Ahhh social selling. If you don’t know what it is by now, firstly delete that MySpace account, and secondly, check out this awesome blog article.
So now you’re educated on the subject, let’s look at some B2B companies that are smashing the social selling process.
Any B2B social selling blog worth its salt will mention SAP amongst the most influential leaders in the social selling sphere. Having an excellent understanding of their target audience (millennial decision makers who want to choose a supplier quickly and by doing minimal research), SAP acted quickly using LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Reps targeted high volumes of leads at CXO decision-maker level, and benefitted from improved relationships with prospects gained from real-time visibility on role developments and expanded professional networks.
Absolutely key to the success of their strategy is the onboarding and training of senior sales employees; leading by example, these individuals encouraged their peers to utilize social selling platforms such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator to generate several individual deals of $300k or more.
Word of mouth is so crucially beneficial to the success of social selling; company reps can adopt an incentive programme to turn the strategy into a competition and measure individual social selling success by direct impact on revenue generated.
AT&T dramatically revolutionized its relationship (and subsequent sales pipeline!) with a former customer. Sadly, relations with the said customer had become frosty, and so AT&T decided to utilize a targeted “persons of interest” social selling strategy to thaw the negative opinion, and in 18 months were able to attribute $47 million in new business to social media outreach.
So how did they do it? They adopted an existing platform, the AT&T Networking Exchange blog, and key AT&T employees created customized content that was relevant to their customers’ vertical market and to specific roles within the company.
This content was amplified on Twitter and LinkedIn by connecting with users in the customer base and those with specific job functions to T&T’s offering. On Twitter, AT&T retweeted positive press about their customer and sent tweets containing questions that were linked to the blog articles they had written. On LinkedIn, an extensive review of LinkedIn groups resulted in the discovery of an employee group which AT&T joined and populated with questions and blog articles specific to the needs of their customer.
The result? AT&T regained favourability with their customer and being considered a thought leader, quickly received questions and requests to bid for projects.
Contact center software provider inContact is the perfect example of a company who were trepidatious about using social selling for lead engagement. With staff having little to no social profile at all and minimal understanding of LinkedIn as a sales tool, the new head of sales enablement decided to perform an A/B test amongst his staff. Half were trained to use LinkedIn and Eloqua for social outreach and lead monitoring, whilst the other half maintained the business as usual sales programme.
The outcome? The team using social selling tactics not only noticed that their personal brand awareness increased, but the number and quality of sales they were able to close improved. Over the year that the programme was deployed, sales staff using either LinkedIn or Eloqua noted an increase in revenue per deal of 122%, and those using both platforms noticed a 157% increase. The entire sales team were thereafter quickly trained to use social selling.
So, there you have it – social selling works! If you have your own success story, we’d love to hear it!
Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to one of our experts on how we can support your social selling strategy, contact us today.