The journey to become 21st century enterprise involves investing in customer, partners and employees by providing them engaging experiences. Naturally, it has become the priority of the enterprise. Organizations are not only aligning the strategy, systems and operations around it but also aligning the sales and marketing business units to achieve this goal. Key focus areas for sales and marketing organizations includes:
1. Employee Social Advocacy: Employee advocacy is related to empowerment of employees to create the organization brand. It involves creation of internal social media literacy and advocacy for the brand. There are many tools which enable organizations to launch employee advocacy and govern it like LinkedIn Elevate, everyonesocial, sociabble, BEEM, etc.
2. Providing engaging customer experience: Gartner surveys rates customer experience to be the top priority. As per Gartner, Customer experience was the most pressing mandate for marketers, the top area of marketing technology investment in 2014, and 2015. Another interesting fact is that by 2017, 50% of consumer product investments will be redirected to customer experience innovations.
3. Enabling sales & marketing team with social selling: Marketers are increasingly taking on bona fide P&L responsibility, particularly as business models and revenue streams go digital. Fully half of marketers report that they either have P&L responsibility today or expect to have it in the next 24 months.
Business model and revenue streams are going digital, so there is no way that sales and marketing processes remain traditional. Marketing teams are taking P&L responsibilities and organizations should enable them leverage new age social and digital media to reach out to the prospect. Not only marketing, but as per Gartner “By 2020, 40 percent of sales organizations will rely primarily on mobile digital technology for their sales force automation initiatives”. Social selling is the way forward.
Selling will always retain its person-to-person attribute. Today, the sales process is better defined by the relationship you build with your prospect.
According to The Aberdeen Group’s report, published in Feb 2013, sales professionals who use social selling help best-in-class companies achieve a 16 percent gain in year-over-year revenue. That’s four times better than at typical companies.
There are many books on social selling. “You are the key – Unlocking doors through Social Selling” is a book, where the authors not only provides information about social selling but it also contains the methods to enable social selling for an individual and for the organization. The social selling book enables the audience understand the importance of social selling to approach and engage the prospects and enable them by guiding step by step process. It is one of the most practical book to leverage social media for social selling.
Surveys of marketing execs conducted by Gartner found that 89 percent of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience by 2016, compared to just over a third of companies five years ago. Customer obsession is healthy and absolutely essential in the crowded international marketplace.
Internal Social / Employee Social Advocacy
The third of many priorities B2B digital marketers are focusing on into 2016 is centered around further developing internal social media literacy, competency and advocacy for the brand. Business is personal and self-directed buyers trust peers and network connections far more than advertising. For medium to large companies, the scalability in reach and engagement through internal social media programs can be significant.