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The Strategic Imperative of Dealing With Social Selling

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The Strategic Imperative of Dealing With Social Selling

Do you take credit cards?
 

Was recently in a meeting with a Sales Director, as we put the finer details together for his Social Selling program and as we moved to the conversation about commercials he started talking in hushed tones.

“Do you take Credit Cards?” he asked ….

“Well yes”, I replied, “but why?”

He looked from left to right, pointed upwards and then said “I need to keep the spend hidden from the people upstairs.”

In other words, he understood the need for Social Selling and wanted to do right by the company, but the board didn’t get that social is now a strategic imperative. In fact “social” is more important than “digital”. What do I mean by that?

Somethings Gotta Change ….. Musical interlude ….

The song “Something Better Change – The Stranglers was released in 1977 as a call to action to society.

While at a Stranglers gig the other night, I realised it was just a relevant today as it was then.

Most, if not all corporations have initiated some sort of social selling program. The ones I’m aware of are showing a Return on Investment (ROI).

Social Selling is Business as Usual (BaU)
 

Social Selling is now selling. For me, Social Selling is Business as usual (BaU). So why do people still think that “the people upstairs” still seem to think Social is posting photos of your lunch or cat photos?

Boardroom Help on Social is Here
 

Here at DLA, we spotted this trend early on and created Intellectual property (IP) to help organisations (at a board / C-Level) to understand the transformational benefit of social. We run strategy sessions that allows company leaders understand why social is pivotal in 2017, a strategic imperative in fact and not a “nice to have”.

The day or two days typically looks like this …….

  • Understand the Social business case and create a vision
  • Align teams behind that vision
  • Set social goals and come up with a social mission statement
  • Understand the barriers and challenges within your organisation
  • Identify which building blocks need to be created
  • Determine “what success looks like”
  • Plot the “social success trajectory”
  • Identify key milestones and agree a Governance structure
     

But I get this with my Current Provider Relationships!
 

We also found also that some of those “big professional services companies” (You know you they are, I won’t mention them). Talk a good story, but when asked, “OK, when you start on Monday, what will do?” The conversation gets very confused and “IT” related.

In all the consultancies that we have spoken to, as soon as we talk social, they talk digital.

But Digital and “the new” Will Save Us!
 

In 2003 (yes I know this is an age ago but stick with me on this) Nicholas Carr wrote an article that “IT Doesn’t Matter“.

With his book “Does IT Matter?” following shortly after.

The argument is this – Let’s take the road that you live on. You live on it and it gets people from A to B. If you dig up the road and lay new tarmac. What have you gained? You still live on the road, people still get from A to B.

This is no different from “digital transformation”. Ripping out one IT system and replacing it with another one. OK, it might be cheaper and have a better UI (User Interface) but it’s hasn’t changed anything? You still have the inefficient processes. You still haven’t increased revenues or gained competitive advantage? Isn’t this just putting lipstick on a pig?

The Commoditisation of IT Through Cloud
 

There is also something bigger happening that Nicholas writes about in his article, the commoditisation of IT. He says …..

With the move to Cloud and “it is what it is” systems. Everybody will have the same software. Like we all have Microsoft Word, or iTunes, where is the competitive advantage?

Interested in your comments on where you think strategy in social is going? Do the “people upstairs” get it? What is holding you back in your transformation to social?

If your organisation wants take a leap forward and use social strategically or your board / C-Suite don’t get social then we might be able to help. DLA are a collective of the best digital and social talent in the world and we have created intellectual property (IP) to help organisations in their transformation. It isn’t a silver bullet, but it is a set of defined processes, measures and governance that guide organisations into the digital world.

Can we help you? I have no idea, why not book a session with one of our experts?

Want to know how to sell to the modern, connected buyer?

If you’re interested in a blueprint to help you in your move to digital and social then I recommend my book. “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers”. Written in a workbook style, it’s designed to help you implement a Social Selling strategy across Sales and Marketing. To order follow this link to Amazon there is also a Kindle, eBook version.

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