Trending This Week: How to Increase Deal Size with Social Selling

One enterprise software company increased deal size by 600 percent. They explain how social selling helped make it happen, and how you can achieve adoption.

September 1, 2017

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It is somewhat ironic, but social selling can be a hard sell, in spite of its ability to make selling much easier.

It’s different than what many seasoned salespeople are used to. It takes some reps outside of their comfort zones. It can consume time that would have otherwise been spent on “tried-and-true” activities.

Sales leaders who stay up on the trends surely recognize the indisputable value of social selling. But how can you get through to your team and generate universal buy-in? Sometimes all it takes is a clear and compelling example. To that end, you might want to share the results, and insights, recently provided by SAP’s Digital Innovation Manager.

In a post this week on the Selling Power Blog, Arif Johari explained how his company’s embracement of social selling helped facilitate a 600 percent increase in deal size, as well as a 60 percent lift in sales quota attainment. Those kinds of numbers simply cannot be ignored.

Johari frames SAP’s adoption of social selling as a reaction to the changing B2B market landscape. Buyers are researching and connecting digitally. Opportunities to engage through traditional means are evaporating. And yet, recent data shows that three out of four sales pros do not consider themselves proficient with the strategy.

How can we foster a change in mentality? By taking note of the outcomes for SAP and other adopters, and by heeding the specific elements emphasized by Johari in his piece. They are as follows:

Align Your Stars

On Monday, the entire country became entranced by a total solar eclipse, as the celestial phenomenon was visible from the United States for the first time in nearly four decades. It seems that successful alignment of sales and marketing departments is still, in some cases, equally rare.

We frequently hammer home the importance of this initiative, and Johari reinforces it, pointing out that collaboration between the two sides has been crucial in building a global social selling culture for the enterprise software corporation.

It only makes sense. Marketing has long been immersed in social media, so there is clear benefit in knowledge sharing and joint strategizing. Unlike the moon’s brief obscuring of the sun, bringing sales and marketing together won’t leave you in the dark -- quite the opposite.

Choose the Right Tools

The implementation of digital sales tools can be a tricky proposition for change-averse reps. But those who are resistant are missing out on readily available instruments for efficiency and increased productivity.

SAP is a user (and, we’re pleased to say, vocal proponent) of Sales Navigator. Johari credits the service with helping reps “follow leads and accounts, build camaraderie, conduct comprehensive account planning, and identify buying signals from shared articles, group discussions, etc.” Sales Navigator permeates the organization’s entire salesforce and has been critical for connecting to relevant buyers.

In addition, Johari calls out several complementary sales tools such as Grapevine6, Videolicious, Virtual Studio, and SAP’s own Jam Social Collaboration. Taking the time to investigate which add-ons can benefit your team most is well worth it.

Three Key Ingredients

Jahori points to a trio of necessities in forming an enterprise-savvy social selling program: Adoption, Retention, and Continuous Improvement. Aligning sales and marketing, and integrating useful tools, will help in formulating these recipes. So, too, will communication and practical application.

Share with your team results like the ones SAP achieved with social selling, and show them how easy some of these tools can make the practice.

It’s kind of a big deal.

For more insights on the power of social selling, and how your business can adopt it and thrive, subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog.