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Social Centered Selling www.scs-connect.com 404-647-4925
Social Selling Customer Case Study
Customer: Fortune 500 Telecommunications Company
Target buyer(s) - CEO, CIO or CFO
Product /service – B2B Communications Company offering a range of wireless, wireline, cloud
computing and collaboration products and services.
Primary Objective:
The objective was to introduce a more effective approach to prospecting leveraging social
networking tools like LinkedIn, and to give the leadership team tools they could utilize to
become more effective in their roles.
Describe measurable goal(s) – the goals were to:
 Enhance sales rep professional brand and extend corporate brand visibility.
 Fuel the sales pipeline with new opportunities.
 Revisit sales opportunities that appeared to have gone cold.
 Increase the number of net new sales meeting’s.
 Go deeper into existing accounts to uncover new sales opportunities.
Program justification
More and more often reps were being shut out when trying to engage through traditional
methods – cold calls and emails.
Each rep had a target list of prospects to work proactively. They were doing very little pre-call
research in advance of making phone calls. When they weren’t reaching the right person, they
were not leveraging LinkedIn to find other connections into the organization. They also were not
pursuing introductions through people who were connected to the folks they needed to reach.
Too much time spent with the wrong people.
Of the 200 accounts each rep was assigned, they usually ended up spending time with about a
1/3 of people from companies on the list who would take the time to talk to them; however,
they weren’t the decision maker nor were they buying anything.
When deals went dormant or reps were being stonewalled in one area of the company; i.e.
procurement, they were not assertively pursuing other ways to reach other decision makers.
Social Centered Selling www.scs-connect.com 404-647-4925
Timeframe
A social selling approach was adopted in February of 2012 and introductory kick-offs began at
the regional management level. The formal roll-out of an online program was delivered in
August 2012 in 5 – 1-hour sessions that were delivered live but recorded for playback. A follow
up session took place one month later to refresh core concepts and have reps share wins and
best practices. Prior to the social selling training roll-out, planning took place to assess sales
skills and need, solicit input from management on program content, uncover best practices by
early adopters to be incorporated into the sessions, content was customized to include common
sales scenario’s encountered, workbook and training guide supported the program delivery.
Staffing
Roughly 1,500 sales reps across the United States participated in the virtual program.
Staffing Profile/Roles
Sales leaders, Field Sales, Inside Sales and Lead Generation team members
Describe buying/sales cycle stage:
Early/find, connect, engage, middle/nurture.
Describe social selling activities:
 Networking
o Combined offline networking with online and vice versa
o Began searching out opportunities to speak or speak on panels at associations
and industry events
o Invited connections more strategically
 Prospecting
o Created search lists
o Followed target companies
o Used LinkedIn groups
o Used InsideView
 Pre-Call Research
o Reviewed Linked In profiles
o Reached out to common connections to solicit feedback or to ask for
introductions
o Used InsideView to dig deeper (trigger prospecting)
 Financial information
Social Centered Selling www.scs-connect.com 404-647-4925
 Social buzz
 Articles, press releases, current news
 Group Selection and Participation
o Joined more groups that included their target buyers
o Began answering questions in groups to build credibility
 Sharing of Content
 Rewrote LI profiles to be more customer focused (initially just looked like resumes)
NOTE: Reps were given basic training on Twitter, but the vast majority of the folks used LinkedIn
and InsideView. More advanced reps began to expand their use of Twitter to follow competitors,
influencers, customers, prospects and trigger terms.
Describe Supporting Content
Recorded Webinars, Workbook and LinkedIn Training Guide.
Supporting Departments Involved
Learning and Development Organization, Sales Operations, Marketing.
Describe Quantitative Results: # closed deals and revenue amount, pipeline, other sales
cycle or relationship-building metrics
Initial results in the first 6-months:
 60% increase in first-degree connections in target industries.
 50% increase in net/new sales meetings.
 33% increase in reps using introductions to get to buyers.
 Roughly 50% increase in user adoption.
 Increase in content sharing and the use of media on profiles (not able to quantify as the
company did not put a process in place to track).
Social Centered Selling www.scs-connect.com 404-647-4925
Describe Qualitative Results
Reps became more energized and strategic in their approach to reaching their prospects.
 Prospect – “After a meeting with the prospect, we learned their parent company had an
initiative to consolidate all their wireless lines (thousands). I was given the title of the
person making the decision but that was it. I then found a C-Level contact at the parent
company on LinkedIn who was connected to him. I was one degree separated from her
and we shared three similar connections. I reached out to a common connection of ours
to make a referral and then asked her who was responsible for the wireless
consolidation task. I had a meeting with him one day later.”
 Former Customer – “After three+ years of trying to win back this customer’s business
(actually significantly more than was lost) we had been waiting on a decision. Having
only the title of the decision maker, LinkedIn was able to tell me what her name was and
it showed that we had two contacts in common. I reached out to one of my two contacts
who reached out to the decision maker to help move the opportunity along and who
sang our praises as we did an amazing job with 450 devices at a competitor’s location.”
 Prospect – “A cold call to the President/IT director resulted in the prospect telling us to
call back in a year. One of my reps went on LinkedIn and found a Director of Safety. We
called her with a fleet tracking safety solution and secured a meeting. Now we are
working on a solution for 50-75 devices.”
 Former Customer – “Ported out over 100 lines five years ago. They would not take our
call for years on several win-back attempts. By using InMail on LinkedIn, we got a
response and a meeting with the owner. We now have three opportunities in the funnel
and have already had follow up meetings.
Special issues/challenges
Highly competitive industry and reps were often getting involved in deals late in the decision
making process, which led to price wars. Reps needed to get ahead of opportunities.
Social Centered Selling www.scs-connect.com 404-647-4925
Caution for Leaders
Strategic planning, accountability and proper execution, in addition to the training program
itself, is critical to long-term success. The company did not want to invest in continued follow up
training, coaching or support. They felt they could own it on their own. Through conversations
with sales leaders, we learned that no solid process for holding people accountable to take
action daily on what they’d learned was ever put in place. Experience has proven that a
management accountability mechanism must be incorporated to ensure that learning and
execution sticks. Without it, over time, reps can fall back into old habits.
What’s next?
Company funded a staff position in sales to own ongoing social selling training. The person they
put in the training role is a sales person who seemed to understand social media. This isn’t
necessarily a bad approach. However, it is unwise to assume that just because someone appears
to understand how to use social media means they are skilled enough to understand how to
map social selling approaches to core strategies and objectives. Also keep in mind that this
world changes constantly. It can be easy for corporate employees to become to internally
focused and lose touch with what is developing outside the corporation walls.
About Social Centered Selling
Social Centered Selling is a recognized leader in delivering social selling programs that achieve
results, and our company was recently named one of the Top 23 Social Selling Training
Companies in the United States. Our approach is different, because we advocate that success
requires the foundation of a strong strategy, coupled with the right people and technology
skills, backed by consistent and daily execution in order to connect and engage buyers in new
communication channels.
Using an approach learned during a social selling program we conducted, a sales
professional at a Fortune 500 high tech company closed a $500,000 deal in less than 30-
days after being stonewalled for 3 years.
We've trained more than 30,000 sellers, many of whom are often shocked at how quickly they
see results. We love receiving emails from salespeople who share their success stories!
Programs are delivered virtually, at sales retreats, sales meetings or conferences.
Call us at 404-647-4925 to learn more or visit our website at www.scs-connect.com

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Social Selling Case Study - Fortune 500 Telecommunications Company

  • 1. Social Centered Selling www.scs-connect.com 404-647-4925 Social Selling Customer Case Study Customer: Fortune 500 Telecommunications Company Target buyer(s) - CEO, CIO or CFO Product /service – B2B Communications Company offering a range of wireless, wireline, cloud computing and collaboration products and services. Primary Objective: The objective was to introduce a more effective approach to prospecting leveraging social networking tools like LinkedIn, and to give the leadership team tools they could utilize to become more effective in their roles. Describe measurable goal(s) – the goals were to:  Enhance sales rep professional brand and extend corporate brand visibility.  Fuel the sales pipeline with new opportunities.  Revisit sales opportunities that appeared to have gone cold.  Increase the number of net new sales meeting’s.  Go deeper into existing accounts to uncover new sales opportunities. Program justification More and more often reps were being shut out when trying to engage through traditional methods – cold calls and emails. Each rep had a target list of prospects to work proactively. They were doing very little pre-call research in advance of making phone calls. When they weren’t reaching the right person, they were not leveraging LinkedIn to find other connections into the organization. They also were not pursuing introductions through people who were connected to the folks they needed to reach. Too much time spent with the wrong people. Of the 200 accounts each rep was assigned, they usually ended up spending time with about a 1/3 of people from companies on the list who would take the time to talk to them; however, they weren’t the decision maker nor were they buying anything. When deals went dormant or reps were being stonewalled in one area of the company; i.e. procurement, they were not assertively pursuing other ways to reach other decision makers.
  • 2. Social Centered Selling www.scs-connect.com 404-647-4925 Timeframe A social selling approach was adopted in February of 2012 and introductory kick-offs began at the regional management level. The formal roll-out of an online program was delivered in August 2012 in 5 – 1-hour sessions that were delivered live but recorded for playback. A follow up session took place one month later to refresh core concepts and have reps share wins and best practices. Prior to the social selling training roll-out, planning took place to assess sales skills and need, solicit input from management on program content, uncover best practices by early adopters to be incorporated into the sessions, content was customized to include common sales scenario’s encountered, workbook and training guide supported the program delivery. Staffing Roughly 1,500 sales reps across the United States participated in the virtual program. Staffing Profile/Roles Sales leaders, Field Sales, Inside Sales and Lead Generation team members Describe buying/sales cycle stage: Early/find, connect, engage, middle/nurture. Describe social selling activities:  Networking o Combined offline networking with online and vice versa o Began searching out opportunities to speak or speak on panels at associations and industry events o Invited connections more strategically  Prospecting o Created search lists o Followed target companies o Used LinkedIn groups o Used InsideView  Pre-Call Research o Reviewed Linked In profiles o Reached out to common connections to solicit feedback or to ask for introductions o Used InsideView to dig deeper (trigger prospecting)  Financial information
  • 3. Social Centered Selling www.scs-connect.com 404-647-4925  Social buzz  Articles, press releases, current news  Group Selection and Participation o Joined more groups that included their target buyers o Began answering questions in groups to build credibility  Sharing of Content  Rewrote LI profiles to be more customer focused (initially just looked like resumes) NOTE: Reps were given basic training on Twitter, but the vast majority of the folks used LinkedIn and InsideView. More advanced reps began to expand their use of Twitter to follow competitors, influencers, customers, prospects and trigger terms. Describe Supporting Content Recorded Webinars, Workbook and LinkedIn Training Guide. Supporting Departments Involved Learning and Development Organization, Sales Operations, Marketing. Describe Quantitative Results: # closed deals and revenue amount, pipeline, other sales cycle or relationship-building metrics Initial results in the first 6-months:  60% increase in first-degree connections in target industries.  50% increase in net/new sales meetings.  33% increase in reps using introductions to get to buyers.  Roughly 50% increase in user adoption.  Increase in content sharing and the use of media on profiles (not able to quantify as the company did not put a process in place to track).
  • 4. Social Centered Selling www.scs-connect.com 404-647-4925 Describe Qualitative Results Reps became more energized and strategic in their approach to reaching their prospects.  Prospect – “After a meeting with the prospect, we learned their parent company had an initiative to consolidate all their wireless lines (thousands). I was given the title of the person making the decision but that was it. I then found a C-Level contact at the parent company on LinkedIn who was connected to him. I was one degree separated from her and we shared three similar connections. I reached out to a common connection of ours to make a referral and then asked her who was responsible for the wireless consolidation task. I had a meeting with him one day later.”  Former Customer – “After three+ years of trying to win back this customer’s business (actually significantly more than was lost) we had been waiting on a decision. Having only the title of the decision maker, LinkedIn was able to tell me what her name was and it showed that we had two contacts in common. I reached out to one of my two contacts who reached out to the decision maker to help move the opportunity along and who sang our praises as we did an amazing job with 450 devices at a competitor’s location.”  Prospect – “A cold call to the President/IT director resulted in the prospect telling us to call back in a year. One of my reps went on LinkedIn and found a Director of Safety. We called her with a fleet tracking safety solution and secured a meeting. Now we are working on a solution for 50-75 devices.”  Former Customer – “Ported out over 100 lines five years ago. They would not take our call for years on several win-back attempts. By using InMail on LinkedIn, we got a response and a meeting with the owner. We now have three opportunities in the funnel and have already had follow up meetings. Special issues/challenges Highly competitive industry and reps were often getting involved in deals late in the decision making process, which led to price wars. Reps needed to get ahead of opportunities.
  • 5. Social Centered Selling www.scs-connect.com 404-647-4925 Caution for Leaders Strategic planning, accountability and proper execution, in addition to the training program itself, is critical to long-term success. The company did not want to invest in continued follow up training, coaching or support. They felt they could own it on their own. Through conversations with sales leaders, we learned that no solid process for holding people accountable to take action daily on what they’d learned was ever put in place. Experience has proven that a management accountability mechanism must be incorporated to ensure that learning and execution sticks. Without it, over time, reps can fall back into old habits. What’s next? Company funded a staff position in sales to own ongoing social selling training. The person they put in the training role is a sales person who seemed to understand social media. This isn’t necessarily a bad approach. However, it is unwise to assume that just because someone appears to understand how to use social media means they are skilled enough to understand how to map social selling approaches to core strategies and objectives. Also keep in mind that this world changes constantly. It can be easy for corporate employees to become to internally focused and lose touch with what is developing outside the corporation walls. About Social Centered Selling Social Centered Selling is a recognized leader in delivering social selling programs that achieve results, and our company was recently named one of the Top 23 Social Selling Training Companies in the United States. Our approach is different, because we advocate that success requires the foundation of a strong strategy, coupled with the right people and technology skills, backed by consistent and daily execution in order to connect and engage buyers in new communication channels. Using an approach learned during a social selling program we conducted, a sales professional at a Fortune 500 high tech company closed a $500,000 deal in less than 30- days after being stonewalled for 3 years. We've trained more than 30,000 sellers, many of whom are often shocked at how quickly they see results. We love receiving emails from salespeople who share their success stories! Programs are delivered virtually, at sales retreats, sales meetings or conferences. Call us at 404-647-4925 to learn more or visit our website at www.scs-connect.com