Build Your Professional Relationships into Social Strategic Partnerships

By Janice B Gordon | B2B Sales

Feb 13
Scale Your Sales Blog

The world has evolved; created by challenges in the global economic environment and the advances in technology. Sales leaders must now overcome three pressing problems:

  • Unmotivated sales reps.
  • Under-performance of sales teams.
  • Lack of access to decision-makers.

The Reasons Why B2B Sales Must Adapt

90% of decision-makers will not answer cold contacts, but 80% of connections on LinkedIn are open to new opportunities. 57% of buyers are in the decision-making process before reaching out to you and your company.

The buying process is more complicated because services are becoming personalised and bespoke. CEB’s research shows that the average B2B opportunity has 5.4 decision makers involved. Today’s purchasing decisions need more discussion and due diligence. Buyers are careful to choose whom they allow on to their shortlist. Sales reps must now establish many relationships within an account or company if they are to develop a long-term preferred buyer relationship.

It is unlikely that one person decides to invest and buy. The decision-making unit contains gatekeepers, users, initiators, influencers, users, buyers and decision-makers.

Social: A Way Sales Professionals Are Adapting

I talk about and do social selling to nurture online relationships. Technology makes you more efficient in targeting of buyers, users, influencer and decision-makers. It cannot do the whole job. That’s because your products and solutions tend to be bespoke and so more complicated. To educate buyers and build the necessary trust, you need to develop good, old-fashioned human interaction.

According to HubSpot, “Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.”

The 2014 IDC report, found that 3/4 B2B buyers and 8/10 executive buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions. Buyers who use social media are more influential, have larger budgets, and buy frequently. Since these are the buyers you want to engage with, it makes sense to engage with them on social platforms and bypass the gatekeepers.

To engage sales professionals and to them engage decision-makers; you must personalise the engagement and the service. Afterall, decision-makers are people, and even in B2B relationships, people buy people.

Scale Your Sales: Build Your Professional Relationships into Social Strategic Partnerships

Even the superstar sales reps will become unmotivated at some point. It is not only about creating resilience but creating a strategy that helps the salesperson to regenerate. Actions are reflected in your beliefs if you work on your beliefs, and your actions are consistent then your energy to perform your efforts will not become drained. Visibly showing-up as a trusted advisor with a credible solution.

2/3rd of sales reps fail to reach their annual sales quota, which is a staggering statistic. Sales productivity is maximising sales revenue results while minimising cost and time resources. Scale your sales helps build efficiency and effectiveness by focusing on the areas that give the highest ROI, reducing waste and increasing effectiveness.

50% missed their quotas for the year, and 33% attributed their lost deals to a lack of visibility with key decision makers. A business partnership is an elevated professional relationship. Social is a conversation whether online or offline. The online discussion assures your decision-makers of a trustworthy person and business.

 

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About the Author

Janice is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Management. She is passionate about helping companies adapt their sales approach to the economic, social and technological challenges. This has led her to create the popular the sales enablement system, Scale Your Sales. Janice is the international Strategic Account Sales Speaker, author and consultant, achieving many noted accolades including Sage Top100 Global Business Influencer 2017. Contact Janice today about Scaling your Sales