How AZUR Empowered Its Employees on Social Media
How AZUR Empowered Its Employees on Social Media
If you are a B2B sales professional, social selling is no longer optional for you. As B2B buyers increasingly rely on social media to support their purchase decision, it is crucial for sales professionals to have an active presence on social media platforms to influence B2B buyers through social engagement tools. Here’s how a leading Canadian Cloud software company leveraged a social selling-focused employee advocacy strategy to drive business growth.
The dotcom explosion, technological disruption, and the rise of social media have transformed the fundamental tenets of branding and brand perception. At a time when consumer faith in branded content is on the decline and social media is increasingly influencing consumer behavior, how can businesses leverage social platforms to build an authentic, engaged community around their brand? The answer is social selling.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is a sales strategy of developing, nurturing, and leveraging relationships on social media to inform, educate, and sell products and services to your target audience. A successful social selling program relies on targeted content marketing for lead generation, employee advocacy, social listening, and personal branding.
Social selling has emerged as key sales strategy in the B2B space against the backdrop of an increasingly complex buyer journey, with empowered buyers using social media to educate themselves, gain third-party validation, and peer insights about new products. In fact, a recent Forrester report states that 49 percent of B2B enterprises already have a social selling program in place, and another 28 percent of enterprises plan on rolling out their social selling program soon.
It is getting more difficult to reach decision makers via phone and email. Today, your buyers are learning about your product or service without you. They’re already collecting enough information about your offerings even before they get in touch with a sales professional. As buyers get close to making a purchase decision, they typically decide on the first vendor who presented them with new ideas, concepts, and roadmaps that they hadn’t encountered before. Yes, this means your competition is influencing your prospective customers with their content and success stories.
So, how can social selling help?
How a Leading Cloud Software Developer Empowered Its Employees on Social Media
AZUR Group, a leading provider of cloud software company in Canada, wanted to launch its innovative Optimized Agile Solution featuring automatic software construction meant to reduce the development costs of smart solutions for clients. Their web application supporting the AZUR Innova incubator was created to help customers quickly validate the business potential of an idea.
AZUR realized that it could spark more impactful conversations, reach a wider audience, and become a stronger influence on social media by adding employee advocacy to its sales strategy. AZUR needed a structured, centralized program to make this social media vision a reality.
The Goal — Building a Successful Employee Advocacy Program
AZUR sought out a platform that would empower its employees. The company knew that business success would come from individual success: employees have their networks of trusted connections and are open to talking about the company they work for. However, employees would only want to share the content they feel is valuable, so, rather than forcing employees to share branded content creating by their marketing teams, AZUR aimed to build an experience in which employees could discover, curate, and share content that was of interest to them.
The Solution — A Social Engagement Tool that AZUR’s Employees Use and Love
AZUR knew that a personalized approach to employee advocacy would drive success on social media. Its search for an employee advocacy platform that could provide information, articles, and content that employees were personally interested in, led it to Stent.
Stent structured the employee advocacy program into two segments — one for managers and another segment for employees.
Stent helped AZUR identify eight brand ambassadors from the management team who grow their social network through qualified audience development. The brand ambassadors for the first module included the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Technology Officer, VP of Sales, VP of Marketing and two Business Development Managers.
Stent created a workflow for all communications and managed the entire program. By using Stent’s intelligent automation platform, AZUR’s ambassadors positioned themselves as prominent thought leaders by sharing relevant news and articles through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and their official company blog.
The second segment of the employee advocacy program involved engaging 100 AZUR employees with the program. All employees participating in the program were provided a personalized mobile app to enhance their LinkedIn profiles which enabled them to receive weekly news from AZUR through a feed on their app and share what they thought would interest their network. By bringing their LinkedIn network into their company’s social graph, they helped improve the HR team’s ability to source and recruit new talent.
Currently, more than 100 AZUR employees use Stent to share content regularly to drive continuous business growth and help the company maintain a key position in a very competitive market.
It’s time to rethink the traditional approach to sales. Social selling can help you achieve multiple business goals from improving the business bottom line to hiring better talent in a tight labor market. Social selling helps every interaction count.
Get in touch with us to learn more. www.stent.io