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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Great insight, but it pre-supposes a lack of trust that is totally outdated and unnecessary.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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B2B Customers Getting More Social Fast: How Marketing and Sales Can Evolve

B2B Customers Getting Social Fast: How Marketing and Sales Can Evolve explains how clients/customers are smarter and want a new kind of relationship | The new economics of business reputation

B2B Customers Getting Social Fast: How Marketing and Sales Can Evolve: evolutionWhile preparing to launch Social Business Services for B2B Sales in January 2012, I have been engaged in its Ecosystem Audit. I have plumbed online conversations about B2B Sales and Marketing adoption of social business (erstwhile social media). I have been struck by a recurring realization: a large part of Marketing and Sales as we know them is significantly out of alignment with B2B customers. Social business is permeating customer networks throughout the economy and changing customer behavior and expectations. This has created a rare opportunity for B2B marketing and sales people who understand and respond ahead of the market. If I’m right, this could be one of the most important posts you read this year.

Two quick examples of misalignment: one of Marketing’s underlying assumptions is that it is not economically feasible to have large-scale one-on-one customer conversations, so marketing must achieve […]

How LinkedIn Changes the Economics of Cross-border Relationships

Summary of how LinkedIn will transform the economics of cross-border deal making.. and opportunities and threats for professionals […]