What the heck is SoLoMo?
Essentially, it’s a neat new tech word that marketers have coined as yesterday’s door-to-door, traveling sales world becomes today’s new digital sales world.
Technology is changing a lot of things about the way we live, but it’s really changing sales.
Where sales people used to get on planes, trains and automobiles, or trudge through neighborhoods carrying briefcases full of literature or product samples, many of them now reign supreme from web sites, social media platforms and email inboxes, using their laptops and personal devices to reach out to customers and get responses.
SoLoMo is a major part of this. SoLoMo stands for “Social, Local and Mobile” and it’s the new trend in sales. Now, marketers are running around like crazy trying to figure out what it means, as in this brilliantly hilarious skewering of the term at the HBO “Silicon Valley” tv show’s treatment of a fictional TechCrunch Disrupt event.
Okay, fine, but what is SoLoMo and how do you adopt your sales model to it? Let’s break it down into its three parts.
We’ve already reported on the findings of people like Jim Keenan, as reported by Mark Fidelman in Forbes online, but these numbers are also a demonstrable part of why SoLoMo starts with “So.” Fidelman’s article shows the actual numbers on social selling, and how it really empowers salespeople to sell more, for example:
- 78% of social sellers sell above average
- Social sellers are on average 23% more likely to beat sales quotas
- 54% of study respondents say they have used social media for a sales success
- 40% link social media use to multiple closed deals
For those who are convinced that social selling is the way to go, but don’t know quite how to tackle this essential aspect of the new digital sales world, this other Forbes article can help — titled “Five Steps to Making Sales Through Social Media,” this piece walks readers through how to become integrated into social media as a salesperson, and how to use it to your ultimate advantage. Although some of this detailed how-to guide can seem a little bit sneaky in terms of blending professional sales with relationships where no agenda that is explicitly specified, the article does make a good point about social selling, particularly in the last step: creating conversations.
This is where the essential value of social selling is most evident — instead of just pounding a general target audience with a heavy-handed message over and over again, at various times of day and night, you reach out to a particular individual who is expressing a need or talking about a given industry. You then craft a time-sensitive message that appeals to what that person has already said. It’s like the ways that different individuals buy and sell vehicles, furniture, kids’ toys and other used stuff on craigslist — social media matches a need with the supply, time and time again, in precise ways that make sales easier for both parties, the salesperson and the customer. And that’s why the social component has earned its place in the covenanted SoLoMo process.
And what about the local aspect?
We all know that local sales movements are big, for example, a growing ‘Made in the USA’ campaign, and a national local food movement aimed at connecting shoppers with fresher fruits and vegetables grown closer to their homes.
With this part of the SoLoMo philosophy, companies take advantage of the ‘local brand,’ but they also strive to provide customers with better local discounts and coupons that will incentivize conversion. This Netsertive post cites a comScore study that articulates some of what “local” means to real consumer audiences:
“Consumers now expect accurate, easy-to-absorb information on local businesses on a variety of computing platforms, and companies that can adapt to this new world have the most to gain.”
How does that work? Experts point to the Foursquare app, which emerged in the early days of mobile device carriers, as the pinnacle of local marketing. Having the data about where individual customers were allowed local businesses to offer those specific coupons and discounts in a targeted way.
Then there’s the scoop on the directions that local selling is going now. For instance, you may not have heard of something called weather-optimized selling, but just wait.
This post on Phunware shows how companies will be looking to use all of the data going into and out of the individual smart phone from weather apps. We’ll be checking our phones for chances of rain, or to figure out how cool it will be in the morning, and retailers will be looking to grab that data and send back options, for example, outdoor café seating on a sunny day, or a choice of a good book for sitting out a blizzard.
Then there’s another very example of local marketing at work – SoLoMo is making its way out to farmers market shoppers. This specific category of consumers represents a very concrete industry based on local marketing principles. So what some companies are doing is streamlining this marketplace to appeal to individual customers.
In this CNN Money clip, we can see the Farmigo company at work collecting grocery lists from those who would otherwise be shopping local farmer’s markets. The company puts together boxes, and presents them to customers at host locations, where ad hoc events help to make pickup and delivery attractive. From the shopper standpoint, you simply go to a website and put in your zip code, and ask for various types of local produce.
The mobile part of the equation is perhaps the simplest part.
You don’t have to look very far to see concrete evidence of the big sea change toward mobile, as consumers do more market research, communicate with more companies and purchase more goods and services on mobile devices through mobile apps. For instance, this study by Internet Retailer shows a 9% jump in consumer use of smart phones during the past year. And it’s not just individual consumers who are using more mobile apps — there are also studies like this one from ZDNet showing corresponding increases in mobile enterprise — for example, in ZDNet’s coverage, the percentage of enterprise mobile apps use went from 6% to 9%, with a corresponding drop in the use of laptop platform apps.
The mobile aspect of SoLoMo is straightforward — it just means migrating all of those legacy operations to smartphone platforms. It means doing more advertising on mobile. And yes, it means shrinking all of that messaging, whether it’s e-mail or social media etc., onto those smaller screens. There’s a furious frenzy to keep up with the mobile phenomenon, as more people are carrying and using mobile — it’s actually frustrating for businesses and for individual consumers. For enterprise, it’s a matter of cost and the labor of migration. For customers, it’s a matter of staring at extremely small print on extremely small screens. But the bottom line is that these are the sacrifices that we make, in order to do business and get marketing messages from wherever we happen to be.
SoLoMo and Your Sales Strategy
Think about what this “three fold cord” can do for helping to upgrade how you do sales. And, check out the Stride CRM platform that can help you track deals, measure the effectiveness of sales messaging, and ultimately, sell more. We’ve put together a platform that can really deliver sales results, because we know what sales people face in the field. Check it out and see how modern tech tools can help you to become a “smooth operator” in your markets.