Anyway, after the podcast, he and I, got chatting.
I mentioned sales cadences, if you don't know what one of those are the definition is here
"A sales cadence, in business, is a sequence of touchpoints with a prospect to establish a connection for an engagement or a sale. It is typically a schedule for sales reps to follow up with each prospect via phone, email, social media channels, etc."
I must admit, I never understood why a business would want to implement a process that was the same as their competition. This treats buyers like victims. For me, this is a race to the bottom.
What Andy said next was interesting.
Are you selling or just playing the odds?
What Andy pointed out was that this was "playing the odds". So what do we know?
We know that pipeline is a problem.
We know sales is a numbers game.
So what these business are doing is make sure that you have as many "numbers" as you can.
Which is fine, or is it?
Andy pointed out that these numbers will include crappy accounts, or accounts that don't pay, or accounts that have no cultural fit, but that does not seem to matter. The KPI that is being set is that you need to have a certain number of deals and this needs to add up to a certain $ amount.
When I worked in the corporate world, each salesperson had to have "coverage" of 1 in 3. When we launched a new cloud computing ERP (accountancy software) product, our HQ told us we need coverage of 10 to 1. Which was impossible.
It was just a number with no thought into the practicalities the resources or the budget that would be needed to implement that.
What did the number was focus, connection, curiosity, understanding, generosity all of which Andy outlines in his book.
How to find out if a company is selling or just playing the odds, ask these questions
Andy says he always asks these two questions of a company if he is asked to go in and consultant.
Question 1. How much effort does a salesperson need to make to achieve their number?
Question 2. What if the salesperson can make their number with 20% of the effort, what would happen?
If the answer is "we still want the salesperson to put the same amount of effort in as in the answers to question 1." Andy knows there is a problem.
The problem being that the leadership is just playing the odds, there is no actual strategy, this isn't selling.
Now Imagine .....
Imagine, I pick you up tomorrow in my car and drive you to a place which is full of your prospects and customers. All you have to do is go up and have a conversations with them.
Remember, social media is, social media. In the past you interrupted somebody with a cold call or an email and pitched your services. As social media is being social on media, interrupting and pitching does not work.
If I walked up to you at a social event and pitched, you would make your excuses and go and talk to somebody else.
So how about tomorrow, I pick you up in my car and we go to a place where all your prospects are hanging out. You can stay as long as you want. All you have to do is have a conversation with them. It's that simple, if you are interested, read on.
What is social selling?
Here at DLA Ignite, we define social selling as
"Using your presence and behavior on Social Media to build influence,
make connections, grow relationships and trust, which leads to
conversation and commercial interaction."
It's not witchcraft, it's enabling your salespeople to work from home, (or the office) and create conversations with prospects and customers. Conversations on social media and conversations that convert.
The problem with the name "social selling" is that people think that this is selling on social. All these pitches that you get on social are not social selling, they are spam.
The other thing you need to know about social selling is that this isn't about "putting out some videos" or "putting flowers on your profile" or "going viral" this is about revenue, EBITDA, you winning business from the competition and having a competitive advantage.
With anything you do on social there are two questions you need to ask
2. How much revenue / EBITDA am I getting as a business?
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.
Andrew Ferrier who is the CEO of Display Technology Ltd and in this article it talks about why Display Technology have adopted social selling. His team have also created a social media strategy with help from our partner, Crux.
Their social media mission statement is
“We want to position ourselves as a forward-thinking, knowledgeable team of individuals who are all experts in our own right, therefore, collectively awesome!”
Andrew also says in that post
"Adopting this (social selling) strategy has taken all of us well outside of our comfort zones but the rewards we have seen in a short period of time have created an excitement within the business development team (new term for sales team).
Because of the nature of social media, quite often you can get instant results. Even if that is just a comment left on your post, or a like, or someone taking the time to want to connect with you.
The excitement around the sales team is infectious, it’s no longer a chore to reach out to the market place because the results can be instant and are there, right in front of you."
What sort of results can you expect?
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.
What happened? They buyer was on social media looking for a solution to their problem, spotted one of the Namos salespeople, who had a buyer-centric profile and asked if the salesperson could help them. That turned into a $2.6 million deal.
Go and look at their LinkedIn profiles .... look how they can have digital conversations, create insightful content. This could be your company!
We are the only social selling and influence company in the world to offer a certificate in social selling sponsored by the Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP).
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