The Social Sales Process


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I quick slideshow overview of how the social media landscape is changing purchasing decision cycles and how decisions are being made.

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The Social Sales Process

  1. 1. Sales and Social Media<br />The New Process<br />
  2. 2. Executive Summary<br />Social media is changing everything. It is changing the way we live, the way we communicate, the way we learn, the way we define ourselves and of course; the way we buy. <br />Social Media has changed how people discover, decide, purchase, retain and spread messages about consumer goods. We attempt to define with clarity the new sales process and how businesses can capitalize on impactful opportunities. <br />Although network tools will ultimately change, (MySpace relevancy, augmented reality) the process of capturing information, managing digital interaction and promotional marketing has forever changed. We want to shed some light on this process and create simple steps to capitalize on opportunities. Our processes has the potential to not only impact your business’s marketing strategy, but also pivot your internal company structure.<br />Cheers,<br />Ryan Lewis – President, Bonfire Social Media <br />
  3. 3. Current Marketing Worksheet<br />To truly understand opportunities within social media, first we must analyze what marketing channels your company is currently utilizing. Please fill in the appropriate columns <br />
  4. 4. Medium Breakdown<br />Pros and Cons<br />
  5. 5. Old Tools<br />
  6. 6. New Tools<br />
  7. 7. The buying cycle<br />How consumers become customers<br />
  8. 8. Old Buying Cycle<br />Buying cycles in the past relied heavily on consumer attention with traditional mediums such as Radio, Newspaper and Television. Awareness was driven by exclusivity or time sensitive calls to action. <br />Interest drove consumers to researched products and merchants through their 1st degree contacts (family, close friends, coworkers) and evaluated their buying options. Consumers would also read trade periodicals and industry specific Television shows for deeper insight.<br />After expending all other “outside” resources, consumers would then visit the merchant to “kick the tires” and learn more about the product from the sales staff. <br />Once the consumer has converted to a customer, feedback was received through word of mouth testimonial and corporate feedback surveys.<br />Good experiences would only be known by the consumer’s 1st degree contacts and the brand.<br />Awareness<br />Repeat<br />Interest<br />Evaluation<br />Chevy<br />Ford<br />Commitment<br />Sales<br />Referral<br />
  9. 9. New Buying Cycle<br />Repeat<br />As you can see, media has changed. Radio and Newspaper are losing market share yearly and TV is the only viable traditional medium left because it’s combination of sensory stimulation and established market share. <br />Sales departments now heavily influence media. Because of the ease for consumers to broadcast a review to a large audience, the sales department shoulder a large responsibility to maintain the company brand. Sales people are the company’s new Public Relations Department and should be trained to handle consumer needs accordingly.<br />In this new buying cycle, most of the purchase decision is made prior to reaching the merchant. The final decision is based on how they are treated by the merchant and if their basic needs are addressed. <br />Sales must be less about closing the deal and more about reinforcing a customer evaluation process and building trust. Customers know they can get the same product for the same price anywhere. It is all about what you can provide outside of price (service, speed, financing, education) that will differentiate your company’s brand. Consumers have the power to define your brand positively or negatively based on their overall buying experience.<br />Awareness<br />Interest<br />Evaluation<br />Chevy<br />Ford<br />Commitment<br />Sales<br />Referral<br />
  10. 10. The sales process<br />How consumers research and decide<br />
  11. 11. Old Sales Process<br />The old sales process took customers from a light evaluation using traditional media sources to a chosen merchant where consumers would extend their evaluation. They would expect sales people to assist in the buying experience and move them toward making an informed decision. Trust was based on the satisfaction of the product and the overall buying experience.<br />The last stage was the finance department where there were far fewer options and typically processed through a local bank.<br />Evaluation<br />Merchant<br />Sales<br />Commitment<br />Finance <br />
  12. 12. New Sales Process<br />Because of increased competition and consumer knowledge, customers have become less loyal to merchants and salespeople. Years of a broken sales process riddled with customers being taken advantage of has made consumers disenfranchised with merchants that stand in the way of what they want. And because of improved evaluation of products and peer reviews online, customers now know exactly what they want before stepping foot in a store.<br />There is too much competition for merchants to negotiate on old variables. Consumers can find price, financing and their exact desired product anywhere. The tipping points for conversion in the future are service, warranty, process simplicity and merchant reputation. Merchant reputation is a direct product of the first 3 variables.<br />Consumer Problem: No time, Increased Knowledge, Many Choices<br />Merchant Solution: Streamlined Process, Product Wisdom, Simplified Purchase Path.<br />Evaluation<br />Merchant<br />Sales<br />Commitment<br />Finance <br />
  13. 13. Contact capturing<br />Making your marketing budget go further<br />
  14. 14. Old Contact Capture<br />Telephone, Emails and Home Addresses had been effective in their focus of contacting people on a one-to-one basis but have become overused and thus consumers have learned how to turn them off.<br />In short, the information businesses capture to contact consumers uses mediums consumers have become immune to the message. <br />Telemarketing<br />Input<br />Phone Number<br />Service Reminder<br />Output<br /><ul><li>Repeat Business
  15. 15. WOM Marketing
  16. 16. Positive Feedback
  17. 17. Promotional Awareness</li></ul>Email Blasts<br />Input<br />Email Address<br />Sales Follow<br />Output<br />Direct Mail<br />Input<br />Home Address<br />Client Appreciation <br />
  18. 18. New Contact Capture<br />The most dramatic shifts in media have been in the way we communicate. Where old communication mediums operated on a one-to-one scale, new mediums are based on a one-to-many structure. Communication can occur between two entities, but the conversation is visible to those within the party’s social graph. <br />Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Reviews, Blogs and Forums were all built to make communication more transparent. Businesses need to shift their contact capturing methods and focus on communicating with consumers over mediums using a social graph.<br />Social tools for communication are permission based so customers have to allow a business to interact. Once allowed, a business has visibility to a customer's entire social graph<br />Output<br />Facebook “Like”<br /><ul><li>600 Million Active Facebook Users
  19. 19. 130 Average Facebook Friends per Interaction
  20. 20. 140 Million Twitter Profiles
  21. 21. Location Based Marketing
  22. 22. Network Graphing
  23. 23. Mobile Connectivity
  24. 24. Video, Photos, Slideshows and Document Uploads
  25. 25. Demographic Targeting
  26. 26. Geographic Targeting
  27. 27. Search Engine Optimization</li></ul>Twitter Follow<br />Blog Comment<br />LBS “Check In”<br />
  28. 28. feedback<br />Your brand’s reflection<br />
  29. 29. Old Merchant Feedback<br />Feedback during previous decades was limited to who a customer or consumer knew and feedback surveys that were typically retained for internal use. A customer with a complement or a complaint had a very small voice and unless they were associated with a major traditional media source, would not have the ability to broadcast a message. <br />Limited access to organized broadcast resources reduced negative impact from poor feedback. Brands could spend sizable resources on traditional broadcast mediums to reduce the impact of negative sentiment.<br />Internal Reviews<br />Customers<br />Close Connections<br />
  30. 30. New Merchant Feedback<br />Shifts in the way consumers communicate has given them a loud voice online. Once constrained to close relationships, now reviews have the ability to reach millions of people instantly. <br />Positive reviews are the new marketing currency and need to be aggressively solicited. Businesses need to capitalize on satisfied customers early by directing them to peer review websites that hold the highest ranking with search engines. <br />Three simple and effective ways to solicit positive reviews at the point of sale:<br /><ul><li>Customer takeaways with URLs of relevant review websites
  31. 31. Review website URLs on business cards
  32. 32. Follow-up emails with URLs of relevant review websites
  33. 33. Asking for a review online just as you ask for the business in store
  34. 34. 1.8 Billion people use the internet
  35. 35. 15.4 Billion American searches
  36. 36. 86% of Global 100 companies use social networks
  37. 37. 56% of online shoppers have “liked” at least one retailer
  38. 38. At current rate Facebook will have 6.87 billion members by 1/1/2013</li></ul>Peer Review Websites<br />Customers<br />Social Networks<br />
  39. 39. Conclusion<br />Hopefully we have demonstrated how communication has changed and how much power consumers now have over your brand. If you have recognized your company using old methods for sales in this new communication economy, it could be time to thoroughly analyze your sales process. There is a conversation occurring online with or without your participation. In order to compete effectively, you must not only understand the context of the conversation, but how to participate. <br />Social media is an opportunity for businesses to have significant impact on the online conversation and their brand health. No other time in history have companies been able to measure brand sentiment and target consumers more efficiently. Brands should embrace the power online conversations give them and use it to shape their best practices. Brands focused on excellence will be rewarded by positive online reviews, increased share of voice, increased referral business and reduced need for large traditional marketing budgets. <br />