B2B Social Sales Facts & Figures

Thanks to the folks at Inside View for putting together this incredible infographic demonstrating facts and figures for B2B sales.

To see the full scale image, click here!

Here are a few things in the infographic that caught my eye…

Most popular social media sites for generating B2B traffic:

  1. LinkedIn 17,618
  2. Reddit 11,968
  3. Wikipedia 10,944
  4. Twitter 6,170
  5. Facebook 4,455
  6. StumbleUpon 2,557

Future Growth of Social Media

I encourage you to click on the link above to view the graphic in full scale mode. The numbers may surprise you!

Blogging from Word is a Snap

Last week, I decided to upgrade to Office 2010. A former Microsoft colleague of mine had mentioned the recent release, so I scurried on over to my Microsoft alumni account to make my purchase. I hadn’t gotten around to making my Windows 7 purchase yet and took the opportunity to do that at the same time.

The upgrade journey for both products was actually pretty smooth. If you are planning to upgrade, I recommend you set aside several hours for the process. And don’t plan on working on your computer while you are trying to upgrade. Forget it. While my upgrade project was underway, I took that opportunity to make phone calls, file stuff away, catch up on my reading of several industry periodicals and do some business planning.

I’m impressed with the new features in both products, which I’ll talk about in a series of subsequent posts, but one big disappointment is that Office 2010 does not synch with my Google calendar. Evidently there won’t be a fix for that issue until possibly September. Though I’ve been in the technology world for years, I still have to wonder how these sorts of things happen. Both Office and Google applications are pretty much a mainstay for most computer users. It seems to me that Google should have been ready when Microsoft rolled out the new release. Hey, but what do I know about anything?

This particular post is being written via Word, which will then be posted to my blog account. I think you could do this in Office 2007, but I somehow never got around to it. In my quest for efficiency and effectiveness, I figured that I better set this up now.

Setting up the blogging feature in Word wasn’t actually a snap. It took me a few tries to get it right. Because I use a WordPress hosted site via GoDaddy, I had a few extra gyrations to go through to get myself logged in. I included a picture within Word, but when I clicked to publish the post I discovered that the photo couldn’t be uploaded. So while I was able to write and publish from within Word, the post still required a few tweaks. Overall, I give a big thumbs up!

Social Revolution Marches On

I am a huge fan of the Did You Know Video’s that have now been carried forward by Erik Qualman at Socialnomics. Social Media Revolution 2 is a refresh of the original video with new and updated social media & mobile statistics that are hard to ignore. Based on the book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman.

If you watch this and still think that social media is merely a fad, there is just no hope for you, as you are still stuck in the land of what was, but not what actually now is!


The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media

If you are like me, you’ve thought about writing a book. And, if you are also like I was, you may still be walking around with that book in your head. A spark of an idea that was coupled with a dose of universal intervention and a terrific writing partner in Joan Curtis, and I’m thrilled to say that my first book - The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media - is available for pre-order now on Amazon.

This isn’t just another social media book…already plenty of those.

Yes, we do talk about social media, of course, and a complaint I commonly hear from people is that they know social media is important, but they have no ideas what to actually with do it all. Sure, all the tools look cool, but how do I use this stuff again to actually get a sales result? As I’m fond of saying…clicking on the buttons is one thing, but knowing how to use social tools to drive specific, measurable results is something else altogether.

If you are still perplexed about using social media as a business tool, or you still think social media has no value as part of the sales process - this book is for you! Be one of the first in your company to get your hand on this vital tool.  Every sales professional will want to learn about the new world of sales and the social media.  This is the first book written that helps salespeople understand the impact of the social media on sales and gives them the tools to start a social media sales strategy.

In the end, technology doesn’t matter much if it doesn’t help you achieve your sales goals. I hope you enjoy the read!

p.s. Joan and I have created e-book that we are just about to release that includes the first chapter of the book. Interested? Until we get it posted to the website, drop me an email with “new handshake ebook” in the subject line at [email protected] I’ll make sure that you receive a copy when it is ready.

Cold Calling 2.0?

Since the early days of John Patterson and his NCR sales playbook, “cold calling” seems to be ingrained in the collective sales consciousness as an expected part of the sales process. I still wonder why. Come on. Cold calling doesn’t work (it never has, and I don’t care what that last sales trainer told you).

This ridiculous notion of “dialing for dollars” is so yesterday. Sales people resist cold calling like the plague and with good reason. At some level, they know it doesn’t make any sense to call a stranger and expect them to buy within seconds of receiving their call no matter how charming they may be. Old school sales thinking is that you just call enough numbers and eventually somebody buys. What a waste of time and energy! Not to mention how potential buyers detest this approach. They don’t appreciate your rambling, inarticulate, blathering feature dumps and the evident randomness of the call. As a business owner, I can relate. Maybe I’ll create an audio book one of these days with the “best of the worst” phone calls that I’ve ever received. I save them. Hilarious and painfully sad at the same time. Hint: if you have to cold call then at least do some remedial homework. Make sure I’m in the market for what you sell. Everyone is NOT your customer!

Get over the notion of cold calling. Nobody likes it, it doesn’t work. Instead, what about using social media/social networks, email, Twitter, Facebook, referrals and the like to start paving the way for a great relationship? There is just NO excuse anymore for sales management to think that “dialing for dollars” has much chance at success. Instead, invest time in learning to use social media to augment and extend your sales reach. Insist that your sales people use social tools and social networks to begin conversations that will lead to finding common ground and getting to know each other. Then, when you do reach out to secure that sales appointment there will be nothing cold about it!

Reorder Your LinkedIn Profile Elements

“The ability to reorder the sections on your profile is just the first of a huge number of enhancements that are coming to your LinkedIn profile in the upcoming months”, says Aaron Bronzan on the LinkedIn Blog.

I played around with the ability to move sections of my LinkedIn profile and it seemed pretty easy to customize your profile to suit your needs. That being said, I did notice that moving things around goofed up my Twitter feed, which then took me a couple of tries to get it back working again. Experiment with the changes…it definitely gives you the ability to personalize your brand.

LinkedIn Navigation Changes Coming!

WOW - LinkedIn has been quietly testing changes to their overall design and are now in the process of rolling out the new design to all of their users. If you don’t see the change yet, you will sometime in the next week.

Some of the changes to the new design include:

  • No persistent left-hand navigation. All global navigation is in the top navigation bar. LinkedIn wanted to free up space for page content – that means you can include more information about your and your network.
  • New global navigation bar takes up less vertical space. Page content is moved up higher on the page – less scrolling!
  • Drop down menus provide quick and easy access to popular LinkedIn features
  • Additional applications and services are available under the “more” menu.

Learn more about what’s coming at the LinkedIn blog.

Do You Toodledo?

Resident Talent Builders tech advisor, Mark Moore turned me on to Toodledo, an online tool to help me better manage my goals and priorities. It was time. As much as I love and use technology myself, I had not transitioned from my old habit of writing to do items in my Franklin Covey binder. I started realizing that the manual approach wasn’t working for me anymore.

A bit of a routine for me each morning is to let the dogs outside, pour a great cup of coffee, light the candles and grab my journal and day timer to plan for my day. While it is quiet, and my mind is fresh, I like to think about my goals and focus priorities for the day and week. I’d jot down things that needed to be done. But then I started noticing that when I went up to my office to work, my day timer sat there quietly, closed and unused on my desk. If my memory was working well, I probably knocked a few important things off the list. I’m quite certain though, that I missed some things that may have moved me closer to my goals more quickly.

I needed a better way!

I was on a rant recently about how I’d heard motivational speaker, Verl Workman talk about the critical steps to time and life mastery. The one that really caught my attention is the suggestion that all priorities are scheduled electronically. Then you stick to your priorities ruthlessly.

Why electronically? We will miss a deadline for a to do item at some point in our life, but we’ll still want to keep it on the list to ensure that it is completed. Unless you remain disciplined to moving the handwritten items forward, you are bound to miss something. Mark happened to mention that he was using Toodledo, an online system for managing goals and to do items. It integrated with Outlook and had the required iPhone app, so off I went. I began using Toodledo about 2.5 weeks ago. Already I’m seeing my productivity shoot up. BTW, I’m a huge fan of Stephen Covey - always will be. And I’m aware that Franklin Covey offers an electronic planning system. I just never had much luck with it for some reason.

I have some very specific goals I plan to achieve. In my mind’s eye, I already have. Using Toodledo is giving me the focus and organizational tools I need to stay on track. I Toodledo - do you?

You Digg It, I’m Delicious, We All StumbleUpon

Social bookmarking is a popular part of the social media movement. For the tech dweebs that is:) I say that lovingly of course, because I’m part dweeb myself. Though social bookmarking hasn’t quite caught on with the mainstream user, I’m confident that it will be soon. Most of the folks I meet are still grappling with what Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and LinkedIn are all about…but, hey, one thing at a time.

Even though I love technology, it took me a while to connect how I could use social bookmarking in a meaningful way. Once I got it though…it was like the parting of the Red Sea. The possibilities of how you can use social bookmarking as a customer retention tool are endless.

Whenever I speak on the topic of social media and social networking, I notice that people seem to be the most confused about how social bookmarking fits in. Even more confused than they are about Twitter, so that’s saying something. In Made to Stick, the Heath brothers talk about how to help people understand a concept that confuses them by tying it back to something that they can relate too. An analogy. In pretty simple terms, I tell people that social bookmarking is like having one gigantic, personal file cabinet on the Internet. You “tag” the web address of articles, video’s, blogs or websites that you like for easy reference later. Instead of file folders, you use an informal tagging system that lets you create categories that you’ll remember later on and can access quickly. AND…what I think is the coolest part of social bookmarking is that you can “share” your tags with others.

From a sales perspective, you could create categories that represent a particular clients’ interest. If for example, I’m your customer and you know that I love social media technologies (as everyone who knows me, knows that I do!), you would watch for interesting information that you would tag for Barb and share with me. I don’t have to rip an article out of Fortune Magazine and then send it to you manually with a personal note, although I still do a lot of that. Instead, I can tag articles that I think my clients and prospective buyers will find interesting and share them with everyone at once, or I can choose just to share with people in my private network. Either way…it’s a great connection point. Now, if you get your contacts to sign up and engaged in your bookmarking community, they can tag information that they then share with everyone in the community too. Very cool stuff indeed!

So, Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon are 3 of the biggies…each having a slightly unique twist to their approach, which I’ll cover in more detail in subsequent posts.

Stick around…you really do want to know about how to integrate the use of social bookmarking into your customer relationship management approach, because THIS IS a key way to not only provide value but to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Can you dig it?