Toshiba TFIS Engages B2B Sales Team in a Social Selling Initiative Through Tailored Training and the Sociabble Platform
Today, the office printing business line is the principal and historical activity of Toshiba TFIS. This is why, as part of its digital strategy, the company wanted to boost the visibility of these offers on social media, and make it easy for employees themselves to make the most of social networks as a generator of business.
“We were convinced that empowering employees as brand ambassadors was the right way for us to drive brand awareness and open up new business opportunities,” explains Sonia Morand, Marketing and Communication Manager.
Toshiba TFIS’ employee advocacy and social selling program began with the launch of the Imprimer Dématérialiser (Printing and Dematerialization) blog, in the context of the company’s inbound marketing strategy. This was followed by the introduction of the Sociabble employee advocacy and social selling platform.
From printing to document dematerialization and information management, Toshiba TFIS accompanies companies’ digital transformation, regardless of their size or industry sector.
Toshiba TFIS Develops Social Selling with Sociabble
Available on desktop and natively for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, Sociabble aggregates brand, third-party and user-generated content (UGC) onto themed channels from which users can share on their own social media accounts. Users win points for their sharing activity, and have access to a personal dashboard that tracks performance.
Administrators have access to individual and collective performance metrics, and can use a range of gamification and return-use mechanisms to drive engagement on the platform. Toshiba TFIS uses the platform to aggregate content from the Imprimer Dématérialiser blog, company LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and a selection of curated third-party sources.
Adapting Pre-Launch and Running Mode Training to Users’ Needs
Fully aware of the fact that there is no “one size fits all” approach to social selling, Toshiba TFIS has combined pre-launch and running mode training to account for employees’ varying levels of digital maturity, and ensure all social sellers receive tailored support and accompaniment. Having achieved the backing of top management, program leaders selected ambassadors from within marketing departments, who went on to introduce the Sociabble platform to sales teams in their region and provided in-person training.
Now that the platform has been launched, five webinars are offered to users on a monthly basis: one covering each of the LinkedIn Social Selling Index pillars (professional branding, finding the right people, engaging with insights and building relationships), and one dedicated to best practices on Twitter.
Ongoing Engagement and Return-Use Initiatives
Toshiba TFIS makes extensive use of the gamification and engagement features available on Sociabble, with monthly challenges highlighting specific posts, calls-to-action providing users with hints and tips, and regular newsletters drawing employees’ attention to the latest content available on the platform. Users can also create their own content (UGC) by importing articles they find on the web, providing feedback from their work with clients, or submitting articles they have written themselves for validation. The company also uses regular questionnaires to obtain employees’ feedback regarding the quality and variety of content available on the platform, in order to identify areas for improvement or adjustment.
Early Signs of Success Lead to the Engagement of New User Groups
The first six months on Sociabble saw Toshiba TFIS generate a monthly reach of 250 000 impressions through users’ sharing activity. On the back of this success the company chose to go beyond the office printing business line, making the platform available to its network of external distributors. This has enabled independent sellers to benefit from the rich Toshiba TFIS content available on Sociabble, engage with the company through gamification initiatives, and collaborate with Toshiba on social selling training for their own teams.
Moving towards a Digital Culture and a High Maturity Level on Social Media
Toshiba TFIS’ employee advocacy and social selling program demonstrates the company’s adaptability in the face of changing buyer behavior, with sales teams developing an image of thought leadership as part of their online prospection activity. “Our employees are proud to share content and to represent Toshiba TFIS on social media,” explains Morand. “Thanks to the content available to them on Sociabble they have been able to demonstrate expertise, are more aware of market activity, and feel better prepared for client meetings.”
Next Steps for Social Selling at Toshiba TFIS
Following the initial success of Toshiba TFIS’ employee advocacy and social selling program, a new blog is to be introduced, which will focus on digital transformation in the context of four business lines: office printing, industrial printing, digital signage and retail. The Sociabble platform, too, will be opened up to users working within these business areas, with a dedicated market watch channel containing insight-only content being added for each area of activity, in addition to those channels for which external sharing is activated.
Toshiba TFIS plans to develop its social selling activity further, by activating lead tracking metrics on Sociabble. This will enable the company to track the leads generated by sharing activity carried out on the platform, as well as the user and content at the origin of each lead. Toshiba TFIS is also exploring the integration of other social selling tools, which will further enhance teams’ social selling activity.