Accelerating inbound and outbound growth through a global social selling programme.
New business & social selling strategy45%
Training & internal communications25%
Messaging & communications15%
Marketing processes, martech, reporting15%
About our client
A 25-year old end-to-end IT monitoring business, working across the globe, with ambitions to expand through social selling.
“We didn’t have the skills internally to really accelerate building eminence across social channels, so we decided to bringing in the experts."
The ever-present need to convert more
Following some in-depth analysis on their sales pipeline the ITRS Group leadership team were keen to explore new, innovative ways to convert more deals.
They needed a solution and one they could implement at pace – with a sales cycle that could reach as long as a year, speed was crucial.
The social selling opportunity
Elliot Howard, the Chief Sales Officer at ITRS Group, a leading global provider of real-time monitoring and analytics software, understood that he needed his sales and marketing teams to be concentrating their efforts at the top of the funnel where opinions and impressions were first being formed.
- This is where he could drive significantly more opportunities
- This is where he could engage customers early and start building the trust and awareness that kickstarts conversations
Elliot shared his take on shifts in buyer behaviour:
‘Customer behaviour has changed significantly in the last few years. Our customers are now much more connected, much more social. When they begin their buying journey by researching the market a lot of time is spent on social channels.
We needed a consistent presence that positioned us as a company that has purpose and values, that stands for something. This is how we could create engagement: in the places where opinions are quickly being formed.’
But Elliot’s team were not equipped as to how to best use inbound and outbound strategies to engage with buyers as they began their search for a solution.
‘We didn’t have the skills internally to really accelerate building eminence across social channels, so we decided to bringing in the experts.
I chose Your Allies because I immediately felt I could trust them. With respect and honesty, they told me exactly what was needed.’
When Your Allies first met Elliot, his enthusiasm for social selling was clear.
We agreed with him that, by not owning this space, ITRS lacked visibility and credibility in the critical early stages of the buying journey. More than this, however, this lack of presence was most likely preventing it realising sales opportunities across a wider range of regions and sectors.
Our Social Selling Accelerator programme quickly helps sales teams to build confidence and productivity in using LinkedIn and Sales Navigator. And importantly, it helps to create a healthy mix of both inbound and outbound leads.
The Social Selling Accelerator programme
The programme included a new business focuses social selling strategy, with ITRS Group’s customer a focal point. With over 50 sales people spread around the globe, our programme called for a regular cadence of social selling training sessions and 121s. The right mix of group and individual training was key to encouraging uptake, action and ultimately seeing the sales team drive results through their social selling efforts.
Your Allies also developed the messaging and communications for the sales teams – which helped ensure the right first impression was created, helping strike up those all-important first conversations. ITRS Group’s target audience was a senior IT/CTO persona, calling for carefully crafted words which reflected the deep understanding ITRS Group had of their challenges.
We also took care of the processes, reporting and internal communications around the whole programme – ensuring good visibility, careful monitoring and improving rigour around ITRS’s marketing overall reporting.
Outbound and inbound impact
Elliot, on the inbound front:
‘Before we started our sales team relied on recycling and reposting company generated content. This wasn’t really creating any engagement.
But what I see now is my sales people injecting personality into their posts by expressing opinions, commenting enthusiastically on things and making more posts that express their and our values.
The type of posts has changed because people now feel confident to express themselves. As a result. there’s a lot more thought leadership and expert opinion coming out.’
And on the outbound:
‘What was really refreshing was that the uptake internally of LinkedIn Sales Navigator was almost immediate. The sales team just got it straight away, and their increased use of it gave us a massive boost in outbound activity.
That’s certainly been a great takeaway of the project – an increase in our confidence, usage and results from Sales Navigator which previously gathered dust on the shelf because no-one really knew what to do with it.’
In terms of the deliverables, Elliot shares this:
‘We have seen LinkedIn perform significantly better as a channel, new opportunities come our way, increased website traffic, improvement in lead count, opportunities emerging from new regions and segments and we also saw each sales person saving at least two to three hours a week by working
Beyond the immediate outcomes, the project also helped create added value elsewhere in the business.
‘Because of the scope of the project, it touched multiple parts of the business. One area where opportunities were unexpectedly realised was the spotlight it cast on where we could improve our website. The project crystallised things that we probably would not have addressed otherwise.’
Other highlights include:
- Overall follower numbers, engagement and interest in the ITRS Group LinkedIn page and posts increased month-on-month
- One APAC sales professional grew his LinkedIn network x 3 in just one quarter
- Key salespeople expanded their footprint within ITRS Group’s highest value accounts to then generate new cross/upsell opportunities
- LinkedIn and social selling best-practice has since become widely adopted as a key sales tactic across all regions
- ITRS Group has been able to connect brand awareness, network growth and opportunities to their LinkedIn activities.
Elliot is certain his investment was not a false economy.
Our Social Selling Accelerator programme empowered his team to:
- Raise the company profile
- Identify and engage with prospects earlier in the sales cycle
- And to productively use inbound and outbound strategies to create a sales pipeline that is filled with leads who are aware of and engaged with ITRS
We asked Elliot what he would say to any CEO, founder or revenue leader wondering whether they should invest in social selling support from Your Allies. His response was:
‘Why are you hesitating? If I were you, I wouldn’t hesitate.’