The SVP of Sales needs more new business. Now. Marketing has plans to help with better Demand Generation and Lead Management. But the Sales Leader can’t wait. We’re already deep into the second quarter. The CEO wants to know why things aren’t moving faster.
We are currently talking with dozens of large company Sales SVPs and CSOs. Our interviews show there is huge interest in capturing new logos. The cost cutting of the last few years has largely subsided. Today there’s a land grab for more new business.
To this end, sales leaders have reached across the aisle and engaged Marketing. Marketing has big plans. People are starting to understand the science of increasing interest and demand. Dollars are being allocated for things like marketing automation tools and lead development reps. Good content is being created to educate Buyers. Great stuff. One problem though:
It’s taking too long! How can you sell more new logos right now? Through more effective prospecting! How can you get your team to prospect more effectively right now? Leverage Linkedin. This article is for the senior sales leader. Would you would like a tool you can send directly to your sales team? Review this excellent article written directly for them by Joel McCabe.
Get your Executive Overview of Linkedin Prospecting Capabilities here.
Sales leaders are still ambivalent about Linkedin. Some even see it as a threat. Here are the different schools of thought:
“Linkedin? I don’t have an account. I don’t believe my prospects are using Linkedin. We bang on doors and use the phone.” My response: “155 MILLION users accessed Linkedin last month (27% from mobile devices). Let’s log in now and search some of your key prospects.” Inevitably, the sales leader ends up finding valuable information and potential connections.
“If my sales reps are on Linkedin, they might be looking for a job.” Some companies monitor their top sales peoples’ profiles. One Sales VP told me “When reps updates their profile picture, everyone gets nervous. It’s a bunker mentality.” Thankfully, more progressive companies understand that top performers are always free agents.
“I use Linkedin as a tool for finding qualified candidates when I need to hire someone.” This sales leader doesn’t see the full potential of the platform.
Why Linkedin is so effective as a prospecting tool
Think about the different avenues to reach your key prospects. No one answers the phone anymore. E-mail? They get 200 every day. Walking in the door? It’s expensive, slow, and based on luck. Maybe if you hit enough doors you’ll stumble across someone who needs your product. But think about the last time you received a Linkedin message or invitation. For many of your prospects, there is still a degree of novelty. Your message may be heard over the roar of the crowd.
More importantly, people buy from people they know. Obviously, prospects don’t really “know” many of their first and second degree Linkedin connections. But asking for an introduction is powerful. Regardless, any level of Linkedin connection is warmer than me cold calling you on the phone.
Linkedin Tagging. Tags are simple keywords you create which allow you to segment your connections. “Bucket” them any way you like – by position, industry, company, even geography. This allows you to easily send targeted, relevant content to them. Why wait for Marketing to develop a Lead Nurturing capability? Do it yourself, now.
Linkedin Signal. Signal lets you filter the stream of updates you receive on your Home page. Make the updates work for you. They can help you prospect. You can search for companies, topics, keywords, or people across the updates stream. See top headlines for any industry in real time.
Linkedin Maps. This addictive tool helps you visualize your world of connections. Think of it as a picture of your prospecting database. Explore your connections to uncover prospecting opportunities. Spot weaknesses in different areas of your professional world and build new bridges.
However you choose to interpret today’s macroeconomic data, one thing is evident. Companies are shaking off the recession mindset of the past several years. More buyers may be entering the market for your products and services. Finding and connecting with prospective buyers is the essence of prospecting. Don’t wait for the Marketing organization. Spend a few minutes with these tools. Get them into the hands of your team. You’ll quickly understand how your sales reps can use them to sell new logos.