How do you use social media properties like LinkedIn in your prospecting efforts?
SMB Regional Sales Manager
At Eloqua, some of our certifications are based on building our individual brands online. Posting on Twitter and LinkedIn, sharing blog posts, interacting in online conversations, building our Klout Score, and connecting with prospects, customers, and influencers all play into this brand building process.
I can definitely point back to many deals where I was multi-threaded because of connecting with influencers and decision makers alike on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Late last year I had a deal where I connected with a big influencer who I could see lived close to my girlfriend. When I connected, I included a personal note referencing the area, which started a conversation and created a bond between us outside of the sales cycle. We talked about quite a bit of things – mostly not work related – throughout the 3 months of the sales cycle. When it came to decision making time, she was a huge advocate for us, which definitely made a big difference in her company choosing us over our competition.
Was this the only thing that made the deal happen? No. But do I point to having the ability to connect and network on LinkedIn as having a big impact on the deal? Absolutely.”
When I speak with someone about my industry, I’m looking for one thing — fluency.
In all of the campaigns that I manage and work on, I use social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn as super highways to explore the content that my prospects are consuming. Just reading an article about business development will provide perspective on how the valley refers to VC-backed firms or stealth mode startups.
Social media platforms like LinkedIn are crucial for quickly acclimating to a specific jargon set because these platforms are designed for sharing. What better way to poll the jury for helpful content than to read the article they just suggested to their colleague.”
I use LinkedIn as a regular part of my prospecting process. I have both the Sales and Professional upgrades, which enable me to save and organize profiles of my top prospects in folders. Most importantly, every day I visit the profile of my top prospects and if they see I visited, they often visit my profile, read my marketing summary, and click through to my website (which I also track).
This has worked really well for my team, and I convert leads weekly from LinkedIn click-thrus.”
As a lead generation specialist working for a client with a highly complex product—and calling on high-level prospects—I have found that the LinkedIn feature that has assisted me most profoundly is the “Responsibilities” blurb. The ability to pinpoint a prospect’s specific responsibilities and then make small modifications to your message and tailor it specifically to their needs makes you a more effective sales professional.”
Global Account Executive
I use LinkedIn to validate prospects are still at the company, and make sure they are still in the position I’m targeting. I start by searching the company, following the company, and reading the latest info or blog to use as a conversation starting point. I join as many groups as possible to see what technical issues my targets are facing and how Neustar can help.
I then go to the employees tab under the company profile, message an employee with visible information, ask for the correct point of contact and mention the technical issues I discovered in my research.
I search the company name on Twitter to see if anyone has posted any comments, and then use those comments as a conversation starter. Referencing that immediately builds credibility, because you are showing your prospect you talk to many people just like them every day, which means you may already know about some of the issues they are facing and how to fix them.”
I follow my client’s competitors on WatchThatPage.com, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Alerts, and Facebook to gather as much information as I can on what’s happening in the market. In LinkedIn, I join as many industry related groups as I can find and I identify additional prospects by viewing the profiles suggested in “Viewers of this profile also viewed…”, coworkers, people whom the prospect recommends, and the people who recommend that particular contact.”