SAP: convincing the CFO that B2B social media can be a benefit

$-largeLast week I had the chance to bump into Sarah Goodall from SAP; I was very pleased to see her at the usefulsocialmedia conference in London one year after being acquainted with her at a marketing conference in London. Sarah is one of our best social media practitioners in the B2B world and I was lucky enough to sneak out of the B2C session and switch rooms to listen to her. Her presentation was about how to convince your CFO about the benefit of social media. Not an easy task, but Sarah knows how to circumvent the issue; here is how:

Sarah Goodall looks after social media for EMEA and she presented on June 26th at the usefulsocialmedia conference in London. “How can social media generate value? I haven’t got all the answers!” Sarah said as an introduction, but she has a few clues which she wanted to share with us.

sarahgoodall

Sarah has worked for small and large companies and knows “how to make things work on a tight budget”. SAP sells software and services to businesses; it is forty years old and it comes from “a traditional marketing background” Sarah said, and moving into social business “is a true cultural shift”. Hence, social media “came as a shock” to SAP according to her and “it helped [them] turnaround the sales cycle” Sarah went on. What it means is that there has been more emphasis on posting content on where customers are getting it rather than push that content over to them. Therefore, the transition is to inbound Marketing “even though we are not there yet” Sarah said, very honestly. “Outbound still represents twice the budget which is spent on inbound marketing” she added.

How to attribute social influence to revenue?

At the very heart of the business, there is the owned SAP community, using Jive internally and an external community with customers. On top of that, there are channels which aren’t owned by SAP such as LinkedIn, Slideshare, Facebook, Twitter etc. The SAP community network is fairly known outside of SAP, and is 3 million big nowadays. “A lot of bloggers are contributing in this community, most of them aren’t part of SAP by the way” Sarah added.

On external platforms, SAP have enough fans to fill in football stadiums several times “but this is still not sufficient for CFOs!” she said. Hard facts are required, more arguments needed. So what will it take to drive the point home? “What the CFO is interested in is the impact on customer value, and the bottom line and it’s tough, I’m not going to lie” Sarah said.

secret sauce

So here are a few of Sarah’s secret recipes for getting CFOs to buy in to social media:

  • Potential cost of R&D saved: if you use the comments and the voting and offset that against the money saved on R&D, this is tremendous. There is also a cost of loyalty and there are savings which can be made.
  • Social commerce: this is a little more tricky because “the SAP sales process doesn’t quite work like that” Sarah said. SAP tried to embed links in LinkedIn and experimented on how Facebook posts can lead to a registration. “It’s not enough to generate revenue” she said “it’s not an exact science but it’s enough to uncover value”. There are also chance engagements, they don’t happen very often, but when a potential customer has been turned into a customer later then it is a great achievement.
  • Social intelligence: “this is a little bit more woolly” Sarah said but you can try and get insights from social media, and it can be shown that click-through-rates can be influenced through social media.
  • Social insight: social media is also useful in order to measure brand health. SAP is monitoring what users are saying about  SAP and their competitors. “There aren’t any numbers but it is useful” Sarah said.
  • Sapphirenow: this is the biggest business conference which is organised by SAP. In Orlando, 15% of twitter handles of delegates were identified, and 25% followed the @sapphirenow Twitter handle. “This is still early stage Sarah said but it is very useful to tie to something related to business and prove it’s useful” Sarah said.
  • Social efficiency: social media saves a lot of money on support and reduces significantly the amount of inbound calls SAP is getting for support. SAP mentors are SAP’s brand advocates and “this is media which can’t be paid for” meaning that it is invaluable. SAP also launched a #suithugger hashtag which brought amazing results.

the right metrics

As a conclusion, Sarah said that “you would have to “communicate the right metrics to the right audience. Don’t show clicks and followers to CEOs! Show how social media is impacting productivity. You can’t really talk of the ‘ROI of Facebook’” Sarah warned.

Pearls of wisdom … does anyone have anything to add to this? I don’t.

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (10/10)

chrysalis

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (10/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

This is the final post in this series. Use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

session synopsis

no slides

  • I have to apologise for having no slides for this presentation. I tried to figure out a reason why I should add some but couldn’t go beyond the need to show some nice pictures, I don’t believe that what I have to say – mostly derived from my day to day experience in these few years that I have worked – is worth being plonked into PowerPoint slides, it doesn’t add any value and besides, by refusing to show slides and pictures, I’m certain that I’ll get all your attention,
  • “The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur” George W. Bush is reported to have said to Prime Minister Tony Blair during a discussion about the French economy. Although this is mostly hearsay and not proven that George W Bush actually said that, this Bushism has being recycled a great deal of times on the Internet and beyond. But I am here to guarantee that this isn’t true; the word exists and we even have another word, intrapreneur, derived from the first, which describes those people who attempt new things in large organisations, implement change, move things forward; relentlessly …
  • I am such an intrapreneur and I like it. Maybe this is because I dreamed of being and entrepreneur and haven’t had the opportunity as yet. Regardless, change is part of my business life, I love to change things, have always done, will always do. I believe it must be like a second nature. I can’t help it even though sometimes I think it would be a lot safer and more straightforward for me if I chose to let things be.
    • Intrapreneurs love to bridge the gap between thinkers, researchers, developers and those who run everyday business operations.
    • Intrapreneurs are doers, they like getting things done, they like it when the rubber meets the road…
    • I am like that too
  • Scott [note: one of the organisers and the co-founder of Like Minds] decided that I should make confessions about this need to launch new projects, push new boundaries, and implement new things for the large companies which I have worked for or with.
    • Yet, the word “confessions” – if I believe the Cambridge dictionary – means that one has done certain things wrong, committed a crime or a sin, and I’m not quite sure about that choice of words
    • Granted, many a time being an intrapreneur means that one fights against established rules, battle against resistance, overcome obstacles
    • But intrapreneurs aren’t trouble-makers, because true intrapreneurs always act for the common good.
  • I believe that the reason why I’m talking to you about this today is coming from an initial discussion at the Like Minds Summit at Bovey Castle in March 2010 with a few alumni, including our much regretted friend Trey Pennington, to whom I would like to dedicate this presentation
  • our subject was “how to implement social media in enterprises” and I soon realised that my experience was shedding a different light on that topic because I am an insider, I did this for years on end, and whether it be with social media or any other thing doesn’t make a difference at all.
  • It’s more difficult to change things if you are in a big organisation. Setting up a blog for a small organisation is a no brainer. You just go to wordpress.com and set up your space in a matter of minutes … you cannot do it exactly like that if you are the legal representative of a large company, mostly when it has gone public! It’s more complex, there are rules to comply with and obstacles to overcome. It’s easier to stay from the outside and just issue recommendations. I know, because I too worked as a consultant for many years … and yet it is also very frustrating because a consultant who issues recommendations is seldom the one who is commissioned to implement the change!
lessons learned
  • So here is my confession, that is to say a few lessons which I learned while implementing change and are my guiding rules for intrapreneurship. For each of these lessons I will give you an example, if time allows.

This is the final post in this series, which was posted starting from the end. Use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (9/10)

chrysalis

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (9/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

Stay tuned and use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

lesson no. 1: change begins with a prayer 

  • … the serenity prayer to be precise; which I first noticed in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, when Billy Pilgrim has this sign posted above his desk in his office stating:“God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    if I believe it’s been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous too … 

Anecdote: implementing the Sale Force Automation system at Unisys at the beginning of 1992 with my new boss who told me “ok for you to get the job, but don’t change anything about the method”. So I didn’t, let the project fail, then proposed a new method, and succeeded in less than 4 months in implementing a new system throughout Europe. I didn’t choose to change what I couldn’t change, I just proposed the right solution at the right time, i.e. when and only when my boss realised that the old method wasn’t the right one. Besides, I didn’t have to criticise it, all I had to do was to put things right.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (8/10)

chrysalis

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (8/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

Stay tuned and use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

lesson no. 2: think big and start small

  • one of the commonest mistakes is to try and change the whole world in one go… too fast, too big, too early
  • most people hate change, despite all the talk about innovation, letting sleeping dogs lie is reassuring, and change creates – in most people – anxiety, the fear that things may longer be as they were, the risk for them to become out of touch, to be left on the side, to be taken out of their own comfort zone and into the red (the zone in which people think that they are no longer in control, that they are losing touch, becoming incompetent and eventually … will be made redundant, even with no real reason)
  • hence change has to be implemented step by step, starting little and getting bigger, in order for people to reassure themselves that they can be part of that change and not be threatened by it!

Anecdote: I am in the process of overhauling the orange.com website but our ambition goes way beyond that. What we aim at is the establishment of a group-wide governance which will give more leeway to all our entities/countries while ensuring better consistency and maximising our Web IT spend. Although it’s a no-brainer, it would be stupid to start with the biggest websites, so we are slowly but surely adding small websites to our platform, therefore showing that our new Website factory is not a threat but a tool for all to benefit from.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (8/10)

chrysalis

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (8/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

Stay tuned and use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

lesson no. 2: think big and start small

  • one of the commonest mistakes is to try and change the whole world in one go… too fast, too big, too early
  • most people hate change, despite all the talk about innovation, letting sleeping dogs lie is reassuring, and change creates – in most people – anxiety, the fear that things may longer be as they were, the risk for them to become out of touch, to be left on the side, to be taken out of their own comfort zone and into the red (the zone in which people think that they are no longer in control, that they are losing touch, becoming incompetent and eventually … will be made redundant, even with no real reason)
  • hence change has to be implemented step by step, starting little and getting bigger, in order for people to reassure themselves that they can be part of that change and not be threatened by it!

Anecdote: I am in the process of overhauling the orange.com website but our ambition goes way beyond that. What we aim at is the establishment of a group-wide governance which will give more leeway to all our entities/countries while ensuring better consistency and maximising our Web IT spend. Although it’s a no-brainer, it would be stupid to start with the biggest websites, so we are slowly but surely adding small websites to our platform, therefore showing that our new Website factory is not a threat but a tool for all to benefit from.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]