By Tim Hughes.

Interesting article by Gartner, here are some of the highlights

“Over the next five years, an even greater rise in digital interactions between buyers and suppliers will break traditional sales models.”

“The Gartner Future of Sales 2025 report predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. Chief sales officers (CSOs) and other senior sales leaders must accept that buying preferences have permanently changed and, as a result, so too will the role of sellers.”

 Sales organizations must be able to sell to customers everywhere the customer expects to engage, interact and transact with suppliers”

“Gartner defines the future of sales as the permanent transformation of organizations’ sales strategies, processes and allocation of resources, moving from a seller-centric to a buyer-centric orientation and shifting from analog sales processes to ….  digital-first engagement with customers.”

“Gartner research shows buyers typically only spend 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers when considering a purchase. With less and less customer face time, virtual selling via digital channels will predominate.”

“B2B sales reps need to embrace … a new manner of engaging customers, matching their sales activity to their customers’ buying practices and information-collecting needs.”

Pipeline – What can we do to maximize pipeline?

This requires us all to do what we can across the business to be in the pipeline building business.

We also have to be totally honest with ourselves here.  “What got us here, won’t get us there”.  We all know that business has changed due to the Pandemic and we have to change our sales and marketing models or run out of cash, without the right pipeline.  Research from Hubspot shows that “the number of deals created dropped 11% the week of April 6.”  I’m writing this in October 2020, do we really think that the deals created has picked up?

This diagram is of the deal drop in the US up to the 4th June 2020.

Let’s look at two of the most traditional ways of marketing before the pandemic, digital advertising and email marketing.

Digital Advertising

Yesterday I had a fascinating conversation with a Martin Lucas for an up and coming #TimTalk (my podcast) and the following figures are engagement rates for digital advertising.

1.61% Facebook

1.91% Google

0.35% Programmatic (this is where ads follow you around when you browse)

That means that digital advertising has a 98.81% failure rate and based on the amount of money that is spent on digital advertising, that means that $265 Billion is wasted on advertising every year.  This is an example of one area where before the pandemic it was seen as Ok to make spend like this, now it’s flushing dollars down the toilet.  Another example is email marketing.

Email Marketing

According to Hubspot, the response rate to emails fell to a record low of 2.1% in April 2020. Said differently, 98% of our efforts to reach new prospects failed.

Hubspot say in the report “Sales teams are sending about 50% more email to prospects than they were pre-COVID, but responses continue to drop. Last week, sales response rates hit an all-time low for 2020 at 2.1%, a lower response rate than Christmas week 2019.”

Diagram from Hubspot showing the number of emails being sent going up and the response reducing.

Hubspot also said “These trends tell an important story. Email prospecting, to put it bluntly, is out of control. It’s easy to send thousands of emails with just a few clicks, and in a chaotic time, we understand why sales teams are sending so many. But volume and quality is a tradeoff — the time a team saves by sending out email blasts is wasted if that outreach isn’t personalized, relevant, and helpful. These gaps are clear in the data.”

High Performing Businesses Use Social Strategically 

In this report by Simon Kemp he outlines the extent that social media has become part of our lives.

What Is A High Performance Business in The Post Pandemic World?

If you are a modern high performing business where social media is strategic to your business, or you hope it will be strategic to the business read on.

How Social Media Has Been used in the Past

Social media has been used tactically in the past within the business.  Often it will be in digital marketing, which sits in marketing and this involves tweeting a broadcast message along the lines of “buy our product, because it’s great”.  There maybe differences on platforms, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but the message is the same.  This is often called omnichannel.  You use all the channels, including email and cold calling and you push out the same message.

This is fundamentally broken, see statistics above.

Adverting, email marketing and cold calling are based on interruption and broadcast and social is based on permission and relationship.  This is a mistake that most companies make.

Social / Digital Virtual / Remote Selling Comes of Age

I wrote the book “Social Selling – techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers”, which is available on Amazon worldwide.  I also wrote the blog “How to get 10 C-Level meetings a week using Twitter”.  These are stepping stones in the evolvement of social.  Both showing to the world that there was (and is) a business reason why you should have a social project in your business and the fact there is a return on investment (ROI).

The Social Business is Born

Back in 2018 we found that our social selling programs were “repeatable and predictable”.  Whenever we ran them it would create 30% more revenue and reduce the sales cycle by 40%.  This is pretty cool and something we are very proud of.

Where Do We Go From Here?

For those unsure of what to do, DLA Ignite will complete a review of your current social / digital / virtual / remote selling capability.  For free.

We will take your team (up top 10) and perform a complete root and branch Social Media Performance Assessment.

Sales, Marketing, Management, Technical, HR. Procurement ….whoever you want to include.

This will include: Profiles, connections, followers, inbound and outbound activity, content, engagement, follow up, results.

(Happy to provide the list of deliverables).

We will map your business against the DLA Ignite baseline and present back to you our findings. We will show you where improvements can be made and what results should be expected.  No hard sell, just present back to you a road map.

You entered lock down analogue, this is your chance to leave this pandemic, digital.

Please contact me here or one of the DLA Ignite team here, so please pick one of our industry experts or one of our experts in your geographical locality.  Our website is here.

The Gartner Future of Sales 2025 report predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. Chief sales officers (CSOs) and other senior sales leaders must accept that buying preferences have permanently changed and, as a result, so too will the role of sellers.


By Tim Hughes.

Sourced from dla Digital Leadership Associates

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