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Using the Relationship Value Map to Optimize Your Social Networks

Using the Relationship Value Map to Optimize Your Social Networks is a step-by-step approach to prioritizing your firm’s interactions in social networks to significantly improve the return on your team’s time.

Using the Relationship Value Map to Optimize Your Social Networks: trust vector

CSRA’s Relationship Value Map is a simple but invaluable tool you can use to organize your social networks to meet your personal or business goals better. Its Interest and Trust vectors intersect to create four quadrants for your connections. I designed it when working with individual executive clients in 2009, but CSRA uses it with enterprise clients as well, especially those with direct (B2B) sales forces who need to prioritize their relationship building activities.

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Quick How-to: Generating Leads from Social Media

It’s nice to see dawning recognition that social business needs some structure and planning to produce business value, and this post from SocialMouths offers a quick treatment. It presents 5-part approach to generating leads: start with strategy, conduct due diligence, connect content to prime stakeholders, connect social media to marketing, and involve the sales team. […] […]

The Impact of Trust, Relationship and Human OS on B2B Sales

The Impact of Trust, Relationship and Human OS on B2B SalesIn The Ironic Truth About Sincerity, Seth Godin juxtaposes sincerity and performance, and he comments on how they influence trust. It’s a nice riff that gets one thinking, so here I’ll do a deeper dive into how these two elements of trust work together to facilitate or sabotage B2B relationships and sales.

I’ll also link to an even deeper treatment for those who want to open yet more doors.

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Are Websites or Social Media Better for B2B Lead Generation?

Are Websites or Social Media Better for B2B Lead Generation?ZDNet reports on “research” that finds that websites provide 7 times more sales leads than “social media.” Unfortunately, the writer doesn’t appreciate the self-irony in the second paragraph: “A company’s corporate website was found to be the top source of new sales leads online — second only to personal referrals..”

As B2B continues to adopt social business, more word of mouth, i.e. personal referrals, happens online. Another reason I’m calling out this post is that it misinforms readers by treating “sales leads” as a homogeneous category. Our clients don’t care about general adoption; what’s more relevant is adoption by their prospects. This post treats all leads as the same, so it’s really the equivalent of informational fast food.

To end on a dour note, misinformation can work to your advantage because your rivals may read it and believe while you can see through it, invest and pull ahead.

The Cost of the Trust Gap—On Seth Godin's Why Lie?

The Cost of the Trust Gap—On Seth Godin's Why Lie?In Why Lie?, Seth Godin points out that prospects of (B2B) salespeople often lie because they do not want their decisions to be questioned by salespeople: “… when we announce that we’ve made the decision to hire someone else, or when we tell the pitching entrepreneur we don’t like her business model, or when we clearly articulate why we’re not going to do business, the salesperson responds by questioning the judgment of the prospect.”

Great insight, but it pre-supposes a lack of trust that is totally outdated and unnecessary. Let’s review how this comes about and how to disrupt the whole cycle.

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Financial Services Social Business Example Featuring Twitter, LinkedIn

conversationsHere’s a useful financial services social business example from Forbes. It details how a Midwest financial services firm grew at competitors’ expense by using LinkedIn, Twitter & legacy communications.

Notice that Jefferson, an investments firm, engaged its channel (financial advisors), using LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and legacy marcom. Their momentum enabled them to maintain their pricing while competitors felt compelled to lower theirs.

Another powerful lesson is, during “downturns,” don’t follow the herd and cut sales and marketing investments, especially when you can use social business to magnify impact as Jefferson did. Well done! #li

B2B Sales

B2B Sales Referrals Outdated Concept: How to TransformAs I read Jill Konrath’s excellent post on how to ask for “referrals” and mistakes that most salespeople make, it occurred to me that salespeople could do even better by breaking that model completely. Jill’s excellent point is that salespeople are uncomfortable with asking for referrals, so they cop out and do it badly by using a throwaway “Do you know anyone..” But I would tweak her suggested, “Whom should I meet” even further by focusing on client, not [salesperson’s] company.

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Redrawing Your Map: Selling in the Knowledge Economy

Redrawing Your Map: Selling in the Knowledge Economy explains how the 21st century and digital social networks are changing client behavior, and sales, forever.

Redrawing Your Map: Selling in the Knowledge Economy

Having started in business in the 1980s in Chicago, I have had a front row seat to the waning of the Industrial Economy, which has created unprecedented human wealth through fabrication, distribution and scale in countless iterations. Its meltdown sets the context for a profound shift in all businesses, and it holds the key to understanding the new ways to bring new business to your firm. The Industrial Economy practice that is known today as “selling” is on life support in the ICU, and it won’t survive in most areas of the economy. Here I’ll explain how profoundly things have shifted and how you can use this understanding to revitalize how you bring new business to your firm. I’ll close with how social business empowers this disruption.

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B2B Early Adopters Move on Social Business in 2012

B2B Early Adopters Move on Social Business in 2012B2B Early Adopters Move on Social Business in 2012 predicts that 2012 will see significant movement toward social business among B2B pioneers. This prediction is based on CSRA’s recent research as well as my twenty-five years experience with guiding B2Bs’ adoption of disruptive technology. First, a critical mass of B2B executive leaders are familiar enough with social technologies to consider them for the first time. Second, the business driver will be the economy. During the past 4-5 years, enterprises have continue to cut costs wherever they could, but few are performing at the level they want to be. B2B marketing and sales are under more pressure to perform very efficiently than ever, and some leaders will enlist social business because they have tried everything else.

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Evolving National & Global Recruiting and Sales with Social Business

Evolving National-Global Recruiting and Sales with Social Business shows how firms can increase quality of recruits and sales leads while cutting costs.

Evolving National-Global Recruiting and Sales with Social BusinessSocial networks can help organizations, whether commercial, nonprofit or government, to significantly improve their efficiency in business processes like recruiting, sales and service. This is what we call “Enterprise Process Innovation” because, by using social networks to create and nurture relationships with alumni, your employees can diminish the time required to accomplish tasks within these processes. It’s well known that most alumni, former employees, move to firms that are related to your business (adjacent in the value chain) or complementary in some way. Yes, some move to competitors, but they are usually in the minority. Social networks, by significantly reducing the cost of having relevant, quality conversations, make robust employee-alumni networks actionable as never before.

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