In this article they state, what is a great sum up of the position in business today.
"Rapid change is not limited to organizations--it's equally impacting the way customers buy. The modern buyer is autonomous, independent, and digitally driven. Our research at Vistage shows 78 percent of CEOs report dramatic shifts in buyer behavior as the result of Covid, led by four main factors:
- Shift to digital buying: Buyers are taking their shopping online and conducting far more research on their own, prior to purchase.
- Virtual selling replacing in-person: Virtual selling is increasingly replacing traditional face-to-face interactions; customers may be more interested in setting up a video than meeting in-person.
- Slower sales cycle: After initial periods of panic-buying subsided, customers are more cautious and measured, and less likely to take risks, creating a slower sales cycle.
- Covid market dynamics: Everything from a lack of trade shows to supply chain issues and inflation have greatly impacted the buying experience."
Here at DLA Ignite, we have seen a massive shift in buyer patterns, leaving many salespeople and marketers floundering and hanging onto old processes that just don't fit the Covid / digital reality.
How can a business get ahead?
First and foremost, the business has to be on social media.
Ah yes, social selling, you say, marketing do that.
Actually, I'm not talking about social selling, well I could be, it should be the way your sales team sell today. After all we all it's well documented that social sellers out sell non social sellers.
I'm actually talking about the rest of the business other than sales using social.
A digital organisation
Think about this. This is what a digital organisation, so one that uses social media strategically does.
Just think .... closing the distance between clients, remote employees and potential future recruits. Pretty powerful.
Social media is not about cat photos, it's a business tool you should be using.
This digital organization could solve your pipeline and recruitment issues.
But nobody is doing this are they?
Let's look at some digital business examples
Take a look at Cyberhawk have a look at their C-Suite
Chris Fleming is the CEO
Patrick Saracco is the CRO
Check out all of the Cyberhawk C-Suite, this is a business that hasn't just adopted social selling, they have transformed their business with social. They are a digital organisation.
But it's not just social selling.
Can you imagine getting the right people to fly drones is a nightmare, they have solved this with social. They are using social as the means to recruit and retain staff.
Oh of course, they have a happy pipeline.
In fact they have total digital dominance of the drone space, just think how you can lock out your competition, what would that do for your business?
OK that's one example, a "swallow never made a spring" give us another example?
A modern business has its leadership active on social media
Here's his first blog, not written by a marketing agency which you can see a mile off and people ignore, here is a MD of a company finding time and writing authentic content. He has just finished our social selling and influence course, delivered by our partners Crux, I have to, at this point name check Nick and Eric from Crux.
Andrew understands the power of transforming your business to digital, the costs he is stripping out and the revenue he is able to increase his business. Andrew understand that for him to be on social adds a massive competitive advantage and a massive commercial advantage. He sees the clear business case and not to be on social means he leaves that money on the table for his competitors.
It's a great article about how a business today needs to stand out from the sea of sameness and what better than the MD leading from the top.
A modern business knows that understanding social and digital will drive future growth
Andrew knows that for his business to make their number and to get their quota of the talent out there they have to be visible on social media. Not pumping out brochures that all say "buy my product because we are great" he knows that the modern buyer and the modern job candidate is looking for modern companies. Companies that offer insight, that share their culture, share what they stand for. Not in the form of corporate propaganda, we can all see that from a mile away and ignore it.
This isn't about "looking good on social" about "having flowers on your LI profile" it's not about "putting out a few videos" it's not about "going viral" this is about clear business benefit connecting time on social media with revenue or attracting the best talent. Either way there is a clear business benefit.
OK Time But what about sales?
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.
I don't believe you Tim!
If you check out this video of Chris Mason CEO at Oracle reseller Namos, fast forward to 19 minutes 55 seconds. Chris talks about a $2.6 million win from being on social, after completing the DLA Ignite social selling and influence course. This is where the prospect came onto social media looking for the solution to their problem, spotted the Namos sales person, walked towards them and two weeks later the deal was signed.
Social media transformation now usage now has a clear measurable business benefit
For anybody reading this our advice about social media is clear, there are but two measures.
1. How many meetings / leads / conversations are you getting from the activity on social?
2. How much revenue are you getting from the activity on social.
Social media is not about visibility
Plenty of money has been spent and lost by businesses looking for visibility, after all visibility is cheap.
But what about visibility tied to qualified relevance that starts a conversation? After all "visibility" does not pay your bills, but conversations create sales.
Throwing tactics at the problem won't help you
What I have described above is business transformation, it requires your business to adopt a strategy.
In fact, we find that out clients that go down the route of business transformation get 5 benefits
- Visibility – recognition in the marketplace
- Trusted advisor status
- Recruiting and retaining the best talent
- Employee engagement & shared sense of purpose
- Pipeline, growth & inbound
In terms of business benefit we see a 30% increase in revenue and a 20% reduction in sales cycle. That's the business case you can hang your hat on.
The time for tactics is over
If we have seen anything over the last two years is that the days of tactics and gimmicks; the wasted time and the wasted money is over.
The usual answers companies come up with are just tactics, computer based training, hints & tips, “LinkedIn trainers”, you cannot solve a strategic issue by keep throwing tactics at it. It just wastes your time and money.
Here at DLA Ignite, we are the only company in the world that offers end-to-end transformation with social media, stripping at cost and efficiency while making your business, digital.
From sales, to human resources, to customer services, to procurement, etc, etc, the modern business is on social media and should embraces it.
One client of ours has told us they will IPO quicker and at a larger value by being social, a digital organisation.
Of course, if you are looking for more information, the team from DLA Ignite will be willing to walk you through more case studies, sorry, but we are not able to share details of your competitors.
Other articles you might be interested in ....
Articles for the CEO
Articles for Sales leadership
Can programmatic social selling sort my pipeline issues?
Articles to support sales people - sales process and sales tips
Can I use prospect sequencing with social selling?
Articles to support channel and third party selling
Articles to support Account Based Marketing / Account Based Selling - ABM - ABS
Articles about Employee advocacy
Articles for Marketing
Our VP of Sales Just got 83 likes on a LinkedIn post, so that means we are social selling? No!
Should you outsource your social media?
Articles for social procurement
Articles for the CFO and Finance
We are at the dawn of a new reality driven by personal and professional change. The pandemic has overhauled nearly every aspect of life, from how people make payments to how doctor's visits are conducted, where people choose to live, and how workplaces operate. It's not a new normal, it's an entirely new reality in a new world.