Since the modern era dawn of the sales training industry, we’ve always been taught about the best practices on how to sell. Every decade or so, we’ve witnessed multiple new sales methodologies and processes emerge and captivate the hearts, minds, and (most importantly) budgets of sales departments.
Names like Spin Selling, Solution Selling, Major Account Selling, etc. have all taught and served us well. We are all practitioners of these methods and have benefited tremendously from their well thought-out approaches. They’ve taught us to nurture, negotiate, find pain points, and a host of valuable other skills.
So what’s the common misunderstanding that all of them have? It’s lead generation.
Think about it and you’ll agree. All of them assume that you – as a company, sales professional, or marketing professional – have mastered the art of how to generate the lead. And if we dig in further into this psychology, the unspoken and common misconception is that the de facto method to generate leads is cold calling.
Since cold calling has been the most effective and prevalent way to generate leads, every single major B2B sales department has implemented it. If companies have already accepted this, then the makers of sales methodologies really only have to teach what to do post lead generation.
Now fast forward to the present. Cold calling contact rates in the B2B world are 10%-15%. Whether you think that’s good or not is relative to your experience. But let’s face it; that’s not what it used to be for us as sales professionals in the past.
If you are a part of the majority of folks in our industry, the following graph is something that you know about all too well.
It becomes nearly impossible to attain your goals when cold calling (the de facto and most accepted form of generating leads) has a diminishing return on effort.
What is The Solution?
Before I’m labelled as anti-cold calling, let me set the record straight. As I had mentioned, 10%-15% contact rate is still not bad. So I’m not advocating that you completely abandon your traditional ways of selling. What I am suggesting is that you become aware of the opportunities that are available to you right now.
I’m talking about Social Selling. If you learn the right techniques and know the reasons behind why it’s sound, you can really catapult your results to the next level. Social works because, simply put, your buyer has changed. The internet allows them to do a significant enough amount of research online without needing a sales professional to help them.
Okay, great, your company has a website and e-mails brochures to people, and practices “online marketing”. But the fact of the matter is your buyer is more sophisticated than this. Your buyer not only expects this, but also unbiased help in the form of group discussions, and custom tailored pieces.
As sales professionals, our job is to curate the online experiences of each potential buyer. It may sound cumbersome, and maybe it is (not really if you ask me), but 65% of the deals you’ll win will be because you were first to help the buyer.
The Bottom Line
So, what are you waiting for? Plan to be the first to help and start reaping the benefits. Social Selling isn’t difficult. It’s different. Need an overview without any of the frills? No problem! Contact me to get some best practices on how you can start today, and check out these 10 Steps to Becoming a Social Selling Machine.