Meeting and listening to Guy Kawasaki here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit for mid-market and enterprise companies is like coming full circle. Having sold IBM products more than 25 years ago, I remember his days as Evangelist for Apple. Now, keynoting about enchantment (title of his 10th book), Guy reminded the audience of IBMers, customers, and guests on simple things, like creating the foundation to become an enchanting company or have an enchanting product:
- Achieve Likability
- Achieve Trustworthiness
- Do something DICEE (deep, intelligent, complete, empowering, and elegant)
It seemed like the perfect opener for a global event welcoming the era of the “Chief Executive Customer”. In fact IBM has described transforming the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and much attention is being spent here at the Summit on ways to invigorate marketing teams with new tools to assist in moving the science and art of marketing forward.
I had the chance to speak with Guy about the idea of influence, enchantment, and how a mid-market company could create their own sales influencers to charismatically grow visibility, gain market share, and differentiate. Guy agreed that there is a role for a champion, or evangelist, or influencer in every company – in fact he thinks any good salesperson could handle that role. Typically it is just the charismatic leader of an organization who stands out in the organization to champion and evangelize.
What if your best consultative sales professionals at your company were also Evangelist and Influencer? What if your brand became identified by the many sales influencers at the company – a team so well-connected and excited that your brand grew through recommendations, referral, and through the social web?
We are seeing this happen in smaller B2B companies as a great business equalizer. Mid-market organizations, somewhat resistant or reluctant to further explore social selling have a huge opportunity ahead of them.
In Guy Kawasaki’s words, marketers who want to make their company more enchanting [which in turn positions them to gain visibility, gain recognition, and grow revenues] once they have the fundamentals down of likability, trustworthiness, and being DICEE should:
a) Tell their story in human terms – the “why” of the business
b) Plant many seeds (that’s where the social web comes in)
c) Show people your magic (the differentiators)
The Smarter Commerce Global Summit runs through tomorrow. In addition to great keynotes to inspire, IBM unveiled new cloud-based services, like the new IBM Marketing Center, for CMOs and CIOs to boost engagement efforts with their customers. This solution incorporates analytics, intelligence, and automation from a company already analyzing more than $100B cloud-based commerce transactions.
You can read about IBM's recent CMO study written about this year.
The time of the Chief Executive Customer has arrived. It will be interesting to see how it is all executed, and with the case studies shown throughout the event, I am sure that everyone will be walking away with new ideas not just for the enterprise, but for smaller and mid-sized organizations everywhere.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for tips and strategies in selling.