Social Selling Success – Top-10 for Tracking, Tracking, Timing, Tech, Tips, Tasks – Part 1 of 2
Social Selling Success – Top-10 for Tracking, Timing, Tips, Team, Tasks and more
By Thomas B. Cross
Abstract: Here are the Top-10 reasons for considering social selling which include: Tracking, Timing, Technology, Tips, Tasks, Terrorism, Trust, Tools, Team and Trends. Integrating a marketing communications (marcom) calendar is a tool designed to assist, guide, track and manage all marketing communications activities in a timely manner. We also use the term edcomcal rather than just edcal which implies just editorial or comcal which doesn’t convey that content (or message) is critical to any communications. Whatever term you prefer, an editorial calendar is an online communications management tool or one of the first to use icons-images to portray events, activities and tasks.
1 – Tracking – as you might easily guess, KTO-keeping track of functions is often more time consuming that figuring out what the task was to begin with. For most of you, you might as well STOP reading this now because if you don’t have time to get and, most importantly, stay organized then anything more I say will be a waste of your time. However, if you want to get organized and like exercise do more than give it lip service, then what I have to say is the result of decades of research and business process design. To begin, it isn’t that hard to be organized, however, if you aren’t then you waste a lot of time being disorganized. It is also means that you need to be sure the managers who support you are also organized. For example, one CEO realized that while he assigned projects he had no way to track whether the assignments were actually completed.
KTO is also more than MS Project, Outlook/Gmail calendar or other project management tools as the project is only as good as the persons completing the tasks or the manager driving the project to completion. Tracking tasks and projects is complex and rarely is it “all” in the Project Management (PM) system and quite simply, the real reason why is it time consuming to track projects. More often PM is done through sticky notes and email. Tools like collaboration systems offer Wikis where users can enter notes and comments to provide a record, history or archive. While this information may be useful, the written word is not the spoken one and all too often what is written is not what is meant. This means someone needs to figure out what really happened. As without history, we are often bound to repeat it. In addition, the challenge of leadership is to think of creative ways to motivate the workers to get the job “on time and on budget” and to provide the means to track the project for both current and future tracking.
2 – Timing – or rather time is the only thing all have in common – rich, poor, smart, lucky, here or there. Only 86,400 seconds day and while that sounds like a lot and it goes by whether you watch the clock or not. Time also has “hard stops” on projects whether you do anything or not and you are never-ever able to do an “instant replay.” It has always amazed me that CEO’s don’t down drive more details down to smaller elements of time. That is, if you are only a $10M business it means you need to bring in $59,000 a day. Taking away holidays, weekends and a random selection of miscellaneous events this means realistically you need bring in $100,000 a day. It also assumes a 24 hour day, and we know that revenue comes in a very a few hours of any day. However, if you could increase the number of productive business days and hours in those days, this means increased revenue.
The same applies to cost-cutting. In addition, if I could shorten the sales cycle another key concept, then the company could generate additional revenue in less time like 13 months of revenue in 12. Adding in timing cycles due to various buying seasons the company could also achieve additional revenue or lower costs. Marketing designed right can achieve more timely activities yielding higher revenue. Rather it can bring revenue throughout the day and every hour of the day, here and around the world. The world is moving faster as what I call “organizational velocity” (OV) is increasing. OV is the speed by which information travels throughout the organization. We all know where information is but how it is used and how fast it is used is critical to making decisions faster.
3 – Technology – if social media has taught us anything – it is all about technology as applied to sales communications. Without the internet, there would be no Facebook, Twitter, etc. Without short-message-service (SMS) technology built on the telephone network, the vast array of now multi-media group chat and mobile video would not be possible. We really don’t know much about its impact except that a lot of people are in it. What we do know is that the pace of technology is increasing and it is also “stretching the rubber band” forcing, driving, even pushing by even “friends” peer pressure on users to consume more and more tech. Figure 4.
I teach a “terratrends” social selling course educating executives how to think about the future. In other words, teaching them to stretch their own rubber band to think about where technology is going and not just react, or predict but direct their own tech to their customers. Many companies are recognizing they cannot wait until the market is ready, they have to create the market they want to dominate. They don’t wait or wonder what to do, they build it and let the rest try to catch up and be so far ahead they are the only really player in the “pad” or whatever market they want to dominate but sometimes they stop failing to realize a greater opportunity. While others may try to catch up, these companies are so far ahead no one really will and so the pad market has languished. Marketing strategy is built on that cache of being the most innovative, not just the best tech. Building a strategy that capitalizes on that approach is also a goal as if you don’t you will be the next one left in the dustbins.
4 – Tips – My colleague Doug Green once said, “You can sell what you don’t know.” From the customer’s perspective you also don’t buy what you don’t know to use. Both sides focus on an achieving certain results. For the sales person, it means making the sale, for the customer means solving a problem.
In finding new ways to help solve business problems, there are already thousands, if not millions of business apps but seriously how many can anyone realistically use even if you really like anyone of them a lot. We also like to communicate a lot and all the social media has done is to really focus our attention on finding ways for people to communicate not just more but better, closer, more personal. How many times have looked at a Facebook page and one of your so-called “friends” is constantly posting – thinking of yoga, going to yoga, at yoga, had a great time at yoga and so on. I leave you with one small tip, for now, when does communications becoming really annoying and are you engaging or annoying your customers? If you engage you will sell them more. Social selling is also the art of developing engaging concepts for customers making sales more efficient and effective and solving customer problems.
5 – Tasks – is facing the most challenging part of the problem or process rather than just the simplest tasks. Social media marketing is forcing companies to tackle customer service in a public environment not just behind closed doors in a call center. Forcing may be bit harsh but unless you respond also in public, then the task is managed by the media not you. One way to do this is the “community manager,” a person who addresses local issues but also presents them in a global setting so everyone and I mean everyone can see. This is task that really didn’t exist even last year or did it.
There are so many great case studies of how Twitter is used for political uprisings but also how companies Twitter in public about problems. The flip side is that when people complain they don’t call or send email (that goes unanswered); they just Twitter it or post it on Facebook, Linkedin or their other social media site. Marketing tools give you the means to tackle the task that challenge you in this new “constant courtesy” world.