Leveraging the Enterprise Social Graph to Enable Social Selling

In our introductory blog post, Reachable’s CEO, Al Campa, talked about the emergence of the Enterprise Social Graph.  He defined it as an uber social graph that connects various elements within a business – employees, customers, prospects, recruits, etc.  Al also touched on a number of different use cases within a business that could benefit from an Enterprise Social Graph…

Effectively utilizing a larger network can greatly speed many aspects of business.  No longer do sales reps need to make cold calls.  Now they can scan through their prospects and see where they have strong connections that they can leverage to open doors.  Account managers can better leverage their existing account contacts into new contacts and expand account penetration.  Recruiters can more clearly find critical talent and how to get introduced to them.  Executives can better leverage their contacts for developing new partnerships.

In this post, I am going to focus on one of those use cases – eliminating the need for sales reps to make cold calls.  In his Mashable article, “8 Ways Digital Will Improve B2B Sales in 2012”, Totango CEO, Guy Nirpaz, predicts that “Social Selling Will Go Mainstream”…

Ninety-two percent of prospects almost never book a meeting from a cold call or email, according to a study by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business. In 2012, rather than make cold calls, sales executives will first seek connections through social media networks, and then increase response rates with warm introductions.

Aside from personal networks, sales managers will also find ways to leverage the networks of colleagues, partners, customers, executives and former employees during the sales process.

We think this prediction is going to be spot on as we already see many of our customers using Reachable for Social Selling.  As Nirpaz points out, the key success factor is for an individual sales person to leverage more than their own personal network; it is also important to for them to take advantage of a broader network – fellow employees, customers, etc. – in order to turn cold calls into warm introductions and increase the probability of success.

In a future post, we will expand on how the Reachable solution supports Social Selling but in the meantime, we would like to hear how you have used Social Selling to be more effective.  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

– Perry Mizota, a marketing guy at Reachable

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