Even the best marketing teams go through lead-gen lulls. When they do, that’s when star sellers really shine. If lead shortages make you quake, reclaim peace of mind with the following advice for generating more of your own sales leads online.
Social Selling Offers a New Path to Leads Online
Before you start mourning the death of your long-trusted lead-generation tactics, take comfort knowing that 72.6% of sales reps outperform their peers when using social media as part of the sales process. In fact, they exceed quota 23% more often. Our own State of Sales 2017 report found that more than half of high performing sales pros credit social integration with helping them close more deals.
To join their ranks, adopt a strategic approach to making every online interaction count. As Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, Corporate Visions, says in the report: “Research shows B2B decision-makers count their interactions with salespeople as the major determinant of whom they choose – more than product quality, brand reputation and pricing combined.”
Success starts by boosting your online credibility, finding the right people to engage, and then engaging them insightfully.
Boost Your Credibility
The majority of B2B prospects start with online research, avoiding direct interaction with you in the process. Can you blame them for not wanting to put up with a potentially high-pressure situation when such a non-invasive alternative is available online?
That’s not to say you need to sit back and hope, or force yourself into the buyer’s process by any means necessary. The goal is to find an ideal situation to position yourself as a valuable resource and trusted advisor.
To impress the heck out of prospects on LinkedIn, build and boost your credibility by completing your profile, continually publishing and sharing relevant content, and adding to online discussions on top-of-mind topics. Kurt Shaver, Chief Sales Officer for Vengreso, has seen tremendous results using this approach.
Identify the Right People
With a growing number of influencers involved in B2B buying decisions, it can be tough to identify who to target and at what point in the buyer journey you should reach out. But it’s a must to factor in the entire buying committee so you don’t expose yourself and potential deals to risk.
Use LinkedIn to pinpoint the right people at your key accounts. By connecting with more than one person at an account, you get a more rounded and realistic view of the buying process and potential barriers to purchase. Plus, you’re better positioned to tailor your approach to the overall account and to each individual.
You can use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search to discover people with specific job titles, roles, skills and so forth within an account. Once Sales Navigator knows the types of connection you’re looking for, it will make relevant lead recommendations. It will show you decision-makers and influencers at the account that you might have missed, and flag potential buyers based on pre-established signals.
The more active you are in Sales Navigator, the more relevant your results will be. The tool learns from your past searches and automatically combs LinkedIn for lead recommendations that are relevant to your search criteria.
Prospects expect sales pros to enlighten their path to purchase, yet most buyers don’t believe that sales reps understand their business well enough to do so. Today, engaging with relevant insight is often what earns potential buyers’ attention. Be the sales professional who brings value to the buyer’s journey, and you are 5x more likely to see that buyer engage with you.
Connect with your co-workers to expand your LinkedIn network, and then use the TeamLink feature in Sales Navigator to see how they are connected with the prospect’s organization. Identify colleagues in your organization who have worked with the decision-makers on your list, and ask for insight into those people’s interests and needs.
Think beyond the value your product or service offers. Instead, share information tailored to the needs of your matrixed connections at every stage of their purchase process. One of the best ways to engage is by monitoring for trigger events such as the following, which are opportunities to engage with relevance and deliver valuable insights:
- Change in leadership
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Company announcements
- News mentions
- Market/product expansion
When it comes to finding and engaging buyers, there are no hidden secrets. But with the right approach, you can generate more leads online. For more ideas on how to get the most from LinkedIn and your sales efforts, download our eBook, Proven Strategies from the World’s Best Sales Professionals.
Kearns, S. (2018). How to Score More Sales Leads Online This Year: 3 Applicable Tips. [online] LinkedIn Sales Blog. Available at: https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/blog/sales-reps/2018/03/how-to-score-more-sales-leads-online-this-year–3-applicable-tip [Accessed 24 Nov. 2018].