Social Selling and Outbound Selling - A Modern Day Love Story

"I love you, social seller." ?❤️

"I love you too, outbound sales professional." ??

We rarely hear this, or perhaps, not as often as we should.

There are many reasons for this, but here are two UK-based case studies from multinational companies to demonstrate these sales strategies are a match made in heaven.

Case study 1: Outbound sales strategy doubled inbound revenue in 120 days.

Leading document management technology provider, Conga, recently expanded into Europe from the US. The geographical gap was bridged by laying a prior foundation of inbound sales leads that generated enough revenue to justify the expansion. An experienced VP Sales was hired to build an outbound sales process. The team grew from one to 25 people in four months, as outbound calling doubled their inbound sales efforts in 90 days. As this is current information, the exact value of sales is undisclosed, but it runs in excess $1m of compounded revenue.

David Oates, Vice President EMEA, Conga, says...

"In addition to our inbound sales efforts conducted from the U.S.A., the introduction of our outbound sales strategy doubled our booking rate in Europe in 3 months, and we continue to see this growth increasing exponentially. To accelerate growth in the European market, you must adopt a multifaceted approach."

Case study 2: Social selling added over $1m pipeline revenue in 90 days.

A UK-based data supplier (who has chosen to remain anonymous) went "all in" and adopted a company-wide social selling strategy to complement their outbound efforts. This included purchasing premium subscriptions to relevant social selling platforms and training the sales teams in new techniques in farming data and communicating with their customers. A process of trial and error drove the results, and they quickly learnt a formula that yielded a significant return.

The Global Head of Sales, says...

"In Europe, we have experienced a significant return since embarking on an enterprise wide social selling strategy. This has primarily focused on monitoring the market for trigger events, and initiating customer contact from an informed and personalised perspective. As a group, this strategy has yielded over $1m new business pipeline in just 3 months."

This example of social selling techniques driving revenue is not an isolated incident in the UK, and I frequently hear similar stories of how social insight and trigger techniques are complementing outbound activities to yield substantial revenues. The adoption isn't on the same scale as our US counterparts, and I discuss the cultural reasons for a slower uptake in my free research paper, The Impact of Social Selling on the B2B Landscape in the U.K. vs. U.S.A., downloadable from the homepage.


My favourite quote on this topic came from a recent discussion with sales leadership veteran Paul Charmatz, Senior Vice President of Sales for Avention, when I asked, "How has the growth of social media impacted the way you sell today?" He answered with...

"Social media has changed the way we communicate, but a consistent sales-based message must be delivered, regardless of the medium. This hasn't changed for as long as I have been selling, and I have asked my team the same question for 20 years- Can the customer articulate back to you what they are buying and the value it brings to their business for the price they are paying? If my salespeople can't answer this, then it doesn't belong in their pipeline."

It is clear, as heard above from multinational sales leaders with global sales teams, that both outbound and social selling strategies complement one another and are necessary to drive revenue with today's buyer. One doesn't replace the other, and in 2017, salespeople must adopt a multifaceted approach to gain customer insight, as well as find innovative ways to get in touch and communicate with their customers in the format of their choice.

"Whether digital, by phone, or in person, the most effective medium of communication with customers is decided by them, not us @no1bestseller" (Tweet)

To learn more about the differences between selling in the UK vs the US, including customer buying habits, hiring policy, how each region responds differently to vendor confusion, supplier consolidation and my predictions for 2017 sales strategy, download my research paper from the homepage.