"It turns out that the triple threat of being locked away in quarantine, forbidden from visiting clients in person, and being under pressure to continue to deliver sales and profits, has had a seismic impact on digital transformation. The COVID-19-led paradigm shift in how customers work and buy..."
The article goes on to say
"These shifting winds have led to an increased dependency on CMOs to be the “meteorologist” of the times – helping decipher changing customer behaviors, interpret the influence of digital platforms ...."
Again very true.
"With this increased dependency on CMOs comes added pressure to perform: CEOs expect their CMOs to bear more responsibility and ensure growth happens faster than ever. Forget about the medium-term. Right now is what matters."
Where to focus digital efforts
The focus has to be digital and all businesses are now, if they didn't during Covid, shifted all their budget onto digital.
The problem is in the way that buyers buy. Our research shows that nobody nobody looks at ads, people don't take cold calls and just delete emails
Back to the article.
"Our findings underscore the importance of content marketing. Content is the engine that powers digital marketing – a crucial part of supporting Google’s role in sorting through the 5.6 billion daily searches performed on their platform and filtering out relevant results for your company. That has put a premium on quality (and keyword-laden) content to help us compete in the search query sweepstakes."
It's not just Google searches, research also shows that buyers are just as likely to be searching on social media.
"This focus on content means you will be hearing even more about a new concept – 10x content. The term “10x content” refers to the idea that only the best quality content will reinforce your efforts to own a particular topic or keyword."
The response to the content marketing requirement is simple
You empower your employees to talk with an authentic voice on social media.
Now first and foremost, nobody, I repeat, nobody is interested in brochures. We are all looking for insight, something that will help us, something we didn't know we can share internally, we want to be educated and entertained. I'm sorry but the brochures and white papers don't cut it, whatever your marketing agency tells you.
Check out this research: What do buyers want from a suppliers content?
But what is the best content mix?
You work with the employees to get them to understand they need to post content, best if they have created that themsleves, and a mix of content.
For example, video, written content (like this), podcast, livestream, etc etc.
This is what your buyer is looking for, we also know this is what the social media platforms algorithms are looking for.
We, of course provide support on this as part of our social selling and influence course.
So many reason why not...
"We work with a range of client candidates who have different views about Social Media.
Some love the idea of creating content and staking claim to their digital space.
Others just go with the flow.
Others initially struggle with the idea...
👉 "Nobody will want to hear what I have to say..."
👉 "what if I make a mistake..?"
👉 "what if nobody reads it...?"
👉 "what if someone disagrees with me..?"
👉 "what right do I have to air my views..?"
We start by smoothing the water, finding out what people need.
Some need pipeline, some want to create influence in markets, some want to be known the employer of choice.
Everyone has different needs and desires from their Social Media presence and activity. Establishing the need is important, then we can build towards it.
Often the issues are deeper and not really about Social Media so we need to work those out. When we do, things start to become clear.
Watching people grow in confidence and begin to realise that they can create content, connect with people and grow a digital communities without the world spinning off it axis, is a joy.
We all grew up up writing reports and technical information, ask people to write about themselves and share their thought leadership perspectives and they clam up.
So putting a framework in place that allows them to build confidence and work towards what they want, in a safe and repeatable way, is key.
Not everyone is a born content creator but everyone we've worked with can create content with coaching, resources and support.
Its like everything that is new, it needs a solid framework, practise and support.
The business world is turning digital, buying is turning digital.
With all of your experience, competence, history, qualifications, intellect and personality, you deserve to be the leading technical and commercial digital leader in your sector.
The only difference between you and those that are doing it already is that they started...
It's time to claim what's yours, your place at the top of the digital commercial table."
Great words Eric.
Now Imagine .....
How about if I said, I can take you to a place where all your prospects hang out, would you go?
I can pick you up in the car tomorrow and you can hang out there having conversations with them.
When you arrived, what would you do?
Grab a coffee and go up to the first one and start a conversation? Of course you would.
Or would you walk in and say "buy my stuff, because we are great". Of course you wouldn't, as somebody would call security.
That's the difference. Selling on social is ...... social. You have conversations with people.
You don't go up to people and pitch to them as people will call security.
The great thing about social is that there is no "prime selling time (PST)", you can have as many conversations as you want. One of my customers, does his prospecting between putting the kids to bed and when he goes to bed.
It's time to bring your demand generation into the second decade of the 21st century and it's time to "start fishing where the fish are" ...... on social.
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". Here at DLA Ignite, engagement is important but we are about driving revenue, EBITDA, for your business using social media. This is about you winning business from the competition and having a competitive advantage.
Social is about having a strategy and there are two key drivers
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?
Posting and hoping or posting random stuff is not a strategy, in fact I doubt it's driving anything for your 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, and DLA Ignite customer, 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).
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
It turns out that the triple threat of being locked away in quarantine, forbidden from visiting clients in person, and being under pressure to continue to deliver sales and profits, has had a seismic impact on digital transformation. The COVID-19-led paradigm shift in how customers work and buy has given rise to a significant increase in the adoption of digital marketing tools, services, platforms, and strategies.