Blog Detail

social listening

Social Listening for Enterprise Sales

By Sander Biehn | Feb 15, 2017

Social listening can tell you much about your clients, but the real power lies in increasing your likelihood of success when trying to sell a complex solution.

When I worked in Enterprise Sale for AT&T, I was given a large account that wasn’t exactly happy with us. My main contacts were keeping an arms-length from me and were not introducing me to others—especially decision-makers.  Social listening helped me to turn all that around and sell $49M in new services in under 18 months.  How? I used social listening to understand who was needed my services to solve their business problems. I also used social listening to figure out how to layout my value proposition. Here’s exactly how I did it:

1. I looked for executive buyers who held budget and had problems to solve.

LinkedIn Navigator is a great tool for this. You can search current employees at your prospect and then search by title. This yields many names you can then vet and follow.

The key here is to follow these people closely and to have patience.

Check out my 15 minute workout for specifics on how to create lists of prospects and stay up to date with them in just 15 minutes a day.


2. I took a soft approach and bided my time.

Like I said below, having patience is extremely important. If you are an Enterprise seller and are on ‘plan’ and have one month to turn it around or be shown the door, then social media most likely cannot save you.  Using social media leverages the power of immediacy, but, like marketing, it is a matter of building up impressions with your target buyers over time.

It is going to take time.

You will need to actively monitor your prospects and keep an ear out for their problems or concerns.  Listen to ‘how’ they express their needs.  This will provide clues on how to sell your services and how to frame the ROI.   If your customers want hard dollar ROI, you will hear that in their social media. If they are looking at transformative ways to improve productivity and efficiency, you will hear that as well.

Here is the analysis you need to follow with your online clients:

  • What are they talking about online?
  • If they are not active, what groups do they belong to?
  • What are the major concerns in those group?
  • What are the people they follow tweeting about?

This analysis will give you clues on how to craft the eventual email of introduction.

3. I tried to find several people who had interest in my solutions to gain consensus in considering my solutions. 

In Enterprise sales in general, I found over 3 decades that in order to win it helps to have several people interested in your product or service. Gone are the days of corporate command and control. The division leader cannot always get a large project off the ground by herself. Finding multiple executives in different functional areas and/or divisions can increase your chance of success. In social media I focused on creating multiple relationships with my Enterprise customer and even introducing employees from different divisions to each other online to start the consensus process.

With consistent effort, you will find your chances of winning your next large enterprise sale increase by using social media to position your story with your customers. Enterprise sales is a fantastic place to practice the power of social media. I’ll see you on the leader’s board!

Get in touch with us today and reach your target to boost your leads and revenue with Social Selling.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *