E-Commerce with an emphasis on Social Technologies
Oh Man – this stuff is where it’s at for B2B Sales. I finally have the whole thing wired…
Thoughts and Comments? Please Share below..
(Excerpted from the Crowdsourced book due out soon called Enterprise Social Technologies. Chapter 7: Social Sales, written by YT!)
What’s happening out there???
Selling has changed, whether you’re selling commodities or complex products. In fact a whole new layer has been added to the sales process, a layer with fantastic power. This new layer of Social Technologies has forever altered the art and process of selling. Take a hard look at your most recent sales – or losses. Whether business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), did the buyers “check you out online,” either before or after they contacted you? In this due-diligence process, what did they find out about you? What is ‘out there’ relative to YOU, your product reputation, and/or your brand reputation? Have you searched yourself, your product, your brand, your market, and your competition? Have you thought about how much influence these data-points have had on your recent sales results, or your lead volume? Perhaps if you really look at the trends, you’d have to admit that selling has changed A LOT in the last few years. Perhaps it’s time for you to change your processes as well.
In the mid-2000‘s, things started turning a bit chaotic. The Internet and E-Commerce began to mature. User-generated content started to proliferate with YouTube and Blogs. Search engines like Google began to disinter-mediate salespeople. Some brands like Progressive Insurance even went so far as to pronounce the end of the era of the sales agent. In spite of many claims of ROI and productivity gains, few understood how to use these mediums for business, let alone how to generate sales. Meanwhile buyers started getting savvy to all these tools, too – and started using them in their buying process! In a sense, the tables were turned.
Today, circa 2010, this chaos has stabilized, matured, synthesized, intersected, and emerged into the next major evolution in sales known as Socially Facilitated Selling (B2B) or Socially Directed Buying (B2C). Social Technology now augments communication and provides new ways to build trust. As such, Social Tech is reorganizing how buyers buy – and thereby forcing sellers to adapt. Social Tech is also helping sales people be at the right place at the right time on a scale never before attainable, and at a cost never imagined – essentially FOR FREE! A powerfully constructed Blog, integrated with Twitter and Linkedin, is replacing a premium Country Club membership and the closely guarded ‘rolodex’.
Why Socially Facilitated Selling?
Whenever I talk to sales people about using Social in their sales process, they always want to know the “How”, but often skip the necessary “Why”? The ‘How’ is the easy part. But to really be effective at Social, we need to deeply understand the answers to questions like, Why is it helpful for the sales person to join online professional networks, update their Status daily, and get Recommendations from clients? Why is updating a professional Blog once a week one of the most important activities a sales person can do each week? Further, why is getting a customer to Comment on a Blog post a huge event in the life of a customer relationship? What role do Facebook and Twitter play in the sales process? Why are ‘listening’ devices such as Tweetdeck, Google Alerts, SocialMention, and Addictomatic helpful in the sales process? What is the best way to proactively target prospects using Linkedin? Once in your crosshairs, why is it important to use Social Tech for warm introductions, to gain credibility, build rapport, and/or understand concerns and priorities of a prospect – all BEFORE the first contact, certainly before the first sales event or discovery session? Once we clearly understand the answers to these and other related questions, with real-life facts and figures, then we are ready to tackle the tactical execution.
The book is due out in a few months. Can’t wait!
Comments? Do you resonate with any of this? Helpful info?
Need help “Getting there”? I’ve got a process. Contact me at WebWisedomLLC at GMail dot com.