Chapter 1Why Do I Need to Change Now, Not Tomorrow?

90% of customer buying decisions are starting online.

—2011 by Forrester Research

The above statistic is already five years old, but it couldn't be truer. The average buyer in business is just like you and me at night, on our couch, surfing the Internet. Buyers purchase clothes and televisions, and build their future vehicles online. What makes you think they don't also research software, HR best practices, insurance, or corporate healthcare policies?

My business, our clients' businesses, and your business have already forever changed because buyers have changed. Buyers are arming themselves with more information than ever to make informed decisions. They can now connect with their peers on social platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to learn about the challenges, pitfalls, and successes of any solution implementation. In 2012, other statistics began to emerge on the change in buyers' behavior that progressed social selling:

  • Fifty-seven percent of the buyer's journey takes place before a sales professional is involved.1
  • Seventy-five percent of business-to-business (B2B) buyers use social media to research vendors.2

In 2011 and 2012, these core statistics awakened progressive companies because their sales professionals saw the vital importance that social media played during activity at the top of the sales funnel. Sales and marketing departments would need to change their ways to become resources for buyers ...

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