if used correctly. My team were all over social selling, and this new phenomenon was providing a healthy contribution to Pipeline, Lead creation and Success.
So, wind forward six months… Based on my recent experiences and learnings, I can say, hand on heart - I was wrong, TOTALLY WRONG!
I had no idea what could be leveraged from structured and programmatic Social Selling programs because I didn't understand Social Selling - if only I could rewind and apply what I know now, then!
All the operational functions of a business from a sales, demand generation to an operations perspective are essential elements to Growth, BUT how these functions operate must change!
FACT: The historic methods for building pipeline and lead creation that have been deployed over the past two decades are now outdated, defunct and ineffective. One of my key learnings here is the issue isn't the Marketing, Operations or the Sales functions; it's the people within them.
As 'midlife careerists', we haven't evolved or adapted our thinking to adjust and tap into the power of Social Media and new ways of touching our target markets & prospects.
WHY?: I genuinely believe there's little more to this than 'we're ALL pretending'. We only know what we know, so don't know what we don't!
HERE'S MY PREDICTION...
There will be little reaction to this post for three simple reasons:
- Salespeople won't want to hold their hands up and say YES, I AGREE, HELP as this would reveal they don't understand or use social media/selling effectively.
- Leadership will not speak out as they don't want to expose to the Board that they and their teams are not all over it!
- The fear of reprisal ensues, so nothing changes.
Working with the DLAignite team, I've witnessed first hand the results their Social Selling and Influence programs can drive: increased sales of up to 30% and a reduction in sales time of up to 40%.
IMAGINE: If you achieved these gains - how profound the increase in productivity, sales time, pipeline, influence, awareness and most importantly, SUCCESS/WINS would be...
IN SUMMARY: The above highlights what I have observed over the past months and whilst I provide a holistic view; there are many examples of organisations who do it better than others, BUT Everyone can improve, and ALL organisations can do it better.
The views and opinions shared are my own, but I'd welcome the opportunity to hear yours, so please feel free to like, share, comment, challenge, agree, disagree with this article.
OR simply reach out if you'd like to talk and learn some more on these experiences.
I welcome your comments and thank you in advance for your time reading this article. Remember, we ALL must take ownership and responsibility to drive real Digital Transformation and Growth.
End to End Business transformation Through Social Media & Leadership