Monthly Archives: June 2013

B2B Lead Generation – A Sales Team Optimisation Imperative

b2b lead generation indiaB2B Lead Generation is tough out there these days… especially when you are a professional services provider selling to corporate world. Double especially, when your value proposition is not necessarily readily tangible to the target audience, and if it is, the target immediately considers the investment required as “discretionary”. The degree of difficulty in capturing the imagination in that vital first four seconds when in “lead gen” mode just keeps getting harder and harder.

To win in this environment, the “discretionary” professional services provider has to do the hard yards. There is NO other alternative. You have to build up a consistent process and implement it with Olympian rigour. A process that positions your company and your Sales Exec as leaders in your field… and the stand-out player prepared to put “real skin in the game” to earn the right with customers and prospects alike.

Content keys to the winning sales team hunting process are as follows:

• A provocative thought leadership piece… this will command respect and authoritative attention by all
• A relevant benchmarking piece… this is important as everyone loves to compare themselves with others in the same field
• A compelling RoI piece… only begin to sell when you have “earned the right” to do so (please see first two bullet points above)

Provocative thought leadership piece 
Get into the minds of the players in your field… what keeps them awake at night? How are they interpreting what is going on? What do they think will happen next? How will they respond? Find out. Ask them. Publish it. Keep it alive and on-going. Look for the trends. This being the segue to…

Relevant benchmarking piece 
What are the key metrics and business drivers in your field? What are the norms? The ranges? The benchmarks? Create a user friendly way to quickly engage your target to benchmark themselves. Help them see their “ah ha!” and “o shit” insights. Continually gather the data and build the data bank. This being the segue to…

Compelling RoI piece 
Guide the target to a landing spot called “what do I need to do as a result of this?” Present a user friendly way to evoke the solution and then qualify and quantify its business benefits for your customer or prospect. Facilitate a simple RoI calculation that can be signed off by The Board of the target organisation.

Invest the blood, sweat and tears… then bank on it for years!

Is Social Media Leadership Critical for a CIO?

cio and social mediaDo CIOs need to engage and evangelize public social media networks to effectively lead their organizations in social media initiatives? Or is facilitating connection and collaboration among employees and clients enough? Who is most responsible for cultivating a social corporate culture?

These are the questions I asked myself after reading the news that only about 10 percent of CIOs in the Fortune 250 are using public social networks. According to harmon.ie’s research, a paltry 4% maintain blogs. Sadly, most of the LinkedIn profiles of the CIOs who were researched are populated with fewer than 100 connections.

All of you know that I’m an avid user of social media. I strongly advocate for CIOs to engage in social activity through the CIO Twitter Dashboard and other lists and forums. So, it might surprise you that I answer this question with an unapologetic noI don’t think that CIOs need to use social networks to effectively lead social media initiatives.

I reviewed the list of the top 25 most social CIOs in the Fortune 250, and read David Lavenda’s strong stance that CIOs need to walk their talk, or more accurately, tweet their tweets. As I did, I thought about the CIOs I know who are silent on social networks, but successfully leading social media initiatives. And I contemplated the reverse, the CIOs who are tweeting, but not leading.

To help illustrate my point, I compared the most social list of CIOs with this new list of the most social Fortune 500 companies. The organizations with the greatest followings–Verizon, Southwest, Starbucks, Coke, McDonalds, Walmart, Target, Nike and Kohls, do not have CIOs who are on the most social CIOs list. The only exception is Google.

In an ideal world, corporate CIOs would blog compelling content consistently, tweet numerous times a day and chime into a few well-chosen LinkedIn discussions on a regular basis.  This would serve multiple purposes: help to engage his employees in the public forums, build corporate brand, build personal brand and increase the firm’s attractiveness to new recruits. However, that’s not realistic for most corporate CIOs. They are simply too busy. Just because a CIO doesn’t engage in social media we shouldn’t discount her opinions or direction on how to orchestrate social media initiatives in the firm.  You don’t need to be an avid ERP user to lead an ERP-driven transformation.

Recently we asked 489 business and IT executives in our survey to tell us the most important characteristic of a successful CIO.

A CIO’s ability to be an innovative thinker and apply IT to relevant business problems was paramount. CIOs don’t need a public presence on social networks to track what people are saying about their brands over social networks or to foster communication between their firms and customers.

Sound off: Do you think it matters if the majority of CIOs are MIA in social media? Who do you think is the most responsible for setting an example at a company with a strong social media presence? Does it even matter?