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27 surprising facts about salespeople who are Social Selling 0

Posted on July 20, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Social Selling

Social Selling is the use of social media to interact directly with prospects, to answer questions and offer thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.

Social selling is not hard selling. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s about discovering people who may eventually be interested in what you’re selling – then making yourself useful to them. For salespeople, especially in B2B industries, its purpose is to establish relevance to prospects rather than interrupt their daily lives with cold calls and sales pitches.

It’s not a buzzword. It’s a real way for generating revenue and results. Here are 27 facts about salespeople who are Social Selling.

  1. IBM saw an Increase of 400% in sales in a Social Selling Pilot Program (source: IBM)
  2. 98% of sales reps with 5000+ LinkedIn connections achieve quota (source: Sales Benchmark Index)
  3. 90% of C-suite executive say they never respond to cold calls or email blasts (source: Harvard Business Review)
  4. 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine (source: Fleishman-Hillard)
  5. 86% of IT buyers use social media in their purchase decision process (source: IDG Connect)
  6. 82% of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared (source: SiriusDecisions)
  7. 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers. (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  8. 75% of customers say they use social media as part of the buying process (source: IBM)
  9. 75% of the sales people said they have not received formal training from their company on how to use social media (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  10. 74% of B2B marketing companies use Twitter to distribute content (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  11. 72.6% of salespeople using social media outperformed their sales peers (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  12. 61% of US marketers use social media for lead generation (source: IBM)
  13. 57% of the buying process is done before sales contact (source: Corporate Executive Board)
  14. 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media (source: MediaBistro)
  15. 54% who used social media tracked their social media usage back to at least one closed deal. (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  16. 50.1% of sales people who report using social media state that they spend less than 10% of their selling time using social media (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  17. 50%-70% of the buying process happens before salespeople get involved (source: Forrester)
  18. 50% of identified sales leads are not ready to buy (source: Gleanster)
  19. 42% Follow or Like a friend or brand; 79% are motivated to do this in order to learn more about the brand (source: Fleishman-Hillard)
  20. Over 40% said they’ve closed between two and five deals as a result of social media. (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  21. Social media users were 23% more successful than their non-social media peers. (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  22. Today’s sales process takes 22% longer than 5 years ago (source: SiriusDecisions)
  23. 15% of non social media users missed quota 15% more often than their sales peers using social media (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  24. More than 10% of the respondents said; “Yes, It directly contributes to my closes.” (source: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)
  25. You are almost 5X more likely to schedule a first meeting if you have a personal LinkedIn connection (source: Sales Benchmark Series)
  26. Marketers spend an average of 4-6 hours a week on social media (source: Social Media Examiner)
  27. B2B marketers who use Twitter generate 2X as many leads as those that do not (source: Inside View)

If a picture helps explain some of these statistics, below is an infographic from Inside View.

Do these facts about sales people who are Social Selling surprise you? Does your company engage in Social Selling? Do you think your company could be getting better results?

Social Selling Infographic

30 hard facts on content marketing to drive ROI 1

Posted on July 06, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant, and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action.

How important is content marketing to profitably running a business?

The marketing decisions any company on the internet has to make is how to invest between “owned,” (a website, video, CRM system), “earned,” (communications that commented, liked and/or shared) and “paid” (ads – search, display, banner, native) properties. Anything a company can do is going to fit in one of these areas.

What sort of return should your company expect from content marketing investments in these areas? Here are 30 hard facts about the content marketing to drive ROI.

OWNED

  • 93% of B2B marketers report to using content marketing in their marketing mix (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. (Inbound Writer)
  • 86% of B2C marketers include content marketing in their marketing mix (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 81% create content for social media (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 73% of B2B organizations have a person dedicated to overseeing content marketing strategy (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content. (Custom Content Council)
  • 58% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their budgets on content marketing in the next 12 months (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 55% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their budgets on content marketing in the next year (source: Custom Content Marketing Institute)
  • 40-40% are expecting to increase their output for web updates, SEO content and social content next year (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 30% of B2B budgets are currently allocated to content marketing (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 28% of B2C budgets are currently allocated to content marketing (source: Custom Content Council)
  • 43.9 billion was spent on custom content spending on production and distribution last year (up 9.2% versus the previous year) (source: Custom Content Council)

EARNED

  • 97% of websites with blogs see more indexed pages on search engines (source: Content+)
  • 82% of consumers trust a company more when the CEO/leadership team are active social media users (source: TopRank)
  • 82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their inbound marketing (source: HubSpot)
  • 70% of people want to learn about product through content rather than traditional advertising (source: Business Intelligence)
  • 67% more leads per month on average are generated by B2B companies that blog than non-blogging firms  (Social Media B2B)
  • 50% of buying decisions are made because of word of mouth (source: Content+)
  • Roughly 50% of marketers struggle with producing enough content, and producing content that engages (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 23% of all time online is spent on social media and blogs (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 10-20% of website content drives 90% of it’s web traffic; 0.5% of that content drives over 50% of traffic (source: Inbound Writer)
  • 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day (AOL)
  • Top 3 reasons people follow brands on social media are interesting content (Content+)
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links (Content+)

PAID

  • 79% of marketers report that their organizations are shifting to branded content (source: Forrester)
  • 77% of business buyers prefer different content at various stages of the product research process (source: SalesForce)
  • 72% of Marketers think that branded content is more effective than magazine advertisements (source: Content Council)
  • 69% say it’s superior to direct mail and PR (source: Content Council)
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads (source: Business Marketing Insider)
  • 62% of companies outsource their content marketing. (Mashable)
  • three content marketing tactics that deliver the highest ROI are featured articles (cited by 62% of marketers), video (52%) and white papers (46%) (source: eMarketer)

To understand the anatomy of content marketing, below is an infographic from Content+.

Do these facts convince you content marketing could change your ROI?

 

11 ways to find your brand voice 4

Posted on June 29, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Brand Voice

A brand voice is how a brand speaks to its audiences.

It connects a vision, mission and values to a personality; done well, it’s is relevant, timely and builds relationships that last. It’s the human face for a business or company. It’s an expression of the people behind the brand. It sets your company apart and builds trust.

Particularly in the digital channel, with the depth of information on a website and publishing opportunities available through social media, it is an essential consideration to your brand platform

Here are 11 ways to find your brand voice.

  1. GET IN THE PRACTICE OF STORYTELLING: In marketing a product, you search for a “unique selling proposition.” For your brand voice, you tell your “unique story.” Every brand has one. They just have to find it. Tell it is small, manageable chapters to learn what resonates with your audience. Don’t be afraid to re-tell it.. If it means something to your audience, they’ll want to hear it again.
  2. LOOK FOR YOUR ARCHETYPE: To help tell your story, the term “archetypes”, as it is used in marketing, has its origins in Carl Gustav Jung’s theories. He believed that universal, mythic characters— archetypes—reside within the collective subconscious of people the world over. Archetypal images represent fundamental human desires and evoke deep emotions. There are 12 archetypes which symbolizes a basic human need, aspiration or motivation. For example, Disney is the Innocent; Jeep is the Explorer and Nike is the Hero. There is an archetype that is a fit with your brand to guide in telling your unique story.
  3. DEVELOP YOUR LANGUAGE: To address the needs of our audience, develop the language that stands for the problems your brand solves. Your expertise. What your business does, or makes or provides better than anyone else. It’s not only your differentiation but the keywords help be found on the internet.
  4. CREATE BUYER PERSONAS: A representation of your ideal buyers based on market research and real data about your existing customers are buyer personas. They provide tremendous structure and insight for your company. Buyer Personas help you to  have better conversations that attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business
  5. SHOW YOUR AUDIENCE YOU SHARE THEIR VALUES: How you relate to your audience is not just what you offer but the values you have in common. They are established through conversation, dialogue and action. They form bonds that can carry you through a crisis.
  6. DEFINE YOUR COMMUNICATION CHANNELS: 54% of people find a website through natural search;  32% through social networks and 28% from links from other websites according to Forrester. While it’s important to broadcast, it is more more to know the different benefits of each channel. For example, Twitter may be the best channel for spreading your content, Facebook for sharing, LinkedIn for comments and email marketing for speaking to key customers. This help to manage your time and expectations.
  7. PRACTICE THE 80/20 RULE: There is an 80/20 rule the Content Marketing Institute finds to me true about content for brands. 80% of content should be about your customers and trying to solve customer challenges. 20% can be sales-related and talk about products and services. This is a good guideline to observe.
  8. BE AUTHENTIC, CONSISTENT AND HUMAN: Regardless of what product or service you offer, customers are drawn to brands that deliver on honesty and authenticity. Whether it’s through tweets, blogposts, webinars, or any other type of communication, make sure you’re a true problem-solver.  Since it plays a crucial role in ensuring brands come through on that act of integrity, brands need to engage in conversations to build long-term relationships.
  9. LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE: If you ask someone what they need, they might not know. But if you listen carefully to what problems they are having, then you just might figure out what they’d really like to see from you.
  10. BE WILLING TO CHANGE: There’s something to be said for staying consistent, but, if you learn something new by listening, be willing to change. An enduring brand voice is one that stays relevant because is able to adapt to changing needs and tastes..
  11. WALK YOUR TALK: Substantiate your voice with your actions. Respond to detractors when they come out. Get back to people in a timely manner. Offer proof points that you deliver on what you say. Do unto your audience as you would like them to do unto you.

Does you brand have a voice? What is it that sets it apart? How does your business tell its unique story?

 

21 reasons every business should have KPIs 0

Posted on June 22, 2014 by Rob Petersen

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of an organization. They will differ depending on the organization.

Erica Olsen of OnStrategy explains in this brief video what KPIs are, why you choose the metrics that matter most and how to set up a KPI dashboard as an actionable scorecard to keep your strategy on track.

But it takes work to align a company around common goals, establish key metrics and create regular reporting. Is it worth the effort? Here are 21 reasons every business should have KPIs.

  1. CLARIFIES EXPECTATIONS: What is expected can be communicated in a clear and unambiguous manner
  2. DIRECTS BEHAVIORS: Unless you explain how to measure progress and success, people create their own assumptions and follow them
  3. FOCUSES ATTENTION:  When people are faced with so many competing demands on their time and resources, what is measured tends to get their attention – particularly when it is linked to reward systems
  4. IMPROVES EXECUTION: If you don’t measure, it’s a lot harder to know what to execute
  5. INCREASES OBJECTIVITY: Management is by facts instead of feelings and instincts
  6. MAKES PERFORMANCE VISIBLE: It puts what is most important out in the open
  7. FACILITATES FEEDBACK: Feedback in the form of timely, relevant measures is the basic navigational device of any individual or organisation
  8. IMPROVES DECISION MAKING. One of the major causes of failure in decision-making is poor or non-existent use of data
  9. REDUCES UNNECESSARY OPINIONS: Instincts and gut feelings may have a place in business analysis but they are mostly relevant to the person who has them. But one clear visualization of key data can clarify a thousand opinions
  10. QUANTIFIES ACHIEVEMENT: Progress is measured by impact on goals and measured against a standard or target
  11. PROVIDES FOCUS WHEN THERE IS CHAOS: When an unexpected competitive development or operational snafu occurs, there is a clear picture of the direction what really matters
  12. IDENTIFIES ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS: Because key metrics are chosen, insights are clearer and easier to identify
  13. ACHIEVES TARGETS SET BY STRATEGY: If analysis is based on a strategic goal and cause and effect analysis, it’s easier to identify steps that enable your organization to hit key business targets
  14. MEASURES VITAL ACTIVITIES: In addition to enabling company to hit key targets, KPIs identify the vital activities that enable companies to hit them again.
  15. IDENTIFIES NEED FOR RESOURCES: No one likes having their budget cut. When your key measurements are established, the need for funding or staff is easier to justify, harder to refute and better for negotiation
  16. CREATES ACTION: If a group of people meet regularly to look at key metrics chosen around a common goal, “what do we do based on these results” occurs much more naturally and effectively
  17. CREATES CONSISTENCY IN ACTION: Not only does action occur but it occurs more consistently. Big results usually happen when small steps are taken, continuously.
  18. FOSTERS COLLABORATION: The people involved with the business work better together because they share the common bond of establishing the strategy, choosing the key metrics, creating the reports and taking the action that come from regular review of the KPIs
  19. ESTABLISHES ACCOUNTABILITY: When people collaborate around a common goal and key measurements, they more likely to recognize their accountability and it’s more effectively enforced
  20. MEASURES CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION FOR REAL: A key metric many company choose as a KPI is customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction or both. The KPI process makes this possible. When look at relative to other key metrics, it provides real evidence for satisfaction and dissatisfaction as well as a course of action if improvements need to occur
  21. ARE THE ACTIONABLE SCORECARD TO KEEP STRATEGY ON TRACK: The educator and creator of the Peter Principle, Laurence Peter, said: “If you don’t know where you, you’ll probably end up someplace else.” KPIs are the best means a company to stick to strategy and not end up someplace else.

Does your business have KPIs? Do these reflect key benefits to you? Are there others you would add? Does you company need help establishing KPIs to keep your strategy on track?

 

15 B2B case studies prove Social Media ROI 0

Posted on May 24, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

B2B social media

(full infographic below)

There are differences marketing to a business versus marketing to a consumer.

When you market B2B:

  • Decision making is based more on logic than emotion
  • Cost of a sale is more expensive
  • Time to make a sale takes longer
  • Businesses work to streamline the buying process to save time and money
  • Multiple people are involved in the process

Maybe for these reasons, many people think social media marketing cannot work in B2B like it is in B2C, or does not work in general.

If you need convincing, here are 15 B2B case studies that prove Social Media ROI.

  1. ADP: Developed a content marketing campaign to connect and engage with their target audience on a ADP solution using white papers and a diagnostic assessment tool. The campaign generated over $1 million in new sales opportunities with several deals closed within the first 3 months of launch.
  2. CISCO: Has long been engaged in social media activity, often running campaigns alongside its ongoing engagement strategy. To demonstrate the extent to which this has impacted the company, it launched a new router using only social channels and saved an estimated $100,000.
  3. CROWE HORWATH: the public accounting firm used 48 pieces of content in 4 different topic areas, this campaign targeted C-level prospects in financial institutions with $1 billion or more in assets across the buying cycle. Content tactics included: executive briefs, case studies, infographics, checklists, Q and A, and Brainshark video. 778 contacts were engaged with a 70% open rate (vs. 10%), 2 engagement worth $250k in revenue.
  4. DEMANDBASEA B2B marketing cloud, helped B2B marketers make the right content technology investment by using a white paper, infographic, webinar, Slideshare and a live presentation to spotlight tools that can maximize the power of content. The results of the campaign generated 1,700 leads, 125 webinar participants, 5,000 views on Slideshare and $1 million in new business.
  5. FISHER TANK: Makes giant, above-ground welded steel tanks. With clients in the fuel industries, waste water, pulp & paper and other industrial and municipal areas, projects tend to be big (multi-million dollar) and take a long time to sell (12 months and longer). For more than 60 years, the company has made its sales primarily through cold calling and referrals from existing clients. So it took some moxy to launch a content marketing strategy online. The plan including sprucing up the website, integrating a blog and social sharing, and offering some valuable content by free download. The campaign increased web traffic by 119%, traffic from social media by 4800%, lead conversions by 3900%, quote requests by 500% and new qualified sales opportunities by $3.4 million.
  6. IBM: developed a social sales program for their inside sales team. They identified their target audience and monitored social media platforms for relevant topics and conversation. The company trained their sales team to nurture online relationships and drive prospects to team members’ websites. As a result of this focus on social sales and personnel training, IBM saw a 400% in sales.
  7. LINKEDIN:  Had to be convert to social selling. After the release of tools such as Sales Navigator and TeamLink, LinkedIn’s own sales team began seeing significant results. Ralf VonSosen, the company’s head of marketing for sales solutions notes, “We started seeing a 50% increase in leads to meeting conversion rates.”
  8. LOGICALL: A company that focuses on inbound and outbound customer management solutions, uses content assets such as emails, microsite and ebook, Logicalis developed a thought leadership effort that supported sales teams by enabling custom messaging based on the prospects interaction with the campaign. With a target audience of about 2,000, nearly $8 million in new pipeline business was closed.
  9. MAERSK: Danish shipping company Maersk first began using social back in 2011 to raise brand awareness, gain insight into the market, increase employee satisfaction and get closer to its customers, It focuses on the stories that emerge from within the business, such as how it is helping fuel a boom in the sale of Kenyan avocados and where its staff come from. Its presence on each network is tailored to that platform, so for example on LinkedIn it promotes job vacancies and publishes articles about the work culture within the business, while on Instagram it encourages followers to post photos of its ships using the hashtag #Maersk. Maersk now has more than 1.5m Facebook fans (of which around 15% are customers) and 12,000 Twitter followers, as well as active accounts on Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+ and
  10. OPENTEXT: A software solution for enterprise information management, created a personalized new customer onboarding site offering a variety of assets (white papers, checklists, product pages, ebooks, case studies) and content to welcome new clients and provide upsell, cross-sell opportunities. The campaign also included a two phase nurturing program. 1,700 new contacts were identified along with 31 new opportunities worth $1.8 million.
  11. OPTUM: A health services business, created an integrated marketing campaign to support the launch of a new solution, support sales and build thought leadership. The content marketing mix included: advertorials, display ads, email, direct mail and a campaign website. The successful campaign earned a 23.5 lead to conversion rate, 475% increase in website traffic, 2,500+ resource downloads, 28% increase in YoY blog followers and $52 million in contract value of new business with less than $ 1,000,000 invested.
  12. RS COMPONENTS: The electronic product distribution company created a specific social hub, spanning four different languages, having the purpose of being a collaboration and engagement hub for Electronic Design Engineering. One of the centrepieces of the site is the free tool store, which includes a free design tool that’s been downloaded more than 60,000 times and the site itself gathered more than 45,000 members within its first 12-month period.
  13. SAP: The global strategy was aimed at enabling cross-cultural information to be efficiently shared around the company. SAP Latin AmericaOne year after implementing this strategy SAP Latin America had more than 100,000 fans and followers (an increase of 900%) and achieved a 17% interaction rate across  the region, while a campaign featuring a social app targeting specific buying centers drove more than 12,000 visitors and a 15% engagement rate. has four Facebook pages, four Twitter feeds and two LinkedIn accounts. These profiles are split out by language (e.g. Portuguese and Spanish) rather than country and aim at achieving a split of 20% promotion material vs. 80% of interesting, engaging content for its community.
  14. SHIPSERV: It’s difficult to imagine the maritime industry getting to grips with social media, but Shipserv one of the leading industry marketplaces, proves that in can be done very successfully.As part of a wider marketing strategy and customer engagement strategy, various social approaches were taken, resulting in greater site traffic, alongside increased brand awareness and lead opportunities.From an initial $30,000 social media marketing investment, it’s estimated the overall results achieved would have cost more than $150,000 through traditional media.
  15. XEROX: Created a targeted “Get Optimistic” campaign to connect with 30 top accounts and partnered with Forbes to create a magazine that offered relevant business tips. 70% of targeted companies interacted with the microsite, readership increased 300-400% over previous email campaigns, added 20,000 new contacts, generated 1,000+ scheduled appointments, and get this: yielded $1.3 BILLION in pipeline revenue.

If you need more convincing, you can download my complimentary eBook, 166 Case Studies Prove Social Media Marketing ROI. It’s free with just a just a click on the sidebar of this website. No information is required. It’s been downloaded by over 100,000 people so far. Or you can view the infographic below.

Do this case studies convince you? Does your business need help proving Social Media ROI?

B2B social media infographic

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