What was the sales challenge?

Not only was cold calling inefficient, involving lengthy discovery sessions and run-arounds to reach the real decision makers, but sales reps often dealt with inaccurate information. “Before implementing Sales Navigator, we sold over 200 products by phone,” says Dervla Cunningham, Senior Sales Manager. “We were constantly buying lists only to find out that personnel had changed and emails were wrong. LinkedIn was the only reliable source for up-to-date information.”

That’s when Sumeet Vermani, then Head of Paid and Earned Media in EMEA, and most recently promoted to Global Head of Digital Strategy, pitched a social selling strategy to Symantec’s Vice President of Sales. “He became a big proponent of the initiative,” says Sumeet. Seeing the value of social selling over cold calling, Symantec’s marketing and sales executives bought in immediately. “It was really a bottom-up, top-down approach,” says Sumeet.

Who are the target audience?

As Symantec holds an unrivalled position among enterprise and commercial businesses, its sales teams largely target key accounts at those levels across all industries. Key decision makers typically include IT leaders and C-level executives.

What did Symantec do next?

Sumeet helped launch a comprehensive social selling programme centred around LinkedIn Sales Navigator, complete with training, analysis, and reinforcement. With leadership firmly behind the initiative, the company deployed 250 Sales Navigator licenses and integrated LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI) as a key performance indicator. SSI, assessed on a scale of 0 to 100, measures performance against the four elements of social selling on LinkedIn: creating a professional brand, finding decision makers, engaging with insights, and connecting and building strong relationships. “We’ve built SSI into our KPI framework, with clear benchmarks and an internal gold standard we want to reach,” says Sumeet.

The initiative brings together sales and marketing like never before. “We found the best way to implement activation training was to take a collaborative approach with sales leadership, marketing, enablement, and sales operations analysts,“ Sumeet shares. Marketing provides content recommendations, while analysts measure effectiveness and deliver monthly reports that feed back into enablement to drive targeted training regimens. Symantec wholeheartedly embraced social selling as a new way of doing business better.

The Results

Symantec’s social selling initiative has been a tremendous success. With Sales Navigator, Symantec reps raised their SSI to an average of 57.8—a full 47% higher than the competition’s average of 39.2.

Symantec’s Sales Navigator users are now twice as strong at engaging with insights than the competition, 45% more effective at finding the right prospects on LinkedIn, and 58% more effective at building relationships and connecting with decision makers. “Not only does Sales Navigator give our sales reps much more robust leads, it allows them to convert them better,” says Sumeet. Sales teams prospect more effectively with Lead Builder’s advanced search and receive real-time updates on saved leads and accounts, creating new sales opportunities.

“Recently, I was alerted that a saved lead at one of our customer accounts moved to a new company,” says Fernando Alves, Commercial Account Manager. “I got in touch and asked if I could approach his company. We landed the account worth $375,000 in three months—which is very short for us. I had been building a relationship with this lead on Sales Navigator for nearly a year.”

For Arthur Jager, Corporate Account Manager, Sales Navigator “is a godsend… When customers share a relevant article, that’s an opportunity to contact them or share my opinion,” he says. “I find the right people, get in touch with them, and basically go to the closing stages of a sale.” Leveraging Sales Navigator in his first quarter at Symantec, Arthur beat his entry target by 292%.

“Our social selling programme, powered by Sales Navigator, enabled us to establish and expand Symantec’s social and brand footprint,” says Sumeet. “By empowering and educating our sales teams, we’ve gained a greater sphere of influence.” 

About Symantec

Symantec helps organizations secure, store, and manage information on a truly global scale. As the leading security and storage company in the world, Symantec works with businesses and governments to provide comprehensive solutions that detect, secure and protect in the increasingly complex threat landscape.

Since its start in 1982, Symantec has grown to become one of the most trusted names in cybersecurity and data management. The Fortune 500 company boasts over 21,500 employees in 50 countries and more than 2,700 global patents. Symantec generated approximately $6.7 billion in revenue in 2014, with nearly 30% coming from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

INDUSTRY: Computer Software
HQ LOCATION: Mountain View, Ca

In their own words


“It takes the ‘cold’ out of cold calling. If you know who you’re talking to, where they’re from, what they value—that can tell you a lot about a person. It can tell you about their priorities and interests.”

Arthur Jager, Corporate Account Manager



“Sales Navigator is absolutely our main source of data. Every single day, every single hour, the team is using it to prepare for the next call.”

Dervla Cunningham, Senior Sales Manager


“I really value being able to follow leads without asking for a connection. Just yesterday, I saw one of my saved prospects updated his position. He saw that I visited his profile and actually sent me an invite to connect. I sent a quick inMail on LinkedIn to see if he could talk, and we spoke later that afternoon. Sales Navigator allows me to jump the gatekeeper.”

Fernando Alves, Commercial Account Manager