In a new era of business and investment, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is in the driver’s seat. It is apparent the future of business is turning towards opportunities that simultaneously drive profitability and through delivering sustainability and environmental goals. This is where Social Impact, meaning activities businesses can participate in in order to do good for the global community, comes into play.
When your business builds a reputation for doing good work for society, your brand gains new customer pursuits, increases renewals, and expands your opportunities for investment. Incorporating Social Impact as part of your sales strategy is an innovative and future thinking way to distinguish your sales from the competition, bolster your employee morale, and secure more business.
Social Impact Isn’t New, But it is Evolving
Social Impact refers to any significant or positive changes that solve or address environmental, health, education and other social challenges. These goals are achieved by businesses through conscious and deliberate efforts or activities in their operations and administrations, including marketing, branding, procurement, and sales.
The term ‘Social Impact’ was first used in a Yale University seminar in 1969 on the ethical responsibilities of institutional investors. The discussion centered on considering social and environmental aspects of investment activities, beyond merely the financial return on investment. In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, the principles around Social Impact began to take off, leading businesses to evaluate not only what was going to produce shareholder returns, but also further Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental Social Governance (ESG) goals surrounding sustainability and social issues.
Since then, the UN Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) was designed for investment management firms to measure the ESG of their portfolios. The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) created the IRIS Metrics in 2009 specifically for investment firms that prioritized purpose over profit. Since 2017, the Impact Management Project has developed a Structured Network of key stakeholders in an effort to standardize Social Impact, and determine how to report it.
In short, people and investors want more from the businesses they work with and buy from, and so do their customers.
Social Impact is an Untapped, Transformative Sales Differentiator
A 2017 Cone Communications study revealed, 63% of Americans want businesses to advance the cause of social and environmental change. According to another study conducted by Boston Consulting Group for Givewith, leveraging Social Impact as a sales differentiator is 13 times more valuable than traditional sales incentives like free shipping or volume rebates. These figures are not insignificant, lending many organizations to reevaluate how they can capitalize on these valuable insights in their sales strategy.
There is untapped revenue potential around the world moving through sales transactions and procurement activities every day. The value of these transactions is huge: roughly $97 trillion according to research by the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance. With a $100 trillion dollar gap between the world and meeting the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, utilizing these transactions to include Social Impact as part of the sales proposals, the sellers and buyers derive additional business value from an activity that has a positive impact on the planet.
Givewith’s SaaS platform delivers a unique sales differentiator in the form of curated Social Impact programs – helping our customers strategically win business. In addition to helping sales teams close new deals and retain existing customers, the inclusion of Social Impact in your business strategy can have monumental effects across all sectors of your company, and for stakeholders. Sellers are able to differentiate themselves from the competition to close more deals, retain existing clients, and deliver significant business value to their buyers.
Internally, including Social Impact can boost employee morale and lead to greater productivity in the workforce, further bolstering sales numbers. Companies gain value in the form of greater consumer loyalty, more effective employee recruitment and retention, increased employee productivity, improved innovation, and positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores.
Take Sales to the Next Level
Incorporating Social Impact into sales renewals or new proposals strengthens relationships and differentiate sales teams from other potential suppliers. This innovative way for companies to come together to collaborate on critical Social Impact projects benefit their companies, their communities and their respective stakeholders.
Givewith is a SaaS platform that allows businesses to gain customer and supplier insights about shared Social Impact areas and deliver against those priorities in a simple, easy to use platform. Learn how sellers stand out from their competition and win more business, how procurement teams derive new business value, and how the platform allows companies to scale their impact faster with existing resources. To learn more about how Givewith generates shared value for businesses, people and the planet, visit www.scalewith.com