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Thursday, December 08, 2011

I don't know whether I'm just a grumpy 40-something or maybe I'm just having one of those "emperor's new clothes" moments but I'm starting to wonder about the direction of social media.

You see, like many others, I'm spending some of my time on twitter, LinkedIn groups, etc. I'm following people with similar interests, commenting on discussions, etc.

It's true, my involvement isn't full time since, like you, I'm also running my business and delivering projects for clients and trying to generate more revenue.

And, in my quest to find the next useful piece of information or discussion to tweet about and comment on all I'm seeing is more of the same.

LinkedIn discussions are often either the same questions asked in a different way or just a long running debate that's been added to over a 12 month period.

The latest "research" or report just seems to re-hash old statistics or spin someone else's report to create content.

After all, content is king and you need to feed the beast.

Plus, if you follow all the social media experts they'll keep telling you that this is the best way to convert business, drive sales, etc, etc... but very few give you concrete examples outside of a few huge brands or shoe-string niche consumer start-ups.

It's a bit like the myth that you lose 90% of your heat out your head. Totally debunked by scientists since the 80's but still everyone believes it. Maybe it's because it's got a statistic in it?

There are countless other examples where some study has been regurgitated over years to be held up as a truth that everyone just accepts. And I think there's a lot of that happening in social media.

Sometimes I get the feeling that on many LinkedIn groups (and to an extent on Twitter) there's this self-serving clique of people who simply retweet each other and start discussions just because they have to (it's in their social media plan).

I know... that's social media etiquette, of course. Which is maybe why I'm just being a grumpy middle aged man.

But, I think it's valid to question why you're doing something and also where it's going.

I read in a report (ironic, I know) that one hot area for new business ideas is in "filtering" social media content.

Wasn't that was social media was all about. Content gets filtered and recommended to you by people you trust?

But if everyone's playing the game of "must tweet 4 times a day" or "must produce an article every week" what's going to happen?

As I've posted about before, marketing does one thing really well - abuse a new channel until it gets saturated. Junk mail, cold calls, email, it's all been done before.

Even Twitter now has promoted tweets and accounts.

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 8:24 am |  0 comments  | Links to this post  

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Monday, December 05, 2011

It's that time of the year where everyone starts predicting the sales trends for 2012.

The latest article to catch my eye, Barrett's The 12 Sales Trends of 2012, has  the overall theme of "Adapt or Perish", which I think pretty much sums it up.

It's a lot like the theme I developed in this post last month.

Picking through the 12 sales trends covered most are part of the ongoing evolution (or should it be revolution) in sales that's been brought about by "search" and the internet. This has been the single most disruptive force in sales aver the last 10 years.

When I say disruptive, that's not a criticism, I'm talking in terms of how search has completely changing the B2B sales landscape.

It's what the article points to as "A seismic shift in the way we sell".
In the 21st century business is more about questions than answers; more about thinking than action; more about people than capital. 2012 is about getting your house in a new order because the world changes yet again and we need to change with it.
Transactional salespeople, or "order takers" have basically been replaced by ecommerce. Every aspect of sales has gone higher up the food chain, which is reflected in a number of the trends outlined including "the polarisation of buying and selling".

Your sales team today are no longer just "closers", they're facilitators.

Other trends look at improving efficiency of selling, through better CRM, targeting and segmentation and reducing expensive sales resources, such as "Field sales team numbers to halve".

It's now all about getting more from less, which is basically what every business needs to consider.

As the article concludes, "Buyers are in the driver’s seat"

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Posted by: David Regler @ 8:21 am |  0 comments  | Links to this post  

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Re-thinking the B2B sales model

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Sales Trends for 2012

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Where's the hidden revenue in your business?

Does your business have an austerity plan for grow...

Outbound marketing is evil and useless

B2B lead generation survey on tactics and trends

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