The Social Enterprise: How your customers produce and consume in the social world
B2B customers are becoming more social, and their expectations are changing rapidly.
- October 2012
- By Lareina Yee
McKinsey partner, Lareina Yee, presented the keynote address at the Sales 2.0 conference.
What was your presentation about?
The impact of social media is really starting to be felt at the enterprise, with important implications for sales organizations. Many people in B2B businesses have not wrapped their head around the idea that social needs to be part of an enterprise’s strategy. To date too many of them have read about social and thought about it as something that’s happening in the B2C world.
The trigger point is that these companies’ customers are more social, and their expectations are changing rapidly. That reality is forcing B2B companies to adapt, not only to how they interact with customers but how the make social media part of the enterprise itself. The data shows that social media can generate as much as 25 percent in efficiency gains, which is enormous.
Where is social having the most impact on B2B companies?
Social is having a direct impact in 5 areas:
- DIY prospecting: Customers conduct research on products and services well ahead of the official start to the sales cycle
- Peer influence: Customers “pulse” their peers by tapping into professional social communities and networks at every step of the journey
- Trial before purchase: User testing requires grassroot support. It’s no longer a single decision instance rather smaller purchase bundles
- Buyer & user are the same: The phenomenon changes decision and influence points in enterprise purchasing
- Click to compare: Pricing transparency is foundational; consumer expectations are shaping enterprise behavior
What part of your keynote most resonated with the audience?
I think two things hit home with this audience: 1. was that customers are constantly seeking peer input as they make their decisions. Social media and the networks they enable are having a tremendous impact on customers’ decision journeys. 2. People were interested in how much potential social media has to improve the productivity and effectiveness of marketing and sales people. We measured the impact that social had on knowledge worker productivity, and if you look at social as a modern form of collaboration, marketing and sales people have the most to gain as a function by embracing social.
Here is the presentation Lareina gave:
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