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Excellent article Ryan.
Social is certainly disruptive, and is allowing everyone the ability to publish to a global audience. This has been enabled by the internet/web, allied with search tools, and other apps such as Hootsuite.
This has created a massive shift to self-service, certainly at the early stages in purchasing. The relevance of the Sales Funnel is being questioned. It is not dead, but it does needs updating.
1. The Buying Cycle that runs in parallel with the Sales Cycle or Sales Funnel is increasingly important as the pendulum swings to self-service. Different personas buy in different ways.
2. The nature of the Purchase needs to be considered. Complex, high cost, high risk, B2B purchases still go through a structured buying process which can be mapped to a sales funnel.
The Sales Funnel is still a valuable sales management tool, especially to inform sales forecasts when purchasing periods are extended, and sales resource allocation.
Social CRM tools are useful, but this is a very challenging area. The Banking and Finance sector went through the multi-channel change, as websites and call-centres were added to the branch network. One challenge was to identify 'who is my customer'. Now we have multiple email addresses, social profiles etc. actually creating a 'customer database' is a challenge. Keeping it up to date at Social Media speeds is huge. The default unfortunately will be silos, (phone, email, facebook, twitter etc.)
We may yet see companies withdraw from some segments because the cost of sale will exceed the profit potential. There are bigger issues at stake here than whether the sales funnel is dead.
4 months ago on Has Social Media Killed This One Critical Sales Tool?
Hi Miles, I was looking again at Webinar platform options just last week. One that I used a while ago and will use again is www.AnyMeeting.com - well featured for smaller businesses and solo-preneurs and either free or great value packages.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Time To Upgrade Your Webinar Tools?
Great topic Sam. In the B2B market there needs to be a focus on quality in Social Media, not just quantity.
Business Social Networks such as LinkedIn have relevance at all stages of the sales funnel or sales cycle, and into customer service. And there's a wealth of positives to be gained from developing a customer community. You do need a viable number of customers, prospects and buyers to be engaged with social to make it worthwhile, event if you're after general awareness.
However, it takes two to tango, and two to have a meaningful dyadic sales oriented relationship. So choose carefully where you invest your time, as vendor and as buyer. Does the other party have the same commitment to the relationship as you do?
NB. I think you'll find @equalman is Erik Qualman not Eric Qualcom ;-)
1 year, 5 months ago on The Power of Two, Or Why Social Media Sucks for Business
@ExtremelyAvg @Daniel Nuccio Hi, I've been on the fringe of Internet Marketing for a few years, and these guys are the barometer for what works. I've seen them surge into Twitter, then the crowd moved to Facebook. Then (some of) those targeting the business market rather than the 'make money online' have moved to Google+.
Google is an awesome online platform / ecosystem and G+ is at the core for sentiment for what content/author is hot, and what is not. You want to rank well in Google search then you integrate 10 Google tools and build a big tribe of engaged followers who like and share your stuff.
If you just want to chat with mates, go wherever they go. Niche communities are potentially the way forward - well managed LinkedIn Groups, SpinSucks, and many others. What will stand out are Leaders, who set up and manage groups and contribute to others. However, that's a big time commitment these days, but a route to global celebrity status, if that's what you want.
And yes, we seem to be going through a phase of re-posting stuff without comment or insight. My (publishing) robot will talk to your (filter) robot. Anyone publishing or filtering by hand risks getting swamped, overwhelmed, and swept away in the tsunami of content that is coming through..
1 year, 11 months ago on Google+ Communities: Where is the Value?
@bdorman264 Maybe LinkedIn is the Cougar - passionate and experienced beneath the demure exterior. Drawing in the young blood with career aspirations, and grooming them for corporate life.
ROI is a tricky one - what is your goal? If money - what are you selling? If skills - then participate and learn? If contacts - define who, and find them.
@ExtremelyAvg Twitter is good for chat, like a lunchtime or after work drink, but if you want a 'session', head for LinkedIn (mature crowd), Facebook (younger crowd) or the trendy, up and coming Google+. Use twitter as a text messenger throughout. If you have time and energy be gregarious.
@ExtremelyAvg @rdopping @barrettrossie Pub analogy again, depends if you want to sing karaoke in your own pub, or do 'open mic' somewhere, or be a support act or headline. Find the path to success by hard work and trial and error, or find an agent, or apply for X-factor. Listening to, and critiqueing other peoples songs won't make you a famous musician, but then maybe being a DJ (John Peel), musical compere (Jules Holland), or promote (Simon Cowell) are what appeals to you instead.
@ExtremelyAvg @barrettrossie Full circle then. Didn't writing start out as pamphlets and serial format in the days of Caxton. How little has changed in 500 years. The topics are probably similar too, and coffee houses and story-telling thrown in for good measure. So, based on historical parallel, what's your prediction for how Blogging and Social will evolve.
Brian, your point about social being a time-suck is a real issue, creating a barrier for people.
To follow your analogy, I'm inclined to view each social network as a different pub in town. Go to one for a quiet drink and chat, another for sports coverage, another for live music, another for a pick-up.
The landlord needs to attract drinking trade and make money, so caters for certain groups, and may add extras such as food. To be avoided is a pub atmosphere which goes silent when a new face walks through the door, or when a new visitor is picked on by the regulars.
If the regulars see that it's beneficial to bring their friends, and meet and greet others, their circle of friends gets bigger, and the publican makes money and will hopefully pass some back to keep the regulars sweet.