SAP has trained more than 7,500 sales and marketing employees in the direction of social selling in order to teach them modern sales methods. Among other things, the functions of the tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Twitter and Grapevine6 were explained. The results were worth every penny as leads and won orders increased excessive.
With Social Selling, companies are able to remain competitive in a rapidly changing environment in which people tend to increasing their activities in the digitally network. In the recent years, there have been major changes in the purchasing behavior especially in the B2B sector. Social selling enables the sales & marketing staff to gain a deeper insight into the behavior of the buyer. This can be used to build trust and credibility right from the start of a purchase process.
SAP's Way to Social Selling
At SAP, Social Selling was introduced with a pilot in 2012 - with only 50 licenses. Since then, the number of licenses has risen to over 15,000 worldwide. The employees involved used the gained knowledge for:
- Personal branding at the customer and the company
- To better understand / identify customers' interests
- Identify the decision makers in an enterprise and
- Complete and share information
The success factors that helped SAP to win customers via Social Selling
Listening closely to the customer can help the sales team identify the best time to start the communication. To share the right content, with the right person, at the right time, or join group discussions. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator is particularly suitable for the "listening phase". For example, it is able to identify leads, sales opportunities, follow them, and generate the right connections to a customer.
Participate and network
Starting with the first contact, the sales employees try to network via as many social media channels as possible. LinkedIn Sales Navigator, LinkedIn, Xing or a direct address via e-mail, Twitter or WeChat.
Once networked, personalized videos are sent, for example, to trigger an interaction. The sent clips can be a brief presentation of the company, a short demo of a solution or a short thank-you video, after a meeting. Another social selling tool used at SAP is Grapevine6. It allows the sharing of content through new innovative ways. It combines all the important aspects of social selling in one application.
Trust and credibility
Social selling completely replaces the old sales structures (such as cold quotes or postal advertising), with a strategy of listening, learning and networking, so that trust and credibility can be established at an early stage of the sales process.
Merge of sales and marketing
A successful social selling program requires an alliance consisting of the marketing and sales team. This merge has taken place at every level of the hierarchy in order to create a social selling culture within the company. The different business units have participated in joint training courses and certifications to promote a well working symbiosis.
Great growth in sales and orders
After the introduction of social selling, efficiency in the collection of leads and sales opportunities has increased enormously. The order budget was particularly strong among the employees with a high Social Selling Index (SSI). In 2015, teams that participated in the training sessions had a 700% better out-lumped job schedule than teams who had not participated in the training. By setting up a reporting system between the social selling activities and the order pipeline, the growth in sales was excellently recorded. In 2016, it amounted to over one billion euros.
The success in SAP was guaranteed by the introduction of social selling along all hierarchical levels and the associated tranings. Furthermore, bonus incentives and an appropriate performance tracking were decisive for the success. SAP is an excellent example of how a good integration of social selling can dramatically improve the success.