Social Selling works: A LinkedIn survey found that B2B buyers are five times more likely to engage with a sales professional who provides new insights about their business or industry. But don’t take their (or our) word for it. Let’s look at the evidence. Here are six examples of companies who are winning with social selling:
InContact’s manager of the sales team decided to experiment with social selling for his sales team. A group of the sales team were trained to use LinkedIn to share content and engage with potential customers, and the others continued without using LinkedIn.
In this case after six months, the sales reps who were using LinkedIn and some marketing automation software to support them had increased the revenue per sale by 122%. The team members previously had little presence on social networks but increased their personal brand awareness. They were also able to find new opportunities and close better sale.
InContact’s experience shows how personal social sharing and engagement helped increased sales.
SAP say that developing the social selling skills of their sales staff meant they delivered 32 per cent more revenue and were 10 per cent more likely to achieve quota. SAP invested in LinkedIn Sales Navigator to support their social selling. This provided sales reps with an effective way to get in touch with prospects and engage with their customers. Importantly SAP also invested in training and coaching to support the sales staff. Their figures show the impact of training as trained staff were shown to achieve significantly higher sales.
What was also important in the SAP example is that they shifted their approach from ‘selling’ to ‘knowing and supporting’ its buyers. This is a significant shift and one which is well suited to social selling.
This IBM social selling case study is frequently quoted, as the numbers are so compelling: By using social selling, they drove a 400% increase in sales. In this case the use of corporate content and corporate social accounts were used to support the sales team. Employee advocacy and collaboration across teams to find, filter and share great content is at the heart of their success.
XO Communications, a leading provider of IP and Data solutions, used a product called GaggleAMP to deliver content to the sales teams to help them with social sharing and selling. GaggleAMP helped the sales teams of XO Communications use this content to amplify the reach of the business and increased average sales. The approach here was to equip the sales team with content that they could share on their social media channels.
LogMyCalls launched a major content effort called “150 Blog Posts in 50 Days.” The aim was to drive awareness and leads through publishing regular smaller content articles. The company say this initiative drove a 400% increase in leads in 90 days. This approach also gave sales staff a wide range of content they could use in their social channels.
Pitney Bowes started a Social Selling Programme after realising at a sales conference that their buyers were actively using LinkedIn to network and find useful information. They piloted with a group of 6 sales team members and helped to build their credibility a Subject Matter Experts on LinkedIn. They shared a combination of original and third party content with their networks. The initial group saw an increase in opportunities within the first days of the pilot. Social Selling has now been rolled out across every business line in Pitney Bowes globally. Key to success for them was having senior support for social selling, making it easy for people to onboard and try, and measuring and communicating success using a top 10 leaderboard of social sellers seeing results.
What do all these have in common?
- They established a culture for social selling, with sales leaders sharing by example
- They used tools to make it easier to find, filter and share relevant content
- They rewarded and celebrated success from social selling
- They supported their sales teams with input from the wider organisation
- They looked beyond their own content to share independent, third party and curated content
- They shared relevant targeted content, going beyond broadcasting to nurture relationships with content relevant to their prospects
- They achieved results and extended social selling based on those results
What can you take from these to bring social selling into your business?