Covid19 has certainly changed the world, I'm sitting in London and we are into "Lockdown 2" and so is most of Europe.
Company after company is contacting us asking for help in this new social, digital and virtual world.
It's been interesting to unpick some of the misconceptions of Sales Leaders and Sales People.
1. We Are Great at Social
Most companies are doing social in some tactical form, mainly "posting and hoping". We often see Sales VPs randomly posting on Linkedin and they get their directs to like the post. This is tactical, and probably achieves nothing.
Where as, we can show you clients who are strategically posting on social and getting C-Level meetings. Most of our clients have now completely switched to social for prospecting.
At this stage in social maturity you should be able to demonstrate you are getting leads and meeting from social and should be able to measure this. Let's be honest here are you really getting a return on your work on social, or is it post and hope?
2. My Salespeople Are All Over Social
This is also something we hear from Sales Leaders and it follows on from the above. Giving a salesperson Sales Navigator, does not make them social, it makes them the worlds best spammer.
Social requires a different mindset and different habits. We can tell just by looking at your sales teams Linkedin profiles that they are not all over social. For example, your Linkedin profile is now a standard part of the sales kit bag, it should be working hard for you. 95% of sales people's Linkedin profiles are CVs, they are just using it to get their next job. It should be used to sell more. If your sales people Linkedin profiles are CVs they are not all over social and you are losing business to the competition. Why not going and check now?
Here is a blog from a sales Leader who admits he was wrong about social.
"I was Wrong, TOTALLY WRONG!"
Worldwide social media users: 4.14 billion - 53% of the world's population use social media in other words, more people use social media than don't use it.
Simon says that "two thirds of the working population in the world is now active on social media."
Why It's Hard Gaining Commitments From Clients
At some point in a sale, we will need to ask our prospects and clients for commitments. From next actions at meetings for the contract, commitment is about moving forward. This often places us in conflict.
Many salespeople avoid necessary conversations, because they want to be liked. The great example of this is providing proposals before discovery has taken place or just blindly providing proposals.
One of my early sales leaders said a say was like a "door", you had to have a frame around the door before you could close it. Understanding the business issues, the political landscape, etc etc, was a requirement, without it there was nothing to close.
Social is the place where people will make a short list of the people that can help them. Your social media profile, your network and your content will be what buyers are using tp form that decision. Buyers want to make decision with people that will help them and if you don't get your social sorted, your won't be shortlisted and you won't be able to get commitment from buyers.
It Takes More Than One Person To Make a Decision
B2B Enterprise sales today, requires more than one person to make a decision. Gartner say this, I do hope your experience demonstrates this too.
Our job in sales is to gain consensus. And consensus at scale.
We have all been in sales situations where somebody blocks you from talking to other people in an account. Of course, with social, you are able to build conversations and relationships right across an account. In fact if you are not, you are already being outsold.
Wide and deep relationships will enable you to understand more about the business and it's ideas, questions, preferences, and complaints, that helps both sides to come to an agreement quicker.
Social allows you to take control over the process and influence the process at scale. By doing this in meaningful way increases the odds that you will win the deal. Increasing your win rate is always a good thing, for your bank balance and the profitability of the business.
And in the current Pandemic, you MUST win every deal.
The Salesperson Graveyard
There are too many salespeople and sales leaders that have their pipeline at risk because they are over confident that they know "social".
How to De-Risk The Forecast With Social
Let me explain.
During the deal review, the salesperson for Domino's Pizza explained to the meeting, that this was a done deal and it would happen this quarter.
This was a big deal, everybody in the management had been involved and had met people in the customer. The deal was nodded through. As the meeting started on the review of the next customer, I had to intervene. It's what we are paid to do after all.
What I said made the meeting go quiet and the salesperson squirm. I said "the Domino's Pizza deal won't happen".
"Yes, the management had good coverage in the account, but based on the data I had, the salesperson didn't have enough relationships. In fact the sales person didn't have any relationships in the account."
The deal didn't happen.
Sales Are Made on Social
A friend of mine was telling me the other day about how they lost a $14 million transformation deal. So for the win / loss review he called up the CIO and said "why in the middle of a pandemic did you rip out your data centre and go with the competition?". The CIO said "we haven't seen your salesperson for 18 months".
We know this happens and we know this is sloppy, but we should also know that the data exists for you to know about these things. Here at DLA Ignite we run a service where we help to de-risk your forecast with social.
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.
Steve Jobs used to wear the same outfit every day, because it was one less thing to think about.
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.
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.
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, (similar to Steve Jobs clothing) that takes the thinking out of being social. 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?
For those unsure of what to do, DLA Ignite will complete a review of your current social / digital / virtual / remote selling capability. For free.
This will include: Profiles, connections, followers, inbound and outbound activity, content, engagement, follow up, results.
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.
Accelerant. A word we are beginning to hear and see more often. It is being used to describe the effects of COVID-19 in shaping B2B buyer behaviors. Pre-pandemic, it was expected buyer behavior trends may evolve over a five to ten-year period. Now, buying behavioral trends have been lit with lighter fluid as the coronavirus pandemic shocks business commerce. Accelerating trends down to months to two-years. “As Covid-19 impacts every aspect of our work and life, we’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” — Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO