B2B has changed forever, but we are still seeing companies make massive mistakes.
They think that selling online / remotely / virtually however you call it, is the same as selling face-to-face expect you do it through Zoom / Teams etc and our research, as does McKinsey's shows this is not the case. Often we hear sales leaders saying "we are all over social" when it's very clear they are not.
As people's habits have shifted online, buyers have started working in a different way. The fault lines that were there before the Pandemic have been attenuated.
The Mistakes People Are Making with Digital
Why It's Important To Be Relevant
One of the mistakes that companies are making right now is that they are not providing the sales people with the tools they need to stay relevant. I'm not talking software tools here, it was Grady Booch who famously said "A fool with a tool is still a fool."
I've just got off the phone from a Sales Leader and they told me how Marketing provided them with the content. But the content just didn't resonate. I showed her our pyramid of content, which we have built through our research and explained how we coach people to get C-Level meetings by using content. Not Posting and hoping, as she was doing but using content strategically and have a methodology behind each post to moniterise that post.
The fact of the matter today, buying has changed and your salespeople have to stay relevant to your contacts, or you will struggle to achieve the outcomes of creating and winning opportunities.
The Inability to Get a Meeting
If you play sports, you turn up to play in the relevant gear, with the relevant bat, racquet etc. The same is true of modern selling, the issue is that too many people are living with the legacy. For example, with buyers online, they are always checking you out .... "know me - like me - trust me - buy from me."
If your sales people Linkedin profiles are CVs or written in business jargon, this is just laughable today and shows that your sales team are not equipped with the right tools.
Her is an example of a totally meaningless Linkedin about section, which buyers just laugh at today. This is an actual Linkedin profile of a senior sales leader. This person won't even get to the "know me" from most buyers, let alone "like me - trust me - buy from me."
This is just garbage and buyers know this and this will impact your ability to get meetings in a virtual world.
Most salespeople believe they are asking the client for a meeting so they can discover their challenges to compel them to look at their solution. They do this by saying "buy my product because we are great".
Their request for a meeting doesn't drive their prospect to open their calendar and schedule a meeting because there is no value offered in trade for their time. The problem is, nobody cares about your product and nobody will care because you don't look like a person people can do business with. I had somebody yesterday connect to me on Linkedin and then immediately pitch to me via email. She couldn't understand why I wasn't interested in her "buy my product because it's great" message. She was upset as she had "created me a video". Really?
Selling like this means you are way behind.
Because the salesperson lacks a better approach, one that would directly address the value of the meeting, the salesperson is irrelevant. The problem for your sales team is that they are "just another salesperson" they are not differentiated and now their competition is all the other 722 million people on Linkedin.
The barriers to a meeting are higher than ever, and decision-makers and decision-shapers are unwilling to waste time with someone who doesn't sound like someone who can teach them something worth knowing. Let's not forget that these people are active on social and will have already formed a view on you and your social profiles.
This is Scary!
For many people this means change and nobody likes change. It's comfortable doing what we have always done. We understand that and we know when we get up in the morning, what we are going to do. A Sales Leader recently said to me "I still do what I did 20 years ago, it worked then and it works now." But does it?
20 years ago I had a Sony Walkman, a VCR and a fax machine, but times have changed.
But not understanding social media is fine, in fact you are the same as everybody else.
Also not understanding the business opportunity and not understanding what you need to do is also totally understandable and similar to everybody else in business.
One of my team recently said to me "I deal with people, whose pipeline is in the toilet, they probably cannot pay the salary at the end of the month, they have suppliers banging on the door asking for money. They know cold calling and emaIl marketing isn't working, but are too scared to change."
This is what's it's like to be in business in a Covid world in 2020.
The Barrier To Change
But being scared of the unknown is your barrier to change.
This venn diagram often does the rounds on social media and it is very true. Our fears are the thing that often holds us back.
I'm in the process of getting fit and losing weight. This is a simple task, I have to go running three times a week. You know that, I know that. But it isn't the going running that is the issue, it's the getting up and going is the problem. The same with selling virtually in the new world. It's not what you know, it's what you do!
How many times in life have you thought "if only I had done x".
You Are Not Alone
All companies are going through this right now, it's scary times, CEO after CEO are saying to us right now "I know that we need to change, but I don't know what to, or how we do it". I totally get that, CEOs are also saying to us "we came into this Pandemic analogue and we have to come out digital".
We Are Here To Work With You
First thing that surprises most people is that we have been doing this for 4 years.
There's been no pivot, we haven't just started doing this. This helps you, not just the fact that we have "been there and done it" but we have data to back up our methodology.
Which comes to our methodology, that takes the thinking out of being social.
(Steve Job used to where the same outfit every day as it meant he didn't have to think about what he had to wear and he could focus his thoughts on other things).
You do "this", you do "this" and you will get results. Nothing to be scared about. We also run coaching one to ones during the program, which means that everybody learns at their own pace. Learning in a safe environment, with people that have done this many times.
Think of it as us working with you.
Everytime we run this program, we get 30% increase in revenue and a 40% reduction in the sales cycle.
There are also some softer benefits, you and your team get a new life skill and as a leader you are providing the business with a digital legacy. Supporting the transformation to digital for the business.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing for other companies. No hard sell, just take you through what other companies are doing to transform.
More than three quarters of buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions—a sentiment that has steadily intensified even after lockdowns have ended. Safety is one reason, of course. But self-serve and remote interactions have made it easier for buyers to get information, place orders, and arrange service, and customers have enjoyed that speed and convenience. Only about 20 percent of B2B buyers say they hope to return to in-person sales, even in sectors where field-sales models have traditionally dominated, such as pharma and medical products.