Social media is a marketplace of potential buyers, so how are you selling to them?
Recruiters sell socially every day, proactively headhunting their next superstar candidate from LinkedIn and marketing roles to them. This strategy is the same whether you’re selling a role, product or service, so how do you implement social selling in a B2B organisation? What social networks should you use? How can you help people to visualise your product offering?
In this interview we put Santander under the Spotlight to learn how it’s done in a bank. I speak to Mike Davies, UK Head of Business Development at Santander UK Corporate & Commercial. Have a listen to the interview on iTunes, Soundcloud or keep reading for a summary of our conversation. And make sure you subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.
We’ve used LinkedIn for a long time at Santander. I think we were one of the first banks to use Sales Navigator. What we did was, in a very methodical way, identify people in the organisation with a front line sales section, and then look at the tools that we could use or deploy to support them in building their portfolio of customers. So once we got that functional piece out of the way, we looked across the market to identify the right sort of support and tools for our sales guys. And LinkedIn obviously fits very well because it is a social platform and it allows us to put people in touch with the right prospects at the right time.
We don’t. We limit ourselves just to LinkedIn. The reason for that is currency of message. So we’re looking to build real relationships. So LinkedIn allows us to, with InMail to sort of make a one-on-one contact. Santander is an organisation that uses Twitter and has various Twitter handles but in terms of our social selling, we do them ourselves, just LinkedIn.
I think the biggest challenge was change. Banking is quite a stable industry. We employed guys who’ve been in relationship roles for 10, 15, 20 years. So you know, they’ve got very established ways of doing things.