“Social Media Means Business”

As an authority on automating successful selling, salesforce.com can’t be beat. They’re also at the center of the brainstorm on how well social media really contributes to successful sales and customer service. salesforce.com vp Peter Coffee spoke at last week’s Ingram Micro Summit. A couple of thought-provoking ideas from Coffee that bode well for every business, from sole proprietor to Fortune 100:

Selling Tools Unite to Form One Social Body

  1. “Social Media Means Business”, cited Dell’s 22,000+ social media interactions daily
  2. “Moving Toward Zero, One and Infinity”, customers marching toward:

    • Zero on-premise infrastructure with zero acquisition cost, zero adoption cost and zero support cost
    • One coherent environment rather than software stack
    • Infinite scalability.

salesforce.com’s position is especially valuable, given their commitment to partnerships with ISVs, who develop social media-centric tools; and to MSPs, whose toolkits help realize the 2 ideas above.

btw, I’m working in an office where Facebook access is blocked (really not a bad idea).  As a consumer products manufacturer, we actively use social media, so we have to step out back and fire up our smartphones to see how they’re performing … joining the fraternity of smokers. WiFi and ashtray, one convenient location!

(Thanks to Joe Panettieri at TalkinCloud, whose blog post covered Peter’s talk. Image courtesy salesforce.com)

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Hispanic Population Influences Channel Strategies

Mexicans are the largest Hispanic group nationwide and in 40 states, according to data released from the US Census Bureau. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, or four times the nation’s 9.7 percent growth rate.

This brings up three points to consider when evaluating and forming your sales and marketing channel strategies:

Use local talent. Bring on specialist brokers, PR agencies, and retailers with proven success in reaching and selling to Hispanic consumers. Pay special note to your current strategies in the nation’s five largest metro areas… espcially in Midwest US cities. How well do your retailers and advertising providers reach Hispanic households?
Value family ties. Multi-generational and extended family ties are strong in Hispanic communities nationwide. Your value propositions and outbound marketing themes should encourage word-of-mouth referrals, family plans (think Verizon Wireless) and “trusted source” status to gain business from three generations, from abuelos to niños.
Think North American. If you’re realizing sales gains in the US Hispanic sector, know that here’s a fast-growing market in Mexico, too. Work up a channel strategy that will cover key areas there, to complement what’s working in the US. Head to www.trade.gov and get in touch with your local Export Assistance Center for a quick and easy evaluation; they’ll even help introduce you to best partners in Mexico and other countries.

Read all about it here.

Online Communities: “Friend” Them or …

“A groundswell is rising among your customers. Are you ready?” In case I haven’t mentioned it recently, there’s a business book called Groundswell that is worth every dime and minute you spend on it.

Buy This Book.

I recommend it often to clients and colleagues as an excellent primer on how to tame and master the art of social media marketing.

In Groundswell, two of Forrester Research’s top analysts show you how to turn the force of customers connecting to your own advantage. There’s targeted, memorable advice in the book, backed up with real-world ROI to prove it works.

Groundswell is more highlighted, tagged and dog-eared than any other book within reach of my desk.

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