TELUS uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator to support their transformation into the Age of Virtual Selling
As pandemic conditions forced business transactions to take place entirely in the digital sphere, world-leading communications technology company TELUS supercharged its approach to virtual selling. Through this investment, TELUS wanted to enable sales executives to connect to the right buyer personas, leverage existing relationships to reach new decision makers and accelerate their overall sales velocity.
Training sales teams to win at virtual selling
TELUS, a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company based in British Columbia, Canada, continues to adjust their sales strategy to virtual selling to adapt to the new, digital sales environment.
The sales enablement team identified an opportunity to fully embrace a virtual selling strategy. “Our team is responsible for all sales-related training, including career development, onboarding, certification and sales best practices,” offers Paul Bleier, Director of Sales Enablement at TELUS. “We wanted to get better at virtual selling. We wanted to help our sales teams identify the right buyers and enable research to support their territory, account and opportunity plans.”
“COVID prevented sales functions from taking place face-to-face,” explains Amanda Anderson, Learning Consultant at TELUS. “As a result, there was a huge uptick in people utilizing social platforms to get their name out, keep up with industry news, and even keep tabs on who has changed jobs over the past couple of years.“
To make this happen, TELUS needed a tool that could help them pinpoint customer success factors and social signals at their target accounts and in the day-to-day of their leads. As Bleier explains, “Our buyers are becoming more sophisticated – they've got online personas on social platforms where they are interacting and sharing insights about their businesses. From an enablement perspective, we want our salespeople to be able to pick up on those cues.”
Leveraging connections to sell
TELUS witnessed the transformation of sales to a virtual strategy over the course of the pandemic first-hand. “Through account-based insights we were able to arm our sales team with the information they needed to qualify deals and create longer-term account strategies,” says Bleier.
“What we're finding is some of those compelling events or social selling signals are very powerful,” he adds. “You can identify opportunities just by looking at your LinkedIn newsfeed or looking at job changes, account growth metrics, or expansion of companies.”
Sales teams were able to find the data they needed to reach the right clients. “The companies we are targeting are more sophisticated accounts, especially in a large enterprise space,” explains Bleier. “We created a strategy where you socially surround the buying committee. In order to do this, you need several first-degree connections within the account that are going to help qualify your opportunity.”
A new sales strategy
TELUS saw dividends from their investment in LinkedIn Sales Navigator. “The strategic investment we're making with LinkedIn Sales Navigator is in territories with accounts that have at least 100 employees or more,” Bleier explains. “We purposefully invest a lot in our team members and our team development in terms of how leaders show up to coach and how sales executives show up to manage their territory and their book of business.”
LinkedIn Sales Navigator effortlessly supported a leadership selling process used by TELUS. “We've put in place a framework that defines a standard sales operating environment,” says Bleier. “LinkedIn Sales Navigator supports the four pillars of this environment: team development, sales planning, funnel and forecast, and sales execution.”
Since developing and executing their new virtual sales strategy, TELUS has seen their number of contacts grow exponentially. “When we started,” Bleier reflects, “we were only at about 350K - 400K first degree connections. We're now at almost half a million.”
The ability to move from a list of names to meaningful interactions in short order was a major win for TELUS. Bleier recounts: “Due to some recent internal changes for our sales teams, many of our sales executives received new territories to start the year. I think the ‘aha!’ moment for our sales teams was when they uploaded their new account lists into Sales Navigator and were able to quickly get their accounts synced up to their new territories. That in itself was a huge time saver and benefit to the construction of their territory plans.”
Finding the right buyers at the right times
After learning that a CEO from one of their major accounts had moved to another organization, the CEO of TELUS approached the sales enablement team for help. Anderson shares: “The CEO came to our team and asked if there was a way we could automate a workflow to discover when important decision makers change jobs, so our Office of the CEO could then reach out in a timely fashion and congratulate that person to maintain a solid relationship. Our colleague was able to quickly show how easy it was to accomplish this workflow via Sales Navigator. It is now part of our standard practice.”
TELUS Health recently launched a virtual care platform and wanted to make a splash in the market. “Our Executive Team wanted to run a bit of an acceleration program to drive more discovery calls with the right target buyer persona – in this case, VPs of HR and VPs of Compensation and Total Rewards within companies,” says Bleier. “We quickly stood up a campaign-style cross-sell acceleration program where LinkedIn Sales Navigator was one of the key steps within the sales process. We sent InMails to the right buyer personas. We had some great success and booked a lot of meetings using InMail, which led to discovery calls, funnel growth, and some wins over the last two years.”
Building resources to onboard faster
The TELUS Sales Performance Culture team supports the onboarding of LinkedIn Sales Navigator for users from all areas of sales and enablement, as well as business development and marketing.
To make the onboarding and re-education process easier, they developed a site dedicated to Social Selling Resources. “What's been really great about this site is that we've been able to share these resources with the other global TELUS business units that want to start using LinkedIn Sales Navigator,” says Anderson. “The site helps them to have all of these resources in one place so that they can hit the ground running when it comes to embarking on the LinkedIn Sales Navigator journey.”
“LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an exceptional professional social media platform; a must have for organizations who are serious about enabling their sellers to be at their best. Sales planning activities, whether it be opportunity, account or territory are greatly enhanced through Sales Navigator and has become a must have in an increasingly complex selling market.”Greg McCallumVice President of Sales
“Every tool in our tech stack has a purpose and directly supports different pillars within our standard sales operating environment. LinkedIn Sales Navigator cuts across all of those pillars.”Paul BleierDirector, Sales Enablement
TELUS is building a better future for all Canadians by using their technology for good and giving back to communities. Their social purpose is at the heart of everything they do as a world-leading technology company and continues to set them apart.
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