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B2B Sales

10 Things You Hate About Selling That You’re Gonna’ Love About Social!

10 Things You Hate About Selling That You’re Gonna’ Love About Social!

Neal has assigned me a new topic for my monthly article. No longer will I be discussing “Social Media for B2B Sales”. Now it’s just … “Social Sales”. Rolls trippingly off the tongue and I always hated the term “social media” anyway. It’s not really that much different from before but, it is much easier to say! As someone who has spent his entire professional career in B2B sales (since 1977), there have always been things that I love about the business (money, independence, competition) and things that I don’t (cold calling, not knowing enough about my customer, doors slammed …

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Social Selling: Using Social Media to Understand How and Why People Buy

Social Selling: Using Social Media to Understand How and Why People Buy

Very early on in my selling career I was taught what people buy (benefits) and when people buy (when an emotional decision is made). What nobody told me was … How do individual people buy? What process do they go through? Why do they buy in the first place? Yes, the fact that the product or service meets their needs is a given. Any good salesperson can determine that need. However, are there more deep-seated motivations that they are attempting to satisfy with this investment? Many people in sales have been exposed to behaviors studies in one form or another. …

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7 Ways for B2B Salespeople to Use Social Media to Promote & Inform Your Clients

7 Ways for B2B Salespeople to Use Social Media to Promote & Inform Your Clients

One of the most wonderful and effective ways that you can engage with your clients via social media is by helping them to build their own businesses. Your efforts in this regard will trump free donuts any day of the week! We can do this by promoting their business to others within our networks and we can also accomplish this task by helping to keep them informed about news that can affect their businesses. Both of these methods involve stepping outside of the conventional box. As such, few if any of your competitors will be taking this approach to selling. …

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Leveraging Social CRM for B2B Salespeople – 10 Steps to Engagement!

B2B Salespeople - Networking is all about the relationships you build. By leveraging your social CRM you'll extend your social reach.

The way I see it,  there are three major types of folks using social media. “Watchers” rarely if ever share anything and instead prefer to sit on the sidelines. I’m not really sure what they are doing but perhaps they are scanning the internet for information that they may find to be of benefit. While they may not contribute much to the ecosystem, to each his own. “Sharers” will actively update the networks but, they will rarely interact with others. They may consider sharing to be a form of giving to the community as a whole (it is) and/or they …

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Leveraging Social CRM for B2B Salespeople – Get Organized!

Leveraging Social CRM for B2B Salespeople – Get Organized!

Last month we defined Social CRM. Now let’s start leveraging this tool in order to close more sales and the best way to get started on that is to get ourselves organized! Salespeople, by and large, are notoriously bad record keepers. As far as that goes, a lot of salespeople flat hate CRM. Their reasons can vary … “Writing all of this stuff down takes my efforts away from valuable selling time!” “Hey, I don’t have the time. I’m closing business here!” “You want me to keep records so that … you can keep track of me?” “Please tell me …

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How to Use Video for Social Media in B2B Sales

Get out the popcorn 'cause it's time for video for social media in B2B sales.

I have been in many meetings with B2B companies where , often, the CEO will say something like, “Well, we sell B2B and businesses don’t watch videos online.”  While that might be true of the business itself, the people that work at those companies do watch video.   These people are on social media and they are talking online.  They know what they like and they know what they don’t like.  Something very important to remember is that, as the work force gets younger, they are more likely to use social media to do research than their predecessors were.  While your …

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Defining Social CRM For B2B Salespeople

Defining Social CRM For B2B Salespeople

For those of you who may have attended our webinar on August 30 entitled “10 Ways B2B Salespeople Should Be Leveraging Social CRM” … Thank you! For those of you who missed it, over the next several months we will be discussing the methods that were addressed and much much more! In order to accurately define Social CRM, we first need to talk about Traditional CRM which stands for “Customer Relationship Management”. Core functions include what I like to call the “3 C’s”: Contacts – complete contact records with all contact info including user definable fields for information needed for …

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10 Ways B2B Salespeople Should Be Leveraging Social CRM

In b2b sales? Are you leveraging your social CRM?

I have been a CRM user since the late 80’s having started with a DOS based product called TeleMagic. Back then they were called Contact Managers so let’s call them CM’s for short. I’m really not sure when somebody came up with the brilliant idea to change that moniker to CRM or, Customer Relationship Management. That’s all fine and dandy but, the only problem is … there is no “R” in CRM. Traditional CRM applications are still decidedly CM. Now along comes social media and my customers are no longer wanting to just talk to me on the phone or …

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Four Sources for Finding New B2B Sales in Social Media

Four Sources for Finding New B2B Sales in Social Media

There are at least four major sources at your disposal where you can focus your b2b sales efforts to increase your revenues. They are … Your existing customers Other people who you already know but that you don’t presently do business with People that others know but who you do not Folks that you presently have absolutely no connection to Social Media can, and should, play an integral part in your b2b sales efforts to mine each of these opportunity groups. Establishing and nurturing relationships in a critical factor with all four. Let me ask you a few questions. Are …

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Case Study: Why Every B2B Business Development Executive Should Blog [INTERVIEW]

Case Study: Why Every B2B Business Development Executive Should Blog [INTERVIEW]

In my work consulting, coaching, and speaking to various organizations on how to leverage social media for their business objectives, I sometimes come across some that I feel can be role models in terms of how they utilize social media for their company. The below interview is with one such individual, Abhishek Mittal (@mumblr on Twitter), who is a B2B business development executive with the thought-leading global professional services company Towers Watson. He has become an “influencer” within his industry due to his savvy use of social media, and this had led to him being able to develop business from …

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Social Media for B2B Sales – Establishing and Expanding Your Networks

Social Media for B2B Sales – Establishing and Expanding Your Networks

Regardless of your choice of social networking sites to utilize for social media for B2B sales, the power of each will lie in your connections and those who are connected to your connections. By expanding our networks, we are effectively able to do the same with our sales territory. In order for any of this to work, we need to first establish our presence and the logical place to begin that process is with our existing contacts. Each of the major social media websites that could be potentially be used for B2B sales will offer you the opportunity to upload your …

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Social Media for B2B Sales – 11 Tips for Building Better Client Relationships!

Social Media for B2B Sales – 11 Tips for Building Better Client Relationships!

Selling has always been about relationships. Particularly in B2B sales, people buy first from individuals and then from their companies. Social Media presents us with an outstanding opportunity to … Discover potential new relationships Create rapport Establish relationships Maintain, nurture, and expand those relationships You now have, and quite literally at your fingertips, more arrows in your quiver than any of those B2B salespeople who have gone for generations before you! Don’t squander these opportunities. Make the most of these B2B sales tips! Keep your eyes open – And also your ears while keeping your mouth firmly in the clamped …

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Social Media for B2B Sales – The 16 Rules of Engagement

Social Media for B2B Sales – The 16 Rules of Engagement

Are you ready to become active in social media as part of your B2B sales effort? You need to be aware that, just like any sport, there are rules. If you are preparing to go into battle, and selling is a highly competitive contact sport (maybe even a blood sport), there are always specific rules of engagement. These rules, and you learned most of them in kindergarten, are designed to maximize your chances for success. Here we go! Be real. You don’t need eyes and ears to spot a phony. Be yourself! Be honest. This includes the avoidance of “puffing”. …

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LinkedIn Sales Prospecting Advice: 6 Ways to Touch the Untouchable on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Sales Prospecting Advice: 6 Ways to Touch the Untouchable on LinkedIn

One of the biggest challenges in sales prospecting on LinkedIn is in how to find and contact those who are difficult to message through the site: The Untouchables.  Luckily, LinkedIn offers several tools to aid in communication with your prospects.  Though LinkedIn is a virtual trade show, there are those who attend industry exhibitions but don’t spend time on the floor or in the breakout sessions.  If your efforts until now have not allowed you to gain access to those key decision makers behind locked doors that haven’t showed up but have a profile, there are many innovative ways to …

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Social Media For B2B Sales – Ready, Set, Slow

Social Media For B2B Sales – Ready, Set, Slow

Last month we discussed the importance of proper planning and of setting goals prior to jumping into social media for B2B sales. Today let’s talk about your critical first steps. Call it setting up house. Although we are going to concentrate on LinkedIn, the basics of what we discuss and advice will apply to all of the social networks for B2B sales. Your choice of which email address to use is important! One of the topics that I don’t see mentioned too often relates to your choice of email addresses. I might have 10 or more. With texting and social …

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The Changing Social Business Landscape in 2012: Is Your Business Ready?

The Changing Social Business Landscape in 2012: Is Your Business Ready?

In the last few months of 2011 through the beginning of 2012, the social business landscape has proven to be as dynamically changing as ever.  If your business thought you were all caught up because you were beginning to see engagement on your Facebook Page and were equipped with enterprise-grade social media monitoring software, some of these recent events should have you thinking again as to what potential you might be missing out on – or what trends are emerging that you should be paying more attention to: The rapid emergence and need for your business to be on Google …

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Social Media for B2B Sales – What’s Your Plan?

Social Media for B2B Sales – What’s Your Plan?

Plan?! We don’t need no stinkin’ planning! LOL. Three years ago when I made the decision to jump into the waters of social media, I did just that. I jumped in. I had no goals and no plan to reach those goals. I had been given a loaded gun, my finger had been placed on the trigger, and I had no idea as to which end of the device that the bullets would come out of. Bullets hurt. Let’s talk about goals first and then we will raise some important questions that you will need to answer in order to …

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Which Social Networking Sites Are Best Designed for B2B Sales?

Which Social Networking Sites Are Best Designed for B2B Sales?

Before we can even begin to explore this topic of which social networking sites are most appropriate for B2B sales, we need to first answer the question … “Why should I be active, and invest my time, on any of these social networking sites to begin with?” If your goals include: Being found by others who are in need of your services Establishing and sharing your expertise Expanding your contact base beyond that of your traditional circles Gaining more business and referrals from existing customers Building stronger client relationships Tracking key contact movements Identifying decision makers and influencers “Humanizing” your …

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Defining B2B Sales

Defining B2B Sales

Last month we established the focus of this column as being Social Media for B2B Sales. Perhaps, before we go further, it might be best to define B2B. Simply put, B2B is “business to business” and, as much as anything, it defines a company or an individual’s target market. In other words, I am a business and I sell to businesses. Therefore, a company that is B2C (business to consumer) is a business that targets consumers. For example, retail. My efforts have been solely B2B sales for the last 34 years but, prior to that, I spent approximately 7 years …

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Social Media For B2B Salespeople? Really?

Social Media For B2B Salespeople? Really?

I sure hope so! In fact, since I’ve done nothing but B2B sales since 1977, I’m counting on it! First let me say that I am very excited to have been invited by Neal to be a regular contributor to this site! The best way to start with this topic may be to review a few of those things that are most important to B2B sales professionals. They want to: Find new opportunities and new customers – keep their pipelines full with qualified prospects. Improve their closing ratios and keep their sales figures (and commissions) well above goal. Develop closer …

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