B2B Sales and Social Media

Understanding the force that is social media is a quite a task. But leveraging effectively it to advance your team’s selling efforts is beyond the capabilities of most companies. (See information about upcoming webinar on social selling at the bottom of this post.)

There is no lack of data to underline how far social media has progressed. Last year Facebook topped a billion users. LinkedIn has over 200 million members. And here’s a statistic you’ve likely heard but may not have a strategy to overcome: according to the Corporate Executive Board, “customers will contact a sales rep when they independently completed about 60% of the purchasing decision process.” How do savvy sellers meet, create a dialog with, and nurture sales prospects during that time? The answer is social selling. Try this. Go to trends.google.com. They type in social selling and hit enter. See what I mean? It’s a force.

Too many companies are leaving the learning and development of a social media strategy up to the individual salesrep, and that’s a dangerous thing. It often leads to wasted time, confused company messaging, offended customers, and, most importantly, not adapting to the new way customers are buying products and services. That disconnect means fewer wins.

You can buy social media strategy advice and training from any number of sources. The challenge is integrating all that into your company’s selling process.  And while some sales training companies have invested in social media learning as part of their solution portfolios, many others are less willing to be held accountable for that component of sales peoples’ skill sets. That’s not a good thing.

Leveraging social media isn’t new to Philadelphia-based Richardson. Over the past several years we’ve given them high marks for how they’ve employed social media in their own marketing and selling efforts. Right now they’re planning to incorporate LinkedIn and Google Alerts into their “Prospecting with Insights” and “Selling with Insights” programs. That’s a good choice of platforms, since Facebook tends to be more of a Business-to-Consumer and friends & family network. Twitter, the other big force, can be a time-waster and risky, as I mentioned above.

Sales Performance International—the Solution Selling® folks—have successfully piloted their “Social Media for Sales” workshop. For that program, they’ve defined emerging roles a seller must play within new customer buying processes. One role is what they call “Micro-marketer,” whereby the seller uses social media for planning and demand creation and generation. The learning objectives and exercises for that program will certainly provide a solid foundation for a salesrep to get the most leverage out of technologies such as InsideView, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, and YouTube. This all relates to recent changes in the Solution Selling execution methodology, intended to boost sales performance in our world of tech-savvy, sophisticated, and powerful purchasers.

Solution Selling now includes a new framework for mapping social media into the sales process. They actually open up selected social media tools and exercise them in the context of a sales process.  So they are able to answer the question, “As a seller, exactly how do I use this at a given point in the sales process to advance my sale?”  SPI provides the roadmap.

 What can you do now to separate the value from the hype and get up to speed on what social media networks, tools, and strategies to employ in your selling efforts? Talk to your customers. Find out what networks they use to build and maintain business and personal relationships. That’s where you need to be. Find out where they educate themselves so they can perform their jobs better. That’s where you need to be. Then, as we’ve learned from two top sales training firms, get your new social media strategy integrated with your sales process and get your reps trained on how to leverage it.

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Get ready for the Meeting

Back in 1994 I attended a Tony Robbins seminar. It was held at the Navy Pier in Chicago. Five or six hours into the session, Tony had us in a state where he could ask these two questions: “Think about something you always wanted to do, but for some reason, you never did it. Write it down.” Then, “Think about something you always wanted to have, but for some reason, you never bought. Write it down as well.” Within six months I earned my private pilot’s license. Six months after that I owned a single-engine Cessna and had earned my instrument rating. Now that’s what I call motivation. Thanks,  again, Tony.

But Tony didn’t just motivate the audience. He gave us some real business value.  Here is something I learned that day and have used dozens of times since: BEND-WIMP.

Tony explained that when meeting with an important executive for the first time, we need to have a pretty comprehensive understanding of who they are and what’s on their mind. BEND-WIMP is an acronym for Tony’s checklist.  Here it is:

B – Beliefs. What are the person’s beliefs about you, your company, your product? It would be really helpful to know that before you meet the person.

E – Evaluate. How does the person evaluate? Gut feel? Dependence on a recommendation from a trusted advisor? What questions might they ask?

N – Needs. What are their business needs? What will enable them to achieve their business plan?

D – Desire. What do they want on a personal level? (I think about Larry Ellison and the America’s Cup.)

W – Wounds. Where have they gone off the track. Mistakes, errors in strategy, execution, judgment? What subjects should you stay away from discussing?

I – Interests. What are their personal interests? What common ground might you have with them?

M – Mentors.  Who are their mentors? Whose books do they read? What business leaders do they emulate? I won a new customer years ago because I found out that the CEO had all his people read Who Moved the Cheese? I read the book on the plane on the way to the sales call.

P – Proud. What are they proud of? Accomplishments, big wins, etc.?

LinkedIn, which wasn’t around in 1994, is a great tool for executing your BEND-WIMP process. I find people in my network who have worked directly or even several levels down from my targeted executive. As I fill in my checklist, a clear picture of that person emerges. I’m sure you can imagine how much more effective than an ad-hoc Internet search this process is.

For start-ups: Best Interview technique

Eventually, almost every interview turns into a question-and-answer session. You ask a question. The candidate answers as you check a mental tick-box (good answer? bad answer?).

You quickly go to the next question and the next question and the next question, because you only have so much time and there’s a lot of ground to cover because you want to evaluate the candidate thoroughly. The more questions you ask, the more you will learn about the candidate.

Or not.

Sometimes, instead of asking questions, the best interviewing technique is to listen slowly.

In Change-Friendly Leadership, management coach Rodger Dean Duncan describes how he learned about listening slowly from PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer:

Duncan: He urged me to ask a good question, listen attentively to the answer, and then count silently to five before asking another question. At first that suggestion seemed silly. I argued that five seconds would seem like an eternity to wait after someone responds to a question. Then it occurred to me: Of course it would seem like an eternity, because our natural tendency is to fill a void with sound, usually that of our own voice.

Lehrer: If you resist the temptation to respond too quickly to the answer, you’ll discover something almost magical. The other person will either expand on what he’s already said or he’ll go in a different direction. Either way, he’s expanding his response, and you get a clear view into his head and heart.

Duncan: Giving other people sufficient psychological breathing room seemed to work wonders. When I bridled my natural impatience to get on with it, they seemed more willing to disclose, explore, and even be a bit vulnerable. When I treated the interview more as a conversation with a purpose than as a sterile interrogation, the tone of the exchange softened. It was now just two people talking…

Listening slowly can turn a Q&A session into more of a conversation. Try listening slowly in your next interviews. (Not after every question, of course: Pausing for five seconds after a strictly factual answer will leave you both feeling really awkward.)

Just pick a few questions that give candidates room for self-analysis or introspection, and after the initial answer, pause. They’ll fill the space: with an additional example, a more detailed explanation, a completely different perspective on the question.

Once you give candidates a silent hole to fill, they’ll fill it, often in unexpected and surprising ways. A shy candidate may fill the silence by sharing positive information she wouldn’t have otherwise shared. A candidate who came prepared with “perfect” answers to typical interview questions may fill the silence with not-so-positive information he never intended to disclose.

And all candidates will open up and speak more freely when they realize you’re not just asking questions–you’re listening.

 

source: Inc.com

How did I started my own Business

There’s no age limit to start dreaming about your own business and making the dream come true.
Since my masters in business administration got completed , I was also willing to do something at my own but did not have any knowledge regarding  business procedures and funding even after knowing the scope of my business.

One day I got introduced to the team of Business Plan Writers US for their services of Business plan writing, presentation and proposal submission to investors network , That looked perfect to me according to my need, still I was not sure if putting the mentioned amount of money would deploy the satisfactory results or not. from the initial requirement gathering till the complete report submission, I must say the team was supportive to me and great on business plan due to their experts knowledge f financial analysis, market watch and marketing strategies.

The business plan i received from them was such wao that I almost became sure to get funding on it plus it included my coming years operational and business strategies, smart enough. I must therefore say, if you are a start-up looking for business plan, funding or bank loan and feasibility plan; the best solution is available at Business Plan Writers US.

Business Plan Writers US have worked for more than 650 business to help obtain funding. they do not provide start-up business written plans and funding as well complete consultancy for law related matters, infrastructure, Technology solutions as well as digital and conventional branding.

You may reach them on following email address: info@businessplanwriters.usor visit their website : http://businessplanwriters.us

cheers  !

Get funding for your business now

In today’s competitive age, starting or sustaining a business requires more market watch than before. In order to obtain business capital funding, set targets and measure feasibility of business; companies require business plans along with market analysis and projected financials.

Business Consultant Reviews have decided to review some of the business writing services provider for our reader’s guidance in obtaining professional services at startup. One of the ventures under review is Business Plan Writers US that is based at California, USA having team of professional researcher and writers committed to deliver the best solutions.  They have already served more than 175 businesses in business plan writing and fund acquiring; some of them also obtained their IT services and solutions.

In order to measure with their excellence of services and quality of deployment, we decided to get a confectionery business start-up plan in Canada by Business Plan Writers US. It all begin after providing contact details at their Website with one-line inquiry, got a call back within next 10 minutes by the customer care department and details of business were discussed, later we received a questionnaire from them to provide essentials of business as exact requirements to document the project and forward to their team. Once things were finalize, we also had conference call with them and first draft of business plan delivered in next 2 weeks as committed. The outline of the documents was as accurate as discussed leading to business plan delivery till the end of 4 week time which was detailed enough.

Along with business plan they also provided the opportunity to apply for bank loans and investors that are already working with them.

We were satisfied enough from the information provided in the form of plan within frame as discussed, also their other services helped us to quick start the business after we got investment with their help. We may consider Business Plan writers US as business consultants as they provide assistance at levels from business plan to getting funds, branding guidelines to complete communication elements, and other technological and promotional solutions.

Our experience with them was really great and inspiring at levels, we therefore recommend our readers including investors, managers, business owner or Entrepreneur to consider them in obtaining relevant services. Business plan from them can directly be submitted to apply for Bank Loan or same can be obtained by their assistance.

Business Plan Writers US official website can be accessed at following link: http://www.businessplanwriters.us.

Stay connected for more reviews with us, and do not forget to share your reviews on Business Plan Writers US and others providing similar services.

Do you need Funding for your start-up? Explore how ..

Today, starting or sustaining a business requires more market watch than before. In order to obtain business capital funding, set targets and measure feasibility of business; companies require business plans along with market analysis and projected financials.

Business Consultant Reviews have decided to review some of the business writing services provider for our reader’s guidance in obtaining professional services at startup. One of the ventures under review is Business Plan Writers US that is based at California, USA having team of professional researcher and writers committed to deliver the best solutions.  They have already served more than 175 businesses in business plan writing and fund acquiring; some of them also obtained their IT services and solutions.

In order to measure with their excellence of services and quality of deployment, we decided to get a confectionery business start-up plan in Canada by Business Plan Writers US. It all begin after providing contact details at their Website with one-line inquiry, got a call back within next 10 minutes by the customer care department and details of business were discussed, later we received a questionnaire from them to provide essentials of business as exact requirements to document the project and forward to their team. Once things were finalize, we also had conference call with them and first draft of business plan delivered in next 2 weeks as committed. The outline of the documents was as accurate as discussed leading to business plan delivery till the end of 4 week time which was detailed enough.

Along with business plan they also provided the opportunity to apply for bank loans and investors that are already working with them.

We were satisfied enough from the information provided in the form of plan within frame as discussed, also their other services helped us to quick start the business after we got investment with their help. We may consider Business Plan writers US as business consultants as they provide assistance at levels from business plan to getting funds, branding guidelines to complete communication elements, and other technological and promotional solutions.

Our experience with them was really great and inspiring at levels, we therefore recommend our readers including investors, managers, business owner or Entrepreneur to consider them in obtaining relevant services. Business plan from them can directly be submitted to apply for Bank Loan or same can be obtained by their assistance.

Business Plan Writers US official website can be accessed at following link: http://www.businessplanwriters.us.

Stay connected for more reviews with us, and do not forget to share your reviews on Business Plan Writers US and others providing similar services.

Fundings for Start-up Businesses and Entrepreneur

In today’s competitive age, starting or sustaining a business requires more market watch than before. In order to obtain business capital funding, set targets and measure feasibility of business; companies require business plans along with market analysis and projected financials.

Business Consultant Reviews have decided to review some of the business writing services provider for our reader’s guidance in obtaining professional services at startup. One of the ventures under review is Business Plan Writers US that is based at California, USA having team of professional researcher and writers committed to deliver the best solutions.  They have already served more than 175 businesses in business plan writing and fund acquiring; some of them also obtained their IT services and solutions.

In order to measure with their excellence of services and quality of deployment, we decided to get a confectionery business start-up plan in Canada by Business Plan Writers US. It all begin after providing contact details at their Website with one-line inquiry, got a call back within next 10 minutes by the customer care department and details of business were discussed, later we received a questionnaire from them to provide essentials of business as exact requirements to document the project and forward to their team. Once things were finalize, we also had conference call with them and first draft of business plan delivered in next 2 weeks as committed. The outline of the documents was as accurate as discussed leading to business plan delivery till the end of 4 week time which was detailed enough.

Along with business plan they also provided the opportunity to apply for bank loans and investors that are already working with them.

We were satisfied enough from the information provided in the form of plan within frame as discussed, also their other services helped us to quick start the business after we got investment with their help. We may consider Business Plan writers US as business consultants as they provide assistance at levels from business plan to getting funds, branding guidelines to complete communication elements, and other technological and promotional solutions.

Our experience with them was really great and inspiring at levels, we therefore recommend our readers including investors, managers, business owner or Entrepreneur to consider them in obtaining relevant services. Business plan from them can directly be submitted to apply for Bank Loan or same can be obtained by their assistance.

Business Plan Writers US official website can be accessed at following link: http://www.businessplanwriters.us.

Stay connected for more reviews with us, and do not forget to share your reviews on Business Plan Writers US and others providing similar services.