“Pimpin’ ain’t easy but it’s necessary.” – Ice Cube
Chris Garrett at Performancing writes today about “blogging for hire,” meaning a new corporate job description, or maybe a consulting gig, as a company blogger. Think Microsoft’s Robert Scoble, but at firms of all sizes and across all industries.
In fact, Chris inspired this post title when he mentioned Hugh Macleod “pimping wine and bespoke suits.” Chris isn’t being derogatory at all, but if you’re offended, blame him. 🙂
Anyway, his post reminded me of some thinking I’ve been doing along the same lines, regarding corporate sales rather than public relations. About a month ago I picked up a copy of Selling is Dead by Marc Miller and Jason Sinkovitz. The book posits that complex business-to-business sales are woefully broken, if not actually dead.
The gist of the problem is that in today’s mature corporate environment, companies must sell innovation in order to increase profits. However, innovation can be a tough pitch, because people make buying decisions, not corporations, and people are afraid of making a bad decision and getting fired. So they stick with the safe legacy system, even if it’s ultimately bad for the company.
Accordingly, sales teams are beating their heads against the wall trying to convince corporate buyers to take a chance. Sales teams are underperforming, and the cost of sales people has risen, because they are ineffective.
The authors propose a fairly complex methodology as a solution, but what it boils down to is replacing sales people with “business people that sell.” Enter the blogging angle, which unfortunately didn’t seem to be on Sinkovitz and Miller’s radar.
The more complex the sale, the more written materials involved. Start the dialogue with blogging (traffic via industry ads or direct mail), and then take the prospect “off road” for more information via white papers and supporting marketing materials. It’s simply a highly informative lead generation system that beats the pants off of cold call interruption marketing.
Then, and only then, have the initial telephone conference.
The long and short of it is, I expect to see smart corporations hire not only “business people that sell,” but “bloggers that sell” as well.
Copybloggers, if you will.