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By Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

One area of the modern buying process that often isn’t discussed is the last “33%” of the buying process.

What do I mean by that?  We often hear the CEB research that buyers are 57% of the way through the buying process and at 57% they contact a salesperson.

The assumption then seems to be that for the first 57% of the way through the buying process the buyer is on-line and for the last 33% the buyer is off-line.  I would argue that this is not the case, which is why you need to be socially active for 100% of the buying process.

Put this another way, this is where social marketing meets social selling.

A Sales Director friend of mine came to me and asked for my help.

“We have deals where we get inbound around product X and we take the sale 70% of the way through the process.  In many cases we are the only supplier.  Then 70% of the way through the process, the competition appears from nowhere and we lose the deal.”

Here at DLA we offer a service where we evaluate a company’s digital footprint. In this case the results were revealing.

We presented our findings back to the Sales Leader.

“How important are products X, Y and Z to you,” I asked? 

“We are seen as market leaders,” was his response.

“Interesting,” I responded.

“Go to Google and search on those phrases,” I said.  So, he got out his laptop.

He did and his company didn’t appear. In fact, his company was on the sixth page of Google.

The (smaller) competition was on page one.

His response was two words, one of them was “hell”.

It was the same for all three products.

I mentioned, “You clearly mention the products on your website, but you have no digital presence.”

As I handed over the report (with a whole bunch of other recommendations, which I won’t go into here) I said, “what’s happening is that the sale goes through to the point of recommendation / business case.  The customer is confirming your position by searching on Google and you don’t appear.  But your competition does.  The only conclusion that the customer can jump to is that you don’t play in that market.  But your competition does.”

This is just one of many examples of how social (for sales and marketing) is important all the way through the buying process.  It is also “interesting” how in this case that these leads are created by a BDR.

In other words, while cold calling was working for this business, the effort is being killed by not being social.

Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.

 

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