REFERENCES / PHILIPP MIRTL
REFERENCES / PHILIPP MIRTL
Supporting customers adapt
to a continuously changing
cyber threat environment
A1 Digital advises companies on digital transformation issues and supports them digitizing their various business areas. The focus is on industry-specific applications in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Cyber Security as well as on cloud-based products and solutions for the modern workplace. It is part of the Telekom Austria Group and thus part of América Móvil.
Read the A1 Digital business case here.
Philipp Mirtl works as New Product Development Manager at A1 Digital in Vienna. Together with their customers and a strong team of excellent security experts, he develops new security solutions while coordinating teams and countries to deliver the products in time and budget, implementing marketing and sales initiatives to meet revenue goals, acquiring customers, and engaging in pre sales activity. For almost 10 years he has been consulting stakeholders in the private sector, governments and civil society on cyber security.
A1 Digital Deutschland initially planned to train 37 FRANSCHA employees. When the program got off to a great start, it was immediately followed by 10 more employees. Between April and September 2020, a total of 47 employees from A1 Digital Deutschland from the areas of direct and indirect sales, marketing and the product houses of FRANSCHA were trained in social selling. Due to the Covid-19 location, almost all coaching sessions were held digitally.
A1 Digital had already planned the Social Selling Coaching before Covid-19 to provide employees with even more tools. Up to now, sales were primarily conducted by calling contacts from a previously created list and making contacts at events or during customer visits. The contact restrictions associated with Covid-19 meant that suddenly there was not much left to do but call the contacts or write to them via platforms such as LinkedIn. The expectations of the participants for the coaching shot up considerably. After all, despite Corona, the annual goals had to be achieved in consideration of the sales cycles.
FRANSCHA took the team on a journey of profile sharpening and optimization, optimal use of the Sales Navigator, personalized contact requests, targeted and successful content creation and strategic social selling.
What is your take on the coaching?
I really enjoyed the coaching. We learned a lot and are very happy to have your tools at hand, especially in the current situation.
Beyond how to design your profile and professional most effectively, my absolute aha-experience was that LinkedIn is not a first-person-shoot, but a great tool for collaboration! We work together by validating our knowledge, making recommendations, and best of all, sharing lists, tagging leads in them and working together. Teams can really collaborate with LinkedIn!
Creating lists via LinkedIn is much easier than our previous approach and we can work together on it. A real workload reduction.
Besides, we can now address customers with a completely different level of professionalism in our LinkedIn profile. We've made very good use of the potential for improvement, and that's good news! We are currently trying out different ways of addressing potential customers and then converting them into customers. For example, we are currently sending personalized InMail messages to contacts – both at the C-level and the expert level - and we're having great success.
Thanks to the optimized profile and personalization, contact requests are received much more frequently, and we have been able to generate attention through our posts, direct measurable traffic to our website, and get in touch with new customers directly!
With the posts, customers can be very well involved! Here we now also work proactively with surveys: customers can then give multiple choice answers, e.g. opinions on product developments. This is very helpful!
What does the management say?
Our management is fully behind the project and the idea for the coaching came from them: Elisabetta Castiglioni, CEO of A1 Digital International GmbH, also received coaching herself. We also involved her and also Alejandro Plater, our COO: You both supported us as influencers!
How did that work? Well, Elisabetta helped us with the application for an expert webinar on security requirements in the automotive industry (e.g. IATF, TISAX). Together we identified the contacts who were subsequently contacted by Elisabetta. Not always an answer was given, but the contact request was often accepted. We had a great conversion rate: A total of 20 % of all contact requests were accepted.
We also made good use of Alejandro's LinkedIn network. He turned his account into a post to a product and we learned a lot here!
Through the post he drew attention to A1 Telekom Austria Group's internal start-up program "Empowering Ideas", where A1 employees can submit their ideas and then implement them. One of the resulting solutions (offensity.com) has now, two years after its successful market launch, been extended by further product functionality. The main part of Alejandro's post introduced the initiative "Empowering Ideas" and announced as a key message that the solution “Offensity” has now been further developed and that a trial version (call-to-action) could be tested free of charge. Although we had Likes on the post and there was traffic on our website, the registrations for the trial version remained below the expected targets. But it was still exciting for us to reflect within the team and with FRANSCHA what this might have been due to. Franziska gave me a few tips: It would have been useful to advertise in more then one post, e.g. in a triple sequence or from three different perspectives, to arouse the interest of the customer and to address different tastes.
Trial & Error as well as a reflection within the team are of course also very important here, bring us closer together as a team and help us to reach our sales goals faster.
Your tips for newcomers to social selling?
- I would tell them to take enough time to optimize and sharpen their LinkedIn profile so that they can take full advantage of it. And then just get started.
- While at a live event you can get in touch with someone relatively quickly, catch up with the respective contact, and exchange information, the distance is still relatively large via LinkedIn. Because the personal contact is missing, it is difficult to judge whether you can "smell" the other person, which is an important characteristic of sales. Therefore, I recommend personalized inquiries and getting to know each other before you walk in the door.
- If necessary, one can sit down with the manager and agree on goals or KPIs, which may be a bit fuzzier because of Corona but are still achievable in the long run.
Overall, I am very satisfied and enthusiastic about how great it is to work in a team with LinkedIn. We are now busy testing what will be received and I'm very curious what we can get out of our already won leads to convince as many potential customers as possible of our competence in the area of security in the remaining second half of the year.
FRANSCHA has been commissioned to coach the participants in a special series on how special events can be promoted even better and Philipp will also be there.