Ask the Expert: How KPN Identifies Decision Makers with Social Selling

Learn how Bjorn Moonen, a sales enablement program manager at KPN, built out a successful social selling program for the company’s sales business market.

August 10, 2016

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When Bjorn realized Sales Navigator’s potential impact on his sales team, he integrated social selling into KPN’s DNA. He began with executive sponsorship and then drove adoption with continuous workshops. Soon enough, he saw efficiency skyrocket, as sales and marketing worked together to use content to target the right buyer and locate decision makers. We sat down with him to hear how he created such a change in pipeline. Here is his story.

LI: How did you integrate social selling into the existing sales process at KPN?

BM: We started by purchasing 50 Linkedin Sales Navigator licenses, but there wasn’t a social selling program established around it, so I began to build one. We had workshops and training sessions and eventually expanded the number of licenses to 250. During those workshops, we started with the fundamentals of social selling and touched on personal branding. Then we discussed how to expand your network and get in contact with the decision making unit. We’ve basically made it part of the sales process--social selling isn’t just another process, it's an integral addition to the sales process. We also work on people’s mindsets--showing them that it’s not just a tool or trick, but a regular part of the sales process that allows you to get into the buying cycle earlier.

LI: Did you face any onboarding, training or adoption issues along the way? How did you overcome them?

BM: We started from the top--executive sponsorship is important--and got buy-in from our vice president. Then, we worked our way down, training our sales managers with workshops to help them understand what social selling is, what Sales Navigator is, how to use it, how to manage their own team members, and how to coach social selling themselves. When you start the program, you really need to communicate the benefits clearly. The key issue wasn't adoption, it was keeping everyone motivated about social selling and using Sales Navigator. We measured performance with SSI, constantly communicated with sales reps on how to use it, and shared success cases. Now, six months later, everyone is eager to adopt and to stay ahead of the competition.

LI: How did you successfully use lead generation to grow your pipeline?

BM: Our sales reps work closely with our marketing department, which develops great content for our reps to share. We push reps to actively distribute the content--that shows us what kind of content customers are looking for and what they’re responding to, which leads to more conversations and deals. Meanwhile, our sales reps proactively look for new clients within their network. They use the TeamLink function quite often, which leads to warm introductions. They also send InMails to get in contact with new prospects; we’ve had a lot of success with that method--our response rate on InMails is above 30%. We then look at what cases are successful and share those success cases with our sales reps.

LI: How did you see your sales productivity increase due to social selling?

BM: Sales reps tell us they can find the new decision making unit far more easily than they did in the old days. Sales Navigator really helped us target the right people. We can also find a lot of information on our customers in their profiles and learn about their interests. We get access to a lot of useful information and save time that way, making our sales reps more efficient and effective--that's the main reason we started with Sales Navigator.

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Want to help your reps reach social selling success like Bjorn did? Check out our eBook The Sales Leader’s Checklist.

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