A recent study by MIT and Cap Gemini shows that individuals and companies now face a digital imperative – the need to adopt new technologies to manage customer relationships.

McKinsey suggests “Social media is extending the disruptive impact of the digital era across a broad range of functions. The time is ripe for executive-suite discussions on how to lead and to learn from people within your company, marketers outside it, and, most of all, your customers.”

Therefore; it is essential for companies to embrace social technologies and to educate their sales force to use social technologies effectively.

Social media is not only for young people

With the proliferation of mobile, especially smart phone technology it’s not hard to believe that the average Internet user spends 4.6 hours per day on social media;
• 59% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more each week
• 84% of B2B marketers are using social media in some form
• Social Media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than traditional outbound marketing

Typical challenges in modern marketing

The effectiveness of e-mail marketing is losing its impact; the average employee deletes 147 emails / day, deleting 48% of all e-mails without even reading them.

McKinsey reports that customers are more empowered in their decision journey, due to new Internet and social technologies. We all use the Internet to research and compare products.

57% of a buyer’s journey is done BEFORE your sales rep’s involvement. Buyers use the Internet, social media and other online tools to perform their due diligence in their decision making process. Therefore the decision to purchase is usually made by the time the consumer calls on your company.

According for Forrester 65% of buyers choose the company that was first to add value.

The key question you have to ask yourself is whether your company is an online influencer: do you offer valuable content that influences your customer’s decision making process?

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