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Social selling

The #1 problem in 2017 for sales people across the globe is lack of sales pipeline… yet that’s a symptom rather than a root-cause. 

The real problem is an aversion to high levels of the right combinations of intelligent activities that are required for sales success. ‘Pick up the bloody phone’ after you’ve done quick pragmatic research. Call their cell phone, leave them message, send them a text and then follow-up with e-mail and inmail…. bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. 2 minutes and all done. Move on to the next person on your list… the list you created, ready to go, before you left work the day before.

Hit the phone in prime time, 7:45am to 8:45am before they are subsumed into endless meetings for the day. What will they think as alerts ding away in their pocket?

“Wow, this person is seriously determined” 

But make sure you have the right narrative. No-one is business is lonely and bored seeking a new friend. Nor are they wanting to hear about your stellar products, services or solutions. Every conversation must provide value for the other person. Focus on the outcomes you can help them achieve… lead to the value you offer rather than lead with a ‘pitch’ or value proposition. Have some humility in your approach yet peppered with passionate belief in the difference you can make.

“Sounds like they’re worth talking to” 

Last week I was interviewed by my good friend Timothy Hughes in London and we discussed the fact that ‘the rise of the silent sales floor’ is a huge problem for sellers who are neglecting the importance of the phone. This topic will be the focus of a keynote session I am presenting at Salesforce World Tour in Sydney on March 21st.

Social selling on it’s own does not deliver what is needed. Buyers are blinded by the white wall of outreach hitting their inbox. 

Unless you’re selling low value commodities; then human-to-human (H2H) engagement is still critically important because…

People prefer to buy from those they know, like and trust, and the relationships you build are the strongest point of competitive differentiation 

Play the YouTube video below to watch this 30 minute conversation… the best ‘social selling’ advocates have swung back toward the ‘social [voice] phone’ as being an essential part of the digital arsenal.

To succeed in creating sales pipeline, and ultimately new successful customers, we must provide value in every conversation well in advance of any value being provided from our product, service or solutions. We must open a new relationship by providing value through insight, we then build trust over time by delivering with aligned values.

But what happens when we find a prospect but their timing is not right?

This is where technology and automation is so important. Sales people need to hand-off to marketing automation platforms that can lead-nurture with content that provides value to the buyer every step through their buying journey. Marketing automation is not just for ‘web-to-lead’ but is also essential for building long-term sales pipeline. The foundational element is incredibly difficult to create… content publishing.

Treasure those who can create high value content with which marketing teams can attract and nurture leads 

To keep your prospects ‘swimming around the boat’ every business needs a platform that brings marketing, sales, service, support and stakeholder engagement together. This is because Customer eXperience (CX) is the single biggest point of differentiation and the best start to create a ‘great experience’ as early in the buyer’s journey as possible. I recently downloaded the new State of Sales report from the Salesforce website as part of my research for being a paid speaker at one of their events. I was called within hours and they did it well… no hard sell and simply wondering what my interest was in the report and if there was anything else they could help with. I am now in their sales and marketing database and being profiled for future contact as appropriat

The point  here is that everything must work together… sales and marketing… social and the phone… insight and value… old school and new school… humans and the machines. But for sales people who need to personally create sales pipeline MUST include the phone because the human voice is the most magical way to truly connect with the head and heart of the decision-making buyer.

I’ll be speaking on all of this at Salesforce World Tour in Sydney on March 21st so register now to come and join the conversation and network with thousands of other sales professionals. Learn from real world case studies and the very best thought leaders from around the globe including Tiffani Bova.

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and also share via your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook social media platforms. I encourage you to join the conversation or ask questions so feel free to add a comment on this post. Please follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles. Visit me at http://ift.tt/1dKwnHb if you’re looking for a keynote speaker to wake-up and inspire your sales team. Go to www.RSVPselling.com for my sales methodologies that generate pipeline and manage complex opportunities. Main image from Flickr: Craig Sunter – Silenced!

Posted on March 24, 2017

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