PORTFOLIO / BECHTLE
PORTFOLIO / BECHTLE
Bechtle IT Systemhouse – A Lesson in Social Selling Effectiveness
The internet, especially social media networks like LinkedIn, have become a cold place. What's more annoying than receiving a sales pitch as an introductory message from a new connection you make on LinkedIn?
All those hopes, opportunities and possibilities shattered with an impersonal and hollow message. These sales pitches have their origins in a similar technique that is used in the offline world – cold calling.
This cold and impersonal model of sales, which seems more like an interruption rather than an actual solution of any kind, is what leads to the perceptual curse that most businesses suffer from. The IT company Bechtle wanted to innovate a process around the industry that was much more than the mindless process of cold calling.
Moreover, they also wanted to achieve the following objectives:
- Creating more employees skilled in digital communication
- Establish the brand as an industry leader in its own niche
- Reap the benefits of successful digital transformation, within and without
- Improve internal strengths associated with marketing and brand communication in general
So, they turned to me to save them from the bleak pit of indifference that companies using such tactics succumb to sooner or later. What was needed was nothing short of a digital transformation – a paradigm shift in socio-digital interaction.
The Problem Faced
In an age when the number of people involved in the B2B decision making process is higher than ever before, being well connected is extremely important. Today, there are up to 6 to 8 people involved in the decision-making process as compared to the past, when one or two was a more accurate number.
A business looking to close a deal or to explore new opportunities in the B2B IT industry does not have the privilege of being primitive in their communication methods anymore.
The key is to identify the right decision makers, create a stable and laying rapport with them, thereby educating and engaging them in order to shorten the sales cycle.
As a part of this problem Bechtle IT Systemhouse, a Microsoft Partner, wanted to up its game in terms of social communication, brand expression and sales conversion in general.
The Solution Proposed
The basic solution that I proposed was to create a pilot of 20 participants who would be responsible for implementing the social selling strategy.
These individuals would be responsible for building relationships with prospects though online modes of communication.
In order to prepare for the actual implementation of the strategy, the team was allowed to validate the use of social selling through social media for various positions such as HR, sales and marketing.
The implementation of the strategy involved the following steps:
- Positioning the company as an industry expert by developing powerful content, thereby increasing trust, credibility and visibility.
- Using conversations and customer reviews in order to develop content that is specifically catered to their needs, aspirations and requirements.
- Undergoing a LinkedIn Crash Course to understand the various tools and techniques that it offers to businesses.
- Strengthening the LinkedIn profile of the business in order to improve online brand identity, thereby attracting the right target audience.
- Mastering the use of the Lead Builder on Sales Navigator in order to curate personalized conversations between salespeople and BDMs (Business Development Managers).
- Creating personalized InMails and using PointDrive to enhance digital selling methods.
In order to prepare the team for the journey ahead, I developed a 3-month coaching program, which included 6 webinars, as well as 2 on-location training techniques that were implemented twice on a daily basis.
After the coaching period and the implementation procedures that were followed, one of the main and most apparent changes was a shortening of the sales cycle.
Would you like to experience the power of social selling yourself?