Technology Will Only Solve 1/3 of Your Social Business Problem


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I’m behind on writing a bit as I’ve just returned from Norway and before that, Dreamforce in San Francisco. It was my first time attending and speaking at Dreamforce and to be honest, I was completely taken back by the extravagance of it all. With Keynotes from heavy hitters such as Sir Richard Branson, Jeff Imelt and even Colin Powell, not to mention entertainment provided by the Red Hot Chili Peppers—I can only estimate that the event cost tens of millions to produce.

Salesforce also made good on what many observers were already suspecting—it has begun to package and consolidate acquisitions of social platforms Radian 6 and Buddy Media into what’s now known as “Marketing Cloud” moving forward. Shel Israel shrewdly views this as a pivot to catering to CMOs as part of the strategy to convert an enterprise to “social enterprise” and in short follow the money trail as companies grapple with how to integrate social at scale.

But amid enjoying some of my favorite tunes belted out by the Peppers in an outdoor venue filled with well over thirty thousand people complete with free beer and wine I couldn’t help but think this:

“all this money—and companies will only be solving one third of their social business problem” 

The problem with social technology solutions—even really great technology is that it’s incomplete. It’s no wonder why Salesforce is making a killing, because I’ve seen first hand how a business will freely invest in a technology platform thinking that they have purchased a turnkey solution only to realize shortly after that they’ve possibly invested in the wrong solution and most definitely underestimated the other two areas which require investment (people and process).

The Three P’s of Social Business >>>>  Leer más “Technology Will Only Solve 1/3 of Your Social Business Problem”

Top 5 Reasons to Understand Your Customer’s Customer


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The world is slowly climbing out of the great recession as companies around the world begin to increase investment and hiring. But for B2B sales teams looking to recapture growth during these early days, it’s critical to understand who’s really paying their bills and keeping the lights on — and guess what? It’s not your customer … it’s your customer’s customer. And if your sales team doesn’t deeply understand the business problems of these folks, then you’ll lose to competitors who do.

Before I get into the reasons why this is, consider some of the big, underlying changes happening in the market today. As companies start growing and investing again they are spending money, but they have fewer people than they had before. This means less time to accomplish key objectives and an even stronger focus on developing efficient strategies and processes to drive revenue growth ahead of the competition. As a result, they are changing the way they do business, innovating in the vertical integration of their product lines and socializing their go-to-market, because if they can innovate and out-execute the competition in the way they serve their customers they can gain more market share as spending comes back.

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To accomplish this, large companies are now talking about “business transformation” in their sales teams, “cultural transformation” in how they interface with their customers, and building a “social business” as a new way to look at their internal collaboration process. With all these trends, the end objective is the same: How to better solve their customer’s business problem and so gain market share.

And so how do you solve your customer’s problem? Well like you, their challenge is revenue, profit and market share. So when your sales team understands their customer’s customer — and the business dynamics, competition and growth opportunities that their customer has — magic happens.

Here are the top 5 reasons:

1. You can focus on the customer’s business problem, not your products

It’s a cliché, but a true one: your customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions. But you can’t sell them a true solution unless you know what problem they are trying to solve, and understanding their customers will give you the insight you need to hold a useful conversation with your customer.

If you pitch product you become a tactical vendor; if you can discuss their customer and how they are serving their customer you become a member of your customer’s team. For example, is their customer driving price down on them — and so is your opportunity to help them take cost out of their operating expenses? Or are they focused on revenue and end user growth — and can your solution help your customer reduce their time to market?

Understanding the customer’s problem is sales 101, right? But it is surprising how many sales people still pitch product. It’s essential you provide your sales team with the intelligence and systems to stay on top of the customer’s ever changing end-business problem (see #5). Leer más “Top 5 Reasons to Understand Your Customer’s Customer”

Demystifying Social Business

If you Google the phrase “social business” you’ll get a variety of results returned. One of the first and perhaps oldest is a Wikipedia entry, which describes “social business” as “a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective within the highly regulated marketplace of today.”


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Originally published on Edelman Digital

If you Google the phrase “social business” you’ll get a variety of results returned. One of the first and perhaps oldest is a Wikipedia entry, which describes “social business” as “a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective within the highly regulated marketplace of today.”

Leer más “Demystifying Social Business”

Two Common Mistakes of Millennials at Work

Most if not all of the digital communities where Gen Y has spent time are highly egalitarian. They’re indifferent to pre-existing hierarchies and credentials, and sometimes even hostile to them. And these communities seem to Millennials to work really well; Wikipedia gives them good information on any topic under the sun, Intrade prediction markets tell them who’s going to win elections, Twitter lets them know what’s going on in the world better and faster than any other source, their Facebook friends answer their questions for them, and so on.

All this can make a strong case to Gen Yers that hierarchy and credentialism are passé as concepts, or should be. So when they show up after graduation at their first employer, some of them start acting this way.


A tag cloud (a typical Web 2.0 phenomenon in i...
Image via Wikipedia

Andrew McAfee

(…)

The first is simple oversharing. I wrote before how narrating your work is a very smart strategy because it lets you be helpful to others, and also increases the chances that they can help you. But narrating your every opinion, emotion, lunch, happy hour, hangover, etc. on your company‘s emergent social software platforms is just narcissistic clutter.

One of the knocks against Generation Y is that they’ve been encouraged to believe that everything they say and think is interesting, and should be aired and shared. This is simply not true for anyone, no matter what reality TV producers would have us believe. Periodically sharing bits of personal information is valuable because it humanizes you, lets others know what kind of person you are, and facilitates socialization and trust-building. But oversharing in the workplace just makes you annoying and immature.

The second not-so-smart practice of a digital native is to act as if all employees are equals, and equally interested in airing the truth. Leer más “Two Common Mistakes of Millennials at Work”

A Flexible Approach to Funding Entrepreneurs


by Matt Bannick

I spent eight years at eBay learning how businesses can create opportunities for people and benefit society. eBay supports millions of Internet entrepreneurs and $60 billion worth of commerce. But in my time as president of eBay International, I also realized that the firm’s social efforts wouldn’t necessarily reach poor people in less-connected parts of the world, because the expected financial returns in these geographies didn’t warrant expansion on our part.

This was much on my mind when I joined Omidyar Network three years ago to oversee its philanthropic strategy. The bottom line at ON is societal value. We believe in “flexible capital” — that is, we invest financial and human resources in both for-profit and nonprofit ventures. It’s not an either-or decision for us; we believe using both grants and for-profit investments can be powerfully complementary. Leer más “A Flexible Approach to Funding Entrepreneurs”

Some great readings this week! Really!!

por jabaldaia

Enjoy it!

What Is A Social Enterprise? There Is Still A Lot Of Debate? By Idris Mootee

Social enterprise is a hot idea. Being asocial entrepreneurship these days is way cooler than being a iBanker. I think we are only seeing the beginning of a long term trend, people realize it takes a new kind of enterprise to solve the world’s problem. And NGOs are not the solutions.

Innovation Failure & Ownership: What happens when we own our successes and abdicate our failures by Andrew (DrewCM)

Innovation is a high-stakes endeavor. Much may be risked on the hoped-for chance of reward. The success or failure of a single innovation may win or lose reputations and careers. In some organizations, the retribution for failure may be swift and harsh, while the rewards for success may be just as fickle

Is Innovation a Process or an Outcome? By Karen Christensen via Ralph Ohr

You believe that everything we know and desire is the outcome of a single discovery that was made 1.9 million years ago. Please explain.


por jabaldaia

Enjoy it!

What Is A Social Enterprise? There Is Still A Lot Of Debate? By Idris Mootee

Social enterprise is a hot idea. Being asocial entrepreneurship these days is way cooler than being a iBanker. I think we are only seeing the beginning of a long term trend, people realize it takes a new kind of enterprise to solve the world’s problem. And NGOs are not the solutions.

Innovation Failure & Ownership: What happens when we own our successes and abdicate our failures by Andrew (DrewCM)

Innovation is a high-stakes endeavor. Much may be risked on the hoped-for chance of reward. The success or failure of a single innovation may win or lose reputations and careers. In some organizations, the retribution for failure may be swift and harsh, while the rewards for success may be just as fickle

Is Innovation a Process or an Outcome? By Karen Christensen via Ralph Ohr

You believe that everything we know and desire is the outcome of a single discovery that was made 1.9 million years ago. Please explain. Leer más “Some great readings this week! Really!!”