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Sep 10, 2019 Vanessa Baker

Digital Selling: Best Practices From The Experts At SAP

Digital Selling Best Practices From The Experts At SAP

Digital selling is growing in popularity with more and more businesses opening their eyes to the benefits of a socially active sales force. According to LinkedIn, Social sellers attract 45% more opportunities than their peers, are 51% more likely to achieve quotas, and outsell their non-social counterparts 78% of the time.

The stats may look promising, but what does this mean in real terms? The internet is full of advice, tips and tricks from LinkedIn ‘gurus’ on how to use the platform to increase sales by xxx%, and that’s all well and good, but where is the context to these claims?

At Tribal, we believe showcasing the experiences of those that are actively embracing digital selling and going through the process is extremely valuable. It’s also a great way to learn what does and doesn’t work.

We have been lucky enough to work with some forward-thinking clients over the last 4 years, SAP being one of them. And over this time, we have captured the digital selling journeys of some of the individuals we’ve worked with.

Below are some key learnings from a handful of interviews we’ve had with active digital sellers at SAP – what better way to learn than from the experience of these digital experts!


On Tools and the Importance of Social Listening


 “Tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator and GrapeVine6 help me to put context around my experiences, understand implications of M&As, and who the movers and shakers are.

It’s not just social selling, but social listening to understand our customers, partners and practitioners in the SAP ecosystem.

Social media allows us to adapt to the needs of our audience and respond in a meaningful way, almost immediately. If you’re listening to the conversations that are going on, you can flex your response to provide what is needed - Similar to real life conversations.

Social selling has helped spark powerful conversations with key stakeholders. These conversations then often diversify, and we’ll get on to another area where SAP has a solution.

This turns into a powerful dialog with a prospective client or opens the door for a new initiative with an existing client on a new topic! It’s a natural process and one that’s very satisfying on multiple levels.”

Naren Baliga
Services and Support Partner @ SAP

Read the full interview with Naren here.


On Content And The Importance Of Posting Regularly


“There’s a huge amount of fall-out between the planning and posting. People need to relax and not worry about being overly detailed. This process needs to be easy enough for you to be encouraged to repeat it.

It needs to be quick and simple so that it can become part of your working day or week. When we refer to SSI scores of over 80, these are only achievable if you’re posting regularly, so an overly onerous process won’t work.

 If I share a specific piece of content, for example, from an event I have attended, it’ll resonate more with my audience than, for example, generic news sharing. I think people genuinely like it when the information I’m sharing includes me. It makes it more personal.

I always make a comment related to it or give my opinion. A blank share is no use to anyone.”

Koert Breebaart
Digital Transformation Leader and Design Thinking Facilitator @ SAP

Read the full interview with Koert here.



On Creating Your Own Digital Routine


"My day starts with LinkedIn. I check out who’s posting, look at profiles, check feeds, read articles and generally try to stay ahead of my area of expertise.

I get a daily update from LinkedIn Sales Navigator with a summary of updates and I find this really useful because I can focus my time.

The results of my intelligence gathering to build my networks within existing customers. I might drop people an InMail to suggest coffee and a catch up if I happen to be visiting someone else at their office.

I find this approach to be less intrusive and people respond better to InMail than email."

John Roche
Global Director @ SAP

Read the full interview with John here.


On Tracking Digital Selling Success


“Social Selling is a longer-term strategy because of the importance of the relationship building aspect but it’s true that, once you have established a relationship, the conversion times are shorter.

However, sometimes you need to let go of thinking about the outcome in order to measure your Social Selling.

It’s about making sure your activity is targeted: you can easily spend a lot of time on content that isn’t quite right or where your message is easily lost.

I use Sales Navigator to track my prospects but also like to monitor how many of my contacts become leads and then opportunities. I do this using excel. We also have a CRM system at SAP, which keeps track of how many leads come directly from Social Selling.

I use my SSI (Social Selling Index) score to measure my personal brand and, since I’ve established my network, the number of relevant inbound connections I receive is a great indicator of whether my Social Selling is reaching out to the right people.

If the right people are seeing you, that’s a good indicator that you are getting it right.”

Luis Barros
Account Executive @SAP

Read the full interview with Luis here.

 “Because Sales Navigator has such good tracking ability, A/B testing is made much easier - I tend to pick around 50 contacts by sector and use the testing to find out what sort of thing people are engaging with.

It’s an approach that definitely yields results. Depending on their focus or specific role, people do engage differently. You get to find out how far along a particular journey they are. For example, whether they’re just starting to look at software solutions or whether they have a clear brief.

When it comes to measurement, I usually focus on metrics such as how many people accept link ups, who replies to my follow up communications and what leads I’ve generated as a result of Social Selling. As a process it’s pretty basic and manual but still efficient.”

Matt Nixon
Customer Account Executive @ SAP

Read the full interview with Matt here.



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About Tribal Impact

Tribal Impact is a B2B Social Selling and Employee Branding Agency.

We're a team of social media strategists, trainers, coaches, content creators and data analysts who are passionate about helping our B2B customers develop and scale their social selling and employee advocacy programs.

Learn more about us here.

Published by Vanessa Baker September 10, 2019
Vanessa Baker