Matt Nixon is a Customer Account Executive for SAP America. We spoke to him about his approach to Social Selling, the best ways to leverage Sales Navigator and video as the future of social engagement.
Matt joined SAP just under six months ago and he has a strong background in Social Selling but has been interested to experience it from an SAP perspective.
“At SAP, Social Selling is part of the onboarding process but, interestingly, they also help employees to configure their LinkedIn profile. There’s then a sign-off process to this, prior to being given the go-ahead with Sales Navigator which is a great way to monitor that everyone is on brand when they are online.”
Efficient and Effective
Primarily a LinkedIn and Twitter user, Matt likes to keep his social media activity efficient and effective. “I share very similar content on each platform,” he explains, “but I optimise it accordingly. For example, on Twitter I might use more hashtags whereas LinkedIn works better if I include some commentary on what I’m sharing. It’s all about creating content that can be easily accessed and proves to be useful to your audience.”
Matt calls this type of content ‘snackable content’. “It needs to be instantly meaningful: quick and easy to digest and worth taking away for your audience” he explains.
Keeping a weathered eye on efficiency and effectiveness, Matt explains what he looks for in terms of analytics: “I check once a week or so to see whether people are looking at my content but, more importantly, who is looking. I want to see evidence that my target audience is interested rather than, say, colleagues or peers. It’s nice if they like my stuff but they’re not really the people I’m investing my time for.”
An average working day for Matt includes around 10-15 minutes on so-called snackable content. A further hour and a half is spent building messages and reaching out to customers. This, using Sales Navigator, is a more targeted and specific activity which forms a part of the critical relationship building that is Social Selling.
Social Tools and Techniques
Matt’s network on LinkedIn is 5,000-strong and we spoke to him about the new-found benefits of using Sales Navigator, an integral tool for SAP Social Sellers. “I’m fairly new to Sales Navigator but have already experienced intensive usage since joining SAP. It’s very effective in terms of saving accounts and leads and adding tags. All that means it allows me to segment my customer base by role or areas of interest and the run effective connector campaigns.”
Broadly, Matt uses two methods of contact on LinkedIn: for those inside his core target market, he starts with an initial intro message. “This is short and sweet to gauge their interest”, says Matt, “and then I can follow up in a more detailed way.”
For targets he knows are key, Matt will take a more direct InMail approach. “InMail means I can be more personal and direct.” says Matt.
He also uses A/B testing a lot with his communications, sending two types of message to two different sets of prospects. One will be quite general, albeit market-focused – perhaps focused on general issues currently affecting the sector - whereas the other will be more specific – maybe directly mentioning unlocking growth or talking about automation.
“Because Sales Navigator has such good tracking ability, A/B testing is made much easier” explains Matt. “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.”
Matt currently uses basic spreadsheet methods to capture the social ROI of his activities. “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” Matt tells us. “As a process it’s pretty basic and manual but still efficient.”
Finally, Matt shares a word of caution for Social Sellers; “On LinkedIn… block your connections from viewing your network, connect with key competitor reps in your territory (they typically accept), then monitor who they are connecting with to pick out potential prospects.”
Content Type Matters
In addition to his ‘content snacks’, served up on a daily basis to his considerable LinkedIn following, Matt does produce some long form posts. “I’m kind of evolving what I do as regards content”, he explains. “I’ve written articles before, and commented on shared content in the past, and both of these approaches work but I want to start using more video blogging as I think this is the future for Social Selling.”
Matt’s advice, whatever format your content takes, is always to add value. “Posts which bring together industry expert opinions and combine them with your own commentary are much greater value for your audience”, he says.
The Future of Social Selling
Matt’s future plans involve expanding his Social Selling activities. “I’ve definitely got more to learn with regards to Sales Navigator” he admits, “but I also want to dedicate time to producing some short and sweet industry-focused videos for various sectors.”
Matt is convinced that video is the future for Social Selling and wants to focus on producing more of it. ‘I’d like to create content on video but also use it to engage directly with individuals” he says. “I really like the idea of follow up videos, outlining meeting points and summarizing next steps.”
We look forward to viewing Matt’s future content.