Awards case study: How Fearless Labs won ‘Best use of martech for sales enablement’ for its work for O2

O2 faced the challenge of needing to engage with 1000 of its highest growth potential enterprise accounts.  But under lockdown, the sales team couldn’t rely on the conventional in-person relationship-building meeting or conference. Instead, O2 needed to find an alternative way to make an impact and establish themselves as credible thought leaders in the industry, top of mind for any future technology purchasing decision. This wasn’t about generating leads, but instead about finding a way to build these relationships.

Enter stage left: SOsell by Fearless Labs – a sales enablement tool to help O2 achieve exactly this over social media. SOsell was the perfect solution for O2, automatically monitoring its target accounts from an intent perspective, and using AI to propose personalised, compelling content to share in a timely manner via a very simple intuitive mobile experience.

In short, SOsell helped O2 overcome the limitations of lockdown and enabled the sales team to drive engagement and build relationships with an account-specific audience. 

About the client company

O2 is a British telecommunications services provider, owned by Telefónica and headquartered in Slough, UK. It is the second largest mobile network operator in the UK with close to 30 million subscribers. The O2 business was bought in 2006 by Telefónica.  

Specific issues or challenges to be addressed

Social media was already becoming a key component of many sales strategies, but the Covid-19 pandemic catapulted its status to being one of most effective tools in any sales person’s box. But only if they have the time and know-how to get it right.  And therein lies the challenge to be addressed.  Although social selling is known to work, the landscape is crowded and making yourself heard above the noise is tough. 

O2 had identified its top 1000 enterprise accounts with significant growth potential and asked its sales people to engage. With face-to-face meeting opportunities no longer possible, the firm found a solution to their challenges in the form of an account-centric social relationship engagement tool called SOsell from Fearless Labs.

Target audience

O2 sales and marketing leaders were tasked with building relationships with the firm’s top 1000 enterprise accounts, requiring communication to be personal, relevant and timely.

Social networks were seen by O2 sales leaders as a key channel via which to engage these accounts, alongside other, more direct channels. For enterprise account selling, it is paramount for sellers to engage with clients and share relevant content to help foster relationships and be top of mind when they look for technology solutions. 

Inherent challenges in engaging with this audience include sharing content that is of value to these enterprise accounts in a timely manner, ie: when they are looking to buy. 

The martech solution

Fearless Labs created a first-in-market sales enablement tool developed specifically to enable sales people to connect, engage and interact with their network and prospects using data and insight uniquely available to them. SOsell is the world’s first social selling tool to use customer intent data to drive social content to an organisation’s key accounts. 

SOsell was the perfect solution for O2. Powered by AI, it automatically monitored O2’s target accounts from an intent perspective, identifying interests, and then used AI to suggest content to share at exactly the right time at the click of a button. The ultimate goal was to drive sales teams to start engaging on social media with SOsell supporting them at scale by providing impactful content that was aligned to the target account’s business imperatives and therefore designed to drive engagement.

Challenges faced in deployment of the solution included:

  • Creating awareness of the SOsell programme across the sales team; solved by introducing: support of senior sales advocates and creation of a social ‘champions programme’ with top performers and posts published on a monthly basis and supporting best practice behaviours (based on SSI scoring system).
  • Showing ROI in addition to increase in social activity across sales teams, solved by sharing: LinkedIn engagement reports to show increase in account engagement and running surveys to capture sales feedback, particularly around increase in account connections and engagement, and supporting sales opportunities.

Deployment

SOsell was rolled out to the sales teams via a series of training enablement sessions, supported by senior marketing and sales leaders. Sales advocates from the original pilot programme were invited to speak on the training sessions to provide their positive experiences of the app and also provided quotes that were used in the promotion of the training. SOsell was also used to support O2’s existing ‘Social Influencers’ programme (1:1 social programme for a handful of senior sales executives) by providing specific content to share (and track) via the app. Finally, ‘refresh’ training sessions were offered to introduce new users to the programme and the social champions programme was launched to further promote the programme with the sales teams by highlighting the ‘best social sellers’ on a monthly basis via email and Workplace, encouraging more users to get involved.

Impact on the business

Since financial and pipeline metrics are not appropriate forms of measurement for SOsell, it was measured instead on reputation and relationships:

  1. Strengthening the O2’s reputation in the marketplace.
  2. Broadening and deepening critical relationships with its customers and influencers.
  3. Indirectly positively influencing the acceleration of pipeline.

Since SOsell, users significantly increased the sharing of third-party content, which has resulted in a major uplift in LinkedIn likes and comments throughout the year. SoSell is helping users share more relevant, interesting and engaging content that is raising their profiles, increasing customer interactions, and shifting them to be seen as thought leaders and subject experts. This helps them to start and support sales conversations and increase the awareness of O2 solutions, reflected by a significant increase in traffic from organic social into the O2 website as the result of more considered, balanced, and relevant sharing.

ROI and budgeting

For O2, this programme was not about lead counting, but instead about enabling a more consistent and relevant presence of the sales team on social media to improve customer experience and enhance relationship development. O2 sees this as the answer to clients’ thinking about O2 first when they are looking for solutions.

In total, there were 150 SOsell user seats, targeting a total of 1000 key accounts.

“With SOsell, I can quickly and easily see what my accounts are interested in, review article suggestions, personalise it and either post on LinkedIn immediately or schedule it to be posted at an optimal viewing time. I love it!”

John Aloy, head of strategic sales, public sector, O2

B2B Marketing Martech Awards 2021

This submission won the award for ‘Best use of martech for sales enablement’ at the B2B Marketing Martech Awards 2021.

Check out all the winners here!

B2B Marketing Martech Awards