How an account-based community can support your sales efforts
Comments / Posts per month
Fujitsu is a global information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services.
This project was for Fujitsu UK’s education division, which provides technology solutions to educational institutions, particularly further and higher education institutions embarking on digital transformation.
Fujitsu UK’s primary objective for this campaign was to create sales opportunities within relevant accounts. While the effects of coronavirus (such as an increase in remote learning) opened up many doors, our challenge was finding the right doors for Fujitsu UK to walk through.
Before approaching The Social Effect, Fujitsu UK’s main way of gathering data from their target accounts was through ambassadors who would champion Fujitsu UK at relevant institutions. This gave Fujitsu UK only a modicum of insight.
Our challenge was to find a way to gather data from Fujitsu UK’s target accounts that would give insight into sales opportunities, as well as open up conversations with relevant audience members for their sales team to run with.
Our strategy was to establish a community comprising the relevant employees from Fujitsu’s target accounts using LinkedIn Groups. To ensure that the community appealed to the right people, we positioned it around a topic that would interest them: Digital Transformation in Education.
Over the course of 3 months, we implemented a number of growth strategies to bring attention to the group. These included using LinkedIn’s advanced filtering capabilities to identify suitable candidates to invite to the group, as well as sourcing active members from groups positioned around related topics.
While engagement is a central pillar for online communities, our goal was to use engagement to extract useful information to guide Fujitsu UK’s sales team. We did this by asking the members for their opinions on relevant topics. A perfect example is shown below and asks members how often their students complain or give suggestions related to distance learning.
While the poll functionality made it convenient for people to respond, many members took the opportunity to comment on the posts and provide deeper insights. The poll responses provided Fujitsu UK with quantifiable information to use for assessing market requirements for particular products and services. They also allowed Fujitsu to tailor their messaging towards topics and challenges experienced by their target audience.
The comments opened up a channel for Fujitsu UK’s sales team to engage directly with potential customers. A key to the success of the community was Fujitsu UK’s sales team’s willingness to dedicate time to engaging with members. This gave them an opportunity to build relationships with employees in target accounts instead of cold contacting them. We would also provide the sales team with the official group members list, allowing them to establish relationships outside of the community as well.
Members were also encouraged to regularly post their own content, giving Fujitsu UK’s sales team another opportunity to build organic relationships and engage directly with their target audience.
As new members join the community, they are invited to introduce themselves to the community. This has several benefits for Fujitsu UK: it highlights which members are likely to engage, it helps identify whether they’re in the right position within their institution to be sold you, it outlines what their current interests and challenges are in relation to the community’s topic.
During the first 3 months, the group grew to 690 members, giving Fujitsu UK access to a sizable portion of their target audience. Polls have generated a total of 91 responses, providing Fujitsu UK with industry insight specific to their target accounts, while user engagement (approximately 60 comments and posts per month) open up a conversation between Fujitsu UK and their target accounts.