Life can be confusing right now in Sales & Marketing. The pipeline has shrunk, the forecast is in constant jeopardy, we can’t generate the leads we once could, and we are not closing deals the way we once were…

So, what do you do…? More of what you know, right….?

You throw more and more money at advertising and get nothing back, you send out more emails because the last batch were ignored and the same happens, you spend all day listening to ring tones and voicemail….this isn’t what we were trained for, this is professional time wasting for everyone.

All the while the leadership team looking to you to fix the problem….

  • When are you getting that meeting?
  • When can we get that proposal out?
  • Where is the PO?
  • How is that forecast looking?
  • How are you going to meet your quota when that January job is now gone….?

We know that traditional methods – cold calling, emailing, and advertising are dead or dying. We know that the smart organisations have already transformed their business and trained their teams in Social Selling & Influence and they are beating you to the table.

You are still not sure what it is, how it works but you’ve been looking into how the role of the seller is changing and wondering “how do I find new customers” these days… 

You are asking yourself things like:

"How do I get more sales on LinkedIn? Why does everyone say Social is good? Does social selling work for all sectors? How do I get pipeline from Social Media? Is LinkedIn worth investing in? How do I find new customers?  How do I get leads if there are no events? How do I network without events?"

and so on…

The reason we know this? This is a small selection of the types of questions we come are asked every day.

Sales and Marketing can be a confusing space in the 2020s...

Some in Sales are looking at Social Media and want to get involved in Social Selling & Influence but have concerns about putting themselves and their brand out there.

We are trained to be stoic and rational but, it’s not getting you where you want to be.

If you are in Sales today and haven’t gotten up to speed with Social Selling & Influence, you are behind. It’s that simple, it’s not a question or a debate. A few weeks ago, I saw a Sales leader on LinkedIn respond to a question about Social Selling, his response “I’m still not convinced…" This is mind boggling and worrying.

Social Selling isn’t Selling on Social. What has happened over the last 10-20 years, with the arrival of the internet, is that the buyer is now able to go online and do research into your products, your services and your company culture.

Social Selling is:

Using your presence and behaviour on Social Media – to build influence, make connections, grow relationships and trust - which leads to conversations and commercial interaction.

Its that simple, but it’s not easy…

Buyers don’t really need to talk to a Salesperson anymore. If they do, they only really need them to close the deal. They have done all the research on you, your products and services and your competitors...and didn’t need you. What you need to do if you want to engage with these prospects is actually be online and engage with them.... online.

Every week I meet with more and more Sales professionals who tell me that the old ways of selling aren’t working any more. These are those who are being honest, not clinging onto a romantic vision that cold calling and email campaigns can achieve a Sales forecast in the 2020s.

 The scales of power have well and truly shifted in the favour of the buyer!

In my daily work I speak to a lot of leaders, mainly from SME’s. One common theme that comes up is the preconception that Social Selling is really for large businesses – Social Selling is absolutely for small business as it allows you to scale. Social Media closes the distance between buyers and sellers regardless of your size or industry. 

Social Selling isn't a quick-fix, flash-bang, short-term solution. This evolution of our trade requires a mindset shift, a definite alteration of our habits and behaviour. It’s all change for our internal language around Sales and Marketing, all change for our metrics and the very fabric of the way we work.

Social Selling needs patience and commitment. It’s not the single-minded pursuit of that Purchase Order. Our buyers are smart so we must be smarter, they have powered up so we must power up.

This is all about building influence. Providing relevant content and insight to your prospects and customers. 

Research by Demand Gen Report  revealed that 93% buyers want their content to “curb the sales messages”. 

No alt text provided for this image

We need to listen to this - buyers don’t want to feel sold to when researching, so let’s stop doing it. 

We must listen to what our buyers are telling us and adjust.

So, if our buyers are telling sellers to curb the sales messages, what are they asking us to do instead? 

They are asking us to show them who we are. They want to know what we think, what we know, what we like and don’t like, they want to know how we tick. If we don’t give them that, they will get it from our competitors.

To give our buyers what they want requires us to show ourselves on Social, we engage with content on Social or do we? The most engaged content on LinkedIn is Humanised content, that content which speaks a true voice, content which has emotion. We don’t engage with content; we engage with the emotion within the content. It makes us happy, concerned, angry, delighted, shocked, worried, elated and we are compelled to respond by showing what we feel about that emotion with our emotions.

So, in the 2020s when Gartner are telling us the by 2025 over 80% of all B2B sales will be done digitally, we need Sales to stop selling on Social and start showing their emotions through their content, we need to get into emotional marketing.

And the payoff for this……. people will follow you.

Get in touch (here) for a conversation on how this all works and how to upgrade your process.

Eric Doyle

Crux / DLA Ignite