Companies that have succeeded recognise that the B2B sales process has changed. Professionals research products and services online. They seek opinions from their peers on forums like LinkedIn. They will engage with intelligent comment from experts that helps them understand a solution.
Smart companies like IBM, arguably one of the leaders in this area, recognise this. That’s why they have a Listening for Leads program where staff scour the net for conversations that suggest someone may be interested in making a purchase. That’s why they use their experts to produce thought leadership that doesn’t sell directly – but creates a favourable impression which is then followed up by a sales call. And that’s why it encourages sales reps to build personal digital brands and embrace forums like LinkedIn.
Why am I telling you about IBM does? Because it shows two things –
- That social media is not “new” and “different” – it’s just a different forum for B2Bs to do what they’ve always done to get sales – talked to customers and shared their story.
- Social media is actually a really effective forum for B2Bs to get sales – if they go about it in a businesslike way.
If you’re a B2B that wants to build profile and massively increase demand there is no shortage of sensible, tactical, business focussed lessons you can learn from social media leaders like IBM. yBCtv has worked with many sales teams to deliver demand generation strategies to get prospects into the sales funnel and progressing through it so we know the web works. If you work smart, it couldl work for you too.