To get some answers, I had a chat with Sophie Barnes of Xchanging. You can listen to the interview on iTunes, SoundCloud or keep reading for a summary of our conversation.
Our tip of the week is the very useful and free Google Forms and our big shout goes out to Campbell & Syme.
How did you implement social selling?
“So first, about two years ago we began exploring the tool [Sales Navigator], exploring what the trend ‘social selling’ meant and how B2B companies could benefit from it. I spoke to LinkedIn and said, “What have you got going on and what can we do to implement this at Xchanging?”, “How can we benefit from this”. So, we started a pilot trial with them.
To grab the attention of the sales team, I used the gamification of their Social Selling Index (SSI) score, sending the link around for them to explore their own scores. I stepped back and watched them all go, “Wow, I can’t believe I’m beating you” to each other and looking at how the managers were thinking, “Oh God, my team members have actually got higher scores than me. What I can do about this?” – that’s when the personal emails came creeping in.”
What were some of the challenges that you faced implementing social selling?
“It was getting the buy-in, obviously, from the business. Sitting down and trying to prove the ROI of social media, which I obviously fight on a daily basis when it comes to the B2B insurance market. Initially, the buy-in, having the time and the resources to sit down with everyone and actually train them one-to-one on how to use the tool. Which I had fantastic help then with an account manager at LinkedIn helping us do the webcast to come in and to do some training with the teams and do the reporting back for me.
The challenge that I now face is having the sales guy be confident in what they’re doing and actually stand up and give me a case study. I want to show the business how social media is helping not only the brand and marketing activities, but sales too. I’ve had one colleague do a video case study for me and then a few were interested in getting involved, but I’d like a constant flow.”
What tools do your sales people use on a daily basis?
“On a daily basis, the sales guys are obviously on LinkedIn. Every single one of them. And of course Salesforce. Then, I’ve just recently rolled out my employee advocacy program. I’ve got them all on Smarp as well.
Then obviously, all the analytics you get off the back of Brandwatch, Sprout, and Hootsuite. And then the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, they’ve got a brilliant reporting system. I could just pull it into a CSV file. We then use Google Analytics and how it kind of all syncs in the UTM tracking with Marketo and the lead capture that we have there as well.”