A lot has been written about content, but a quick whizz through my LinkedIn feed shows people "posting and hoping".

We've read all the articles about the power of content. 

According to research from Linkedin 50% of buyers say working remotely has made their purchasing process easier. As a result, buyers are growing more difficult to reach any way other than virtually. Gartner has predicted that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels

In fact, I know B2B business leaders that already say that 80% of the buying process is digital.

What can we conclude from this?

Our buyers are online, they are looking for insight and they are looking to be educated.

It makes sense, if you are going to invest $100,000 a year in a software application, then you, as the buyer are going to do their homework.  You will go online and read every article you can find on the subject.

It stands to reason that if you are not posting on social media as a salesperson you are invisible to your prospects and clients.

And if you are going to invest $100,000 in a cloud application, if you are getting a cold call from somebody, apart from the fact it's an annoyance, which is never a great way to start a relationship by a seller with a buyer.  But you are going to look at that person and the organisation as a company that is living in the past.  Of course you are, all buyers know that. Buyers are not stupid they know what is good and bad in the world today. 

It stands to reason that cold calling is no longer fit for purpose in B2B enterprise, regardless at how good you are at it.

But this article is about content.

What are the best thought leaders saying about content?

In this Gartner webinar "Evolve Seller Skills to Connect With Today’s Buyers"

Gartner talks about 3 seller competencies, when it comes to content.

Or put it another way, there are three types of salesperson

A. Giver - I can get you more information on that. This is also the type of salesperson that just shares corporate content from a third party app without thinking.  These people will be asking marketing to create more content.  This is the "post and hope" salesperson.

B. Teller - Let me tell you what you need to know.  Again, this is "post and hope".

Both the "giver" and "teller" isn't scalable. 

C. Sense maker - There is a lot of information let me help you make sense of it.  You will see people on social doing this by posting their own authentic generated content.  Just like this blog, I listed to the webinar and I'm writing this to enable you to make sense from it.  I guide prospects and customers to evidence, while at the same time I try and prioritize simplicity. 

There is still a little down in the weeds, selling and social is strategic, how can we raise this up a level?

Let's not talk about something that DLA Ignite teach in our social selling and influence course. 

What is a Digital identity?

In talking with Eric Doyle recently, Eric is part of the team here at DLA Ignite and he explained digital identity.

Think about this.

If a buyer comes to your social media feeds, will they understand what you "stand for" from your social media profile?

Remember what you stand for and what you do are two different things.

You may be a CEO, a Managing Director, a salesperson and that is what you do.

What you stand for is different.  You may be a CFO that wants to support diversity and inclusions; maybe your a CEO that wants to be seen as a servant leader.  That is your digital identity.

If you look at my Linkedin profile, you can see that I'm the CEO of a business that deals with transformation of companies with social media.  There is a rich diverse set of content, from interview, to videos, from streaming to written blogs. You should be able to see my "digital identity". 

Now buyers, prospects and customers can see what we stand for, how about not "posting and hoping" and getting action from the content we create?

Selling is about action based content

We've all seen the advert which says "call 0800-unblock my drains now" which is seeking you to call them now.  This is action based.

So how as a B2B company, I won't say boring, as all companies are interesting to somebody, how do you get somebody to take action with your content?

Let's take The Big Live Breakfast Burrito..! which is a Linkedin Live show run by Eric Doyle, Matt Pybus, Kevin Milne as well as Vanessa Gartell and Will Shorten.

So what?

This is content that is getting people to take action.

Let's not get a ahead of ourselves.

First this Linkedin live creates community, the people taking part and the people watching are part of that community.  Already people are buying and selling across that community.  Not in a hard sell way, but organically. 

Last week, one of the regular people, Antonia Brickell, who does a word of the week.

A prize was given if somebody posted a piece of content, with that word in it and 5 people posted content.  OK it's not thousands of people, but 5 is more than most businesses are getting. 

Last week the word was "erinaceous" and the content created was

Adam Gray: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6839107780868153345/

Andy Griffiths: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6839149274165473280/

Suzan Brown: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6839143488668356608/

Catriona Stevenson: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/catrionastevenson_firstimpression-erinaceous-burritonean-activity-6839212295910903808-JbGx

Terry Lawson: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/t3rry_ogvtaprooms-linkedin-people-activity-6839138051952824320-HnFr

Let me say that again, here we have people posting content on their own Linkedin profile, these posts also promote the show.

The week before the word was "Widdershins" and three people posted..

Clare Morris: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/claremorris_community-entertainment-powerofwords-activity-6834479480203972608-9GJW
Don Marshall: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/donmarshallmba_widdershins-breakfastburritos-burritoneans-activity-6834107871182000128-e-2C
Suzan Brown: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/suzan-brown-2489b563_widdershins-puregold-thursdays-activity-6834135980774055936-wzxJ

But that isn't everything.

How can you get your network to tell people to talk to you?

You are in a networking event and need help

Imagine you are in a networking event, there are 100 people there, you know that some of these people will buy your products and services but not sure which ones.  So what do you do? 

Start going up to each person one-to-one?

How about if you get people in that group, pointing you out and saying "you need to talk to that you".

That would make things similar as these people would be pointing out that you are the person to talk to.

This is what has happened with the Breakfast Burrito 60 people (the team stopped counting at 60) have posted on their Linkedin profiles that you must talk with the team creating the show.

This is referrals on steroids.  

This is creating action in your prospects with content.

This is just two example of how you can use social media strategically within your business to increase your demand generation process.  It is usual with our social selling and influence course that you can increase sales by 30% and reduce the selling cycle by 40%.

So who's social selling?

In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.

But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling?  Not according to Merrill Lynch.

"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"

The CRO (chief revenue officer), Richard Eltham of Namos Solutions, of one of clients posted a comment on LinkedIn about social selling. See here.

“Social selling is not an option now it is the way of the world and you either learn and execute it or fear getting left behind” 

Kevin Murray who is the Head of Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology recently posted about his success with social selling here and wrote an article about the transformation that has happened in sales here.

Other articles you might be interested in ....

Articles for the CEO

What does success in a social selling project look like?

Can I be fired for not social selling? 

What's the difference between legacy sales and modern selling?

Is making no change to my sales team an option in the world today?

Can my business speak directly to the modern buyer while retaining control of the message?  

What is the secret sauce of social selling?

Can social selling break down the silos between sales and marketing?

Can I turn my LinkedIn time line from a load of rubbish into a load of value?

Why your random acts of social are killing your business

Can I find investors for my business with social selling?

Not understanding social selling is totally fine

Your social selling project isn't a decision of "yes" or "no" , it's when

Are you still measuring digital with an analogue mindset?

Can Social Selling help me navigate the great resignation?

Should my 2022 business planning include social selling?

Can I be data driven with social selling?

How grid selling will transform your pipeline and win rate

Articles for Sales leadership

For fax sake at least know what social selling is before you dismiss it!

What is social selling?

Can I see which salespeople are contributing with social selling?

Can I get a consistent prospecting framework for managers with social selling? 

Can I get complete visibility to measure and monitor each reps results with social selling?

Can I get accountability across my sales team for prospecting with social selling  

Can I gain an effective prospecting framework with social selling?

Can cold calling and email marketing kill my business? 

Can I measure our social selling project?

Can my lack of confidence of social be holding my team back?

Can I get the most from my sales navigator licenses with social selling?  

Can I de-risk my pipeline with social selling? 

Can my salespeople create content? 

Can social selling create value for my clients?

Can I use prospect sequencing with social selling?

Can I build a social selling program or should I buy one?

Can my behaviour on social media be losing me business?

Can I run QBRs with social selling?

Can I increase deal velocity with social selling?

Can social selling help me sell, if everybody is on vacation?

Can social selling help me avoid attrition in sales teams?

Can social selling help with team selling?

Reading blogs won't transform your pipeline

You are the sum of all your digital handshakes

Why social selling isn't just marketing

The difference between LinkedIn training and social selling training

Articles to support sales people - sales process and sales tips

Is social selling inmailing people on Linkedin? 

Can I unblock deals with social selling? 

Can I get more meetings with VPs with social selling? 

Can I get on more short lists with social selling?

Am I being outsold by my social selling competition?

Can social selling stop prospects from ghosting me?  

Can I be a catalyst to change with my prospects with social

Can I influence the buyer's journey with social selling?

Can I optimise my selling time with social selling?

Can I gain a competitive advantage with social selling?  

Why automation is a zero sum game 

Can I get a predictable prospecting system with social selling?  

Can I sell $1 Million deals with social selling?

Can I get headhunted for my next job with social selling? 

Can I use prospect sequencing with social selling?

Can I use social selling if I have nothing to say?

Looking for hacks, maybe you shouldn't

How do I make the most of a slow summer sales period?

How do I sell social selling training to my boss?

Can I get invited to more client top table discussions with social selling?

What is the best way to influence my LinkedIn network?

Can I use social selling to sell into a territory?

Can I use social selling to grow pipeline within target accounts?

Can social selling help me if my companies website isn’t good enough?

Can social selling help me if my prospect list is out of date?

Can social selling help me if we are too expensive?

Do my SDRs need to become hybrid?

Can social selling help me if we are not market leader?

Can social selling help me get past gatekeepers?

I don't know you. I've never spoken to you. You've never acknowledged my existence. But you want me to help you!

What should you do if your leadership team is not social

Articles to support channel and third party selling

Can social selling help my channel partners sell more? 

Articles to support Account Based Marketing / Account Based Selling - ABM - ABS

Can we make our ABM program a success with social selling?

Articles about Employee advocacy

How empowered employees on social media became more powerful than brands 

Why employee advocacy isn't a silver bullet

Articles for Marketing

Can social selling be relevant to me if I'm in marketing?

Can social selling put marketing front and centre of a business?

Can my prospects and clients get value alignment with my business though social selling? 

Can we get away with just updating our LinkedIn profiles a bit? 

How to Create Simple Social Media Rules for Employees

What content works on LinkedIn and for social selling? 

Can I win more B2B deals with buyer enablement? 

Can I transform my team with two 90 minute sessions on social selling?

Can I get better results for my ABM campaign with social selling?

Should you outsource your social media?

Can I get banned from LinkedIn if somebody else manages my profile?  

Articles for social procurement

Can I use social media in procurement and supply chain?

How social transformed procurement

Articles for the CFO and Finance

Accelerating digital skills is one of the top priorities for finance leaders