Sales, Marketing, and setting up sales enablement functions have been my passion for years. I have been very fortunate to contribute in this area for two decades actively. One of the perks I have had is meeting some exceptional leaders and strategists along the way. In a recent conversation with Amit Dengle, Director of Research Advisory at ISG, we had some fascinating discussions about the future of sales organizations and how it will all evolve. Here are a few highlights of the conversations that I thought could interest you.
From Individual experiences to Tribal intelligence – Sales has come a long way
One of the most impacted job roles due to Covid is a sales executive’s job. With limited in-person interactions, almost zero in-person meetings, and practically no time to experiment alternatives, every sales leader exhibited the highest resilience levels during the pandemic. What was considered a temporary digital shift is now proving to be the new norm. We have seen phenomenal adoption levels for social media-based sales strategies during this shift.
While the traditional relationship-based sales approach is irreplaceable, the social media-based selling approach is taking center stage and now there seems no look back. Research by SuperOffice shows that individuals and teams that leveraged social media generally fared much better than those that did not.
Changes in Decision making patterns
It is exciting to note how the overall decision-making process has shifted from ‘individual experience based’ to tribal experience driven’ in the last few years. Virtual communities which share their experiences working with specific vendors have started to play a critical role in the way executives make their choices. A simple example of such tribal experience
centers is the G2Crowd. The coverage on G2’s software comparison has gone up from a few hundred to several thousand, with more than 5 million users rating their experiences and sharing their insights on alternative solutions.
Social selling has arrived and infact, there is the choice of platforms for different organizations, sectors, geographies, and buyers. Examples include – LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Xing, etc Even the rise of new platforms like TikTok is an excellent example of how modern buyers have evolved and will continue to evolve.
The benefits of social selling
Social selling brings tremendous advantages in connecting with the stakeholders and generating leads. Here are the top 10 benefits (not in the order) –
- Understand the recent launches and focus areas of the prospect’s organisation
- It gives a good view of organisation’s strategy and direction
- Provides a view on the critical decision-makers and influencers in the organisation
- Highlights the advisors, thought leaders that the prospects follow and hence understanding the circle of influence
- Building a good understanding of prospect’s priorities and focus areas
- Helps in discovering the common tenets, joints to connect with the prospects beyond business
- Identify the choice of events that they attend and follow and hence increase in the probability of inviting / meeting (in Virtual world too)
- Social feeds keep the vendors updated in the real-time on shifting priorities, focus areas, and the movements
- More importantly, an alternate channel to connect and chat and position your proposition
- Pushing the right content in a thought-provoking way to gain mindshare of the prospects and generate interest and lead.
Next Article –
There is more to social selling. In the next series, we will deep-dive into the different content formats and lead generation possibilities in the hybrid workspace.
The views expressed by the authors are their own and do not represent the companies that they work with.
Authors – Sudhanshu Gupta and Amit Dengle.
Sudhanshu Gupta: Sudhanshu heads marketing, strategy, and demand generation for Virtusa – UK, Europe, and the Middle East. His core areas of expertise lie in setting up and institutionalizing marketing, presales, and sales enablement functions.
Amit Dengle: Based in Melbourne, Amit currently works at ISG as a Director and Head of Research Advisory for technology providers that have growth mandates in the European region. Amit advises his clients in the area of top-line growth planning, innovation management, and culture & people. His core area of expertise and interest is building exceptional experiences and measuring them for commercialization.