How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Sales and Marketing


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Digital social networks change the economics of business relationships; here's how to understand the changes and use them to build your business and career.

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How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Sales and Marketing

  1. 1. Social Business Strategy & Execution Christopher S. Rollyson and Associates Plan | Mentor | Scale | Integrate | Manage How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales Unusual 2012 Opportunites
  2. 2. Copyrighted material Perspective • 25 years experience as management consultant and line executive • Advised B2Bs on strategy and execution for game-changers: Java, e-business, SOA, Web 3.0, social business • Founded CSRA in 2006 to advise commercial and government enterprises on social business 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 2
  3. 3. Copyrighted material Agenda • Core dynamics of social business disruption: threats and opportunities for B2B sales and marketing • B2B marketing and sales case studies • Social business innovation for B2B marketing • Social business innovation for B2B sales • Action steps for enterprises and executives 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 3
  4. 4. Copyrighted material Socialtech Adoption (2006-2015) Core Dynamics • Just like the Internet, socialtech started with playful B2C venues/apps • Executives respond: “Wasteful” - “Frivolous” - “Only for my kids” – But they gradually become familiar with it as consumers – In some cases, “fortunate accidents” happen when businesses try socialtech at work (although most initiatives fail) • Growing portion of prospects/customers/stakeholders comfortable with interacting in transparent digital social venues – Connect with each other for spontaneous problem solving – Supply chain, reverse logistics, multimedia venue selection... • Prospects self-educate about products, vendors, contract terms and alternative approaches very quickly • The bottom line: now many prospects want a collaborative relationship with prospective partners 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 4
  5. 5. Copyrighted material Legacy B2B Sales and Marketing Processes Core Dynamics B2B Marketing • Define brands, strategy, value proposition • Identify & work leads along funnel • Run marketing research & CRM • Structure and close deals • Design/run inbound & outbound campaigns to generate leads • [Manage delivery] • Manage events • Entertain clients • Manage alliances & channel partnerships • Channel collaboration to exchange/work leads • Based on scaled communication and secondary research 1/30/2012 B2B Sales • Based on personal interaction (low scale, high cost) • Work trade shows How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 5
  6. 6. Copyrighted material Social Business Disrupts Legacy Sales & Marketing Marketing • Scaled Communication • Not personal/individual • Effective when prospects didn’t expect personal attention Leads Core Dynamics Sales • Personal Interaction • Not scalable • Effective when prospects had little access to relevant information Scaled and personal Deals Relationships on Demand Prospects inform themselves, fast 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 6
  7. 7. Copyrighted material Scaling Business Benefits: Flipping the Funnel Core Dynamics Legacy Funnel Social Business Funnel • Wide to narrow • Narrow to wide • Marketing leads from campaigns, events and alliances/channel • Go to where the people are • Research lags, underutilized • Listen to what they care about (on their terms, not yours) • Sales leads from personal networks • Sales engagement primarily from one-on-one interactions • Specific, relevant conversations discoverable—now and forever • Compromised when Sales & Marketing don’t communicate • Social business dialogs are credible: prospects are active • Transforms many general leads into few leads over time 1/30/2012 • Build reputation by helping them • Transforms few specific leads into many leads over time • Respond and adjust approach How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 7
  8. 8. Copyrighted material The Economics of the Social Business Funnel • The network effect: how few sustained interactions make major impact • Model behavior in transparent venues • By serving few, you serve the crowd – You are observed by many – You build reputation, but it’s not obvious – The tip of the iceberg • Each interaction by someone often is broadcast to their networks • In most venues, each person has more than 100 people in their network • Conversations spread, but you won’t readily see it • Social business conversations are annuities 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales Core Dynamics 1 9 90 Curator Creators Observers Ladder of Participation 8
  9. 9. Copyrighted material Core Dynamics The Glue of the Social Business Funnel • B2B transactions are large, complex and often career-defining • Executive teams seek to mitigate risks by demanding commitment • People have always built relationship through social actions TRUST – Based on interactions, we trust more or less – The more interactions, the more opportunities to learn – Interacting in groups shows confidence & integrity • The group vets its people • human groups scare providers but build reputation fast – How can you interact online to increase trust? • The bottom line: social business enables us to develop relationships faster and less expensively – Inexpensive online interactions let us identify and prequalify – Expensive offline interactions are more effective 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 9
  10. 10. Copyrighted material Caterpillar Leads with Social Business Social Business Highlights • The enterprise has embraced early adoption as a corporate strategy • Executives promote early adoption in marketing, technology and elsewhere • “Brand built on great relationships.. social media [lets us] demonstrate our customer/business relationships” • Carefully select venues in which to engage – Think way beyond major platforms • “Being appropriate” takes work and follow-through Key insights • Increase engagement on blogs by showing engineers as the people and industry experts they really are Case Studies World's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines – Customers and prospects relate to them as people • Expect the organization to evolve quickly, based on results 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 10
  11. 11. Copyrighted material Indium Blogs Let People Connect Social Business Highlights • Indium realized it was a long tail business and let specificity guide its social business focus • Explained blogging as a meaningful value proposition • Explicitly confronted blogging stereotypes: “wasteful” • Presented social business value proposition in terms of legacy processes; showed synergy • Engineer blogs dramatically increased search results • Leveraged pre-existing research community Key insights • Bloggers “real people” with contact information, pictures • Blogging and video go together beautifully • Marketing Head blogs on B2B marketing; shows leadership, transparency and trust • Blogging most efficient way to generate relevant leads 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales Case Studies Supplier of soldering materials & electronics assembly equipment 11
  12. 12. Copyrighted material Kinaxis Supply Chain Blog & Community Social Business Highlights ddd • Bloggers are supply chain experts and firm consultants • “21st Century Supply Chain Blog” syndicated widely—to other Kinaxis titles and externally • “Supply Chain Expert Community” educates supply chain professionals – Owned by members, not Kinaxis Case Studies On-demand supply chain management services • Videos poke fun at supply chain, but show congruence – Humor risky but effective at proving cultural resonance • Tripled traffic to its website and conversion rates Key insights • Community encourages members to share; it’s focused on collective knowledge building • Consistent focus on keywords and SEO • Outreach to well-trafficked external sites like Linkedin 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 12
  13. 13. Copyrighted material ShipServ Humanizes with Social Business Social Business Highlights • Website a key channel, so social business goal was to drive traffic • Launched blog and LinkedIn Group to fill a void its research had discovered in global shipping • Redesigned website to be more customer and “content” focused (not salesy) • Website traffic increased 60% and time on site 25% • Cut campaign management cost by 80% Key insights • Key to success was conducting outreach to non-firm sites • Social business made white papers much more valuable; it was easier to get them into the right hands • Social business personalized the company because its people were interacting as people; they stopped “selling” 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales Case Studies Maritime emarketplace provides software, services and hosted applications designed to enable efficient global shipping 13
  14. 14. Copyrighted material B2B Marketing Evolution Social Business Innovation 1. Infuse secondary research with direct information from real people – Get personal and specific: verify/challenge hypotheses by direct online interaction – Fast and inexpensive: no excuse for making untested assumptions 2. Support sales by managing social business research and tools – Custom keyword families, searches and templates for sales to use – Leverage marketing’s research capability for continuous testing/refinement 3. Conferences and trade shows (physical event becomes a prop) – Engage people before the event by talking about what will happen – Immortalize the conference by video interviewing prospects and experts – Continue the conversation after the event 4. Channel collaboration via private social networks – Identify, surface and share leads and opportunities much faster online – Increase value of one-to-one communications – Many low-cost, robust white-label cloud solutions available 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 14
  15. 15. Copyrighted material B2B Sales Evolution Social Business Innovation 1. Respond to prospects’ discussions about situations that are relevant to your firm’s product/service 2. Introduce business scenarios to hundreds of prospects in online forums and ask for their feedback 3. Share articles that address prospects’ top of mind concerns via major platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn) and in forums 4. Question assumptions about prospects’ needs or “market conditions” 5. Discuss proposed contract terms in forums and get other members’ input 6. Create networks in platforms that will deliver valuable articles for free 7. Blog about prospects’ situations and their thoughts about them 8. Note that all of these communications are digital and forever; these artifacts are (mostly) individualized and can be reused repeatedly or discovered by prospects at any time in the future 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 15
  16. 16. Copyrighted material How Social Business Evolves Marketing and Sales Core Competencies Social Business Innovation Marketing • Data gathering/management and behavior analysis: apply to social business data • Communications: apply to writing, production & video content featuring client voices • Event management: shift focus to social business (it scales) • Blind spots: talks at people, relates to demographics, “owns” the message 1/30/2012 Sales • Diagnose situations and needs: apply to social business venues • Respond to unique situations & build solutions to achieve desired impact: apply to social business venues • Create trust via interaction: apply to social business venues • Blind spots: wants to control conversations; insists on being the expert; avoids groups & transparent situations How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 16
  17. 17. Copyrighted material Social Business Will Integrate B2B Marketing and Sales Social Business Innovation • Shift marketing and sales focus to social business venues – Marketing develops tools, gives real-time feedback & engages prospects directly – Sales develops reputation and relationships in scalable social business venues – Each situation demands practical role design to optimize collaboration • Develop practical core competencies for each person and team – This forms the core of role, collaboration and brand • Boost credibility & results by shifting to collaborative relationships – Facilitate conversations among groups of prospects in social business venues – Conversations are highly scalable in relevance and time – Carry this through to events and thought leadership • Focus on prospects’ workstreams to maximize relevance – Ask “What workstreams are relevant to your offer?” to filter the ecosystem – Prospects are focused on problems, opportunities and action – Add value by getting in the (digital) room and serving people, not selling 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 17
  18. 18. Copyrighted material Action Steps: Strategy Social Business Innovation • Determine social business relevance to your business now – The long-term adoption trend is clear: timing for your business is not 1 – Audit the ecosystem of social business venues: who’s talking where? • Develop a vision for what you can share most efficiently – Based on your definition of the ecosystem and what prospects value – This grounds your social business and content strategy • Define roles, workstreams and goals aligned with core competencies – Marketing leverages analytical and communications competencies but gets more direct and personal – Sales flips the funnel by investing some cycles in social business conversations – Engineering/product development/professional services add to highly filtered conversations, adding unique value and driving your brand • Develop metrics to measure real-time results of social business interactions 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 18
  19. 19. Copyrighted material Action Steps: Marketing Execution • Realize that customers don’t care about your organization – They respond most to people who help them with their problems now Social Business Innovation 2 • Ask questions in relevant forums & manage discussions – Ask questions about insights you learn by observing customer and prospect conversations • Develop highly specific search tools – Marketing and Sales use tools to locate and monitor conversations • Develop quantitative metrics based on trust development stages • Create specific bits of content based on interaction – Observe and interact with real people with specific challenges – Conversations in which you add value are very compelling to other prospects • Use social bookmarking to create libraries that refer to answers to what prospects ask – Make these links the best, even if they aren’t the firm’s content 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 19
  20. 20. Copyrighted material Action Steps: Sales Execution Social Business Innovation • Adopt the mantra, “Serve, don’t sell” – No one likes to be “sold to” because it refers to a salesperson with his/her own agenda 3 – Traditional “selling” is a dinosaur; it reduces trust • Select a few interested team members for the pilot – Give them guidance, and let them dive in – Social business and developing relationships online works differently than offline, so your team has to experience it to understand it – Manage your time investment carefully and scale when you see results • Take the leap of faith and serve prospects online – It will feel counter-intuitive at first, but it builds your reputation like nothing else – Prospects will want to do business with you – They will readily refer you • Offer links to relevant conversations and artifacts – Marketing will manage this library 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales 20
  21. 21. Copyrighted material Learning More • Social Business Services – How enterprises evolve sales, marketing, service, HR, IT, Product Management... – • The Social Network Roadmap – Social business risk mitigation methodology & toolset – • The Executive’s Guide to Social Networks – How to use platforms for social business – • The Global Human Capital Journal – CEO/CMO/CIO journal for innovation – • Social networks – – – – – 1/30/2012 How Social Business Is Disrupting B2B Marketing & Sales Microblogs & Video • • • • • • • • • http://csrollyson/ • • Other • skype/IM - csrollyson • iphone - • iphone +1.312.925.1549 21