Profound Implications for The Individual Economy & [Infographic]

The individual-centered economy is already here. The newest digital technologies – among them social media, mobility, analytics and cloud – keep changing how people, businesses and governments interact. The transformation that is already underway will soon intensify, resulting in a paradigm shift from customer-centricity toward an everyone-to-everyone (E2E) economy. The implication for value creation and allocation will be profound.

New  research shows that many organizations are still not ready to navigate the E2E environment. The Digital Reinvention Exec report can be read HERE

Here are some highlights from the report and infographic to share:

55 percent of 4,183 C-suite executives report that consumers have the most influence on business strategy <ClickToTweet>

58 percent of 1,100 executives surveyed in the Digital Reinvention Study expect new technologies to reduce barriers to entry <ClickToTweet>

There is a paradigm shift from customer-centricity toward an everyone-to-everyone (E2E) economy. Are you prepared? <ClickToTweet>

Digitization is rapidly changing the nature of how individuals and organizations interact <ClickToTweet>

“Social” has become revenue-generating, evolving from a dot-com trend to a sharing platform and business model <ClickToTweet>

 

 

 

 

Everyone-to-Everyone Economy

Everyone-to-Everyone Economy

The Digital Reinvention Exec Report can be found on SlideShare and can also be seen below

 

Get on the Phone!!! Guest post by John Barrows

Guest Post by John Barrows John Barrows

The desk top/office phone is going the way of the eight-track, VCR, tapes, CDs, fax machines and many other older technologies being replaced by smartphones and social media.

Inside sales organizations are ghost towns these days with the only sound being the pitter patter of little fingers typing away on keyboards. More and more executives are coming to me expressing their frustration that they never hear reps on the phone any more. Regardless of the results of the team or how effectively they are applying “social selling” (whatever that means to you) to produce those results, it’s becoming a point of contention with managers who are just sick of walking through their offices and not hearing any activity.

Most sales executives today grew up in the bullpen days where all we had was a phone and a printed out spreadsheet or even better, the Yellow Pages. You had to make more calls and be louder than your cube-mate to stand out and get ahead (think Boiler Room or Pursuit of Happyness). So these days of silence just don’t feel right regardless.

The lack of calling is somewhat justified since it seems like most people rarely pick up the phone anymore and the response rates from voice mails average in the .02% range.  The younger generation even admits they think an unannounced call is an interruption and rude.  This perception coupled with the low response makes the avoidance of the phone understandable, but it doesn’t make it right.

Professor Albert Mehrabian’s communications model helps us understand why.  A general overview of his findings breaks down how people communicate as 7% words, 38% paralinguistic (the way that the words are said) and 55% facial expression or body language.  Or, to translate that into sales – 100% of the way we communicate is achieved through in-person meetings, 45% is achieved over the phone and only 7% is e-mail.

Those statistics help show why our sales efforts can be so much more effective if we can get someone on the phone, even for just a few minutes, instead of going back and forth over e-mail.  We’re a rather sarcastic group here in Boston. Have you ever tried to put sarcasm into an e-mail?  How’d that work out for you? Over the phone you can at least hear that sarcasm or recover from it if someone doesn’t get it.  You can develop rapport and help build relationships over the phone. You’re a person and not just some text on a digital screen that can get deleted or dumped into a spam filter. You can qualify much more effectively and quickly over the phone than you can over e-mail.  And by the way, like it or not, the decision makers in today’s world grew up before all this social media and even e-mail.  I’m “only” 37 and I can still remember going to college and having just a few computer rooms on campus that you had to wait in line to get in to use a dirt slow desktop computer with limited search functionality.

E-mail is obviously the number one way of communicating in business today but in my opinion it should really only be used for two reasons: 1) as part of a contact strategy to set up phone calls/meetings and 2) to follow up from phone calls/meeting. E-mail should not be used as a form of conversation or a qualification method.  With that, our initial e-mails to prospects should be short, sweet and to the point (think 2 scrolls on your smartphone), add value and have a strong call to action. They should be coupled with effective phone calls as part of our overall contact strategy. Everything we do through e-mail should be to drive that call/conversation.

 

Here are a few tips on how to make your calling more effective:

  • Stand up when making your calls – you’re more confident and your voice resonates far better
  • Start every call off with this phrase: “The reason for my call today is…” and make sure you have a reason for your call
  • Remove “weak words” from your vocabulary
  • Leave voice mails for yourself to hear what you sound like over the phone
  • Leave voice mails for your colleagues and managers and ask for feedback
  • Schedule “Power Hours” once or twice a week – grab 2-3 of your colleagues, your lead lists, a conference room and a speaker phone.  Everyone stand up and make round-robin calls to see/hear/learn what works and what doesn’t in live situations
  • Have fun with it.  We’re not curing cancer here.

 

Good luck and happy selling.

Read more at John Barrows blog

Follow John on Twitter

 

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Listen “sales”, – There is no such thing as Social Selling!

No doubt this statement will bring the wrath of those “social selling” experts who have arisen over the last few years.
Don’t get me wrong – there is an incredibly powerful and commercially viable way of selling by leveraging social platforms, so let me explain.

First, I have a problem with the phrase “social selling”, mostly because it gives the impression that if you jump onto a social media platform, you will immediately be able to sell something. You won’t, at least not straight away. Using social platforms as an additional channel requires a strategy and one that teaches you to move from a day trader to a long term investor and builder of relationships. Yes you may be stumble upon an update that says ” I need to buy [your product], please contact me” but this is an exception and not the rule.

I also struggle with calling a sales person a “social seller”. Does this individual now only sell on social platforms, or more importantly are they a seller who not only utilises the traditional methods of selling but also blends in the benefits of using social tools to add tremendous value to those traditional face to face and telephone meetings?

Social selling does not work when detached from traditional sales methods. I want to share a strategy that will enhance those traditional methods and if done correctly may even negate the need for cold calling.

Now that I have sorted out the jargon lets look at how the commercially viable Social Sales teams do it. The rule is; create the social wrap.

Below is a suggested approach to blending your traditional methods of selling to enable or influence a purchase decision. Here are my five tips:

1: Build your brand.

2: Contribute to discussions.

3: Network

4: Provide relevance through thought leadership.

5: Practice the law of reciprocity, always.

Build your brand.

Building your brand is key and should be the foundation of any great sales person. You are researching your clients and gaining insights to their personality, interests and business synergies. It would be naive to think that your clients are not similarly checking you out. Right now the strongest platform to convey and market your expertise is LinkedIn, but that platform may not be the only one! Yes you are in marketing now, the marketing of your value and credibility.

Contribute to discussions

Participating in discussions is not just about listening to what your clients are saying or understanding what they are listening to. It is about adding your point of view to the conversation. Don’t sell your product; instead offer advice, strategies, coaching on things to consider, how to guides. Add value to a discussion, and in so doing become the authentic helper.

Network

Network and connect with people. Whether you met face to face or virtually, if you feel that reciprocal value can be achieved then invite them to be part of your network. Top tip; always personalise the invite, because not doing so shows a lack of professionalism and integrity.
Utilise your network. Earn social credit by connecting people to others that will add value and benefit them. By doing so you will increase your network in size.
Also use your network to influence, for instance Twitter is business networking on steroids. Surround your self with people you want to influence and provide them great content, relevance and value.

Provide relevance through thought leadership

You need to understand your network. Two important question you could ask yourself are: What types of information would they benefit from? Where and when are they seeking it? This will help you ascertain which platforms will benefit you the most. Consider blogging, as this will become a huge asset to your branding and thought leadership. As your network increases in size so will the diversity and quantity of your content.

Practice the law of reciprocity

Trading favours is a huge part of doing business in the social world. If you are already utilising your network and introducing people to others, you are already practicing this law. Read more at Wikipedia 

So those are my top five tips for creating a social wrap.
It is all about building a brand, sharing your expertise, offering your helpfulness and building relationships and influence that will enable you to sell more using social media.

Share your best practices and tips below on how you are using social tools to help sales. And don’t forget to practice the law of reciprocity now

Four focus areas for Customer Loyalty – “main ingredient is Experience”

From small businesses to huge corporations, everyone wants to know the secret to keeping customers. How do we earn repeat business for years and years to come?

If you take away anything from this fantastic Infographic, from the guys at CustomersThatStick, it is the experience that the customer receives that defines whether they remain loyal to you or if they take their business elsewhere.

A staggering 82 percent have said they stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer experience. To keep your customers happy what are the four elements you should focus on?

– Friendly employees or customer service representative – ensure your employees are engaged

– Personalise the client experience. Let’s start a conversation about the revolution in business that requires engaging customers as individuals, at every level and how we can get there.

– Ability to easily find information or help. Share what you know, now that’s power!

– Good reputation – In my opinion (as always) if you do the above you will gain the reputation

Take a look at the infographic below and open the conversation by dropping a note in the comments.

Sources for the Customer Retention Statistics Above

While the convention on most infographics seems to be generic, non-specific sourcing, we wanted to provide actual sources for the statistics used in the infographic. We attempted to find primary sourcing as much as possible. In cases when we relied on secondary sourcing that did not seem definitive, we notated that fact after the citation.

Why Customers Leave <<TweetThis>>

  • 82% of consumers in the U.S. said they stopped doing business… > Citation 
  • 73% was a reaction to rude staff… > Citation
  • 78% of consumers in the U.S. said they have bailed on a transaction… > Citation
  • 68% of consumers leave because they were upset with treatment… > Citation (Note: Primary sourcing could not be found, though this statistic is widely quoted through secondary sources.)

Why Customers Stick <<TweetThis>>

  • What parts of the customer experience cause customers to stick… > Citation
  • 92% of consumers said they would go back after a negative experience… > Citation
  • What happened when an organization responded to a customer’s negative comment… > Citation
  • 85% of customers are willing to pay more… > Citation

Retained Customers Mean Money <<TweetThis>>

  • The cost of bringing a new customer to the same level of profitability is up to 16x more… > Citation
  • 10x more expensive to acquire… > Citation
  • 4-6x more expensive to acquire…* > Citation
  • 5x more expensive to acquire… > Citation Alan E. Webber, “B2B Customer Experience Priorities In An Economic Downturn: Key Customer Usability Initiatives In A Soft Economy,” Forrester Research, February 19, 2008
  • 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor… > Citation
  • Increasing retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25%-95%… > Citation
  • 2% increase in retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.. > Citation (From the book, Leading on the Edge of Chaos)
  • Loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much… > Citation (Note: Primary sourcing could not be found, though this statistic is widely quoted through secondary sources.)
  • Repeat customers spend 67% more… > Citation

Stand Out on LinkedIn with Rich Media

LinkedIn profiles can be so more than just a boring online version of your résumé.

Use LinkedIn profile like Coke, Ford and many others do: to promote themselves. Company websites and commercials contain customer testimonials, product demonstrations, and visual proof of their products. They use video, presentations and images to convey their message.

So can you! It just takes a little creativity…

What Media Can You Add?

LinkedIn now supports  images, video, audio, presentations and documents by certain providers listed here; others may work too. You have the choice to upload a file or use a URL if already published to the web.

These nifty media clips can be placed in various places in your profile. They can be part of your summary, incorporated into each position listed in your experience section, and in your education section. Just go to edit your profile and look for the little blue box. See image below.

LinkedIn Summary Ben Martin

What to Showcase?

Think about the problems or challenges of the audience you want to do business with. Does you company already have assets you can use, perhaps on YouTube  or perhaps they have material available on Slideshare. What value can you provide that differentiates you from the hundreds and thousands of other people who have the same job title as you?

LinkedIn is one of the first stops your client will make when they look you up. Why not go one step further and create you own original content. You can create a PowerPoint highlighting your knowledge or accomplishments and publish it to SlideShare. This is fairly simple to do. The most difficult part is figuring out what you will put into your PowerPoint presentation. Search around SlideShare and get ideas from other people who have created online content in your area of expertise. If you are interested in creating something a bit jazzier than PowerPoint, you may want to test Prezi.

Think of your profile as you window of credibility, what would you want someone to find if they were searching for you on the web?

Make your LinkedIn profile rock… with a media rich profile!

Inside Sales and the IT Buyer: The shift of communication [Infographic]

 

Inside sales and web are the mainstay of the purchase process for many buyers of hardware, software and services. The use of the web in every step of the buyers journey is increasing, even down to executing the purchase. Clients are now demanding and expect their suppliers to provide web experiences that provide them immediate access to information. Encompassing the initial search phase, such as guidance and help on address challenges being faced, all the way through to pricing information and even transactional history.

The data and trends below where identified in a marketplace study, led by Market Development and Insights, conducted in November 2012 through to January 2013 to understand client usage of inside sales and online commerce throughout the decision making process.

 

Inside Sales, Ben Martin, Infographic

Replacing the Cold Call with: ANYTHING!

Gotta make cold calls? Boss making you cold call? Here’s the strategy for making a transition: ALLOCATE YOUR TIME. If you have to make 50 cold calls a week, allocate enough time to connect with 50 existing or lost customers in the same week. And ask your boss to do both WITH YOU. Let him or her see the futility of making cold calls. Ask them to make 50 cold calls. My bet is they can’t or won’t.

via Replacing the Cold Call with: ANYTHING! | Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Tips.

This is a fantastic post with some great tips.

Do you have a favourite above or can you add one, stop by and say hello below.

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How to Use Social Media to Find Customers and Generate Leads [Infographic]

Using social media to create conversation, provide value, credibility and trust is only the start. How do you convert those “Likes” into customers?

This infographic,  compiled by Wishpond, shows that 77 percent of business-to consumer (B2C) marketers have acquired customers through Facebook, while business-to-business (B2B) marketers have found more success on LinkedIn — finding it a whopping 277% more effective than Facebook or Twitter.

Lead Gneration on Social Media Ben Martin #wesoe

What platforms do you use? What are your tips for success? Join the discussion below and say hello.

How to fail at social selling in five steps and how to SUCCEED in three #WESOE

How to fail at social selling in five steps

1 Produce content
2 Promote to social media platforms
3 Pray (Pay!) for comments and RT’s
4 Promote some more
5 Be disappointed. Give up.

What if there was a better way. A way that actually gets results.
A way that builds engagement
A way that generates SALES

There is:

Three steps to success using Social Media to sell.
Creating the Social Wrap with three ways to “serve”

1: (OB) SERVE
Before joining the conversation, listen
FIND: your audience, prospects, segment or whatever you call it
LISTEN: to their conversation, their questions and what they talk about.
DISCOVER: what they care about, focus on and want to get done first.

This should be a huge part of what you do first. Simply listen to the conversations that are happening around you. Sign up for LinkedIn groups, check leading blog posts, send out surveys. Do what ever it takes to develop a deep understanding of what motivates your prospects. What do they care about, struggle with and desire. Ask follow up questions to gain clarification and develop an intimate knowledge of what their world looks like.

2: (DE) SERVE
Now and only now, join in the conversation.
DEVELOP: intelligent perspectives, insights and resources
CONTRIBUTE: to the conversation by offering highly valuable insights, data and facts
ENGAGE: in meaningful dialogue with those who care and matter

When you have developed a deep understanding of your prospect you can then join in the conversation. But only then. Do not take to spam messages and ensure you tailor your messages. For example The biggest mistake you can do is use a template LinkedIn message. Personalise.

Produce quality content, that demonstrates value, meets the prospects needs, offers tangible practical actionable advice that meets the prospects needs. Deliver instant value of what it would be like to work with you.

3: (RE) SERVE
Focus on the few, not the many.
FOCUS: on your tribe of peers and followers, connectors and leaders.
FIND: those that deserve your time, follow up and start the journey forward.
FAVOUR: the few who are worth your time, effort and dedication

It is very easy to get hung on on the “how many RT’s did I get today” buzz. Focusing on this craze will help flatter your ego and of course make you feel like you have accomplished something.

But it does not produce results.

So be selective spend your time with those that engage with your content and are likely to be decision makers. Ask questions, promote their content, and above all thank them.

Create the “social wrap” equation:

Observe – Deserve – Reserve