Digital communication and content marketing has changed the sales function forever.
This month wattsnext began working with a number of SME’s that we had never engaged with face-to-face in the sales process. Not only had we never met them, they had decided six months ago they were going to use our services and we had no idea they were an opportunity.
The sales funnel creation has changed forever. Traditional marketing has changed forever. The way we do business has changed forever.
Forbes reported in August that 57% of the B2B sales process has already occurred before a buyer meets face-to-face. This is staggering for those of us that are old enough to remember the cold callers selling encyclopedias door-to-door or the late night infomercials offering free steak knives (not to say this doesn’t still work – yes I bought a nutria-bullet and got one free!). Remember the non-negotiable cold call targets in industries such as recruitment? This was a volume play aimed at businesses that had not considered hiring in the hope one sticks.
These statistics have been questioned. I actually think the statistics are higher than reported or at least increasing at a rapid rate.
Consumers are more educated than ever. The digital revolution has settled in and it has meant the world has no geographical barriers. The hard sales approach is ineffective and the scattergun approach is annoying.
It’s a buyers’ market where you can compare options available from all corners of the globe.
The goal posts have seriously moved and many traditional sales models and funnels are becoming obsolete. I believe that a lot of potential customers have made their decision prior to you shaking their hand, prior to you recognising them as part of your target market and prior to you knowing they even exit.
In the last 12 months wattsnext grew 40% and we can attribute a large portion of this growth to our content management based social media strategy. The cornerstone of our social media strategy is the unique content that we distribute over the social media platforms we use. We produce quality, relevant and thought provoking content and people read it. The general population has a thirst for learning and content can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Are you a thought leader? Who knows about you? What information do you give back to the world?
But getting back to the new clients we recently won …
The thing all of these clients have in common is they had been reading our blogs and following our content. They had been doing this for at least the past six months. Content can be shared globally or locally and there is no limit on who you can reach.
There is a need for unique, quality content. Embrace the digital age and consistently produce and share your content with the world.
You never know who is watching.
Sue-Ellen Watts is the founder and director of wattsnext, specialists in HR, recruitment, compliance and people performance.