CRM, SALES 2.0, SOCIAL MEDIA
Sales Strategies in a Social and Mobile World
Social media has changed the way we relate, communicate, and conduct business. Erik Qualman, the author of the best-selling book Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business (Wiley, 2009), said it best: “We don’t have a choice whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it.”
Let’s look at the facts: Only 14 percent of people trust advertising, and 93 percent of marketers use social media for business. The big shift: We’re moving from customer relationship management (CRM) to customer engagement management, aka Social CRM. Gartner, a tech research firm, predicts that by 2012 the Social CRM market will be worth more than $1 billion, with more than 100 companies competing for a piece of this rapidly growing pie. The three leading vendors are Jive, salesforce.com, and Lithium.
If you’re still unclear about how to approach social media, picture your office watercooler going global, enabling conversations in real time, 24/7. Here are the numbers: Every 24 hours, 175 million users log on to Facebook. Sixty-five million access Facebook through a mobile device, and they share 30 billion (billion!) pieces of content every month, including 3 billion photos and videos. Eighty-four percent of Internet users watch videos online. YouTube visitors watch 2 billion videos every day. LinkedIn attracts one new member every second. Econsultancy reports that more than 25 billion tweets were sent last year. The big shift: Prospects care more about what their peers think than what companies think. Chest thumping is dead. Even the largest companies have to abandon the old script that says, “Me big. You little. I tell. You listen.”
Smart companies have handed the controls over to the community by offering different levels of autonomy, engagement, and collaboration. Notable examples include Amazon.com and MyStarbucksIdea.com.
Initiating and leading great conversations online is only one side of the story. Gen Y salespeople consider email a thing of the past. They no longer cold call. They shifted to social calling and are far more productive. They also embrace new online video tools, such as iMeet, discovering that the best way to persuade is by looking into a prospect’s eyes – online.
Since social media is accessible on most mobile devices, real-time collaboration is the new rage. A VP of sales shared his story of posting this question on Chatter while riding in a cab: “Visiting ‘XYZ’ company in London. Any thoughts that I could share to enhance our relationship?” Within minutes, his company’s CFO shared, “Yes, they owe us $400,000 that’s 60 days overdue.” As a result, the VP was able to eliminate the bottleneck in the company’s payment process. Problem solved.
Let’s say you are working at a company that employs 600 salespeople. Would you want to follow everybody? No. You’d follow the top 10 thought leaders and learn what’s important to them. The big shift is a move from quantity of connections to quality connections. Social-learning companies, such as Saba, benefit from this new trend by continually refining social-learning tools.
Social media touches everybody. Why not use it more effectively to serve the community and your business?
– Gerhard Gschwandtner
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