Skandia Team GBR

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Social Media in the Sales Cycle or Social Sales Cycle?

Phone Call Suprise


Social Media in the Sales Cycle

Social Sales Cycle…

I don’t think that this should be as scary a prospect for any corporate organisation as perhaps we all initially perceive.

Chris Brogan wrote a good summary post earlier this week titled Best Fits for Social Media in the Sales Cycle. Chris Brogan advises businesses, organizations, and individuals on how to use social media and social networks to build relationships and deliver value and is well respected in “social circles”…

His key point is that the sales cycle has a number of points, roughly:

  • Prospects
  • Awareness
  • Leads
  • Customers
  • Evangelists \ Support

..and that for each of these engagement points between a supplier (just like you) and the client, traditionally differing approaches and tools were used, and that now, in the era of connections, social networks and transparency, a range of Social Media tools are relevant to be used in addition or replacing traditional marketing, sales and engagement methods… some of these tools include:

  • Email
  • Blogging
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Forums
  • Flickr

But these tools are not the focus of this post, more the person wielding the tool and their responsibility within the supplier organisation and the sales cycle.

All organisations have a number of overlapping areas that make up the “Sales Cycle” and a set of tools and techniques..

  • Sales
    • Sales methods
    • Relationships
    • CRM
  • Marketing
    • Web Site
    • Telesales \ Direct Mail
    • Campaigns
    • Events
  • Senior Consultants
    • Relationships
    • Social Media – Blogs, Twitter, forums etc
    • Authenticity – Technical Delivery, Events etc
  • Rest of the organisation
    • Relationships
    • Social Media – Blogs, Twitter, forums etc
    • Authenticity – Technical Delivery, Events etc

As has been discussed at length both personally, within Trinity and across our sectors, the way we do business is changing, the ability to influence clients, drive client satisfaction, raise awareness, revenue generation and revenue protection has absolutely expanded outwards from Sales & Marketing and into the hands of each and every employee, within the organisation and this is especially so for an organisations senior consultants, technologists and strategists..


In Purple Cow, Seth Godin illustrates that point very well.
"Marketing", the word, has become tainted by the apparent lack of interest that most professional marketers pay to their markets. They seem to not be listening to the market...

Guess what, the market stops listening to them...

So we need to be aware, understand our role, power, influence and impact on “sales”… I’ve only been at Trinity for a couple of years, but even in that time I’ve seen a marked shift in the sphere of influence of our Strategic Consultants and certainly in my role and with my skills it’s apparent to me that we are all becoming a powerful mix of Technologist, Strategist, Marketer and Sales Person…

BAR smarter conversations

So I ask you all to think about “Social Media in the Sales Cycle”, who should be “selling” and what role do you have in the “Social Sales Cycle”?

  • Who should be blogging?
  • Who should be delivering content through our web site?
  • Who should be “listening” to where our brand is?
  • Who should be attending events?
  • Should we Tweet?
  • Who should be speaking?
  • Who should update CRM?
  • Who should have the relationships?

The Ant Clay view of the world is that anyone with a voice, with authenticity, with trust, with brand, with respect, with experience and something positive to offer for your organisation and its clients (new and old) should “be involved”….

Involved doesn't mean leading, owning or solely involved… involvement, many voices, authenticity an employee crowd-sourced sales cycle :-)

If you’re in any doubt that the world is changing have a look at the great presentations out there on marketing, social media, new ways of working etc.. Matt Groves did a great presentation on “Building Trust via the Web” at a team meeting earlier in the week… He gets it, I get it, do you or your organisation or your clients??

And Finally: Doing a Google search for “Social Sales Cycle” brings back zero hits! That phrase is mine :-) 
Update: it now brings back one result from a tweet of mine!

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1 comment:

Ant said...

Matt Groves Presentation is now here: