With an economic and marketing background, Bénédicte RIOU began her career by integrating, at the beginnings of e-commerce, the marketing Honduras Email List department of an online bookstore. It was the beginning, for her, of a passion for the web. Before joining La Poste in 2010, Bénédicte participated in the first observatory of on and offline behavior in B2C with the CoSpirit MediaTrack research institute. She then worked in distance selling, supporting a BtoB sales force, and thus acquired ideal complementary skills to become, 2 years ago, Digital Manager within the Innovation Business Lab of The post office. What is social selling for you? The Social selling is to engage with a targeted contact via social networks by an authentic and natural approach.
The challenge is to personalize the latter by taking an interest in the issues and the context of his interlocutor. Social selling is therefore very far from an emailing process. It should be practiced with simplicity to cultivate a true 1to1, HumantoHuman / interpersonal relationship instead. Social selling is not just about starting a relationship but also about nurturing it. If social networks are an excellent way to cultivate a link, it is essential that they do not become an end in themselves but remain a lever in the service of business. What is the history of social selling at La Poste? Within La Poste Solution Business, the process began 5 years ago under the impetus of new purchasing behavior in BtoB. For us, it was about adapting to our interlocutors and changing our way of relating. Our imperative is to be present where our interlocutor needs it.
What advice and points of vigilance would you give to a company wishing to deploy the same approach?
It is in this sense that we have invested in social networks which now occupy a very important place in both BtoB and BtoC. Conversely, telephone or email prospecting works less and less. Prospecting “in the hard”, for its part, seems outdated. It is difficult to directly reach an interlocutor that you do not know. From this perspective, social networks have proven to be more appropriate. They allow you to enter into a relationship in a more flexible, less intrusive way and save time. This approach is more pleasant for the interlocutor who keeps control of the rhythm of the relationship. In addition, we have observed, via our social selling barometer measuring the impact of social networks on the act of buying in BtoB the increase in the solicitation of experts on social networks in the main information channels between 2018 and 2019 (+13 pts).
For the customer, digital offers the possibility of finding information but also of identifying a precise interlocutor-expert to forge a quality relationship. Contrary to certain assumptions, people, the web and social networks are not incompatible. This is why social selling makes perfect sense in our approach. The commercial efficiency obtained quickly validated this strategy. How did you put this approach in place and educate all of your employees? Within La Poste Solutions Business, this project involves 1,400 people on a voluntary basis. These are mainly business functions. We try to personalize our social selling program as much as possible to be more efficient. Our support differs depending on the profile of the participant: population 1 : employees who are interested but who will not ritualize this approach
How to keep the good practices of social selling alive and continuing?
population 2 : employees regularly using social selling population 3 : employees already active on social networks who capitalize on our actions to gain momentum and become experts to optimize their approach. We mainly deploy awareness-raising actions throughout France thanks to our regional relays. I also take this opportunity to thank them! Our main objective is to make social selling an authentic approach, full of common sense and practical to encourage as many of our employees as possible to integrate it into their practices. There is no obligation, any participant can leave the program as soon as they want. First, we provide market data: context of the transformation of purchasing behavior, decline in the performance of traditional prospecting techniques, etc. We also provide a broad presentation of social networks and their use.
Secondly, we offer more in-depth support and specific tools to around 250 volunteer salespeople, already seasoned and active on social networks. Finally, newcomers are made aware within the sales school since one day of their training course is devoted to social selling. How to convince and engage your employees of the benefits of this practice? We found that the appetite for the subject was not related to age but rather to personality and relationship sensitivity. Salespeople who are used to networking in a “classic” way are therefore very comfortable on social networks, which they see as an extension of real life. To mobilize as many people as possible to practice social selling on a daily basis, we mainly carry out tailor-made actions in order to identify and remove any obstacles that may exist. s in their personal use.