In some recent research from SBI they said
"Research has found that 53% of sellers are not keeping pace with buyer attitudes, slowing deal cycles and undercutting size improvements, lowering seller productivity altogether."
And it's true.
Sales people are falling behind, more and more as they don't have the digital skills needed to be able to deal with the modern, digital buyer.
We recently had a salesperson make the following comment on a blog that had the data that I shared below.
"I’ve been a hunter for 15 years. Cold calling with “I’m calling because I know you have XYZ problem, I know I can solve it, can we talk?”"
Which demonstrates that he is too used to talking rather than listening!
He didn't like the data, which I shared below. The think is you might not like that apples fall from trees, but the science is the science and the data is the data.
I pointed out to him that he was being outsold.
We talk to business after business who tell us they have a bad quarter and then they have another bad quarter and they think that sales and marketing driven by luck will somehow help them out.
"With a staggering 69% of CEOs seeing lower seller productivity. For sales leaders seeking to escalate growth projections in 2024, it’s time to rethink how sales should be done."
Let's look at some context about social media today
Linkedin is the world's biggest network site.
So let's take a step back for a moment. How about if I could pick you up tomorrow and I drive you to a place which is full of your prospects? All you have to do is grab a coffee or a tea and go up and talk to them. You can stay as long as you like.
Now, you wouldn't walk up to these prospects of yours and pitch to them. You would have a conversation. Maybe ask then how far they drove to get there? Had they been caught up in the traffic? You would have a conversation. You wouldn't pitch to them, in fact they will probably ask you at some point, “what do you do?" but more on that in a bit.
Let's look at the data, cold calling vs our social selling benchmark
Here at DLA Ignite, we are always wanting to push forward the boundaries of sales, so we decided to put cold calling head to head with the DLA Ignite methodology for social selling and create a benchmark (and business case) for our version of social selling.
So we took a team of "cold callers" cross trained them in our methodology for social selling and here are the results.
Don't believe me? Please check the team out on social and ask them about the results!
The results with cold calling
When the team were cold calling, that is, before we trained them on social selling. I'm not sure what results you get with cold calling but they did whatever they could in terms of warming up the calls with emails or webinars, etc. And the results, they got about 2 calls a week.
As with any cold call, your job is to take the call to a next action, which might be a demo, discovery call and they averaged 0.3 of these calls.
Anyway, you will have your own figures for cold calling in your business and you will know what they are.
The results for social selling
What is social selling?
The DLA Ignite definition of social selling is
"Using your presence and behaviour on social media, to build influence make connections, grow relationships and trust. Which leads to conversation and commercial interaction".
(Please note these figures are for the DLA Ignite methodology, we cannot speak for other suppliers, please check with them, before signing any contracts.)
I need to say, before I get any comments.
There is no spam and no automation in the DLA Ignite social selling methodology!
The DLA Ignite social selling methodology does not use connect and pitch!
The DLA Ignite social selling methodology does NOT use inmails, which are spam.
In fact the program is now back and certified by the Institute of sales professionals (ISP), the only such methodology backed by a sales professional body.
Let's get onto those results for DLA Ignite methodology of social selling
The team are getting a 9% response (on average) to social selling cold outreach, so for every 100 people they ask for a call, 9 say "yes".
This figure is an average, so we think somebody with intermediate skills or an expert should be getting a higher figure should be getting a larger response. In fact, our benchmark for an expert is 13%, but I want to keep figures realistic and conservative.
As we mentioned above, with every "call" based on cold outreach, there has to be some sort of next action. For your own company, you will know what your next action is, it will be a demo, a discovery call or something.
We have found that with DLA Ignite social selling methodology 9% of the people (on average) that agreed to a call, 33.6% are converting to a next action.
This is exponential growth when compared to cold calling.
Each salesperson is averaging 10 calls / meetings per week.
Just think if you scaled that across your sales organization!
(The most successful SDR complains he has got too many meetings, which think is a great problem to have!)
Just think about that being rolled out across your sales team(s).
It's time to work smarter not harder.
Let's look at this with a business case
Let's take a sales team of 10.
We know that the average person can grow their network by 3,000 people a year. Let's assume of these 50% are going to buy, this gives you a network growth of 1,500 per person per year.
If you have 10 salespeople that gives you a total addressable market (TAM) of 15,000 new people to have conversations with.
With our, Institute of sales professionals (ISP) backed, DLA Ignite social selling methodology, (note: we cannot vouch for anybody else) based on our measured benchmark, you should be able to get, on average, meetings with 9% of this TAM of 15,000. This means your sales team can have 1350 new conversations every year.
(As we know, conversations create sales.)
As we discussed above, with any cold outreach the objective is to get a next action and using our social selling methodology and using our measured benchmark we can get 33.6% of 9% of our TAM to a next action, which is 454.
Let assume you win 1 in 3, that's 151 new sales a year using social selling, average order value (AOV) $100,000, that's
$15,120,000 = $15 million
That's an additional $15 million that you are missing by cold calling rather than social selling.
or $1,26 million you miss every month you delay moving from cold calling to social selling.
Of course, if you have more than 10 sales people, you can scale the figures up.
Want to know more about social selling, check out my new book
In this brand new edition, I have updated all the text, I have also got 15 practitioners, so people who are doing this already to explain how they are get (practical) business benefit. From the CEO that has been running a digital business for over 18 months to sales leaders who use social selling every day.
Sellers today have an unenviable job: buyers are increasingly conservative, and deals are taking longer to close. A survey from SBI in Q3 2023 shows that commercial leaders are feeling the effects, with a staggering 69% of CEOs seeing lower seller productivity. For sales leaders seeking to escalate growth projections in 2024, it’s time to rethink how sales enablement should be done.