How Juniper Networks Skyrocketed to Social Selling Success

January 7, 2016

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Juniper Networks has seen great value by implementing social selling. Here’s a peek into their journey and the results, along with tips on measuring ROI across the journey.

With a top objective to increase pipeline and drive revenue, Juniper Networks decided to pilot a social selling program through LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Because social was not part of the company’s sales strategy, the Operations team had to build the program from the ground up. According to Eddie Mello, Senior Director of GTM Operations for Juniper Networks, “The reality is that by embracing social selling, you’re challenging traditional sales methods. And that always surfaces some resistance, particularly from those who don’t understand social media. Showing how social media drives revenue is critical to truly demonstrate its value and to win over skeptical executives.”

Getting senior leadership on board

To successfully roll social selling out and scale it across Juniper, the Operations team needed a clear internal plan to get everyone on board. Realizing the initial communication about implementing the program would carry more weight if it came from the top, the team recruited an executive sponsor. This senior vice president of America owned all of worldwide sales and was chosen to help drive the program forward by generating awareness and enforcing accountability.

Upgrade LinkedIn profiles

Behavioral change is always a journey and no single action can take a global sales organization from traditional sales techniques to social selling overnight. Juniper’s first step with its 80+ salespeople was giving them professional headshots and teaching them how to update their LinkedIn profiles so they didn't look like résumés.

Make it easy to share content

It’s important for sales reps to share relevant content as a way to build their personal brands and influence the thinking of key decision makers. So Juniper wanted its reps to start doing this as soon as possible. To that end, the Operations team worked with the Marketing team to create a repository of relevant, fresh content.

Find and engage with the best prospects

With a growing number of influencers involved in buying decisions, it can be tough to identify who to target and at what point in the sales journey to contact them. Using LinkedIn and Advanced Search, Juniper’s salespeople can uncover the right prospects without wasting time shuffling through irrelevant contacts. Specifically, they can drill down into specific criteria to streamline their prospecting.

Tracking and measuring impact

The best way to encourage sales reps to take social selling seriously is to evaluate the program regularly. To prove that its social selling initiative is truly warranted, Juniper created weekly performance dashboards using LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index to track how its sales team is effectively using social selling. The dashboard provides the team with weekly social selling performance, allowing them to adapt and improve results in a real-time manner. The Operations team promoted confidence through ongoing training and leveraged its top social sellers to help monitor the team’s progress towards its goals and encourage those who were still making the adjustment.

The results? Juniper found that Sales Navigator helped its salespeople get up to speed about customers and prospect much faster. After the first seven months of using Sales Navigator, the company saw 167% positive ROI, and sales had created 33 new opportunities in Salesforce.

Tracking the three stages of ROI

Because every company is in different stages of the social selling journey, it’s a good idea to measure ROI around three phases: starter, intermediate, and advanced.  When working with starters talk to them to understand what is working and how they can improve. In the intermediate phase – with the buy-in of front line sales managers – get salespeople to tag opportunities in Salesforce using something as simple as #LinkedIn in the opportunity line, or choosing from a drop-down to indicate the source of an opportunity. Then run simple reports that show every opportunity that was generated from LinkedIn. In the advanced stage, focus on rep productivity. Many sales managers spend a lot of time and effort training all the people they bring into the organization, at a significant cost. Using social selling and Sales Navigator can help improve rep productivity.

Want more insights into how your company can capitalize on the social selling trend? Download our eBook of the same name.

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