09/09/2014 - 13:35

Are you a social sales pacesetter?

09/09/2014 - 13:35

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Pacesetters use technology for the competitive advantage, and the results are more profitable business outcomes.

HIGH FLYERS: The cloud is the new ‘data room’, and if you’re not in it you’ll be left behind. Photo: iStockphoto

Here are a few questions to get your social sales juices flowing.

Why are big companies interested in big data?

Why are formerly non-social companies suddenly scouring and analysing social data?

Why is ‘mobile’ the new ‘social’?

Why is ‘cloud’ the new data room?

Often referred to as pacesetters, companies that have chosen to embrace and engage cloud, analytics, mobile, and social strategies are streaking ahead of their competitors, who have chosen the path of cautious resistance or even abstinence.

Note well: The real pacesetters are using all four strategies – not one or two.

When I saw the statistic that 68 per cent of Facebook usage is mobile, I realised the revolution was in full swing and those not playing hard would lose sales, loyalty, goodwill, reputation, and profit.

Realities

• Customers are smarter. You must be at least as smart.

• Customers are social. You must be at least as social.

• Customers are mobile. You must be at least as mobile.

• The availability of online information about you and your competition is instant.

• Customers expect an easy-to-buy process.

• Mobile is not an option – it’s an imperative.

• 24-7-365 is the new nine-to-five.

My good friend, Sandy Carter, is one of IBM’s general managers, and their social selling evangelist. Sandy fed me some support data from IBM’s recently published ‘2014 Business Tech Trends Report’, which reveals that previously emerging trends such as big data and analytics, cloud, mobile, and social are now being implemented across corporate enterprise beyond just experimentation and wait-and-see.

The report also found the gaps in IT skills that used to exist within these core segments are starting to narrow, as organisations are uncovering the skill sets needed to use these technologies to their full advantage.

The secret: These big pacesetter corporations have discovered that, by partnering with smaller, specialised companies, they are able to obtain the critical skills they need to gain a competitive advantage – thus paving the way for innovation and increased market share. They also learned that total integration of all four pacesetter elements was their breakaway move.

Bottom line for faster success: Pacesetter organisations are now finding partners in myriad places, including academia, start-ups, clients, citizen developers, and established specialised leaders. Pacesetter corporations that integrate cloud, analytics, mobile, and social technologies across their business are four to seven times more likely to use cloud to deliver social, mobile, big data, and analytics.

In short, pacesetters use technology for the competitive advantage – and the results are more profitable business outcomes.

Here are a few concepts beyond buzzwords that will help you think about and understand why these strategies are being deployed and bringing amazing returns.

1) Cloud strategies: Where can I store data and apps that are accessible on demand globally?

2) Social strategies: How am I in touch with my customers to give them information and social proof, and how can they be in touch with me to tell me all is well?

3) Mobile strategies: What are my customers using to communicate ideas, needs, and desires? How are they accessing my information? How are they purchasing?

4) Analytics strategies: Data helps make better and smarter decisions. Data shows the past, reveals the present, and helps predict trends in the future. Another word for analytics is profit.

An app without analytics is a washing machine without a motor or a car without petrol. How is your existing data being mined, analysed, and used to target trends, analyse profits, and increase sales?

4.5) Partnering strategies: How are you using SEO experts, app builders, bloggers, and social awareness companies – global outside experts – that can help you achieve amazing success in a fraction of the time (and cost) it would take to do it yourself?

Your bottom line: Now is the time to get your social mojo working in your favour. The opportunity is ripe and the expertise you need is at your fingertips. Sandy Carter told me: “The companies we deal with that listen to us with ‘all ears’ and eagerly implement the pacesetter solutions quickly convert their investment to ‘all clicks’ as their social interactions skyrocket and sales quickly follow suit.”

How’s your conversion doing?

 

“Get involved and get more.” If you search the hashtag #IBMBTT you’ll be able to access pacesetter ideas and answers – and maybe add a few of your own.

 

Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty and personal development.

© 2014 All rights reserved. Don’t reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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