How to Build Systematic Social Selling: NetApp, Microsoft, and EXANTE cases
Discover how to implement the Social Selling method at the level of individual key experts, departments, and across the entire company. Examine our successful case studies that provide specific examples of how to effectively use Social Selling on LinkedIn, and useful tools to facilitate this process
Article outline:

Building Social Selling at three levels in a company

3 levels of Social Selling: personal, departmental, and company-wide
1. At the personal level. The process begins with establishing the expert's personal brand. This involves the series of five stages, including creating original and valuable content, engaging with the target audience, and generating B2B leads through personal communication.
5 steps to building Social Selling through an expert's personal brand
The ModumUp agency team has successfully applied these steps in their work with Sergey Plis, Professor of Computer Science at Georgia State University. By integrating both professional and personal content on his profile. The combination of professional and personal content on his profile attracts the attention of an expert audience and builds trust. His active engagement with the audience and establishing contacts help him expand his network with other researchers and employees of research companies in the USA and Western Europe.
2. At the departmental level. For Social Selling to work effectively, several representatives from the same department sould be actively engaged on LinkedIn. However, it can be difficult to convince an entire department to share company news and attract partners, clients, and new employees through LinkedIn.

To get started, select one representative from the department who will be an ambassador for Social Selling and demonstrate how the method works.

For instance, when ModumUp agency partnered with NetApp, Irina Chernova, the Director of Marketing, became the "pioneer" in Social Selling. Her success in attracting clients through her personal social media profile inspired Tatiana Bocharnikova, the Regional Director, to also launch a Social Selling project and start communicating actively with the target audience through her profile. Gradually, Tatiana's audience began engaging with her expert and visionary posts which strengthened relationships with IT professionals, top managers, and directors of large target companies. Eventually, some of them even became NetApp's clients. But the collaboration with the ModumUp agency didn't end there. Tatiana, as a top manager of the company, motivated her sales department to adopt Social Selling into their B2B lead generation strategies too. Thus, the ModumUp team played a very important role in helping NetApp implement the Social Selling method into their team's work.
3. At the company-wide level. Many companies recognize the importance of Social Selling but struggle with implementing it effectively throughout the entire company.

Olga Bondareva, the founder of the Social Selling agency ModumUp, shared her experience in implementing Social Selling across the entire company at Microsoft's regional office.
The process was not a quick one, as it required several stages to prepare employees:
  • 1
    The process began with informing colleagues. Olga took on the role of Social Selling ambassador for the company, giving talks on the approach and creating funny posters with memes on the subject and hung them all over the office.
  • 2
    The next step was to train and motivate employees to share company news and engage with the target audience. Lectures, seminars, and master classes were held to provide an understanding of the nuances and specifics of Social Selling on LinkedIn.
  • 3
    However, the problem with many courses is that people either do nothing with their newfound knowledge, or they don't know how to apply it in practice. So, Olga introduced a gamification element to the practical application of Social Selling skills, making the process both effective and inspiring. Various contests and challenges even motivated top managers of the company to compete and strive to be at the top of the rankings.
  • 4
    It was essential to help employees develop the habit of being active on LinkedIn regularly, not just during training. As a result, meetings dedicated to social networks, where participants could share experiences, began to be held regularly.
Thus, the culture of Social Selling was established in Microsoft's regional office.
4 stages to build Social Selling at the company-wide level

Social Selling Index: a simple tool for evaluating the effectiveness of Social Selling

There are various platforms that can be used to track the effectiveness of Social Selling, but Social Selling Index (SSI) is perhaps the easiest. This tool is built into LinkedIn and rates your profile based on four criteria:

- Establish your professional brand
- Find the right people
- Engage with insights
- Building relationships

From ModumUp's experience, an SSI score of 60% or higher is considered a high level, indicating that your profile is well developed and that you're active enough on LinkedIn. Statistics are available for individual users, allowing you to identify the most active and effective employees and gain an understanding of what is happening in the company overall.

To improve your SSI, create a well-designed profile, create relevant content, use search tools to identify potential clients, and join active professional groups where you can share your knowledge and establish relationships.
How to optimize the Social Selling process
If you feel that developing a Social Selling process is challenging and time-consuming, here are some tools that can assist you:

6 daily steps to build Systematic Social Selling

Italian Social Selling expert Leonardo Bellini has shared that to establish a systematic approach to Social Selling, it is important to follow six daily steps that will take around an hour each day. Choose a convenient time for yourself and dedicate it only to working on LinkedIn. Avoid getting distracted by notifications and messages on LinkedIn throughout the day, as this can reduce your motivation.
6 daily steps to build Systematic Social Selling
1. Monitor notifications within LinkedIn to understand who is engaging with your content. Additionally, check the "Celebrations" section to stay informed about news and congratulate potential clients and partners on relevant holidays and important dates.

2. Engage with your target audience. It's crucial to respond with a like, a brief or detailed answer when you are tagged. Additionally, ensure that you check which people have interacted with your content by region, location, company, etc. This will help you understand how much attention you have received from your target audience and enable you to segment it.

3. Establish connections with suitable people who have visited your page. If they fit your Ideal Customer Profile, start following them and engaging with their content. After a couple of days, send a connection request. Then, check who has accepted your requests and send them personalized welcome messages. It's important to show why you are interested in these people and make the messages personalized. For instance, you could refer to their content.
Leonardo does not recommend sending out sales scripts right away, but instead, he recommends building relationships with potential clients first.
To establish relevant contacts, you can use Sales Navigator filters by position, location, industry, etc. Also, you can check if the audience you need is present among the connections of your existing contacts.
4. Create content. You can write articles, reviews, and recommendations, as well as post videos and create content. To come up with fresh ideas, you can subscribe to relevant industry hashtags and browse what others are posting. It's also beneficial to follow influencers and share your expert opinion in the comments to their posts. Leonardo is sure that it isn't necessary to create content every day, but it's important to interact with your target audience regularly.
5. Build relationships with your target audience by sharing valuable content that appeals to them and responding to their likes and comments. You can even share your posts with individuals through private messages to get their feedback on your content. Commenting on influencer posts is also an effective way to draw attention to yourself and establish your expertise.
6. Evaluate the results. Check the statistics on interaction with your content and draw conclusions.

By performing the series of daily activities, you'll build trustful relationships with your target audience, which will help you establish business relationships later on.

How to unite 20 regional managers from 8 countries: the case study of corporate training for EXANTE

In the FinTech industry, trust and customer loyalty are crucial for building business relationships, not only with the whole company, but also with its individual representatives. Moreover, this industry is highly competitive, and relying on cold contacts isn't enough. It's necessary to establish warm, long-term relationships with potential clients, and Social Selling is an effective way to achieve this.

Marcel Cohen, Regional Sales Manager for Latin America and Portugal at EXANTE, an international investment company, shared his thoughts on the corporate Social Selling training provided by the ModumUp team.

20 regional managers were selected for that course who would later be able to share their knowledge with their teams. Before the training, Marcel thought that it would only focus on the mechanics of attracting clients through LinkedIn. However, the big part of the training was dedicated to building personal brands and self-positioning on social media.

Marcel was not initially an active user of LinkedIn. However, after undergoing the Social Selling training, he became interested in sharing his knowledge and insights with other people on the platform, and began to use it more frequently. He now uses LinkedIn for networking with potential clients and partners, as well as for searching for suppliers. Thanks to his established personal brand and excellent reputation, people respond quickly to Marcel's requests and offers. This makes finding suppliers on LinkedIn more convenient and efficient compared to other channels
Sofia Lopatkina, Project Director of ModumUp agency, shared her experience of organizing remote corporate training on Social Selling for 20 regional managers from EXANTE located in different countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Greece, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Chile, Italy, Singapore, and others.
The agency's experts held sessions on various topics including:
  • Positioning on LinkedIn
  • Mechanics of interacting with potential clients and networking
  • Ways to find target audience and lead generation
  • Automation and shadow banning
  • Effective content formats
  • Psychological aspects such as perfectionism, impostor syndrome, and overestimation of the target audience
To boost the participants' motivation, the ModumUp team used competitive techniques and awarded prizes to the most active course participants every week.
As a result, after completing the project and establishing new contacts with banks, brokers, and other financial companies from different countries, around 70% of the managers remained active on LinkedIn. They are still successfully implementing Social Selling strategies and increasing the number of B2B leads through the platform.

Let's summarize:

Social Selling can be implemented at three levels: personal, departmental, and company-wide. To attract relevant target audience and high-quality leads, it's essential to maintain regular activity on LinkedIn. Additionally, IT tools can be used to create content and track statistics to streamline the process.
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