My Blog is Dead …. Long Live my Blog! #SocialSelling

blog-pic-b2cPublished my first blog on the 25th February 2014, following that I’ve publish 65 posts.

My objective was to get read, never thought I would get some many followers, retweets and meet so many interesting people. Back then I didn’t really understand what community meant, I do now.

But the time has come to move on. Wednesday 5th August, will be the day I cut new blog and a new adventure.

I’m hoping you will stick with me.

SP_the_aft_lounge_03socialsaleslounge.com Will be the same me, writing about Social Selling and as I’ve always written. No fluffy, meaningless slogans, but real solutions you can implement to over achieve your number, quicker.

In addition, I’m going to invite the people that influence me to guest blog.  (If you are interested in guest blogging then please contact me tim_hughes1@hotmail.com )

There is a new Twitter handle @SocialSalesLnge to support this community, and you can still find me at @Timothy_Hughes

My partner in this new adventure @Mbrit will make his own contributions as well has support the venture from a technical nature.

Do hope we can count on your support.

 

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips to get into Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com or contact me at LinkedIn

 

Marketing for #SocialSelling Success, an interview with @Timothy_Hughes by @traackr

tim_hughesInfluence Marketing software company Traackr interviewed me on Social Selling and the use Of Influence Marketing.

The full interview can be found at the link here

@delph003 EMEA Marketing Manager for Traackr asked me a number of questions and we chatted for such a long time that we split the interview into 2.  This is part 2.

You can find Part 1 here

The questions I answer in this second half of the interview are:

Q1 – What is the role of marketing for social selling success?

Marketing Content

Marketing Automation

Q2: How can influencer marketing support social selling efforts?

Q3: Where do you source your best content?

Would be interested in your comments.  Have you come across something similar?

 

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips to get into Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com or contact me at LinkedIn

The Rise Of Influence In Sales #Socialselling

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 16.11.20Influence Marketing software company Traackr interviewed me on Social Selling and the use Of Influence Marketing.

The full interview can be found at the link here

@delph003 EMEA Marketing Manager for Traackr asked me a number of questions and we chatted for such a long time that we split the interview into 2.  This is part 1.

The questions I answer in this first half of the interview are:-

Q1:  How has social media impacted the sales process?

Q2: How do you see social selling evolving over the next few years?

Q3: How did you become such a social selling influencer?

 

Would be interested in your comments.  Have you come across something similar?

 

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips to get into Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com or contact me at LinkedIn

22% of B2B Sales People will be Replaced by Search Engines by 2020 #SocialSelling

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 11.24.11Taxi for the B2B Salesperson?

In Forrester’s US B2B eCommerce Forecast: 2015 to 2020 they quote that “74% of B2B buyers research, at least one-half of their work purchases online. In addition, 30% of today’s B2B buyers complete at least half of their work purchases online. With that percentage nearly doubling to 56% by 2017, B2B sellers will see a significant volume of offline business move online in the next few years.”

IMG_0495Taking those facts further, at the recent Forrester’s Sales Enablement Forum , a study by Andy Hoar, Principal Analyst at Forrester, revealed that he expected 22% of B2B Sales jobs go by 2020.  With Enterprise purchases taking place online this means the traditional B2B sales person is being replaced by Search Engines, YouTube, websites etc.  The Diagram top left is Forester’s view on how what will replace the B2B Sales person.

IMG_0806Are Things Really that Bad?

Recently talking to a friend of mine who works for an “Enterprise” Cloud technology company, they relayed this story.  An inbound sales call, that went like this;

Caller: “We want to buy your product, can you tell me how much it is please?”

Salesperson: “Er, OK, but how can this be, don’t you want a demo?”

Caller: “No, we have done our research for a new product online and we watched your demos on Youtube.  We have decided yours is the best, so we just need to check it meets our budget and then we would like to go ahead.”

This means that 90% of the research has taken place on-line.

This conversation, (let’s assume it’s an exception) seems to back up the Forrester research, but could Forrester be understating things?  In my experience in talking and working with companies we (in sales) have reached a tipping point.

What Does that Mean for us B2B Sales People?

Not sure if my friend had realised but she had gone from being a (in my opinion a highly respected) B2B Salesperson to an Order Taker.  Nothing wrong in being an order taker, but when most of us started out on the road into sales, it wasn’t where we want to be.  So Where do we go from here?

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 16.48.59“Move up, Move down or Get Out”

I was once given some advice when it comes to significant moves in the market; “Move up, Move down or get out”.  You can apply that to this situation. The “Boston Square” on the left from Forrester shows how Salespeople and Sales organisations need to organise themselves as the market shifts to be completely buyer centric.  

With people getting more used to, and more comfortable with, buying (high value) B2B products over the web.  With technical details, pricing, and product demos all available over the web, I can see a continuation of the commoditisation of the buying process.

Sales people need to raise their game and while not be Thought Leaders they need to be a “beacon” in their given niche and or industry.

If you are in sales, here is some good news, or at least a solution.

What Does a B2B SalesPerson Need to do So They Don’t Become Irrelevant?

Let’s look at that Data from Forrester in more detail (Just remember this is US data, as I write for a global audience, you can question this is the same in your geography, but in the UK where I live, where the US leads, the UK will follow).  See panel below.  It’s all doom and gloom apart from one area.Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 17.13.10

Let me repeat what Forrester say ….

“”Consultants,” who have extensive knowledge about the buyer’s company to help the buyer understand what her company needs to purchase. Job gain: 10%, to 550,000 from 500,000.

Companies need to undertake a major transformation of their sales force.  One tactic of that will be to undertake a Strategic Social Selling program (starting, obviously, at the top management) and employee advocacy program across your organisation.

The Harvard Business Review puts it more eloquently  Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 17.28.38

More Details of the Forrester Report

Forrester says the biggest impact will be on sales reps at wholesalers and distributors, but less so in such industries as high-tech manufacturers and providers of healthcare technology.

Forrester indicates that trend toward more self-service online research and ordering is only likely to increase as more companies that sell to businesses and government agencies get more into e-commerce.  In many cases for B2B buyers, Hoar says, e-commerce “has taken away the need to talk to someone to explain things.”

Reduce your Cost per Sales Transaction from $24.48 to $1.50 …

Another trend contributing to the shift to self-service e-commerce is the increased efficiency online order brings to sellers—for example,  through lower employee costs and overall operating expenses, Forrester says. “A company we interviewed estimates that it reduced its cost per order from $24.48 per transaction via a salesperson-driven paper-based ordering system to $1.50 per transaction via a customer self-serve e-commerce,” the report says.

Forrester also notes, that B2B buyers will continue to purchase through sales reps in certain situations, such as for complex products and systems procured across large enterprises. Yet even in these situations, communications between buyer and reps are going more digital, Hoar says. “They’re increasingly conducting those negotiations with salespeople by way of digital means such as email, [live] chat, and collaborative software as opposed to via a traditional phone call,” the report says.  For example, I’m aware of a company that purchased a $350,000 product via Skype, no face to face meetings took place.

Further reading:

Tom Pisello: The ROI Guy: Death of a Salesman?   Tom has an excellent blog, if you don’t follow it already.

Harvard Business Review: B2B Salespeople Can Survive If They Reimagine Their Roles

Why Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang wants you to follow him on Twitter http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/techflash/2015/04/lenovo-ceo-yuanqing-yang-twitter.html?ana=twt via @TriangleBIZJrnl

Really keen to get your comments, agree or disagree, help shape the debate.  What are your own experiences in your customers and prospects?  Please leave any suggestions or comments below.

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips to get into Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com or contact me at LinkedIn

 

Using Foursquare, Swarm, Instagram and WordSwag to get C-Level Meetings #SocialSelling

social-selling-one-more-thing-to-doIn my discussions with Paul @snapdragon_paul which became the post Using Twitter to get C-Level Appointments a Case Study there was more material for just one post, so created two blog posts.

This highly successful blog, has created significant discussion, debate and traffic.  It really “blew the notion out of the water”, that there is no ROI in Social Selling.  Well worth a read, if you haven’t already.

In this blog I will go through some of the ways Paul is using other forms of Social Media to get C-Level meeting.  (In the previous week to this blog, he made 12 appointments!)

4SquareUsing Foursquare and Swarm for Prospect Engagement

When I did some training on cold calling the advice was to move the discussion away from a decision on a meeting, yes or no, to an option.  The advice was also to pose a question such as; “Can we get together to discuss this?  I’m in the area next Tuesday or Thursday, which is better?”  Thus moving the emphasis from yes or no to the meeting, making the dilemma over Tuesday or Thursday.

Foursquare and Swarm let’s you “check-in” to locations, it uses the geo-location functionality of your phone to do this.  Thus you can see where you prospect currently is.  Paul has used this in a number of situations where he has been able to say “I’m in the area, or just down the road’ why don’t we have a quick 30 minute get together?.

IFTTNote: Swarm is not linked to Klout, (this blog isn’t about the the pros and cons of Klout), he is therefore using If This then That (IFTT) to take any Swarm update and post it to LinkedIn.  While this is “good” for his Klout score, it also “double dips” the information so he is also getting traction / engagement on LinkedIn as well as Swarm.  He gave me an example, where he got a meeting with a Marketing Director where he had posted on Swarm but the post was picked up on LinkedIn..  As many Big Brands are now “listening” to Social Media, the fact that somebody is checking in with them means (based on your well crafted message) they may want to engage as much as you do.

Paul is also using Foursquare and Swarm to contact somebody to help him “piggy back” off that person to get to the true target.

InstagramInstagram Usage by C-Level People

He and I are not seeing Instagram being used by C-Level people, but if you find them on there, it is often a good way to listen to somebody or get an understanding of their wants and needs.  For example, they are posting photos of their dog, cats, coffee etc.  More on this in a bit.

Riffle GoogleChrome Plug-In

Riffle by CrowdRiff teaches you about a prospects Social community.  It’s a good way to learn about your prospects to enable you to “break the ice” it also gives you the top 5 people they interact with, which enables you to build out your network.

IMG_0389WordSwag

WordSwag is an App the Paul and I use that allows your to create quotes against a pictorial background.  This type of personalised Micro content is getting Paul a 90% response rate.  An example WordSwag is to the left.  Paul has got inspiration for a WordSwag that he sent over Twitter, based on a contacts interests and posts on Instagram.  For example, Paul tells me how he researched a senior influencer, nobody had been able to track the person down on email or the phone.  He researched them on LinkedIn and Instagram, sent over a Wordswag and he has them presenting at one of his events.  Boom

 

If during your journey you come up with other ideas, I would love to hear from you. Please leave any suggestions or comments below.

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer, his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips on Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com

 

Social Selling With @Timothy_Hughes – Interview with @KymLamSam #socialselling

tim_hughesLink to interview with Kym Lam Sam @KymLamSam.

Kym writes blog for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses and was keen to understand how Social Selling will / can impact SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) and Sole Traders.

He is also keen to understand the impact of “rejection” in sales and how Social Selling can reduce rejection.  In other words, how can we increase the chance of success.

Over the 30 minute interview Kym asks me the following questions:-

Q1. You have 25 years of sales understanding under your belt. Is the practice of social media selling the same as traditional real world selling? If so, what are the similarities and if not, what are the differences?

Q2. Personal branding is becoming more and more of a necessity with the increased use of social media. People are wanting REAL connections. What are some of the most important things to consider when you want to get noticed online?

Q3. Rejection is a big fear that a lot of people share. It can also be quote deflating when you’re excited about what you have to offer and somebody throws it back in your face. Is there a way for someone to minimize the chances of rejection?

Q4. On the topic of rejection, when one is rejected, what is the best way to review/analyze your rejection in order to learn from it?

Q5. How can people be assertive without being pushy?

Link to interview is here http://www.kymlamsam.com/?p=11272

 

If during your journey you come up with other ideas, I would love to hear from you. Please leave any suggestions or comments below.

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer, his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips on Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com

 

Social influencer Tim Hughes: Big Ideas for the next Industrial Revolution

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 08.30.16The Procurement Social Network Procurious interviewed me about a number of subjects and below is a link to that interview, the questions being:-

Procurious asks: In your Twitter bio you call yourself a pioneer of Social Selling – could you distil it for the uninitiated?

Procurious: Mastering social selling – if you were to promote best practice, what would be your top 5 tips?

Procurious: Innovation in the social space – your thoughts on the likes of Periscope and Meerkat. Will they stick around, what do they offer social storytellers etc.

Procurious: Gamification – is it important/how can it be used to effectively breed user loyalty?

Procurious: Why should we be encouraging procurement professionals to face their fears and get on social networks?

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 08.30.31Procurious: Can you recommend some actions to help social-networking newbies spread and grow their online influence?

And finally, look forward to 2030. How will the social landscape have changed, what’s your Big idea for social?

https://www.procurious.com/blog/generation-procurement/social-influencer-tim-hughes-big-ideas-for-the-next-industrial-revolution

 

If during your journey you come up with other ideas, I would love to hear from you. Please leave any suggestions or comments below.

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer, his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips on Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com