I recently had the pleasure of moderating a webinar with two of our many great clients. I was joined by Kristian Lorenzon, Head of Social Media, O2 Telefónica UK, and Brandi Scaramella, Social Media Specialist, Rubio’s Restaurants.
We had a great discussion around our topic, How Retailers are Tapping into Advocacy to Drive Revenue and Loyalty. It was great to hear first hand how two very different retailers are approaching advocacy. O2 is engaging both their internal business teams and their storefront employees as advocates. Rubio’s has created their Beach House to engage customers, drive loyalty and create a unique social experience.
Both shared a number of interesting insights about their social media strategy, and how advocacy is making a real impact for their businesses. Please take a listen to the webinar to learn from their experience and expertise.
But here’s what I wanted to share with you today: talking with them as we prepared for the webinar and then during the event itself, it struck me how fundamentally important it is, as a seller, to understand what success is to your client. That seems obvious as I write this, but many sellers forget this fundamental:
If you aren’t viewing sales as success creation for your client, pack up your bag. Go home. No contract for you.
As someone who has been involved in SaaS sales for many years, the beauty of the model is that (given a well-designed compensation plan) your sellers can be sinners or saints, doesn’t matter, they should be equally motivated to sell success. Why? The high-minded seller will sell deals that create success because they want to enrich the lives of others. Or you can have a very greedy, in-it-for-me seller who will also only sell good deals because of the built in fear of churn.
So, when thinking about sales as the creation of success, things get really interesting: the number of definitions of success will equal the number of players in the sales cycle. And beyond. The brand you’re selling to must succeed. The person you’re selling to must succeed. If you’re solution can make them into a hero, paint that picture for them. There are many other possible constituents from the business decision maker, the business owner, all of their bosses, etc.
But there is one person who is often overlooked: the end user. For many platforms, such as ours at Dynamic Signal, the end user isn’t a participant in the selling process. But we make sure we talk about that person in a significant way. And it isn’t just talking about adoption or engagement such that the buyer will get a good ROI. It is all about what those users themselves gain by using the technology.
If you don’t have a clear vision of the benefit to the end user, you will always struggle to get adoption, engagement and success. Your life will be very difficult no matter if you’re in sales, product, engineering or an executive.
I’m so excited about advocacy for a few reasons. It is always great to have a new marketing channel, to extend reach to a new audience. But what I am most interested in is the ability of an advocacy program to engage employee and customer advocates alike in a way that changes the brand experience. Employees want to love where they work – don’t we all?
There is a fundamental shift in the employee-employer relationship when the brand entrusts amplification of the brand voice to an employee. It is powerful and important.
For consumers, being an advocate means that you are in a direct 1:1 relationship with the brand in a manner that has not been achieved previously. To bring this back to our webinar, a Rubio’s fan could always post a picture of their delicious meal on Instagram or Facebook. But now, with an advocacy program in place, Rubio’s can ask for users to submit pictures to the community and then curate the best ones for the entire community to share out via their social networks. This type of brand relationship is unprecedented and very exciting.
If you are considering an advocacy program, let’s start a conversation about the overall benefits you could capture. Connect with me directly, or for more information I’d recommend downloading our latest eBook, Making the Case for Employee Advocacy, as it outlines the many different advocacy strategies marketers are implementing and finding success with.