“Spend less time on finance, spend less time in conference rooms, less time on PowerPoint and more time just trying to make your product as amazing as possible”.

A message to CEOs from Elon Musk.

You might agree or disagree but its a thought worth examining.

Matt Murray, Wall Street journal Editor in Chief, interviewed Elon Musk on the WSJ CEO Council. Musk went on to say…

“A company is an assembly of people gathered together to create a product or a service and deliver that product or service….and sometimes people lose sight of that”.

And he added,

“A company has no value in and of itself, it only has value to the degree that is efficient allocation of resources to create business services that are of greater value than the inputs.”

Each week we meet with company leaders across sectors, to unpack the main issues and how we might accelerate and sustain their growth.

There are several common themes that come from these meetings. Notwithstanding the wellbeing of the teams, the headline issues are…

  • Positioning in target sectors
  • Sales pipeline
  • Order Intake
  • Cash Flow
  • Supply chain
  • Availability of people

Converting Positioning to Sales Pipeline converting to Order Intake

Order Intake converting to Cash Flow

Supply chain issues and availability of people impacting the flow.

digital transformation

Looking at Elon Musk’s perspective on this in more detail, if the leadership team are focussed on how to make the product as amazing as possible, we must address market positioning, sales pipeline, order intake supply chain issues and people to generate the cash flow to keep up.

If we are a large player in our sector or, if we are a small/mid-size service company, we all have competitors, we all have people vying for the same purchase orders…

  • How do we optimise our process? 
  • How do we get ahead?
  • How do we win?

We hear it all the time “our marketing department are putting out content but it’s not working” – “we just don’t think Social Media is for us.”.…this is worrying.

I’ve had multiple conversations with seasoned leadership teams, qualified and experienced people that were at the top of their game and now admit that they are not yet equipped to lead their team through the digital landscape, they need help.

“Our sales funnel has been declining and is now empty…”

“Our traditional analogue selling is evidentially no longer able to create the opportunity pipe needed to meet our sales targets...”

“We need new logos and organic growth to create success around the sales funnel…”

“We are increasingly engaging too late in the sales cycle and are not able to exert adequate control or influence on the outcome, resulting in poor conversion rates…”

“Simply waiting and doing nothing will not deliver us commercial success…”

We write articles every week that are linked to studies and reports articles to show you how Social Selling & Influence outperforms all other techniques, processes, and methods these days.

We need to do this less and less because the body of evidence and case studies are so strong, it’s all there for you to see. 

We are at the turning point now where in 2022 you can’t be in a b2b Leadership role, Marketing, Sales or BD, Supply chain, HR, Operations, HSEQ ….and not understand the impact of creating influence and owning the share of digital voice in your sector on Social Media. 

You might not know who to do it, but you’ll surely have sensed the shift…

The issue is now not whether this ‘works’ anymore, its whether organisations have the foresight, the curiosity, the culture and mindset to adopt such a transformation into their business.

embracing modern techniques for business growth

In the b2b world today, we encounter various organisational types:

The ‘Analogues’:

Not digital, not Social. Stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide.

Reliant on old fashioned outdated methods and techniques to drive business. Cold Calling, paying for adverts and spamming with email marketing campaigns. Posting job averts and have their supply chain people in dark mode.

Common sayings:

“We prefer to do things the good old-fashioned way”,

“we are old school”,

“It’s all about our black books…”.

Common issues: Increasingly less relevant in their markets, Increased costs, Decreased sales pipelines, Struggling to find people, Order intake down…

The ‘Random Socials’:

Some people in the company trying. Random bits and pieces of misaligned content on Social Media every now and then. 

No strategy, no focus, lacking digital skills.

They don’t use Social to drive business but think they do. They use old fashioned outdated methods and techniques to drive business. Still Cold Calling, paying for adverts and spamming with email marketing campaigns. And hoping that this will attract talented new hires.

Common sayings:

“We do some bits and pieces on LinkedIn”,

“we do a bit more on Social Media these days”,

“we have tried social media, but we are still on the fence”.

Common issues: Increasingly less relevant in their markets, Increased costs, Decreased sales pipelines, Struggling to find people, Order intake down…

The ‘Tactical Socials’:

Several people posting on Social Media Platforms, no strategy or structure.

Not using Social to drive business but, the leadership team believe they are Social Selling. Still using old fashioned outdated methods and techniques to drive business with occasional inbound. Still Cold Calling and spamming with email marketing campaigns but paying more attention to Social Media, now running paid ads on LinkedIn.

Common sayings: “We already do Social Selling”, “we are all over Social”, “we decided this year to put much more focus on Social and (insert name) has been doing this with great results…”

Common issues: Increasingly less relevant in their markets, Increased costs, Decreased sales pipelines, Struggling to find people, Order intake down.


The ‘Socials’:

Becoming the leading Technical and Commercial digital Influencers in their sector. Influencing buyer behaviour, supply chain and future recruits.

Defined Social Media strategy, mission and structure.

Cross discipline training programme in Social Selling & Influence in place.

Optimised profiles, using content strategy to best effect, connecting, and having conversations at scale. 

Owning the digital share of voice in their sector.

New metrics, new language, new way of working – new gains.

Driving most or all business through Social Media.

Common sayings:

“We anticipate all of our deals this year will come from Social”,

“We have a defined process which means we are confident in what we do”,

“We measure ourselves differently, our language has changed”.

Common issues: Decreased costs, increased sales pipelines, the pick of new hires, closer relationships and knowledge of supply chain, Order intake up…

which type of organisation are you..?

Most ‘analogues’ are actually open to transformation.  When we unpack what needs to be done and what results they should expect to see, they tend to jump at it.

But it’s a different story the ‘Random and Tactical groups - Those that are don’t understand the art and science of Social Selling & Influence, but think they do.

Someone in the organisation has convinced the leadership team that “we already do this…we are all over Social Media” the leadership team have not made time to check, they don’t know what they are looking for and just go with it. They authorise doing more of what isn’t working.

In these cases, all the business benefits that come with well organised, Strategic Social Media management are blocked. The ability to have an open conversation is blocked and opportunities are missed.

Fact: Most of our inbound comes from ‘lone leaders’ who have their heads up. 

“Hi, I’ve been reading your blogs, watching your videos and I see what you are doing with other companies.  I know we need to change our perspective and behaviours, but my colleagues don’t get it and our marketing department has all demand generation activity on lock down, we are stuck…what can I do?”

Our reason for being is to get you and your team thriving in the digital and social worlds, that’s it..! 

We are only concerned with giving you the tools and methods to become the leading Technical and Commercial digital influencers in your sectors.

Its not about one platform, its not about looking silly……it’s not about simple ‘visibility’…

It’s a rewiring of how your people think and operate in a digital first commercial world. Skills for life.

Social Selling & Influence is about growth

This is what you would expect to see if you were “already doing this and all-over Social Media.”:

  • Decreased Marketing costs: Zero-value activity stripped out of the business.
  • Visibility:  Not simply ‘being seen’, It’s about qualified relevance in your markets
  • Own the ‘Share of Voice’ in your sectors: Turning your volume, and the competitions down.
  • Trusted advisor status: Becoming the trusted voice in what you do.
  • Pipeline, growth & inbound: More conversations, more proposals, more commercial activity…
  • Recruitment opportunities: You need people, and you want them to want to work with you.
  • Employee engagement & shared sense of purpose: A new sense of ownership within the team.

If you don’t see this in your organisation, you are not ‘already doing it’ and are not ‘all over it’…

Here are 6 questions to ask yourself and your team for verification:

  1. Who are the Technical and Commercial digital leaders in our sector?
  2. What is our Social Media strategy?
  3. Do we influence or broadcast?
  4. How much revenue to can we attribute directly to our Social Media presence and activity?
  5. What are our Social Media metrics and who drives them?
  6. Are we really getting what we need?

Recently, another type of company has emerged, it is the company that understands Social Media is the answer and wants all the benefit but isn’t prepared to put the work in...

The ‘’short cuts”:

This company want all the benefits that Social and Digital bring but have been convinced that there is an easy road – Marketing technology, AI, outsourcing and/or automation. 

"Why bother to do it ourselves when we can someone or something else do it for us…"

They have paid for the very best spamming tech and/or have outsourced their effort. They have people running email spam campaigns, people creating content, they even have people managing their accounts.

Common sayings:

“We are killing at Social Selling”,

“we are all over Social”,

“we are fully Social”

Common issues: Massively increased costs, Decreased sales pipelines, Order intake down. Annoyed prospects, damaged reputation.

Do you really want your team and your brand to be associated with spamming and bot fatigue?

Being Social is about a real human connection and conversation.

  • How do you do this with a bot?
  • How do you do this with a spam email campaign?
  • How to you do this with a paid advert?
  • How do you do this when someone else is pretending to be you?

Do you believe that putting your relationship with your precious client base in the hands of someone pretending to be you or even worse, a bot, is a good idea?

So, which organisational type are you?  

Analogues, Randoms, Tacticals, Socials or Short Cuts...?

Social Selling & Influence is about you and your team building influence, growing networks, and forming relationships with real people. 

You put in the hard work, and you claim the benefits.

Now more than ever, its important we realise the global digital transformation through Social Media isn’t limited to adverts and spamming, it’s a team sport that required human skills.

A cross discipline strategy and cross discipline effort, and its a board room issue.

In 2022 its crucial that all of your team have the skills they need to build influence on Social Media, to prospect, network, form meaningful relationships and convert all of that to scalable commercial activity.

Live Social '22

Eric Doyle

CruxDLA Ignite