Social Selling for Executives: What the Management Team Needs to Know to Succeed with Today's Customers Are you a top executive in sales and marketing wondering how a social media strategy fits in your business? Or are you a sales or marketing professional who wants to discuss the benefits of social selling with your manager, an executive team or board of directors? Listen in as Anneke Seley presents data, metrics and customer case stories to illustrate: Why and when you should include social media in your selling strategy How companies large and small are using social selling How you can get started with social selling
Who is Customer 2.0? Justin Davison is an IT professional in the SMB market. Based in the Pittsburgh area. “ met” on LinkedIn Wrote “ Moving Beyond Cold Calling : An Open Letter to Vendors ” on Spiceworks
Jill Konrath writes about the crazy busy prospect. I could easily spend half of my week in conversations with vendors talking to me but I already have to wear many hats.
We need less interruptions, not more to allow us to finish necessary work and have time to think about strategic goals and what we want to try and get in the budget.
A few minutes looking at my Spiceworks profile will tell you 3 or 4 largest projects rights now 20 minutes looking at what I post in a week will reveal most of my pain points. If I had received a call today from someone wanting to discuss cable management in server racks I would have been asking for ideas and quotes instead of trying to get off the phone quickly without being too rude.
People are using social media as a primary tool for getting information on products and services. If from a search in Twitter or a deeper conversation in a LinkedIn group or forum, people are not asking companies for information, they are asking their peers, other customers and trusted advisors.
From IBM commissioned study of over 1,000 global IT and LOB decision makers- landmark research into teleweb buying purchases. over 1/3 of respondents have already used socialmedia to engage with their vendors and 75% are likely to use social media in the IT purchase process in the future.
Sales cycles today are 22 % longer than 5 years ago – Sirius Decisions
Complicated – no one set way. Not every buyer wants to be reached the same way. Try different media: phone, mail, email, social
Cadence on your sales #s. Updated: Show me data, metrics and results!
Communications: 1980’s telephone 1990’s Internet: Web and e-mail 2010: August 2010 a Nielsen study showed that American spend more time on social networks and online games than e-mail. Trust: The 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer asked “How important are these factors to corporate reputation?” Transparent and honest practices and Company I can trust were more important than high quality products or services or financial return.
Customer 2.0. Edelman Trust Index In the last 2 decades, major shift in communication and information access: First we had E-mail, web sites, now we have social media, texting, and IM As a result, the way we buy and sell is changing. If you aren’t seeing it yet in your customer base, you will as the next generation enters the workforce. When I started in sales, customers were dependent on sales people for information Sales people showed up at the customer site, did a demo, overnighted brochures, contracts, faxed Now we have 24/7 online information sources: the company and peers provide information distributed workforces more people telecommuting. A lot of our customer meetings involve multiple decision makers or influencers who aren’t in the same office themselves. If we made an in-person visit, it’s not always clear where we would even go. So virtual meetings make sense,
This sales rep who sells tech products and services closed 25% of his annual quota by using LinkedIn and Twitter . Within four months of using these tools as part of his sales process, he has filled his pipeline with at least ten highly qualified opportunities representing several hundred thousand dollars in revenue. He uses LinkedIn to stay in touch and top of mind with his network of hundreds of contacts by regularly updating the status box to report on events, promotions, and customer successes. Read status box E-mail is automatically sent to his connections through LinkedIn network updates, which drives people to check out his newly refreshed profile. This includes a five-slide SlideShare presentation that succinctly describes how his offering helps clients increase their sales results. Dan says, “LinkedIn helps me leverage referral-selling. I can easily update my network and stay in touch, which is resulting in e-mail and phone inquiries from people I used to work with or those they recommend.” He recently closed sales worth 50% of his monthly quota by using social networking to stay connected to customers who have changed jobs. He learned of these customers’ job changes through LinkedIn Messages and then requested an introduction (via LinkedIn, of course) to the new company. The new sales closed within 30 days Reads customer blogs, industry blogs
Connections on LinkedIn, Followers on Twitter Total reach counting the networks of connections: over 50,000 Target audience of decision makers, technical influencers, WOM/industry/territory. Web page visits were to rep pages Pilot program of 6 Cloud Web sellers for a targeted services set of offerings. 100 website visits after 4 weeks IBM.com's marketing organization is socially enabling their sales organization by delivering a playbook of customizable, pre-scripted Tweets (and LinkedIn updates) allowing them to engage with those customers using social media in a new medium. These tweets not only include promotion of IBM events, webinars and content (with trackable links) but also links to buyer or industry-specific content provided by thought leaders of interest to buyers. They are also developing relationships with bloggers and influencers in their markets. Important to the mix is a combination of IBM thought leadership + non IBM industry valued messaging.
Describe Pakra and social selling process. Target list of 10-15 companies per week. Research and connect on LinkedIn. Move to email/phone. Schedule a demo. Conversion time from demo to close reduced over 20% 33% of accounts in one target industry closed due to social selling.
I omitted Winner of 2010 Sales and Marketing 2.0 Award: Best Use of Social Media in Sales and Marketing - do sales execs care about these kinds of awards not given by customers? Do the awards mean more revenue? Am interested in details on how they tracked these metrics! Leverage social intelligence sources to: Identify who to target, Gain color on the personas of their targets, Stay on top of key business events Long Version: The Omniture business unit for Adobe, who delivers Adobe’s highly successful online marketing suite, has fully embraced social selling over the past 2-3 years. And, as a tribute to their efforts, they have recently won the Sales and Marketing 2.0 Award for “Best Use of Social Media For Sales and Marketing”. Omniture sales reps leverage social intelligence sources in every step of their prospecting efforts, from identifying who to target, and gaining color on the personas of their targets, to staying on top of key business events about their target accounts to guide the timing and tenor of their initial engagements. They leverage this deeper intelligence to make their prospect outreach emails and calls a lot more targeted and relevant. They take advantage of the wealth of prospect-specific information to showcase that they really understand their target audience - and that they have a solid solution to address their specific situation. The results prove a solid ROI on their investment in social intelligence: Omniture has more than doubled their prospecting effectiveness by penetrating around 30 out of every 100 target account, as compared to a 10-15% penetration seen before using this new approach
Social media is for kids, for personal use and not for business. Social media is a waste of a sales person’s time.
Not scalable and repeatable across the sales org.
Can’t measure impact/results.
Bake into sales reps exisiting process Few tools (with the exception of InsideView)integrated into CRM/workflow.
Here is my advice, based on our experience at Phone Works helping over 300 companies get started with social selling and other Sales 2.0 initiatives
What is the purpose/objective? Where in the sales cycle? Integration with marketing? What is the measurable goal and by when? How to roll out/execute? Can use outside consulting expert for help
Like IBM, start small with a group likely to succeed for initial period. Celebrate success, broadcast results Can use outside resources if you don’t want to disrupt existing sales team
Enablement: to increase productivity of sales team Initial and ongoing Training/coaching, tools, communications Launch event Assign to Marketing, sales Ops or outside consultant
Develop social selling as part of the overall sales playbook – integrated with rest of job Identify where and how to use social media – and which types - at each step of the sales cycle – lead generation/prospecting, lead nurturing, opportunity management and customer success. Include customizable templates for LinkedIn, Twitter Facebook along with phone/vm and email guides. Outside experts can help if no/limited expertise in house
Establish systems use to track and report on social media usage and the effect on sales cycle conversion rates For example, for reps using social media to customize outreach, connect rate is 2x that of reps using only email and phone.
Be a problem solver not a salesperson. Talk to my problem and share with me how your solution can help. Get the right people to help answer questions, bring in one of your subject matter experts. This shows us that you don’t just care about the sales, you care about what happens after the check is sent and the product is delivered. This goes a long way towards getting referrals.
Data show that customers are engaging with vendors and buying differently - using social media. Companies large and small are seeing measurable results from their social selling To get in deals early /ahead of the competition now is the time to implement your social media strategy and implementation plan, which can start with a test or proof of concept before changing and disrupting your whole sales org before you’ve proven results.
I hope we’ve gotten you excited about the potential for social selling in your company and given you a few new ideas. I invite you to connect, engage, and take advantage of a lot more information in my book as well as free content on my book web site, including chapter downloads, blog articles and recorded webinars.
Social Selling University
Social Selling for Executives: What the Management Team Needs toKnow to Succeed with Today’s Customer
“Unprepared salespeople impair my focus and productivity.”
“In the world of socialmedia, I am not secretive about the projects I am working on.”
B2B Customers are using social media to make buying decisions. Sales teams need to be engaged to find these prospects.| SLIDE :8
CUSTOMER BUYING BEHAVIOR AWARENESS CONSIDERATION PURCHASElevel of buyer activity “ We have a project” “I’m just “ We’ve downloading made a decision” stuff” l ine “ We’ve on shortlisted vendors” 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete “I’m just browsing” before it gets to sales (Source: Sirius Decisions) time
MARKET INSIGHTS Over 1/3 of respondentshave already used social media to engage with their vendors.5% are likely to use social media inthe purchase process in the future. ource: 2011 TeleWeb Buyer Preference Study
TODAY’S SALES LEADERS Gregory Brush Vice President of Sales, InsideView
“I have increasingpressure to produce more revenue at lower cost.”
“I need different waysto reach different kinds of buyers.”
“Show me measurable, predictable, scalable results”
Seven Factors Driving Change1. Changing communications preferences2. Shifting power from sales to customers3. Rising cost of sales4. Customer demand for CSR5. Different markets, different economics6. Decreasing sales effectiveness7. Increased demand for trust