We’re seeing a shift in the way B2B organizations generate revenue today which will significantly impact your sales force in the next five years. Digital is disrupting how we meet our buyers and if you are prepared then you’ll be to make the fast pivots needed to survive. But are you keeping up with modern, digital world of 2016 and looking ahead to 2020?
“Marketing is absolutely the place to drive this transformation [in sales]… If you don’t have a corporate strategy around social media and social selling, and if you don’t proactively build that strategy collectively with sales, then however many number of sales people you have is however many strategies you have. It’s completely intersected.” –Bryan Jones, VP Commercial Marketing at Dell
I recently read this quote from Bryan Jones, VP Commercial Marketing at Dell. I both agree and disagree with Bryan. Here’s why.
In world-class organizations, digital transformation is the role of the sales enablement department. Sales enablement is part of the Revenue Generating team, which includes sales operations, sales, and marketing. Great sales enablement teams connect these commercial departments, and act as the bridge between the VP of Sales and the VP of Marketing.
You have changed. I have changed. Buyers have changed. 74% of today’s B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase, and Forrester predicts that 12% of all B2B sales in the US will take place online by 2020.
That’s the reality of living in the digital economy.
When was the last time you made a big decision without going online first to research? How often are you on your mobile every day? Checking Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?
Even if we deny that things around us are not being impacted digitally, that’s not stopping this reality from progressing fast. There is a ton of opportunity but of course change brings challenges. Society, businesses, and individuals are experiencing things constantly that we haven’t before.
Do you have all the answers on how to create effective digital business models? Does anyone?
It’s a continuous journey, we are all doing our best to figure it out.
I firmly believe that any sales professional who doesn’t make an adjustment over the next five years will be completely redundant. This is especially true for sales professionals who work in the technology sector.
“Forty percent of businesses in this room, unfortunately, will not exist in a meaningful way in 10 years.”
Not my words by any means but this is a dire prediction delivered by John Chambers, the outgoing CEO of technology giant Cisco. An intrigued crowd of 25,000 partners stayed glued to his every word as he opined about the coming 10 years of corporate life.
Before we proceed, it’s important to note that every business has a chance to fail at any point (I think that’s obvious to everyone) but Chambers’ prediction specifically focuses on a few key areas.
Let’s explore further.
If you’ve been following our blog, you already know that Social Selling is hot right now. Since its inception in 2012, it has exploded in the marketplace. But there’s another term that we often encounter these days: Digital Selling.
The first thing you have to know about Social Selling and digital selling is that they are two distinct processes. If we are to create an org chart, Social Selling would be under the umbrella of Digital Selling. These terms are not interchangeable. The ultimate goal, however, is the same: to educate and influence the buyer and hopefully close a deal.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of Social Selling lately—and there’s no question that it’s evolving. I’m reminded of Social Selling evangelist Jill Rowley and Steve Woods, co-founder of Eloqua (now the CTO of Nudge), who described the evolution of Social Selling well. They said it reminded them of the marketing automation space.
The marketing automation space was created Steve Woods for Eloqua in 2000. Fifteen years later, it’s a staple for the marketing industry. Marketing automation has taken archaic based marketing and turned it into insights analytics based marketing.
Whether your company is ready for it or not, there is a progression happening. And the future of Social Selling lies in the creation of digital selling departments. Enterprise level organizations are already doing this, and over the next five years, it will be the norm.