How SAP is Winning with Social Selling
Over the last couple of years, the buying habits of B2B customers have changed. Now, instead of relying on sales reps for information on how to solve business problems, buyers can easily perform most of the research and analysis themselves. This has resulted in a digital sales revolution.
When SAP saw this change, it understood that salespeople could no longer sit back and wait for the phone to ring. In 2012, the company actively embraced social selling to meet the demands of the new B2B buyer. Since implementing social selling techniques and training on a company-wide basis, SAP has seen tremendous success, including:
- 60% increase in sales quota attainment
- Average deal 600% higher in revenue
- Reps and Account Executives with a high SSI (60 or higher):
- 3.4x more likely to hit quota
- Closed 3.6% more deals
- Saw 55% boost in performance
One example of an account executive adopting social selling is Arlen Chudley, who recently spoke with Vengreso’s Chief Sales Officer, Kurt Shaver, to discuss his social selling techniques, how he connects with prospects, and how he uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Leveraging Content to Build Credibility
One of the ways Arlen uses social selling is to produce and share his own content. This builds his credibility in his field and develops thought leadership. In fact, while his articles haven’t exactly gone viral, they have gotten a large number of views and even rank high on Google searches.Get inbound inquiries and comments from prospects through #contentsharing @kurtshaver #socialsellingClick To Tweet
For example, as an SAP Hybris Account Executive, Arlen is located in Vancouver, Canada and his territory is in the Midwest United States. One of his strategic targets is wholesale distribution, so he wrote an article on the subject, sharing his point of view on where commerce is headed in that space. He also writes articles to target specific buyers, such as those who use a competitor’s product or a complementary service, showing these potential buyers why they may be interested in some of the benefits of Hybris Commerce.
After producing this content, Arlen uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find targets and leads that may be interested in these articles.
Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator to Find New Clients
Undoubtedly, as social selling has exploded there are many tools available, but the best one to find, track, and connect with potential customers is Sales Navigator. This doesn’t mean performing searches and sending cold InMail pitches. At least it doesn’t for successful sales reps like Arlen, who understand effective social selling techniques.
Instead, he uses Sales Navigator to identify potential buyers and connect with them through their pain points. For example, there may be a specific platform that his targets use, which others have had an issue with. Sales Navigator allows him to search a geographic area and certain-sized company for people who have experience with that platform.
His goal is to connect with these prospects. But instead of reaching out indiscriminately with a cold sales pitch, he uses the channel to gain visibility with targets, then starts a conversation through email or over the phone about the solutions he offers.
Now, when Arlen does talk to prospects about SAP Hybris for the first time, they don’t view him as just a salesperson. Instead, he’s viewed as an expert who’s actively trying to solve a business problem.
Keeping the ‘Social’ in Social Selling
One of Arlen’s main successes using social selling happened earlier this year. He and his team were working on an account and, as can often happen, were stuck in the mud with the lower levels of an organization, unable to reach the decision maker. So, he turned to LinkedIn Sales Navigator to connect with C-level executives and share relevant content.
But he didn’t stop there. He kept a close eye on their posts, searching for a pain point or a way to connect that could develop a rapport before pitching.
Finally, he found an opportunity to start a conversation with the president of the company, unrelated to the SAP offerings. This connection started a relationship. When Arlen finally visited the company to present his proposal, the president, who normally wouldn’t have attended the meetings, attended because he wanted to meet Arlen.
By connecting through a different platform, now Arlen had a different level of credibility. So even the president of this company listened as Arlen pitched the prescriptive approach of SAP’s solutions, how they were going to run the project, and how they’d solve the company’s business problems. Thanks to the President’s support, the company purchased the solution. To this day, the customer is still happy and Arlen has regular conversations with the president.Find out how #SocialSelling can help salespeople build relationships with #C-Suite executives. @kurtshaverClick To Tweet
Learn How to Drive Sales Through Social Selling
Using social selling properly means connecting with potential buyers on a different level. Your goal shouldn’t be to send a sales pitch through social channels, but to develop credibility and leverage that credibility to grow sales.
Are you using social selling techniques properly to increase sales and exceed your quota? Or are you simply going through the motions of social selling and wondering why you’re not seeing the same level of success?
Get more insights from Arlen Chudley in this interview to learn how he leverages social selling techniques and LinkedIn Sales Navigator to prospect new clients, nurture relationships, and drive sales in a remote territory.
Social Selling has become such a hot topic that SAP’s Coffee-Break with Game Changers podcast is dedicating an entire series to exploring its various facets and promoting best practices for salespeople. To listen to other shows in this series, visit the SAP Radio area of the SAP News Center.