At the end of last year, DLA co-founder Tim Hughes spoke to influencer experts Onalytica about some the key challenges facing social selling teams. He talks about the influences on his career and how he believes social selling is becoming the de facto sales technique today and into the future.
How did you get to become an expert in Social Selling?
(TH) I started on social media some nine years ago. At Oracle Corporation I was part of a sales transformation, where we took the current “on-premises” sales processes and pretty much ripped them up for the new world of SaaS and Cloud. White boarding, storytelling and social selling where the order of the day. I started blogging about social selling, then very soon got a book deal.
My book “Social Selling – Influencing Buyers and Changemakers” is now a best seller and a set book used by universities, professional bodies and corporations alike to start people on their social selling journey. 14 months ago, I set up Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) with my business partner Adam Gray and we are now the first global company to help enterprises with all aspects of social media. From board level strategy to our 12-week social selling change program for teams at all levels of the business.
What areas of social selling are you most passionate about?
Social selling has changed sales forever. We reached a tipping point two years ago, where we were able to prove return on investment (ROI) and we now see that employers have a duty of care to their employees to have a certified social selling program in place, or risk not existing in three years’ time.
We also see that Account Based Intelligence (ABI) and Account Based Everything (ABE) are the way forward. Don’t get to worried about the words “sales” and “marketing” as in three years the two departments will have merged.
Which social selling influencers influence you?
One of the reasons why Matt and I wrote the book is that there are very few people pushing forward the boundaries and debate around social selling. In fact, many of the gurus have gone back to talk about sales, prospecting, cold calling, closing etc. The people who influence me are Jack Kosakowski, Mic Adam, Kenny Madden, Daniel Disney, Derek Waszynski, Jon Ferrara, Ian Moyse, Jordan Barca and Alex Low.
Outside of social selling who else influences you?
People who influence me (when I read their work, I go “I didn’t think of that”) are Ted Rubin, Robert Caruso, Brian Solis, Theo Priestley, Adam Gray, Thomas Power, Neal Schaffer, Tamara McCleary, Mark Schaefer, Brian Fanzo, Dan Newman and Patrick Kitchell.
Which brands or products stand out for you in social selling?
We are a product agnostic company but the products that stand out for us, must be Brandwatch, Hootsuite and Microsoft.
If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
I’m always open to collaborating with any company. To work with me, brands need to have an objective and a plan about what they want to do. We are a social media only company, so only get involved in social media work. For example, we don’t advertise. We don’t need to. Requests to buy tweets will be turned down. We work with companies to educate, excite and inform people. We always discuss with a brand where they see the campaign going and if it isn’t for us, we will politely turn it down.
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?
Directly, though my social channels!
Digital Leadership Associates: We are Global Social Media Management Consultancy. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email or call one of our founders on 00 44 7823 534 557 and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.