By Jay Valentine, ContingencySales.com
Some sales activities work, others almost always fail, and a whole bunch sound good but in practice are terrible. Social media marketing is the current example of the terrible.
It’s no secret B2B sales types seldom make quota. Those who regularly do have a set of active accounts or some bluebird flew into their lap.
Stats showing quota attainment for consecutive years are elusive because sales turnover is typically 18 – 24 months.
There is a market of terrified sales managers and hapless CEOs with generally undifferentiated products employing these reps. They swim in a market saturated with tech solutions; inhabited by customers who avoid salespeople.
To this opportunity come solutions that sound good but are a waste and irritating to the prospect.
First among useless sales activities is social media marketing.
This is one of those ideas that sounds good, so it must be true. It isn’t.
B2B social media marketing. Let’s go there for a bit.
You are a sales VP, rising early to get a jump on the day. Your SPAM blocker protects from pesky salespeople selling CRM platforms.
Open your email, delete any sellers who got through. No professional courtesy there.
Next check that iPhone. Oops, a few texts about the world’s best sales training from GrowthPlay guys. DELETE.
Open LinkedIn. Wow, 13 people want to connect. Believing more connections are better, you click ACCEPT, growing your count of strangers, in peculiar blockchain businesses with whom you have the most gossamer of connections.
You are now an hour into the morning, and you have spent 93 percent of your time deleting social media interactions. They didn’t interact much; they were deleted without being read. A bunch were reported as SPAM.
You just experienced the other guy’s Account Based Marketing, with you as the target.
Let’s keep at it here.
Still on LinkedIn, you check “messages.” Must be an active day - 7 direct messages in the queue. You expect one must be Fortune 100 CIO asking for an on-site visit to discuss what keeps her up at night.
Alas, you discover a 3 day-ago connection wanting to know when you can discuss “revenue generation strategies.” Her profile shows someone the age of your youngest child; she is a business dev rep from a lead gen company in the Philippines. DELETE.
The next one looks promising; businessperson, well dressed, a grown-up!
Disappointment comes as you read his message about how you can lose weight and get fit. No CIO there, darn!
Hopeful, you open another. It must be incoming business! Please!
Ouch, the message is in a foreign language, from a place you cannot find on a map. Your VPN took you to a foreign country; you are being pitched by someone’s automated “social media marketing machine!”
You hit LinkedIn to see what people are doing. There are videos of ancient sales types pitching cold calling. You browse excited videos of 20-something “LinkedIn masters” touting how they can revolutionize your lead gen.
Skipping that, you move to a lovely young lady, in yoga pants, a revealing top smiling and chatting about how she gets lots of LinkedIn connections for her “Life Is A Joy Class.”
Time to start your day. Your phone rings and your SPAM blocker says it is a “telemarketer.”
Now let’s prepare for our quarterly business reviews (QBR), you think.
You plan your questions for the upcoming calls with your sales team:
- Are you making at least 20 cold calls a day?
- Are you engaging with prospects on social media like LinkedIn?
- Are you calling your prospects early in the morning before they get into the office?
- Are you sending out at least 100 targeted emails each week for new business?
You make sure your team delivers the metrics of success. Cold calls, blind emails, social media marketing.
This stuff must work, it must!
Everyone else is doing it.
About The Author
Jay Valentine is the CEO of ContingencySales.com, bringing disruptive tech products to market without venture capital and the VP of Sales for portfolio company Cloud-Sliver.