Thanks to this article.
Over the last 18 months as Covid 19 spread across the world, business buyers have moved onto social media.
There are 4.80 billion internet users around the world today, equating to almost 61 percent of the world’s total population.
Social media user numbers have jumped by more than 13 percent since this time last year, with the latest data showing an increase of more than half a billion users in just 12 months.
There are now 4.48 billion social media users around the world, which is equal to almost 57 percent of the world’s total population.
Just think of it, 57% of the world population is on social media.
It is our belief here at DLA Ignite that social media has changed the world, it's changed society and it's changed the way we do business.
Just think of the way that world has changed.
Today’s buyers prefer to conduct research and select what to buy on their own, without any influence from a vendor:
- Only 29% of buyers want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product,
- 57% of buyer decisions are made before buyers even pick up a phone to speak to a supplier,
In fact, according to Accenture study, 94% of B2B buyers admit to conducting online research before making a buying decision.
only 17% of the entire B2B buying process is spent meeting with potential suppliers.
And this cannot surprise you. When any of us want to buy anything we reach for our mobile and do research. I understand that buying sneakers and buying a holiday is different, but we bring those processes to work with us.
In a recent blog for LinkedIn, "This Week’s Big Deal: Accelerating Digital Maturity" Sean Callahan,
"Organizations were struck by disruption last year, forced to adapt on the fly, and now they’re building toward a future where virtual selling and heightened buyer expectations are the norm. Sales is fundamentally evolving before our very eyes. The pandemic was said to have ushered “10 years of innovation in 10 months” in the retail sector, and something similar feels true in our B2B arena."
We talk to so many company that are stuck in 2019, pre-covid, they are using 40 year old demand generation processes like cold calling and 30 year old demand generation activities like spam marketing and of course the world has moved on.
Modern buyers are highly skeptical about sales and marketing messages they encounter.
According to a Forrester report, 59% of buyers prefer to do research online instead of interacting with a sales rep because the rep pushes a sales agenda rather than helps solve a problem.
At the same time, salespeople continue to focus on selling, rather than helping prospects along their path to purchase.
Digital hope is not a strategy
Many companies, offset this by introducing "digital hope", this is where you employ people in their twenties and you hope they will work something out. After all, they are digital natives, right?
A friend of mine told me his company was employing somebody whose responsibility it will be to take the business to digital. I pointed out that this person's LinkedIn profile offered no evidence that they understood digital.
I'm not Millennial bashing, I'm just saying that a business should be built on strategy with clear methodologies, we all know hope is not a strategy.
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"
“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.
Here at DLA Ignite we don't do "hints and tips sessions" we don't want you to waste your money. Our social selling and influence methodology will provide your sales team with the stable platform for growth. It is also the only social selling program based on 70:20:10 change management principles which gives your business the mindset change and habit change they need in this digital world.
The pandemic's silver lining is the chance to experiment with technologies and co-operative approaches across borders that could lead to safer, more sustainable and more inclusive global futures.