Going Beyond Cloud 9 With Social Selling Expert Ian Moyse

Ian Moyse Interview

Today on TaskQue Talks, we are privileged to have Mr.Ian Moyse with us. He is a Sales Champion and Cloud industry influencer with over 25+ years of exciting experience. He is one of the most prolific sales professionals who have been included in 2019’s Top 50 Sales Keynote Speakers by Top Sales world.

He is a top social influencer on cloud and consulted by a number of leading global brands. Currently he is EMEA Sales Director at Natterbox, which is a global cloud telephony platform.

He is also a board member of industry bodies the Cloud Industry Forum and FAST.  His accolades journey doesn’t end here. He’s been listed in the top 50 EMEA bloggers on Cloud Computing and was awarded the accolade of UK Sales Director of the year award by BESMA. Ian is an active social seller and industry influencer and can be found at www.ianmoyse.cloud.

TaskQue: First of all tell us about yourself? How did you start your journey? From a programmer to a sales maven, what was the motivation behind this transition?

Ian: I was hooked onto computing from age 14 when I first saw a neighbours ZX81 1K computer and focused all my schooling from that point on computing, English and Maths. After 2 years of college study, I joined IBM as a programmer working on CICS, GDDM and PROFS at their labs.

I had achieved my goal and programmed with a passion in about 10 languages when I spotted an opportunity for an internal sales role to support a new sales team for an IT distributor who had just gained a Novell distribution contract.  

The simple motivation was realizing that I could progress quicker on a path to higher earnings and possibility of company car and a mobile phone. I felt knowing what I was talking about technology wise would overcome my lack of sales experience along with working very hard. I never looked back, although I do tinker still with the occasional programming.

TaskQue: Old tactics of sales and marketing are becoming obsolete with every year. What trends do you see in Sales and Marketing in upcoming years?

Ian: The customer (buyer) is more informed that ever before about everything, your product, your competitors, your company and in today’s social media world also about you! It is more important than ever to remain relevant and bring prospective customers insights and reasons to speak with you. You need to be informed about your customer, the market, your competition and your offering more than ever before. 

Customers expect you to have done your research and come to the table informed and insightful, more fool you if you do not. Hence why new methods and skills such as social selling need to be utilised to compliment the fundamental skills of questioning, active listening, negotiating, etc.

TaskQue: Sales and marketing teams in most of the organizations seem to struggle with lots of challenges.What do you think are the core challenges faced by B2B sales team and how they can be addressed?

Ian: Today’s core challenge for most I speak with comes from a few key matters. Finding it harder to get to the table in the 1st instance, challenging to recruit and retain the right talent and to stay relevant in a time when there is always a disruptor popping up around the corner. Many traditional methods of lead generation are broken or challenged to deliver what is required for today’s sales teams. 

It is time to adjust and train sales teams on new methods and support them on the journey of new insightful engagements and approaches. It is key that sales leadership supports new initiatives and learnings themselves and does not simply re-churn “same old same old” approaches and expect the same old results.

TaskQue: How do you see the use of social selling in driving sales? What are the tools and techniques which are beneficial in this regard?

Ian: Social Selling is a misnomer by name as many discount believing that their product or service cannot be sold over social.  It should really be called Sales Engagement through Social Media, but that doesn’t sound as slick! Social Selling is about using Social Media as a way to engage a prospective client and open doors to the path of the normal sales engagement process. Taking a Social Engagement to the real world is the goal.

Social Selling is also not a tool, but a methodology. It is not LinkedIn Navigator, this is simply one of many tools that can help support a Social Selling approach. The biggest tool to Social Selling success is curiosity and process and not the product. I always refer to being a ‘Little Sherlock’, looking for the clues that others miss, correlating them and coming up with an action plan that is informed and has logic behind it based on information found. 

TaskQue: Everyone has someone who inspires them. Which professionals in the industry have been your source of inspiration?

Ian: I admire a range of influencers the most well-known to others being; Tony Robbins for his incredible drive, passion and energy and self-made approach; Richard Branson for his remaining grounded no matter how successful and known he has become and Steve Jobs for his entrepreneurial vision and drive to fail and come back again. I strive to remain driven, to go faster and be passionate about what I do and to be smart with new ideas and approaches based on experience gained and hearing new ideas from those around me.

TaskQue: What do you think is the significance of research in sales and marketing? What are the things that irate you in sales?

Ian: As per social selling above and expectations of clients today, research is key; research of the prospective customers business, their challenges, their people. Finding the opportunity for client insight takes work and those that invest in this appearing non sales activity will deliver greater sales outcomes.

Whilst sales is a numbers game by definition, too often it remains that the pure mantra pressed on sales is of visible activity, often resulting in activity for activity sake. It is about the ‘right’ activity to drive the needed outcomes and this may be social selling research, which does not look like selling as the sales rep is not on the phone pounding calls,but preparing for a better relevant outreach. 

I often hear of a sales team being pushed to increase their calls due to the fact that the connect ratio and onward conversation ratios have gone down in percentage. I ask, how many times can you increase the call volume activity before you get to an impossible level and burn the sales team?  Is it better to not step back and find new methods and approaches to combine into the methodology that aligns to both your desired outcome and the market conditions of the buyer today.

TaskQue: How can a sales team increase productivity by knowledge management? How business knowledge can help in boosting conversions?

Ian: Firstly, it’s key to differentiate knowledge from data or information. Many are collating data, but not understanding how to extract value from it. The critical path is to interpret data correctly to gain business insight quickly and iteratively into what works and what doesn’t and why.  

Knowing that a customer of size A-B has a conversation ratio of 1 in 5 to get an average value sale of £10k and that these customers on average log 17 support calls a year, compared to customer of Size C-D with a close ratio of 1 in 6 but average sale value of £45k and support call annual average of 6 calls can help determine at the outset where your focus lies and the cost to do business.  

You may decide from such data to address both in different teams, or to charge for support past call 6 in a year. You may decide to not address A-B market or to simply focus all marketing and customer attraction investment on C-D and above. Data does not give you the answer, nor does knowledge, but it will allow you to have informed debates and to make decisions that allow you to test and review data again for resulting change.

TaskQue: How important it is to engage with your customers? What do you think is the best medium to do so? 

Ian: Talking about the word engagement is easy but understanding and truly aligning it with ‘your’ buyer’s takes some understanding. Engagement is about two-way interactions, not delivered purely by pushing out content for the sake of content.

What does your buyer value, what insights would help educate and inform them? Align your content to your customer, outside in through understanding your buyer persona’s, demographics and desires/needs. 

Using insightful and valued information and data to engage your customer is key, be it market analysis, how to guides or best practise sharing, The best medium is dependent on knowing your customer, there is no one panacea medium be it blog, podcasts, webinars, social platform or customer portal through breakfast briefing or executive dinner events. Understand your client dynamics, understand what will give them value, and based on these you can align the delivery in the most appropriate format.

TaskQue: What challenges do you think are the same for every SaaS provider out there and what would you suggest to tackle those challenges? 

Ian: From my experience in leading across 5 cloud SaaS vendors it is all about customer acquisition closely followed by embedding value to reduce future risk of churn.  Once a customer is live and gaining value, they tend to have more on their plate to address other digitisation projects than to review and switch SaaS offerings each year.

The challenge of customers still pondering over short-term perceptive gain from traditional CAPEX costs compared to ongoing OPEX still rears its head.  For vendors being as frictionless as possible with integrated internal systems for billing, provisioning and support are keys to rapid scaling.

TaskQue: Few companies went viral in a matter of days while others took a longer route to reach their first million, what do you suggest to companies to keep their momentum high from day one? 

Ian: In today’s cloud, social and new tech world, time to value is shorter than ever before and the need to be agile and willing to fail fast and adjust is key.

Many of today’s successes did not start out the race with the finished proposition that made them! Key edicts of successful firms are to build to a frictionless goal, to go live before it’s perfect and learn during the game play, listen to customers feet and go where they react to you and never be afraid to change and change again. Employ people that thrive in such an environment and want to go faster and always drive momentum and passion from the top-down.

TaskQue: How to control user churn and winning customer heart?

Ian: Minimal churn is a key mantra of any cloud vendor. It is not good filling the bucket (through customer acquisition) if the holes in the bottom are leaking clients just as fast. 

From provisioning, onboarding, user acceptance and adoption to billing, customer service and support; everything needs to be aligned to keep the client engaged to a position where there is no need to have any inflection point of review and the contract at renew stage simply renews and ideally extends to longer terms. 

Customers do not want to be having to change or review options; no business is sat idle with time on people’s hands, most are too busy and if a service is delivering retaining the status quo to renew should be an easy option.

TaskQue:  TaskQue is a cloud-based productivity management tool created for making team collaboration, communication and task management more efficient, how do you see such applications in helping teams being more successful?

Ian: In today’s ever-busy world with omni-channel communication, people working on the move and remote workers its increasingly difficult to stay aligned and informed with everything going on in parallel. 

Having a consistent easy to use Collaboration tool such as TaskQue is essential, especially as the foundations of growth. Having a go to place for new joiners to quickly get in the know and in the mix is a great conduit to faster upskilling and onboarding.