Social media strategy development is more important than ever. We are witnessing fundamental changes in customer behavior and their buying process.
The B2B sales and marketing landscape is shifting, adjusting to the rapid advancements in social networking and online buyer behavior. From start-ups to multi-billion dollar organizations, the more and more companies are facing the hard fact that traditional, old school methods of marketing have become largely ineffective. Traditional online marketing tactics are losing traction at increasing rates. It’s now all about trust and “heartfelt marketing.”
Traditional tactics are being replaced by new approaches designed to catapult prospecting and retention efforts into never before seen realms, connecting with customers while providing more transparent access to information. As part of this shift, marketers must focus on sales enablement, to help sales professionals better communicate with and understand whom they are selling to.
Your customers now have access to unlimited information about your company, your products, and those of your competitors. Consequently, they will all but ignore your marketing message, instead turning to the people they know and to their peer networks to educate themselves, diagnose their news, evaluate vendors, and make a buying decision.
Conversations occurring within social media have become more influential to the buying decision than traditional sales and marketing tactics. As Paul Greenberg puts it, the conversation is in control of the customer, which means the customer has the means and the networks necessary to get what they want and formulate their opinions – without the company or the sales person. Social selling is based on this new reality.
It is imperative that sales professionals leverage the social web to actively listen, engage, and add value to the customer conversation. Your customer expects you to know at least as much about them as they do about you.