Here is my view ...
As Gartner rightly say, "after the global disruption of 2020, radical changes are taking place in B2B sales".
I totally agree, the problem is that 99% of companies, still sell the same way they did in 2019. There are also some companies that "think" they are social selling, but they are clearly not. I was tagged today by somebody who says she has implemented a social selling program across her business, except, just by looking at her Linkedin profile, she clearly hasn't.
As Gartner say "in a more digital buying environment, progressive chief sales officers, are charting a new mandate for themselves in 2021."
A great example of that is Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch to Ban Trainee Brokers From Making Cold Calls.
Merrill President Andy Sieg said "They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling."
Let's get back to the Gartner conference
Gartner are right to point out that the buyer HAS changed.
I was sent the following message today
"I have an interesting proposition I wanted to run by you which I am confident can support growth strategy for DLA ignite. Let me know when we can connect for about 20 minutes. I am free now for 1 hour in case it's convenient for you."
Really? This message is sent by every sales person, we get thousands of them everyday, it proves that the person does not understand this digital buyer attitude. It turns you into just another salesperson. You are not interested in me, my business, helping me, I'm just another target of the lazy salesperson.
If you think social selling is just about using social to sell, you are way, way behind. Social is using psychology to make sure that buyers are attracted to you, rather than repulsed as in the example above.
Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Sales Officers (CSOs) have to work together. I offer a framework around this in my second book "Smarketing - how to achieve competitive advantage through blended sales and marketing"
There has to be a new language, but more than just, what is a lead. With sales now taking the lead role in creating content, marketing have to change to make sure they support sales people (and employees) in making sure the business has great social media discipline. We teach our clients, not to be "on social" but to digitally dominate their space and marketing must be at that table.
I don't agree with Gartner here and pushing these points shows old thinking.
Email marketing has shown to be ineffective, even Hubspot agree and they sell email marketing systems! We know nobody looks at adverts, nobody reads your spam emails or newsletters and nobody wants to be cold called. I'm sorry, but "digital marketing" initiative after intatative are being cancelled as they don't generate anything.
Our company, DLA Ignite, was recently asked to go head-to-head with an advertising campaign and an email marketing company. Both campaigns were dropped and the two businesses have now moved all their budget into social, which is a lovely validation of new over legacy.
The feedback from the clients was interesting, advertising and email marketing created leads. Not as many leads as social selling, that is a given. But it was also fed back that advertising and email marketing created cold leads, where as social selling, the leads were always hot. Subtle difference, but major if you are looking to make your number.
My Headhunter friends are all telling me that business are investing in digital talent, that means if you are a salesperson and you want to be head hunted, you get yourself digital. It's as simple as that. It's time to rise up and get your leadership to pay for you to go on a social selling course. Remember us if you do.
Kevin, created a great summary.
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