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State of sales 2015


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Sales predictions from some of the globes greatest sales leaders for 2015

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State of sales 2015

  1. 1. www.artesiansolutions.comons coons co.a ns lunsoluwwwwwwwwwww uunsoluunsolu oons coons.cossartesssartes The State of Social Sales 2015 An Industry Thought Leader’s Review
  2. 2. About the Author Dale Roberts 2 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review This review has allowed us to listen to contributions from around the globe about the changing world of sales, but the buyer has changed and to me this is all rooted in buyers. We can debate, discuss and dissect all we like but sellers need to be where buyers are. Introduction – a Perspective Dale is VP Professional Services and part of the founding circle of sales enablement innovator, Artesian Solutions. He is also a keynote speaker, blogger and author of Decisions Sourcing: Organisational Decision Making for the Agile and Social Enterprise. Prior to joining Artesian, Dale worked with some of the largest European and US businesses to build analytic and performance management solutions in his role as European Services Director for market leader Cognos, now part of IBM. Sales and Marketing: The Peace Process One of the fundamental principles of a world dominated by social communication is that customers connect with businesses on their own terms. That means the erosion of traditional functional silos and the two caught in the crosshairs of sophisticated buyers right now are sales and marketing. Buyers are reacting badly not just to poor vendor experiences but also to inconsistent ones as they are fumbled between marketing and sales. What this means is that smart businesses are finding new ways to fuse the industrial scale of Marketing with the deeply personalized, one-to-one relationships instituted by Sales. This is no mean feat and will require that both teams put an end to their differences. This goes way beyond proper process, formal handoff and agreement about the definition of Sales or Marketing Qualified Leads. Not that these things are not important but they are utterly inward focused. The customer experience, including that of high-touch, consultative B2B customers will only be improved by true integration and collaboration. @DecisionHacker United Kingdom Share this
  3. 3. 3 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Cold Calling The death of the cold call is announced every other week. The only thing I experience more regularly than these announcements are cold calls from companies that did not get the memo. My prediction then is ‘dialing for dollars’ will continue, it will become even more ineffective as buyers continue to avoid them and some businesses will therefore find ways to do more of it at lower costs. This dumb logic ignores the fact that buyers simply do not want to be contacted in this way. The good news though is that we are reaching an inflection point. Better metrics, repeatable results and more success stories from the world of social selling will eventually put the uninspiring results of cold calling into sharp relief. It will die, but slowly. Maturity The early adopters of Social Selling have been showing success for two years or more and it is causing many of us to predict when it is about to become mainstream. In Decision Sourcing, I posited that ‘Social is a term rapidly on its way to becoming fleetingly ubiquitous, then redundant.’ This was never going to be quick though. B2B Sales cycles can be months, even years and predictable success attributable to a new approach simply takes time. Like mountain climbers, sellers don’t leave the old toehold until they have confidently lodged a new one that will support them. I stand by my words though. The behaviours of sellers will ultimately be transformed by the behaviours of buyers to such an extent that social will be absorbed and the prefix dropped. An IBM Institute of Business Value Study predicted that social would be implemented by more than half of businesses in their sales function by the end of 2014. Whilst our experiences would support this, many are still experimenting. The coming months will see it become integrated into processes and a rich ecosystem of new tools. We are proud that the Artesian service is, and will continue to lead the way. As experimentation ends, sales leadership and senior management will demand that its success is measured like everything else. Time spent on the new behaviours will have to be demonstrably more efficient than the old ones. Budget allocated to software subscriptions will need to show a return. The circuitous logic is that vendors such as Artesian will have to continue to invest more in proving that the approach is successful with their customer’s customers. Finally Sellers need to be where the buyers are. 2014 data from the IDC suggested that three quarters of business buyers use social in their purchasing decisions. Interestingly, the pattern is consistent across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. There are differences, of course but they are not substantial. North America is slightly ahead of Europe and Asia Pacific slightly behind but it is still two thirds tapping into their online professional community before they buy. The business buying experience is a high risk one. Reputations are made and lost and careers are shaped by decisions that involve purchasing and partnerships. To misquote Dan Pink, it would seem that the buying experience is universal because To Buy is Human. Thank you, Dale Roberts Share this
  4. 4. Michael de Groot Staying Alive My focus is on assisting professionals and aspiring professionals (students) to develop their personal brand and reputation across their channels of choice with a high priority focus on LinkedIn. I am helping those professionals to practice Social Selling techniques and teach them to share their story. Furthermore and to underpin personal or company branding I create whiteboard animations to convey the brand’s story. • A higher volume of content being created across LinkedIn with the roll-out of long-form posts across LinkedIn’s membership. A clear sign that people wish to be seen as thought leaders in their Industry/Sector. • A higher number of Social Selling trainers across the globe, who are writing, tweeting, presenting and training sales and marketing personnel as well as business owners in the theory of Social Selling. • LinkedIn do appear to be the main Social Network who are pushing the idea of Social Selling and as a result are publishing more research and insights on the subject. • More software products and tools being developed to facilitate intelligence and listening integrated with existing Sales and CRM products. @stayingaliveuk United Kingdom 4 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review There are many indicators that Social Selling is starting to take hold. The main trends that I have witnessed are: What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? 4 Share this
  5. 5. • A bigger push on ROI by the boardroom, pushing software developers to automate more in terms of inbound follow-up and identification of the breadcrumb trail to better inform and change actions by sales and marketing teams. • The dividing line between Sales and Marketing will continue to blur further giving both teams challenges on how to structure their responsibilities and some brave teams may even integrate. • LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator has to deliver results for the early-adoption customers, as well as the stock market. @stayingaliveuk United Kingdom 5 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review All the training, eBooks, articles, philosophy needs to be put into action and deliver results. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? I am truly excited about this new Sales Revolution, which is unfolding in the market. Not everyone are believers yet, but there appears to be more traction developing. The USA is clearly ahead of the UK and hopefully 2015 will be the turning point for UK companies and professionals to adopt a different approach to how they market and sell. 5 Michael de Groot Staying Alive A Forward Look Share this
  6. 6. Brynne Tillman CEO of Social Sales Link It no longer matters if you are one sales rep among thousands in your company, a solopreneur or somewhere in between, you get the opportunity to get your message out. In addition, the social selling revolution has changed they way people are buying which, in turn, has redefined the sales process and sales training as an industry. The traditional solution selling with a plethora of discovery questions is no longer relevant. When the buyer has done their homework, they expect that the seller has as well, so the first appointment is now an industry insights conversation relating it to the needs of the buyer and positioning yourself as the subject matter expert. Which leads to my favorite trend which is the peace treaty between the sales and marketing departments. The war is over, and they are now able to work in synchrony. What the marketing department creates and implements is now truly able to target the right decision makers and influencers that convert to better leads and more business. @SocialSalesLink USA 6 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Content Marketing, although has been around for over a decade has moved into the mainstream. The ability to publish on social networks has leveled the playing field for everyone. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Brynne Tillman is the CEO of Social Sales Link and author of LinkedIn and Social Selling for Business Development. Brynne links traditional sales training with social media for lead generation and prospecting. Brynne works with individuals, sales teams, sales management, business owners and professionals who are responsible for client acquisition to prospect more effectively, make more qualified appointments, reduce the sales cycle, and close more business. Brynne teaches a unique approach to leveraging LinkedIn and social media for business development and is a National LinkedIn Speaker. Share this
  7. 7. Brynne Tillman CEO of Social Sales Link Social Selling is dynamic and with each new tool the rules change so the sales rep needs to be nimble and adapt quickly. What I am most interested in is how quickly the traditional sales training companies adapt. So many of them are teaching the “techniques” from decades ago that may sound practical at a glance but are completely unproductive and will bare no more fruit. @SocialSalesLink USA 7 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review I believe the trends are going to affect sales professionals in very big ways. On the coat tails of CEB research and The Challenger Sale statistics, the major shift will be in sales training, sales management and accountability and the expectations of sales reps. We will see many less companies require cold calls and many more tracking and measuring social engagement and leads. The talk time and dials made will be over, finally, and social selling will be embraced. A Forward Look Share this
  8. 8. Jordi Gili Execus Jordi Gili has been considered in 2014 one of the top 10 Social Selling experts outside the USA by Salesforlife. In 2010 he founded Execus, one of the top social selling consulting and training firms in Europe, with the mission of helping sales teams embrace professional social networks like Linkedin to close more deals. Execus was named the first Linkedin Sales Solution channel partner in Europe in 2013. Jordi is an MBA by ESADE, Telco Engineer by UPC (Barcelona Tech) and gained his experience of more than 15 years in marketing, sales and customer service within Telcos (ATT, NTT, COLT) and consulting for different industries (IBM, RGP, Execus). From the client’s perspective, early integrations are facing some challenges and opportunities. Cultural Change of the salesforce (shifting away from massive lists and cold calling into fine segmentation and warm contacts) is becoming a major factor to take into consideration. Marketing and Sales collaboration is also being put in the spotlight since social sellers need food for thought to be delivered at the client’s door and they are not the best equipped to produce the materials. @Jordi_Gili Spain 8 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review During 2014 we are still seeing the early days of Social Selling in Europe. The industry is taking form with players from employee advocacy to sales process automatization and from client insights alerts to social activity reporting tools. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  9. 9. Jordi Gili Execus On the providers side, I expect refinement propositions in the social selling area. I would welcome (and there is an opportunity for those willing to invest on) tools that help improve and autotomize social sellers’ daily activities. For instance, the need to gain actionable insights that help sellers tap the potential client at the right time and gain competitive advantage is out there. Another area of opportunity is social activity reporting tools, since sales directors are in need of understanding and evaluating the ROI of their investments in Social Selling. @Jordi_Gili Spain 9 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Into 2015 I expect a major industry boom, it will be the year that social selling goes mainstream. The tools are out there, the industry is ready and early adopters are showing results. B2B clients that have not adopted a corporate formal approach will need to take action or will be left behind. A Forward Look Share this
  10. 10. Tibor Shanto Renbor Sales Solutions Tibor Shanto, a sales leader for over 25 years, helping companies achieve and improve their revenue goals. Initially as a sales rep, then progressing to leadership roles with companies including Globe and Mail, Dow Jones, Factiva and Reuters. Tibor has been called a brilliant sales tactician, helping sales teams and organizations to better execute their sales process. As a principal with Renbor Sales Solutions, working with leading B2B sales organizations improving critical aspects of their sales cycle, including shorten sales cycles, increase close ratios, and create double digit growth through the execution of their strategy by using the right combination of strategic and tactical execution supported by metrics and our Follow- Through Action Plan. As with most sustainable trends in sales, it is less about the technology or the tool, and more about the process and mind set. Many are beginning to not only understand this but implementing it. In the end social needs to serve the clients’ and the sellers’ objectives, and some organizations get that, and many gurus and their clients don’t. @TiborShanto Canada 10 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review No doubt social selling “arrived” in 2014. The smart sellers avoid the hype and look for something that enhances their selling and expands their toolkit for engaging and selling to customers. True social selling is not about masking other problems that exist in your sale or sales organization, but about leveraging some, not all, social resources to enhance the buyer experience, and by extension your sales success. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  11. 11. Tibor Shanto Renbor Sales Solutions Let’s un-hyphenate sales, get rid of labels and camps, and just focus on how we can sell better without camps, colours or tribe. As a result, social will be forced to come up with better metrics and benchmarks to be able to demonstrate it’s worth. If organizations and people selling social products, or dare I say solutions, can’t empirically demonstrate their contribution to the sale, they risk being the first to go at any sign of a pull back. The big thing for 2015 will be metrics that help sales leaders, and sales people better understand which social tools have actually contributed and how. Failing that, things will continue to concentrate in the big predictable players, ones anyone can rationalize spending money on, and specialized niche players who address specific needs, not the watered down, value diluted also-rans. @TiborShanto Canada 11 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review The challenge moving forward is that with an improving economy, and a lot of pent up purchasing power, it will be difficult for some organizations to distinguish which part of their success is market driven and would have materialized on it’s own, and how much was actually their doing. By extension, how much of the latter, their own doing, is a result of social or just plain old selling. A Forward Look Share this
  12. 12. Jeb Blount Jeb Blount is a leading expert on sales, leadership, strategic account management, and customer experience. He is a trusted advisor to many of the world’s leading organizations and their executives. Jeb helps companies, teams, and individuals leverage emotional intelligence to transform, and reach peak performance fast. He is the author of six books including including People Buy YOU: The Real Secret to What Matters Most in Business. @SalesGravy USA 12 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review The most important trend I’ve witnessed over the past 18 to 24 months is social selling shifting from novelty towards a core part of the sales professional’s tool box. The myriad apps, CRM plugins, and Sales 3.0 services emerging on the market place have accelerated this process by making social selling easier to access and apply by the average sales rep. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  13. 13. Jeb Blount Social selling will simply become an integrated part of the process enabling more effective and targeted prospecting that engages prospects at the right time with the right message, improved competitive intelligence, deeper connections and relationship building, and pipeline velocity with better data that keeps deals on track and consistently moving to the next step and allowing salespeople to disengage with prospects that are clearly not going to buy (qualified) earlier in the process. Integrated is the key trend: despite the predicted demise of traditional selling techniques and the sales process as we know it, salespeople will continue to engage and move prospects through the sales pipeline much as they always have. It is also important to note that salespeople are not going to “embrace” social selling en masse. Rather adoption rates will accelerate naturally driven by sales technology that integrates social selling and social data into the sales process via CRM and productivity apps. Rather than a “social selling revolution” we’ll witness a “social selling evolution.” @SalesGravy USA 13 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Over the next months social selling will continue to become a normal integrated part of the sales professional’s day. A Forward Look Share this
  14. 14. John Dougan John is a true consultant on sales effectiveness having spent the past decade working in sales structure, performance and strategy. This included 6 years working for a sales assessment, placement and training organisation before migrating into professional services. John has a keen interest in sales research and advisory services and shares thought leadership around sales behaviour, sales training, and sales analytics with a particular interest in social media’s role in changing buyer behaviour . Having worked in the UK and APAC, John is also asked to consult and write for businesses across the globe. We are certainly networking more, if anything the fact I no longer have business cards on my desk is a leading indicator. It’s no longer what you know or who you know, it’s what you know about who you know. We’re also moving away from the credentialing from a CV online to a view of what problems you help customers fix or avoid and what opportunities you help them accomplish. LinkedIn’s development as the premium business publishing platform. @intrepid_sales Australia 14 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Despite an increase in adoption from a sales point of view there has certainly been a greater adaptation from buyers. Buyers are certainly evolving faster and smarter than sellers when it comes to utilizing social as a component of research, education and indeed communication. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  15. 15. John Dougan Data is the new gold but I’m afraid it is irrelevant if you don’t know where to find it and what to do with it to make it valuable. In this sense I see more rigor and metrics around what you do with the information you find and what sales it brings in. In sales, 2015 will be a year of bringing the perspective to the customer, that is: • the skills and acumen to have a collaborative discussion with others • the insight to know when to do what • trust and confidence in one’s own ability, and the abilities of co-workers and customers • the ability to: – bring up problems that haven’t been uncovered – propose solutions that don’t yet exist – provide unique insight – uncover new ways to deliver value @intrepid_sales Australia 15 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review The differentiators moving into 2015 will be those who can add perspective! As I said in my recent article ‘Social Winning’: there is a huge amount of data out there available to sellers, information about your customers and information that is useful to their unique challenges – social offers us a superb opportunity to find this information, analyse it and provide perspective through relevant content. A Forward Look Share this
  16. 16. James Crisp Sales Director at Zimbra It’s all about the macro level and building relationships 1-2-1 not broadcasting a message. You have to remain personal and create a genuine connection. Social Selling is fast becoming the de facto route to market for all sales individuals and buying lists will soon become the thing of the past... @JimmyCrisp United Kingdom 16 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Gone are the days of cold calling. We are now in the period of connected calling – sales people have an insane amount of market intelligence and software to help them prospect to the buyers of today. You are no longer searching from scratch to find a decision maker, you only need to log in to Linkedin or Xing to find the most relevant contacts for your product or services. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Over 10 years of progressive experience in direct sales, channel sales, business development, marketing, and consulting management in highly competitive segments of the IT industry. An experienced executive, proven producer of sales and profit with ability to pinpoint business opportunities; also plan, develop, and execute effective business strategies under challenging market conditions. A high-energy leader with distinctive people skills who always puts his customers first and whose motto in business is ‘make sure both parties walk away happy, and stay happy’. Currently Sales Director at Zimbra (formally Telligent) running all outbound and inbound sales activities for the EMEA region. Share this
  17. 17. James Crisp Sales Director at Zimbra I believe Sales, Marketing and Tech will merge into Smarketech to deliver precise information when and where it is needed. If companies are not participating in social selling then they are not part of the conversation. This is not just a sales role it’s the company’s role to adjust to the new way of building a reputable brand online and building more meaningful relationships with prospects. Be found, listen and deliver. @JimmyCrisp United Kingdom 17 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review 70% of the most intelligent buyers are doing research on your products and services even before contacting the sales person, therefore I expect to see a lot more connected sales/marketing messages pinpointing questions regarding products and pointing them to answers or other people that cans help. A Forward Look Share this
  18. 18. Barbara Giamanco Barbara Giamanco is a globally recognized thought leader in Social Selling, Social Media Marketing and Social Business. She’s the co-author of The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media and CEO of Social Centered Selling. Barb is consistently a Top 25 Influential Leader in Sales, a Top 25 Sales Influencer on Twitter and one of Top Sales World’s Top 50 Sales and Marketing Influencers. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Social Centered Selling offers Social Media and Social Selling Consulting, Advisory and Programs to sales and marketing teams interested in driving sales results. There has too much attention on tools and tactics versus strategy and the basics of good selling. We are beginning to see strategic questions around the right message, platforms and measurements being answered before adopters blindly dive in. There is also a growing recognition that social channels are only a fraction of what it takes to be successful in generating opportunities and closing deals. Salespeople need to be great networkers, referral builders, communicators and presenters, excellent listeners and savvy business people. Many of those skills are on the decline. Technology can open the door, but it doesn’t do the actual selling. @barbaragiamanco USA 18 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Whilst there will continue to be resistance, sales leaders have finally begun to accept that buyer behaviour has changed. In turn, they have realized that their sales approach also needed to change. Whilst it is not moving fast enough, training budgets have been allocated and I have seen a top down versus bottom up emphasis on the important of social selling. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  19. 19. Barbara Giamanco We will see the continued shift of resources from field sales to inside sales teams. The challenge though will be in finding talent with the right skills set, which will mean more investments in recruiting and training. As the shift continues, inside sellers will become even more adept at using social channels as part of their selling activities. More budget will be allocated for sales and social selling training, as sales leaders come to realize two things: 1) Sales basics are at the heart of closing deals. Investing solely in teaching salespeople product features or how to do demos won’t be sufficient going forward. 2) Salespeople cannot be expected to figure out how to effectively navigate in social channels on their own. In the next year, I believe you’ll also see more sales leaders become more personally engaged in using social in their own business activities. There will be more emphasis placed on overall customer experience throughout the entire lifecycle of moving someone from prospect to happy customer for life. Research is clear that positive experiences lead to increased revenue and profitability. Customers are willing to pay for a stellar experience. Companies will investigate what it feels like to be a customer, to try and do business with the sales, marketing and services. Competition is pretty fierce in most industries so customer experience will become much more top of mind. Every interaction counts. @barbaragiamanco USA 19 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Sales leaders will approach social selling from a more strategic point of view working with their marketing peers to align activities. A Forward Look Share this
  20. 20. Timothy Hughes Tim Hughes is one of Top 35 UK Bloggers, Speaker and Market Influencer. He has been mentioned in @Forbes as one of the Top 100 Global Social Sellers. His Blog on Social Selling is available Nothing says you have completely misunderstood the principles of social selling than ‘I would like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn’. @timothy_hughes United Kingdom 20 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Social Selling has been building up momentum over recent months but too many still believe that it is synonymous with LinkedIn. Sending unsolicited, poorly timed and badly targeted Inmails is still spam. Likewise adding no context to connection requests is a little like asking for permission to spam in the future. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  21. 21. Timothy Hughes Over time, we will see a shift from using LinkedIn and Twitter to spam and an increase in referenceable case studies of organisations using social approaches and tools such as Artesian to support the sales process. Nevertheless, this is something that will have to change quickly. Once it is out of the early phase of adoption, Social Selling will need to demonstrate a return on investment like all other aspects of selling. @timothy_hughes United Kingdom 21 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Sales is a profession driven by metrics yet, right now, there is very little measurement of social selling. This is understandable because many are still only experimenting. Feedback, success and learning is all largely anecdotal. A Forward Look Share this
  22. 22. Lori Richardson CEO of Score More Sales Lori is CEO of Score More Sales. She is a mid-market sales effectiveness consultant, trainer, and coach who also writes and blogs a lot about sales.Most of her time is spent in the field with sales development reps and their direct managers. Lori’s new book, “Sales Gems- How to Attract Buyers, Shine, and Score More Sales” will be available early 2015. @scoremoresales USA 22 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? They either try it without a plan or they don’t even consider it at all. Neither of these approaches will be successful. Like anything else in selling, first take time to understand what it is you want to accomplish and where you want to go before committing. Then once the decision is made, plan, execute and assess. Likewise we are seeing teams spread themselves too thinly across social platforms. We have even done this ourselves from time to time. No one can be involved in all of the platforms all of the time. Instead, work out where your customers are and focus on these. All of this has lead to an inability to measure success. Early adopters who are experimenting with social in an undisciplined way have had a very difficult time measuring whether their strategies are working. Even if they have measured success, few understand to what degree. Finally we are seeing some improvements in the tools. There have been some amazing developments in the analysis possible and there is more on the horizon. There has been a great deal of confusion. People hear about a tool and do one of two things. Share this
  23. 23. Lori Richardson CEO of Score More Sales We anticipate seeing some consolidation of effort. Businesses will narrow down their focus on a smaller number of social platforms to be more effective. Finally, marketing and sales have always had a need to work more closely, to cooperate and collaborate. Social will play a key role in this moving forwards. @scoremoresales USA 23 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review We anticipate seeing some consolidation of effort. Businesses will narrow down their focus on a smaller number of social platforms to be more effective. A Forward Look Share this
  24. 24. Jeff Molander Sales Trainer and Publisher Jeff has been selling for 18 years. He was co-founder of the Google Affiliate Network in 1999. Today, he is a sales trainer and publisher of social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You. Jeff says the social media revolution is mostly hogwash invented by gurus selling the wrong answer to the right question. As a former sales rep, sales team manager and (today) business owner Jeff says the challenge for sellers is practical: Applying a repeatable process to social technology that creates more leads. That’s why he teaches a process – a systematic approach to combine copywriting with social technologies that creates leads. Sales require practical, pragmatic processes and outcomes such as leads, appointments and sales. The notion that a complete reinvention of sales is required has prevented us evolving ways to improve sales, and are preventing us from evolving practical and pragmatic processes on new social platforms such as LinkedIn. Use of new tools and techniques are causing confusion. Content Marketing, for example, is not being used to help prospects to navigate towards sellers. In turn, sellers do not understand how and when to apply content such as video or whitepapers to generate appointments. It is not just content that is misunderstood, few grasp how to blend their personal and professional use of social platforms or are repeating the mistakes of marketing. They are treating social as a broadcast medium instead of using it to pique their prospects interest and use it as an attraction model. @jeffreymolander USA 24 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review The hype and absence, for the most part, of a defendable business case have resulted in a roadblock. Whilst commentators make bold claims of a revolution, senior management and sales leadership have been skeptical and, in some cases, reluctant to adopt. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  25. 25. Jeff Molander Sales Trainer and Publisher Small business owners, individual sellers and managers are evolving to adopt effective, systematic approaches that produce leads and appointments. The stories of these heroes are already supplanting the “get on board, the train is leaving” hype. Success principles will become clearer and there will be a focus on process and outcomes. Leads and appointments will become less elusive and more success stories will emerge. B2B marketers will use automation to improve the design and structure of content marketing to build bridges with sales and generate more success. Sellers will also find the right way to use social media to establish a healthy combination of professionalism and personal voice. Small business owners, individual sellers and managers are evolving to adopt effective, systematic approaches that produce leads and appointments. The stories of these heroes are already supplanting the “get on board, the train is leaving” hype. @jeffreymolander USA 25 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Pragmatism will replace evangelism and adoption will increase. We are starting to see strong use cases, proof that social media can be used effectively and at scale. The 2% of front line sellers increasing productivity via social will likely swell to 10% in 2015. This will be driven by adoption of social selling processes that blend direct response copywriting with good, old-fashioned salesmanship. A Forward Look Share this
  26. 26. Jill Rowley Keynote Speaker 6 years in Consulting One of the first Sales Reps at Salesforce Top performing Sales Rep at Eloqua for over 10 years Led Oracle’s Social Selling initiative – responsible for enabling 23k sales reps Currently delivering keynote speeches on the topic of Social Selling @jill_rowley USA 26 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Sales has always been social, it’s always been about relationships. Social media is just a new channel to build these relationships. Social selling doesn’t equal buying LinkedIn Sales Navigator for the sales team. It requires looking at things through the eyes of the customer, understanding who the customer is, understanding how that customer wants to buy and aligning to them and their buying process. It is a shift in mind-set from selling to serving. Over ninety percent of buyers start their decision through search on the web and over eighty percent of the world’s online population can be reached through social networks. Buyers have more access to things that used to be controlled by a salesperson. We are living in the age of the customer and no longer in the age of the seller. Share this
  27. 27. Jill Rowley Keynote Speaker Social Selling training for your Sales team is NOT OPTIONAL because a fool with a tool is still a fool. Oh, and if you suck offline; you’ll suck MORE online. #Don’tSuckHere’s how: It’s no longer Always Be Closing; it’s Always Be Connecting. Your network is your net worth. Nobody likes to be sold to. We’re living in the Age of the Customer where buyers have choice and voice. · Sales professionals need to read; read what their buyers read and share that content across their social networks. · Sales professionals learn how to listen; listen to the conversations being had on the social web. Social Selling is about finding and being found. We are going to see new job descriptions, shifting roles and changing responsibilities. Marketing and Sales will work more closely together to enable the sales team to leverage social networks and build better relationships with buyers. We will also see budget line items for Social Selling tools and training. @jill_rowley USA 27 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Sales professionals need to move from using LinkedIn as their online resume, to managing their digital reputation. Instead of optimizing for the recruiter; optimize for the buyer. A Forward Look Share this
  28. 28. Dorte Møller Madsen Stormvind Stormvind: A digital consultancy that specializes in B2B sales. Stormvind with Social Selling specialist Dorte Møller Madsen in front is driven by the passion to develop businesses and especially their sales and marketing to the “new reality”, where companies need to be more engaged, transparent and collaborative Social Business. Stormvinds mission: To inspire and help businesses and individuals to dare to act and operate professionally online and to take advantage of the digital possibilities. Stormvind is a network company and draws other competent specialists in where it is the optimal solution for our customers. Denmark has a very different sales culture than the United States, for example. Most sales people I talk to are only interested in implementing some parts of Social Selling rather than implementing something wholesale. Many still see LinkedIn as their personal professional social presence and mainly as a place to sell to the next employer rather than the next customer. This is changing but will require management support. Twitter is not as significant in some European countries including Denmark. Likewise it is not used by every industry. This means that the potential is different, even if it is growing, depending on geography and sector. However, the typical Dane loves Social Media, LinkedIn and is naturally a solution seller. I see a huge potential for Social Selling in Denmark. @stormvinddk Denmark 28 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review The term Social Selling has gone from practically unknown at the beginning of 2014 to appearing on the agenda of almost every sales department. Danish people are slowly beginning to realise, the paradigm shift in B2B sales and they are seeking alternatives to cold calling. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  29. 29. Dorte Møller Madsen Stormvind We will see cold calling become increasingly unsuccessful. Instead there will be a greater focus on relationships and partnerships. Both sales and marketing will focus on content marketing, the buyer journey and the world of the customer rather than product and services lead conversations. This will, in turn, mean that Sales and Marketing people will need to be educated and trained to gain the benefits. Finally we will see maturing software and tools to help automate and manage these new approaches and behaviours. @stormvinddk Denmark 29 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review A Forward Look Share this
  30. 30. Craig Elias In 2014, Aberdeen’s research that 63% of Best-In-Class companies use ‘Trigger Events’ resulted over 60,000 hits on the Won Sales Analysis website – where companies learn to identify the Trigger Events that result in the highest win rates, understand the real reason prospects buy from them, and how sales professionals can make it even more likely they win future sales. @CraigElias Canada 30 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Craig Elias, author of the award-winning book Shift along with another of our contributors Tibor Shanto. Craig is the creator of Trigger Selling an approach that, like Social Selling, requires sellers to be focused on the customer, their experiences, their changes and their needs. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  31. 31. Craig Elias Best-In-Class companies know that analysing your best wins results in having more core, loyal, profitable customers who generate more word of mouth and research by McKinsey shows that word of mouth outperforms every form of paid advertising by a factor of two. • The sale happened quicker that usual • It was easy to reach, and have a conversation with, the true decision maker • The prospect did not ask for discounts because they recognized the true value of being your customer • The prospects provided a testimonial, a referral, or agreed to be a reference @CraigElias Canada 31 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review What I’m starting to see now, and expect to see a lot more of in 2015 is companies understanding that analysing all their wins is not best in class. Best-In-Class companies start with Window of Dissatisfaction™ analysis to identity those sales that had three or more of the following characteristics: A Forward Look Share this
  32. 32. Chris Heffer I believe all sales people can be more successful using the internet. I work with B2B sales leaders to drive behavioural changes in their sales teams so they can sell in a world where buyers do not want to be “sold” to. As part of Artesian Solutions we provide a managed software service to empowering sales people to target more precisely and give them insight which they can share with their buyers/colleagues to help connect with buyers around their agenda not a product led sales pitch. I think I would have been the worst sales person in 1980 but I am aiming to be the best in 2020. Its definition to most people has been shaped by a mix of sales trainers and marketing teams. As a result many sales people think social selling is not something which will benefit them. I agree with Gary Vaynerchuk when he says that “social media” is a phrase to describe the current state of the internet just like “Web 2.0” did 10-15 years ago. I think social selling is not just “selling using Twitter & LinkedIn”. My definition would be more like “selling using the internet to do research and share information to build trust/credibility”. If a sales person thinks that they can do their job better without the internet than with it, then over time they will become extinct. Sales people will be successful if they target the right person, at the right company, at the right time with a message which relates the buyers agenda and is not just a product led sales pitch. But don’t take my word about how the internet is forcing business to change, go ask Blockbusters, HMV or any of the large chains of book stores that have been closing stores or gone out of business. @TheOtherHef United Kingdom 32 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Social selling has become something which means many things to many people. What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  33. 33. Chris Heffer The 90-9-1 rule of unequal participation on the internet states that – 1% of an online community creates most of the content (i.e blog posts, videos, tweets), 9% create a little content and 90% just consume content online. You could argue the percentages have changed with the rise of social networks and more people create content but the vast majority only browse, consuming content without actually creating any themselves. Therefore if you want to sell to the vast majority of buyers who do not create or share information on Twitter/LinkedIn then you need to raise your “social selling” game. You need to find new ways of engaging in a timely and relevant manner with prospects and customers who do not personally share much or any information about themselves or their interests. As Dan Pink said in his book To Sell is Human we are moving from a world of “Buyer Beware” to a world of “Seller Beware”. More and more information is becoming available on the internet about sales people, the products they sell and the companies they work for. You have to put your customer first else you will get caught out - losing your deals and customers. Sales people need to imagine their customer is sitting next to them at all times. Instead of thinking how can we sell more stuff to this customer, think how can I make that customer be more successful so that want to buy more stuff from you. @TheOtherHef United Kingdom 33 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review I believe the internet forces the business world to become more honest, open and transparent. These are three words that most people wouldn’t associate with your average sales person. I think sales people will need to become more customer centric and put the success of their customers ahead of their commission cheque. A Forward Look Share this
  34. 34. Chris Spurvey Chris Spurvey writes at, where he shares ideas for living a better life while growing revenues for your company or business. To get strategies for boosting revenues while growing a rich lifestyle, join his free newsletter. 1. The internet with its ever increasing rich content is providing an avenue for buyers to educate themselves on their own terms – online reviews, webinars, e-books, podcasts, blogs, social networks. 2. The buyer is armed with enough data to make their own decision based on product comparisons. Traditional selling has left a bad taste in almost every buyers mouth. Tactics to channel the buyer down a path in a resistive way has created a very thick Callus in the minds of buyers that make traditional sales people virtually useless. @chrisspurvey Canada 34 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review How consumers and business decision makers buy has changed dramatically. Two forces are pushing this change; the internet and the human psyche: What are the key trends you have witnessed in the field of social selling? Share this
  35. 35. Chris Spurvey Social Selling is the answer to these two forces. The new sales person educates and inspires using the tools at their disposal. They are there to answer their clients’ questions. They are an enablers and facilitator. @chrisspurvey Canada 35 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Tech savvy sales people and the death of the dinosaur sales people who do not step up to the changes. Increasing use of social selling by sales people to open up networks of people to relationship with. A shift back to the roots of building connections (value based relationships) and not just growing a network. A Forward Look Share this
  36. 36. To find out more about Artesian visit : United Kingdom 36 The State of Sales 2014/2015 – Industry Thought Leaders Review Artesian is the world’s most powerful social selling solution for B2B sellers; it gathers and tracks intelligence on customers, prospects and competitors from millions of online resources including blogs, news sites, editorials and social platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Artesian uses clever science to filter and transform acquired information into commercially valuable insights based on the companies and industries that are important to users. About Artesian Artesian gives users the ability to, target, connect and share with customers and prospects more successfully. With a built-in social seller score, Artesian measures each user’s sales behaviour score and gives you personalised tutorials on how you can improve your score. Artesian delivers on average 8.5 million actionable insights per month on almost 700,000 companies to its 18,000 users. Artesian customers range from the some of the world’s biggest corporates such as American Express, Adobe, Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Towergate, Willis and Verizon to start-ups. Share this