Traditional Sales and Marketing Strategies Will Fail Your Company on Social

Taking traditional sales and marketing techniques and strategy into digital is like trying to change the oil on a horse. You have the wrong vehicle for the race in addition to the wrong fuel. You need to upgrade your 'ride' and your strategy to the new digital reality.

There are two big elements to success on social: Your people and Your strategy.

From micro business to international conglomerates, those two things are essential. I had the pleasure of hosting my friend and associate Eric Doyle on my podcast and one of the things that he explained was this:

"The reality is that there is no longer any question as to whether or not you have to 'be on social'...the challenge going forward is whether your company is going to compete and win, or, fail to adapt and lose."

You must win with your people.

Rauf Fattakh was 'on stage' at our Friday room on Clubhouse (Social Selling & Influence) and shared an amazing quote:

"If you can’t change people you have to change THE people." Rauf Fattakh, CEO Prospero Events Group.

He also had insightful thoughts from the CEO perspective about both the requirement and opportunity of being a social organization. He knows that he is going to have to transform as many employees as possible from his current team and also recruit with social in mind to be successful going forward. That is a leader that sees the future and is taking steps to make it an opportunity vs. a threat. You should hope that your CEO is doing the same.

Welcome to reality my friends. This is a wake up call. Some of your employees (and corporations) are going to be able to adapt to digital and social and some are not. If you are going to become digitally dominant (winning the battle on social) you are going to have to create and execute a strategy that includes and prioritizes your greatest opportunity to drive revenue growth: your HR/Recruiting efforts. (Note: #social is where you will increasingly win or lose when it comes to getting the talent you need to win. Your HR team has to be digitally dominant for your company to get the best people)

How and Who you are recruiting and how you are training them in the onboarding process, in addition to how you train your current team are the foundations for your future.

That shiny software package is a waste if your team won't engage with it and doesn't understand it. This is even more true when getting ready to complete in the marketplace right now: your company and your team need training on how to successfully transform on social. Make sure that you are investing in a proven program and one that is designed with enough time and interaction to make sure that mindset and behavior sync up with execution.

You must win with your sales & marketing strategy

You could have the best talent in your company, the best 'drivers' on the race track, but if they are using the wrong vehicles you have no chance to win in sales long term. The best vehicle for digital dominance isn't a software package, quick tip or keynote speech. You win with strategy.

The problem with the traditional stuff is that technology is prolonging its slide into obscurity. Email open rates are less than 2%? Let's send 10x more! Our sales reps can't make enough cold calls to get people on the phone...lets outsource the dials and have other people interrupt our prospects for us...

This is like getting better at falling off a the end of the journey it isn't going to be worth the effort.

I also want to address the issue of #coldcalling and dm's. Those techniques do work (somewhat), but, let me ask you these questions:

  • How well do they work for the salespeople selling to you and your company?
  • Are you buying most of your products and services from cold calls or trusted relationships?
  • Do you believe that your current sales team is going to be successful, long term, by getting better and better at trying to figure out how to cold call prospects?

There are some great people and companies that are still successful doing 'old school' sales, but I believe that they are becoming rarer and rarer. That kind of skill isn't going to translate at scale very well in my experience. That being said, if that is your cup of tea...drink with abandon!

Whether we like it or not, companies that are wanting to compete and win in the future need to embrace digital right now. Dominate with a strategy for your people and your sales & marketing process that takes into account how everyone wants to buy if they possibly can: by relationship.

Related: Can Advisors Hire Professionals That Will Succeed at Social Selling?