For folks wondering about B2B social selling

More and more folks prefer to get information online than engage a salesperson, searching out “objective” information from internet recommendations. Three out of four B2B buyers rely on social media to engage with peers about buying decisions. In a recent B2B buyers survey, 53% of the respondents reported that social media plays a role in assessing tools and technologies, and when making a final selection.

Good time to read up on how to sell B2B in today’s environment.

How B2B Sales Can Benefit from Social Selling

Outbound B2B sales are becoming less and less effective. In fact, a recent survey found that connecting with a prospect now takes 18 or more phone calls, callback rates are below 1%, and only 24% of outbound sales emails are ever opened. Meanwhile, 84% of B2B buyers are now starting the purchasing process with a referral, and peer recommendations are influencing more than 90% of all B2B buying decisions.

Why are more and more buyers avoiding salespeople during the buying process? Sales reps, according to Forrester, tend to prioritize a sales agenda over solving a customer’s problem. If organizations don’t change their outdated thinking and create effective sales models for today’s digital era, Forrester warns that 1 million B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service e-commerce by 2020.

Read the rest of How B2B Sales Can Benefit from Social Selling

Marketing: How to step outside the ‘bubble’

Countless times in marketing strategy meetings, I have heard sentences beginning with and/or containing “I” or “my.”

“I wouldn’t respond to/click on that.”

“My friends and I thought the idea was great.”

“That’s how I would do it/buy/respond.”

Not wanting to invalidate a personal POV, especially from a boss or executive, many stay silent. And then carry out marketing plans according to the leader’s —sometimes personal— experience and wishes. [The ‘marketing’ department is then basically relegated to the role of a Kinko’s store – taking orders and creating collateral].

You can see the problem here.

We’re not marketing and selling to our (I’ll borrow Kissmetrics’ term here) “HiPPOs” (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion), we are attempting to message our customers. They are sometimes two very different things.

Jamie Oliver’s story about trying to change eating behavior outside his cultural norm is a perfect example. It took some time to get to know the customer. And, of course, so should you.

SO the next time you hear an “I” or “My” in a marketing meeting, try to see if you can’t change the subject to the customer, based on objective research.


Referenced article is Eat Your Peas: A Recipe for Culture Change via Strategy+Business

Photo: First Time Bubble by Serge Melki