I was asked to give a talk to a group of businesspeople at a recent networking event. The talk was titled “an introduction to Social Selling & Influence".
It was a walk through the art and science of Social Selling & Influence and how these transform businesses in any B2B sector. The group were great and asked some really good questions.
After the talk some of the guests came over and asked more question, one person asked me “how do we get our company moving on this when our Managing Director doesn’t even have a LinkedIn account...?”.
A great question we hear many like it. To answer it fully we first need to establish the root issues.
If the MD/ CEO/Owner doesn’t have a LinkedIn account it tells you that they are yet to see the value in Social Media for their business, for whatever reason that may be.
Although they may not yet value Social Media for their business, there are some core, fundamental issues that will have their attention…
When we get down to the root of its all, businesses need 4 key things:
Access to markets
"We have established we have useful products and services and now need to take them to market. Where can we take them and who are the businesses we should target?". This is the market analysis piece and working out how we get into those markets.
Credibility in those markets
Once we have established where and who, how do we show them that we are a credible player? "How to we demonstrate this in ways that get them interested in us?".
Meaningful connection with prospects
We now have their attention; "how do we establish trust and build relationships within those new accounts?".
Create Commercial Integration
It all hinges on this. If we do well in the first 3 elements it should position us perfectly to take advantage of this crucial next step.
4 key areas that any business leaders should be asking. As we try to answer these questions moving into 2022, its impossible to avoid Digital and Social regardless of our sector.
No matter how complex we make it sound, not matter how many techniques and methods are employed at each stage…these are the basic elements we all need to be good at and, as we move into 2022, it’s impossible to have this level of analysis and conversation without turning to digital. In fact, these days its front and centre.
Gartner tell us that 80% of B2B Sales Interactions Between Suppliers and Buyers Will Occur in Digital Channels by 2025…
We are about to go in to 2022, this is already in play in your sector…
Gartner tell us that "leaders must adopt a digital-first approach and meet customers’ new buying preferences".
So, we know what businesses need and we all know that the evidence of change is easy to find, just look at your own sales and buying motions.
The leaders may not have their eye on Social Media, they have likely been busy elsewhere, but the world has changed. How we work has changed. Keeping the blinkers on and avoiding the conversation doesn’t help.
My answer to the question “how do we get our company moving on this when our Managing Director doesn’t even have a LinkedIn account...?” is…get a strong team together and have a sensible conversation with the leadership team.
Anchor the conversation all in the hard evidence:
- Bring in the last 5-year pipeline review
- Bring in the last 5-year order intake analysis
- Bring in your 2021 forecast and subsequent reforecast.
- Talk to your buyers
- Talk to your clients’ buyers
- Talk to your suppliers
- Look at the reports and studies
- Look at each one of those critical elements and hold them up against digital
Anchor it all in measurable data and revenue, not gut feels, maybes, and vanity.
Your leadership team may not have realized about Social and Digital, but they will understand ebitda and growth.
Change the internal narrative to point to Digital and Social with proof (or give me a shout and I'll do it for you..😏).
Transforming businesses to become Social Organizations is critical and sensitive.
The aim is to leave you with a stable platform for growth and a framework that is measurable, repeatable, and scalable.
But how do you get this focus anchored in revenue...?
- You must start with a strategy
- Create a mission
- Train the team
- Address the corporate mindset
- Work on the internal discipline
- Understand where your prospects are on digital
- Create a central hub for social media
- Coach the team
Now you are getting close to the start line…
Now we can start to create content plans and define our digital identities
"Social Selling is using your presence and behaviour on social media to build influence, make connections, grow relationships and trust, which leads to conversations, commercial interaction, and growth".
Social Selling puts you in the position to have more conversations with people who can help your business whether through referral, by giving advice, an introduction, requesting a proposal or issuing a purchase order…. it’s all about more conversations.
Social Selling is not something we do, it’s something we take advantage of being able to do.
Once we align all of this and get things working in harmony, we can then start to build your digital dominance in your market, sectors and over your competition.
Moving into 2022, its important your team have all the digital skills they need to be able to network, prospect, develop and close business all online.
People are starting to get it…
The conversation about whether this all works or not is over - dead - in the trash.
The question now is if your organisation has the culture to accept change, the mind to accept alternative perspectives and the hunger to win...
Live Social ‘22
80% of B2B Sales Interactions Between Suppliers and Buyers Will Occur in Digital Channels by 2025…