CEOs: You Own Social Business Transformation

Ultimately, the stakeholder accountable for social business transformation is the CEO. Inspiring, leading and managing the required people, process, tools, technology and experience change is paramount in a social organization and the evolution starts at the top.

Social Transformation of the Organization - Getting Started

27% of senior executives rate digital transformation as now being a "matter of survival." (CMO)

Sales, marketing and enablement functions are a logical place to prove the case for social business. To encourage collaboration, communication and commitment by sales and marketing leadership and team members, you must first provide an understanding of the corporate social business vision and direction.

The four core elements of social transformation are:

  1. Assignment of responsibility and accountability

  2. Training to a common standard

  3. Incentivizing new social business behaviors and activities

  4. Defining the specific timeframe for achievement of objectives

Common and shared goals for sales, marketing and enablement stakeholders may include:

  • Increase social business behaviors by V% (for example, original and shared content, LinkedIn network / connections),

  • Improve sales skills by W% by end of fiscal year (for example, conduct monthly training),

  • Increase in Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL's) by X%,

  • Increase in sales pipeline of Y%, and

  • Increase in revenue resulting from social business behaviors of Z%.

Measurement and systems to provide ongoing benchmarks of progress at milestones help define the speed of change and the level of success in adopting social behaviors. Only after the science of social business is adopted should technology and other tools be introduced to amplify the program and accelerate revenue.

Customer Buying Journey & Social Selling

  • 57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier. (1,400 B2B customers surveyed in CEB study)

Fresh thinking is required to succeed in addressing the old problem of attracting new customers. The buying journey has fundamentally changed and the customer now decides when to accept and trust in the brand promise. Attracting customers and converting interest is now as much about helping the prospect understand that they have a problem as it is about educating them to the point where they prioritize and focus on a solution. 

By providing value during this journey at the key moments of impact requires a sales and marketing focus that includes a legitimate understanding of customer behavior, effective content, discoverability and mechanisms that engage with the right intent and technique. Only then will the customer convert and trust your brand enough to allow you to further position solutions and value. The customer is in charge and elects to engage with you. Your intent and technique need to be clear. Influence is garnered through invitation.

Once you have established a relationship with your customer, it is imperative that you work to delight your customer and continue to add value. Through an authentic experience, the relationship deepens and customers may become advocates and influencers for your brand.

Social Transformation Program

80% of social business efforts will not achieve intended benefits through 2015. (Gartner)

Social transformation programs must include five components to successfully make the needed social business behavioral change. The components are:

  1. In-person training (classroom, lunch & learns and/or workshops)

  2. Team self-study and collaboration (personal study or team success and challenges sharing)

  3. Social business repository (social content, success stories/case studies, tips/tricks, communication/collaboration platform, etc.)

  4. Social expertise (consultant/advisory/internal expert Q&A and support)

  5. Social tools (toolkit model or technologies to make tasks easier)

These formal and informal program elements must be repeatable and easily updated as social business trends and best practices evolve. The program must also be created with an eye towards new employee on-boarding, team training and update/refresher training.

Take Aways

  • Basics: Set the vision and establish success metrics, owners and timeframes to achieve social business transformation results.

  • Incentivize: Make social business transformation part of practice and instill value in the program by recognizing achievement by employees.

  • Transparency: Openly share successes and challenges along the social business transformation journey to spur adoption across the enterprise, and consider communicating the stories socially.