How SAP is Winning with Social Selling: Part III

VengresoBlog Post How SAP is Winning with Social Selling: Part III
How SAP is winning with Social Selling

How SAP is Winning with Social Selling: Part III

As a Sales Development Manager in the SAP SuccessFactors, James Kelley leads a team of sales development reps (SDRs) whose main objective is to help account executives get their first meetings. While his team uses phone and email, increasingly they’ve been using social selling — and especially LinkedIn — to get the attention of the right people to get their foot in the door.

In this edition of SAP Social Selling Success Stories, Vengreso’s CSO, Kurt Shaver, interviews James Kelley on the social selling techniques he uses to drive business.

The Evolution of Social Selling

When Kelley started at SAP, way back in the dark ages in the spring of 2016, he almost exclusively used phone and email to generate new business, and had plenty of success. But more and more he found that while people knew about SAP, they had a number of misconceptions about the services the company offered.

Those misconceptions led him to start using LinkedIn as a way to:

Quickly, Kelley found that this strategy created more visibility for him as a thought leader, but also greatly increased the knowledge about SuccessFactors in his market and improved his success rate.

Be a Go-To market resource by sharing relevant content to your network #SocialSelling @KurtShaverClick To Tweet

Implementing Social Selling Techniques as a Manager

Once James found social selling methods that worked, he was able to share these techniques with his team. One of the biggest challenges they face is that they have markets around the world that all speak different languages and they need to find content for each of these languages.

To overcome this obstacle, Kelley encourages his team to engage and follow their key accounts and prospects so they can find out what is top of mind for them. Then, they replicate content in the language those prospects use in order to gain more interest. This allows his team to be more appealing in each of the different markets as a brand, but also as problem-solvers.

Each member of his team has a LinkedIn Sales Navigator license, which is a great tool to filter all the noise from the main news feed and to only focus on the people and accounts they’re interested in. They also use Sales Navigator to continue following customers after they’ve made the sale. What they’ve found is that when someone leaves a customer and goes to a new company, they potentially have a good advocate in someone who has already worked with SAP and SuccessFactors.

But they also follow people who used to work at SAP and have gone on to another company. “SAP has a big network and invariably people are very happy to help former SAP colleagues when it comes to getting referrals or guidance on who best to speak with inside of an account,” Kelley said.

How to Use Social Selling on a Day-to-Day Basis

One of the main objections Kelley’s team gave him when he was trying to implement social selling techniques was the time it would take to build a successful personal brand by having enough content to share consistently.

Kelley solved this common problem by making social selling a part of his day and sharing that strategy with his team. For instance, each day Kelley:

Success in #SocialSelling comes down to regularly doing these 3 things. #DigitalSales @KurtShaverClick To Tweet

This type of schedule allows him to focus on building awareness about SuccessFactors a little bit at a time as opposed to trying to carve out a couple of hours each day. It also solves the problem of worrying about whether he has enough content to push out. After all, he’s in sales and not in marketing or communications. He has a quota. By breaking these practices into small chunks, he’s achieved social selling success by making it a part of his regular workday, just like calling and emailing.

Achieve Social Selling Success Like SAP

SAP has spent the last couple of years pushing social selling techniques, and those in the company who have truly embraced it have a 60% higher sales quota attainment. Why?

James Kelley breaks it down into three pieces of advice:

  1. It’s not always about selling; it’s about building relationships and building a brand
  2. Keep your profile up to date
  3. Don’t just sell, but contribute; share thoughts and ideas, comment, and build your network

Watch Kurt Shaver’s full interview with James Kelley and learn how you and your team can benefit from implementing these social selling techniques.

Social Selling has become such a hot topic that the 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.

Kurt Shaver

Kurt Shaver is a co-founder and Chief Sales Officer of Vengreso. Kurt is an expert at getting sales teams to adopt new sales tools and techniques. Through a successful career in technology sales, Kurt learned what it takes to reach B2B decision makers. As a VP of Sales for a global software company, Kurt was the executive sponsor of a rollout. That’s how he learned what it takes to get salespeople to adopt new tools and techniques. That knowledge led to him launch his own Salesforce consulting business in 2008. When LinkedIn went public in 2011, Kurt recognized that LinkedIn would be the next great sales technology and that it would require expert training. He pivoted his business and now has over 10,000 hours of experience training corporate sales teams like CenturyLink, Ericsson, and TelePacific Communications. Kurt is the creator of the Social Selling Boot Camp and is a member of the National Speakers Association. He frequently speaks at corporate sales meetings and conferences like Dreamforce, Sales 2.0, and LinkedIn’s Sales Connect.

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