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How to Build Your Pipeline Through Social Selling with Tim Hughes, CEO of DLA Ignite

In this episode of the Revenue Insights Podcast, host Lee Bierton is joined by Timothy Hughes, CEO of DLA Ignite, a strategic advisory and consultancy enterprise that enables organizations to leverage social selling to convert pipeline leads. Tim shares a three-step social selling process to build pipeline leads and highlights how conversations rather than content play a pivotal role in the conversion process. Conversions pivot around educating the prospects on their pain areas and then offering solutions to resolve the issues. The episode is also a gold mine for sales leaders looking for insights that are easy to adopt and implement. 

Timothy (Tim) Hughes is the CEO of DLA Ignite, a strategic advisory and consultancy enterprise that enables organizations to leverage social selling to convert pipeline leads. Tim has over thirty-five years of business and leadership experience across the technology, marketing, and revenue streams. He is a Co-Founder at DLS Ignite and is the best-selling author of Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers.

Time Stamps:

  • 01:11 – 02:46 – Tim’s Story
  • 03:28 – 06:35- How to build a pipeline with social selling in 2023
  • 07:21 -09:41 – How to measure the impact of social selling
  • 10:21 – 13:49 – Monitor these metrics to measure the success of social selling
  • 14:49 – 24:47 – The three-step playbook to drive pipeline growth with social selling 
  • 27:06 – 31:53 – How to improve adoption and see results from social selling
  • 32:10 – 35:46 – Why CEOs need to drive teams forward into a digital-world
  • 36:01 – 37:39 – Tim’s Book Recommendation – The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins

Subscribe to the Revenue Insights Podcast:


We need to stop working in the physical analog world, which is where our buyers are not, and move over to digital.

And why do we do that?

We know that by doing that and doing social selling, what we’re going to do is that we’re going to get more revenue and we’re going to get more pipeline. And what we need to be doing is switching our skills from traditional analog physical skills over to having digital skills. Welcome to Revenue Insights. Every week we’ll be joined by revenue leaders from some of the most successful and highest growing companies.

Together we explore how they built their revenue teams, the journeys that they’ve been on, and the lessons they have learned along the way. Revenue Insights is brought to you by Epster. We’re a revenue intelligence platform designed to help revenue teams to build more pipeline, close more deals, and retain more customers. Hello there. You are listening to Revenue Insights. Today I’m joined by Tim Hughes. He’s the author of the book Social Selling.

He’s also the CEO and co-founder of DLA Ignite.

Tim, it’s a pleasure to chat to you today.

Lee, thank you so much for inviting me on. And I was recommended to come on as well. So I’m really honored.

Yeah, I feel like kind of the topic of our conversation is definitely going to be along the lines of social selling.

You know, proof in the pudding that it’s kind of working for you, right?

I think that you even got the recommendation. Absolutely. I was on a call with the CEO the other day. It was he. And he said, I don’t believe that social selling works.

And I said, so how do you think I got this call?

And he went, oh yeah. Nice.

Well, for anyone that’s listening that hasn’t heard of you, Tim, or perhaps hasn’t read one of your books, could you give them a kind of whistle stop tour of your story and what brings you to where you are now?

Yeah, so I’m a salesperson. I’ve been in corporate sales for 25 years, B2B enterprise. My background is I work for Oracle twice in their partner community. So I’m used to big deals. And for me, everything is all about pipeline and revenue.

I set up this company with my business partner, Adam Gray, six years ago, we’d recognize that there was this social media thing and that what people were doing was that they were just playing with this. And what they actually needed to do it was to use it strategically for commercial gain.

So rather than just saying, we’re just going to put some flowers on our LinkedIn profile and isn’t that wonderful?

Is that how can we use social media to get pipeline and to get revenue?

My first book, which is Social Selling Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers came out in 2016. It was the first book on social selling and it’s been a runaway bestseller. Another book came out in 2018 called Smart Marketing, called How to Achieve Competitive Advantage Through Blended Sales and Marketing.

If I wrote it today, I’d probably call it RevOps, because it’s actually about how to run blended sales and marketing teams, which is, and it would have more of a RevOps spin. And my latest book, third book, which is actually the second edition of Social Selling Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers. So the second edition came out on the 29th of November.

And it’s hot off the press, if you touch it, the ink’s still dry. I love that. The first thing that I really want to dive into, and I’m going to make an assumption of our audience here, that they’ve probably got some idea of what social selling is. So given the circumstance of 2023, we’ve got economic downturns going on, it’s becoming harder to sell, no one’s got any budget to use.

And I appreciate that’s a very sweeping assumption.

But from your perspective, going into 2023, to sales leaders that are listening, that have teams that are going, okay, how can I generate more pipeline?

How can I have more conversations?

What role does social selling have in the sales process for the next 12 months?

Okay. So first and foremost, what I’m going to say what isn’t social selling, which is spamming people on social media. That’s not, people think that because, because interrupt marketing or interrupt selling is, has been what we’ve done for the last 30 years.

You know, what you do is you cold call somebody, you interrupt them and you pitch, you send some an email, you interrupt them in the pitch, you put in place an advert, which is basically where you interrupt my time and then you pitch. And what happens is that people think we bring that to social media. And that’s what we do.

And unfortunately, it’s not social media is social media, which is being social on media. And therefore, the difference that people have is that you we have to go about this very, very differently. And we have a definition of what social selling is, which is it’s using, using your presence and behavior on social media to build influence, make connections, grow relationships and trust, which lead to conversation and commercial interaction.

Now, to answer your question, what do we need in 2023?

Well, what we’ve needed in every single year ever since we started in business, which is we need more pipeline and we need more revenue.

And how do we get that?

Well, the traditional ways of ringing people up and saying, hey, Lee, I’ve got a great whatever it is, but by my thing, they’re over. And we know that Salesforce show that cold calling has like a 99% failure rate.

HubSpot, who make email marketing systems actually say that email marketing has a 98% failure rate. And I think Facebook advertising has something like a 99% failure rate. So anybody who goes to the board and say, our latest strategy has got like a 99 or 98% failure rate is on the highway to nothing. We know that our buyers have migrated to digital.

McKinsey, Salesforce, HubSpot, Gartner have all said that they’ve all migrated to digital. So we know that our buyers are there.

Therefore, we need to fish where the fish are. So we need to stop working in the physical analog world, which is where our buyers are not and move over to digital.

And why do we do that?

We know that by doing that and doing social selling, what we’re going to do is that we’re going to get more revenue and we’re going to get more pipeline. And what we need to be doing is switching our skills from traditional analog physical skills over to having digital skills.

So not digital apps, because you can take a license of sales navigator and be the world’s best spammer, but you won’t necessarily get any business from it. You need to understand social to get the most from sales navigator. So it’s not about the tools, it’s about your ability to process and understand how it is to be digital and work.

And that is all about, at DLA Ignite, we’re all about pipeline and revenue and getting that for 2023. I’m really interested to know, because for many of the people listening, and you kind of touched on that for some salespeople, the idea of, well, 50 messages a day, 50 new connection requests, and oh, you get back, oh, not much yet.

For those that are doing well, how do you start to prove the value in it?

And I’m curious because with tools like sales enablement tools or conversational intelligence, you can start to analyze the performance of your calls, the performance of your emails. That’s not quite something that LinkedIn, for example, is enabling us to do at the minute.

So with perhaps businesses that you’ve worked with, how do you actually prove the value of social selling?

Well, it’s easy. We measure it. And one of our clients just recently has got a 10,001 ROI. There were three, 400 million turnover, a dollar business, and they just got a half a billion dollar lead in their pipeline through social. And so we always measure the success of our projects through the amount of revenue that’s generated. And we would expect organizations to grow by 30% and reduce their sales cycle by something like 20%.

And that’s very different from them because what often… I spoke to someone who’s spamming their way through LinkedIn.

And then I said, what response rate do you get?

And he said, well, cold calling, we used to get 98%. But by spamming my way through LinkedIn, I’m getting 96% failure rate, that is. And so he saw that as basically a win.

Obviously, there’s only so far that you can go with spamming through your network before everybody just tells you to go away and places a bomb under your car or something, because you’ll just lose all your friends. But he saw that as a win.

We’re amazed how little people seem to be accepting because the results that people have been getting from cold calling and email marketing are being getting less and less and less and less and less. They actually see that sort of response as good. And we’re just amazed how people are accepting that. Whereas you can go to social.

Cyberhawk, one of our clients, they said to us to get this to work, we need to be getting five SQLs a week. When we got 15, we stopped counting. There is Namos, who’s another… The CEO is basically written in my book. He’s got a $2.6 million deal and then another half a million out of them.

There are people that are getting serious business and serious amounts of money generated because this is not where we’re making one extra call or something like that and we’re accepting it. This is where we’re saying, no, what we want is 10 or 100X times results and we’re going to use a different method and this is how we’re going to get it. And they’re getting it by using digital.

Are there, to me, something like the deals being pipeline generated is very much a kind of a lagging indicator.

So what would be the leading indicators?

The KPIs that perhaps you’re tracking or you’re advising clients to track, is it response rates to messages that you’re sending, response rates to connection requests?

What I’m trying to get at is are there any kind of signals that you see in what you consider to be good social selling that suggests, yes, this is going in the right direction, the pipeline is going to come?

So for the first, probably the first three months of a social selling program, we would use SSI, the measurement within LinkedIn, so the social selling index, as a catch-all measurement. It’s not an exact science because it’s a black box.

You don’t know what LinkedIn are basically tracking, but it’s a kind of a, most people you go, well, what is it?

And they’ll say 55. And if you can get them to like 70 or something like that, they’re kind of doing the right things. And then we move on to more things that we can track.

And one of the things that we find is that, you know, we’re tracking things like the messages, how many messages you’re sending or how many contacts you’re making, how many messages that you’re sending, how many of those are transferring into conversations, whether that’s a demo or whatever proposal or whatever that is.

Also, the amount of content that you’re putting out, the interactions that you’re getting on that content, how much of that is transferring into conversations.

Now, the thing, the second mistake that people seem to make often with social selling is that they say, you know, we can’t use social selling because what we sell requires us to talk to people.

Well, yes, exactly. So social selling is a mechanism to get conversations, just like I’m having a conversation with you now.

You know, I know Ian, Ian Moise, he recommended me and they’ve got me this gig. So what we’re doing is that what you sell, what I sell requires us to have conversations. So what we’re doing is that we’re using, as I said earlier on, our presence on social media to get those conversations. So content, for example, content will allow you to get conversations.

If you’re posting content and you’re not getting any engagement, you have a number of things wrong, which you need to adjust. One of those things that you need to adjust is you’ve got the wrong content.

So, for example, we do a presentation to new clients. It’s a free presentation. It’s about an introduction to social media and how you can use it strategically within the business. And we use a particular post that one of my colleagues put out, Eric Doyle. It’s a picture of him and his son on the beach. And off the back of that, he got 60 level meetings.

He put out two proposals and he got one purchase order. And it took him 10 minutes to do.

Now, there’s no way to do that. There’s not one business development method that allows you to get 60 level meetings and one purchase order by doing 10 minutes of work. That’s the expectation that we would have in terms of the results that you would be getting. But there’s a number of levers that you need to be pulling to making sure that you do that. So it’s unlikely that…

We talked to a lot of internal teams who were basically trying to do stuff with social selling and it doesn’t work. And it’s not that they don’t understand the levers that they need to pull. We’ve built a methodology, which is backed by the Institute of Sales Professionals. It’s the only one in the world. And it’s very, very clear. You do this, you do this, you do this.

Methodology is just like any other sales methodology. I’m really curious to know, and this is very front of mind, because I know within EBSA that social selling is something that we’re trying to push more as a business. You mentioned there about content and we were touching on beforehand what content actually leads to conversations.

Something that I’m certainly seeing at the minute, particularly in January, everyone’s turning over a new leaf, salespeople need pipeline. We’re seeing a lot of posts about posting. Here’s what I’ve learned from posting on social.

And what I’m interested to know from your perspective is what is the content mix that you should be posting?

It pains me if one of my reps goes, hey, look at what marketing has just produced.

Can everyone download this please?

It’s so much more than that.

So how would you recommend, particularly to sales leaders that perhaps after this, they’re looking at their teams or they’ve got teams that start to do social selling, what should the content mix look like that people are posting?

So I see those posts on LinkedIn. And it just amazes me how much people are wasting time when there’s a proven method out there that all they need to do is ring me up and I can show them how they can get a response from posting. They spend three months and then they go, oh yeah, well, it didn’t really work.

So I’ll go back to doing what I said before and that didn’t work either. So the three things that you need to know, right, so each salesperson needs to do these three things. First and foremost, you need to have a biocentric profile. So this is a profile, not about you because salespeople always make the mistake that they think it’s all about them. It’s not about your buyer.

So it’s your buyer that is on social media, your buyer is searching. So this is what happened at NamUs Consulting. The buyer is searching on social media. They’re looking to solve a problem.

Now, the problem with search on Google is that it doesn’t normally give you the right answer. If you go and ask it, what’s the capital of Nigeria, it will do.

And after this, if anyone goes, go onto Google and ask it, what is the number one CRM in the world?

And what you’ll get is 10,000 CRM vendors buying that search. And it will just completely confuse you. So what happens is that the buyer is confused. They’re looking for answers. They will use Google, but they’ll also, what they want to do is that they’ll come on social on their search. Search on social is different because it’s about discovery, because you’ll find different things on social.

So what happened is that the buyer comes on, NamUs, the buyer came on, they saw a salesperson and said, you look interesting. I think you can solve my solution. And what happened was that they walked towards the salesperson.

Now, this is transformational.

Now, 99.9% of salespeople on social media look like salespeople. And the moment I see a salesperson on LinkedIn, I go, I don’t like you. I don’t trust you. I don’t believe the words you say. Don’t come near me, because I’m going to do a search and I’m going to find what I want to buy, which is not going to include you.

Because last time I included a salesperson, they just tried to stitch me up. So what we do is that you need to have a buyer-centric profile where someone goes, you look interesting. I think you can help me. The person walked towards the person at NamUs, there was then a discussion that takes place, as they have done, forever between salesperson and buyer. And I say that that turns into a $2.6 million deal.

So your profile is really, really critical. The second thing you need is a wide and as varied network as you can have. The reason for that is search works differently on LinkedIn than it does Google. I don’t have time to go into that today, but what you need to do is you need to be connected to all the people that you’re trying to influence, you could say sell to.

Now, quite often what you’ll find with salespeople, next time you do a QPR or you do an account review, and all sales leaders need to be asking these questions when you do a quarterly business review or account review, is you need to ask the question is, how many people are you connected to in that account?

And if the salesperson says less than 10, throw them out. Because you need to be connected to as many people as you can, because you don’t necessarily know who it is that has the particular influence. So if you take BMW, BMW is a client of ours, they have 120,000 employees.

How many people should I be connected to?

Certainly not one, certainly not 10. One of my colleagues, we’re trying to sell to one particular account that has 50,000 employees. He’s connected to a thousand people within that company. He’s connected to the whole of the C-suite on the UK and the whole of the C-suite in the US. His ability to sell into that account and actually to influence that account is massive, because what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to influence.

So you connect to the people in the accounts, the people that influence, so the KPMG’s and EY’s and their auditors and all of the different people that possibly influence that. So you’re influencing those people as well. And the third thing that you need is content. Why do we need content is we know that our buyers are online looking for it.

We know that, you know, you said to me just before we came on, I’ve just been on your LinkedIn profile and I was reading this and looking at this and I saw you on this podcast and da da da. Exactly. This is what our buyers are doing.

So one of the things that we have to do is that we have to empower our salespeople to write content which is authentic, which basically talks about who they are and what they are.

Now, your salespeople, as with all the salespeople, will be experts. You’ll be experts in the business issues that the customers are facing. You know what they are. So get them online, get them talking about those business issues. This is not about saying, buy my product because it’s great, because everybody says that. And it’s also there’s this massive loads of billions have been spent on employee advocacy. It’s a waste of money.

Because what happens is that people basically take the marketing brochures that they couldn’t put out through the other mechanisms and put them on social media. Research shows that nobody comes to social media to read brochures. I go to a website to do that. And HubSpot says that the average person spends two to four minutes on the website because you’re just checking the organization has got a pulse.

I come to social media because I’m looking for insight. I’m looking for something. Tell me something I don’t know. Explain to me what the business issues are. Explain to me what it is that I need in my business. Entertain me even. And that’s what people are looking for. And you can do that by empowering your salespeople.

Now, people say, I don’t have time to write content. Content is prospecting in a digital world. I block out my time for prospecting. Prospecting is also writing content. I put out a blog every single day. I’m a CEO. So one of the people that have contributed to my third book, Chris Fleming, he’s the CEO of CyberHawk. They’re a drones company. The drones look at pylons and oil rigs and stuff like that.

The whole of the C-suite is on digital.

The CEO, the CFO, the CIO, the CRO, the CMO, and the COO, they’re all there. They’re all digitally visible. And what they’re doing is that they’re putting out content which is relevant. This is about having digital relevance to their customers. And they’ve got into organizations that they never thought that they would get into.

Because if you think about the oil market, ExxonMobil, SaudiRamco, BP, Shell, how do you break into those?

We don’t break into them by spamming them with email and cold calling them. You’ve got to have a strategy. I know people that have tried to get into SaudiRamco, and they’ve set up offices in Saudi Arabia to enable them to do that. CyberHawk hasn’t done that. And their VC said they’re going to IPO for far higher, far quicker by doing this.

I’ve just put out a blog today about there’s some research that shows that CEOs that have personal brands get 20% more investment in their organization by being on LinkedIn and 5% more investment by being on Twitter. So there’s empirical evidence to back it up, not just my opinion and my customer. But here we are. Chris is writing about this in my book. It’s two pages.

And he talks about today, we need to have two companies. We have the company that we understand, but we need to have a media company. The modern buyer, the modern job hunter, the modern investor, your future employees, your current employees, they’re all on social media.

How do you influence them?

You influence them by putting your culture out. This is a great place. I love working for this organization because it allows me to… Here’s a day. They’ve given me a wellness day, and I’m off and I’m fishing because that’s what I really like. And people start going, do you know, I’d really like to work there.

Do you know, I’m actually really fed up with this company, and that looks like a really great place to live. So this isn’t just about sales, which is easy to measure. This is about social strategy across the whole of the business.

So we have clients that have stopped paying for recruitment consultants and job ads, which is a massive spend, especially in times of recession, because they don’t need to, because people are queuing up to work for them as an organization. Because what they’re doing is that it’s not just the salespeople, but everybody is empowered as to saying, this is why I work here. This is something that’s really, really great.

And that’s what people want. And do you know, well, as I do, that we’re on social, we’re looking for those things. We sit there with our phones and we go boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring. Do you know, that’s interesting.

What’s that?

Oh, they’re out at a zoo.

Oh, that’s interesting. Charity days. Yeah. But whatever it is, is that you’re presenting your, you’re basically taking all of those good things that you have internally, and you’re externalizing it. And all of these people that are out there looking at it. And that is a massive difference to what organizations are doing right now.

And usually what happens, Lee, is everyone nods their head as soon as I say this, because yeah, because actually, this is the way that the world works now.

Yeah, 100%. And I found myself nodding along just like, yeah, absolutely. Right. And certainly what I found in a lot of businesses that I’ve spoken to, the biggest challenge, and I love the example you gave there of the business you worked with, was CMO, CIO, a whole C-suite doing it. And I think for a lot of people, it’s just like, yeah, so that’s the point that I’d love to get to.

Except I’ve got a, you know, perhaps I’ve got like a chief product officer who loathes social with a passion, right?

Just as an example. So…

But Lee, this is, and I totally understand that. But that’s also because quite often people are scared. Yeah. And what happens, I mean, I have a friend who’s just moved companies, who was told to create content. And he said to me, I don’t know how to create content.

What do I create content on?

So he moved jobs.

He says, I found a nice job, and I can sit here and I’m going to retire in five years. So I can just sit here quietly for five years.

And, you know, was it 20, 30 years ago?

You may not remember this, but I remember getting my first laptop. We used to have a sales administrator that used to do all the typing. And what happened was that we were given laptops and we said, now you need to learn Word and Excel. And we went, oh, okay, I have to do that.

Now, 25% of the salespeople actually said, excuse me, I’m a salesperson. I don’t do typing. And they left. And they went to work for organizations that don’t exist anymore, that required their salespeople not to type.

You know, we have to learn skills and continue to learn skills as the world changes. And the skill that we need now today is to walk digital corridors and have digital conversations. And that’s a critical skill for us as a business. If we’re going to avoid layoffs, if we’re going to make sure that we’ve got the pipeline and the revenue, we need those skills. I love that analogy.

So the question is then, Tim, how do you get adoption going?

How do you build adoption within a business?

Is it a case of having one shining light and going, look, look at all the pipeline I’m generating as a result of it?

Or is it a more, does it require a more cohesive kind of strategic approach?

So there needs to be a strategic approach, because usually quite what happens is that there’s a… I remember talking to a CEO of a social media company. And I said to him, you know, even though you’re a social media company, you’re crap at social media. And he said, well, the people know what to do. They should just go and do it. And I said, I’m not sure that’s the case.

Because I said, you know, when I worked at Oracle, one day we had said, if you put anything on social media, you’ll be fired. The next day, they said, you’re now allowed to put stuff on social media.

And we all went, yeah, but the next day after tomorrow, you’re going to say that we’re farting in, aren’t you?

It’s a trick, isn’t it?

And so you’ve got a whole bunch of people that will… They will be using social media on a daily basis, probably Facebook, maybe Instagram. And they see LinkedIn as being this thing that’s happening, but they won’t understand it. And everybody will be scared about doing the wrong thing. We’ve all seen the stories about people, you know, treating things and that and being fired or whatever.

So what needs to happen is there has to be a structure put through and say, just like we would train people in diversity or inclusion or health and safety, there has to be a structure where people understand what the good behaviors are and what the bad behaviors are. So we’ve got a set of guardrails that we can basically hang on to.

There has to be a top down and a bottom up approach. The way that we’ve gone about it at CyborgWalk is that we’ve actually got the C-suite to actually embrace it. In this other company that’s got a 10,001 ROI, we’ve actually got not all the board, but we’ve got part of the board embracing it. So we’ve got the strategy director, the HR director actually embracing it.

Because if you give it to the salespeople, the first thing that happens is that they say, because you’ve given them all these other things to do, they’ll say, well, this is just another thing that I’ve got to do during the day and I want to go home at 5.30 because I’ve got football practice or whatever, so I’m just not going to do it.

And so my manager’s not doing it, so why should I do it?

So there has to be leadership. What we do is we pretty much always run pilots. And so we have an introductionary presentation that we give. And what we normally do is we do an all hands call where we do that presentation and the leadership within the organization says, if anybody is interested in doing this, come to me afterwards and we’ll put you on the program.

Because what we want are not necessarily people that are doing social, but people that want to do it. People that want to feel that they’re going to do what they think is extra work, it’s not. And actually feel that they’re actually wanting to move out to their comfort zone and do something different and they see this as the future. And also having the sales leaders to do it as well.

And then what we do is that we put together playbooks. So what happens is that as we’ve gone through the program, we then have a three legged stool in terms of the salesperson, the sales leadership and us to basically say, here’s a playbook, because everybody’s different. I sell to government and it’s not the same as you because you sell to mid market and you sell to big account.

So each of the playbooks are different per salesperson or person. And what we do is that we agree a set of metrics that they’re going to work to. And so we have the metrics that they’re going to work to over the next three or six months that we will measure.

And that gives you the, then we’ve all got something to go back to in three months or six months and say, have you achieved those things?

But always along the process, you need to be measuring revenue. So you need to have a campaign code or something for your CRM and measuring the number of leads they’ve got and the number of meetings they’re getting. So you’re actually able to say and go to the board and say, we’ve run this social media program.

This is, I mean, I don’t know what your sales cycle is, but one of our clients is 152 days. And so you can set map out over those 152 days and say, this is the revenue we’ve got. And this is where all the current pipeline is in the sales stages that we’ve basically built with social media over the last six months or whatever.

And then people can get a visibility of what they’re getting and the return that you’re getting from the investment in training the people.

The one thing that kind of popped into my head there, and this is a really simple question, whose responsibility is it to lead that strategy?

Does it sit with someone like myself in marketing?

Is it the sales leader’s responsibility or what do you think?

I’d actually say it was the CEO’s responsibility. This is about your future. We’re in the fourth industrial revolution and that’s about going to digital. And therefore, I mean, I would be really concerned. I’ve written about it before that employees should be concerned if their CEO is saying, we don’t have a digital strategy. And I don’t mean a digital strategy like implementing a new ERP system or something. That’s not digital.

That’s a new ERP system. It’s a digital strategy for empowering the people with digital and working out new digital processes. So the processes, as in the fact that we don’t need to pay for recruitment consultants anymore because we’ve empowered our people to be digital. So it needs to come from the board and the board needs to be saying, we’re going to be a modern digital business.

We know that there’s changes that have taken place out there in the world. And what we need to do is we need to completely rebuild the sales and marketing process because we can’t be using 1980s sales and marketing processes and try and expect to get pipeline and win deals in 2023. It defies logic. We’re still doing what I started doing when I moved into sales in 1985.

I mean, I don’t understand. Yeah. We’ve got mobile phones.

I mean, we didn’t have even the email. We didn’t have email when I first started in sales. I wrote letters. And we’re still doing what we did in sales and marketing.

Okay, we’ve moved on to email, Rob. But email is 1990 technology.

I mean, it came in with faxes. And so what’s happened is that we need to be as a business saying we’re going to move to digital. We’re going to see it as a structure. And this is the way that we’re going to go forward.

Why do you think there is so much resistance to it?

Well, I think there’s always a resistance to change, isn’t it?

And there’s a lot of people that we talk to who have started commercial life in a similar sort of area that I did.

Therefore, what we can do is say, well, we’ll just make more telephone calls. And of course, we’ve got to the point since I’ve run since I started DLA Ignite over the last six years, the cold calling number of calls you needed to make went from 20 to 40 to 60 to 100. And now people say you need to have an auto dialer and software to be making 1000 calls to get the response that you want.

Because technology is caught up. I don’t take cold calls. The phone just rings. You’ve got a hundred people you’ve got. And I just block the number. And everybody else does. When I get emails, all I do is create rules and it just goes straight to bin. I sometimes look at the bin and salespeople go, I’ve sent you three emails. But it goes in the bin.

Do you not understand how email works nowadays?

It’s noise.

Therefore, I create rules. And that’s what everybody can do. And you know, legislation, GDPR, technology, all of these things just stop all those things working.

But where are we?

We’re all on, but our bars are on social media.

So why aren’t we there?

Why aren’t we able to, why aren’t we going on there and having conversations with those people?

Because your competition are.

Tim, I want to ask you one final question. And it’s a great one, I feel like, because you’re a bona fide author.

What is one book that you’d recommend to sales leaders, to revenue leaders?

I’m an avid reader. I read a lot. And there’s actually lots of books that I would recommend. I could do a whole show with a whole stack of books of things. And you need to read this for this reason. And you need to read this. There’s a number of books I have behind me, which are there that I can reach for.

And this is one of the ones that I’ve read recently, which is The First 90 Days. It’s a very, very popular book. And the reason why I recommend it, especially for sales leaders, is that it’s basically a book about what you need to do in the first 90 days of getting a new job. So it could be you’ve got promoted within an organization.

It could be that you have got a new job and you’re starting. And it’s the spreadsheets and there’s diagrams. And there’s… Because we’ve all started new jobs. And we’ve all probably walked in and put our foot in it or something like that. And it’s just one of those things where you buy a book and then you go, right, I got a new job. I’ll sit down and read it.

And it’s a great book if you’re starting a new job and or starting a new position. Excellent recommendation. And very timely, I think, with particularly the number of layoffs going on right now and people picking up new jobs in January. Excellent recommendation. LinkedIn seems to be full of people saying, I’ve got a new job.

Yeah, particularly the first day of January. I really noticed that.

Tim, it’s been wonderful to meet you. Wonderful to chat and go into things a bit more. For those listening at home, if they want to check you out, obviously follow your LinkedIn. See all the good advice that you’re putting out there on social selling.

Where can they find you?

The best place to get me is on LinkedIn. I’m Timothy or Tim Hughes on LinkedIn. I’m Timothy Underscroll Hughes on Twitter. Our website is And my book, Social Selling Techniques to Influence Bias and Changemakers, second edition, the one with the yellow cover, is available on Amazon worldwide. Perfect. We’ll put all those links down below and make it really easy for everyone to find.

Tim, once again, thank you so much. And to those of you that have listened to this episode, thank you as well. We’ll catch you next week. Thanks very much.

Thanks, Lee. Thanks for listening to Revenue Insights. If you want to learn more, subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll deliver every episode straight to your inbox. If you have any questions, feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn. Our links will be in the episode notes. See you next week.