Social media and mobile sales have changed the way we relate, communicate, and conduct business. Eric Qualman, the author of the bestselling book, Socialnomics, 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% of people trust advertising; 93% of marketers use social media for business. Big Shift #1: we’re moving from customer relationship management (CRM) to customer engagement management, aka Social CRM. Tech research firm Gartner predicts that by 2012 the Social CRM market will be more than $1 billion with 100+ companies competing for this rapidly growing pie. The three leading vendors are Jive, Salesforce, and Lithium.
If you’re still unclear about how to approach sales success strategies in a social and mobile world, picture your office water cooler going global, enabling B2B sales conversations in real time, 24/7. Here are the numbers:
- 175 million users log on to Facebook every 24 hours.
- 65 million access Facebook through a mobile device and they share 30 billion (billion!) pieces of content every month and that number includes 3 billion photos and videos.
- 84% of Internet users watch videos online.
- YouTube visitors watch 2 billion videos every day.
- LinkedIn attracts one new member every second.
- Econsultancy reports that over 25 billion tweets were sent last year.
Big Shift #2: 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, “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: 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 they are far more productive. They also embrace new online video tools like iMeet.com and have discovered 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 the story of driving in a cab to visit a client. He posted the following question on Salesforce Chatter, a social network for businesses offering secure collaboration and knowledge-sharing for CRM:
Q: Visiting XYZ in London, any thoughts that I could share to enhance our relationship?
Within minutes the company’s CFO shared:
A: Yes, they owe us $400,000 that’s 60 days overdue.
The result: the VP was able to eliminate the bottleneck in the company’s payment process. Problem solved.
The social media world is slowly moving in a new direction. Let’s say you are working in a company that employs 600 salespeople. Would you want to follow everybody in that company on a social network? No. You’d follow the top 10 thought leaders and learn what’s important to them. Big Shift #3: the emphasis is moving from quantity connections to quality connections. Social learning companies like Saba benefit from this new trend by continually refining social learning tools.
Someone recently told me: “I consider the iPhone as an extension cord to my brain.” Social media has become a second brain for everybody. Why not use it more effectively to serve the community and serve your business?
-Gerhard Gschwandtner, blog.sellingpower.com, twitter: gerhard20