“Social selling” takes LinkedIn Basic to new heights
Originally coined at Dreamforce as “LinkedIn for Salesforce” back in August 2011, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is charged with arming sales professionals with an arsenal of tools to make them more successful. In this day and age where 4.5% of all Americans (210 million people) are on the infamous “Do Not Call List,” many consumers are becoming less responsive and frankly do not want to be bothered. People are even balking at receiving direct mail and other unsolicited marketing materials. Consumers are suffering from an information overload, whether it is on their computers, tablets, or mobile devices. How do sales professionals overcome these trends and make their products and services more desirable in this marketplace? Social selling is the answer and LinkedIn is providing Sales Navigator as the solution.
Sales Navigator is a new application that integrates with your existing CRM tool, such as Salesforce.com, to enable users and sales teams to obtain deeper access to potential leads. It allows sales teams to expand their professional network by leveraging their common connections. For example, new features called “Team Link” and “Lead Builder” allow companies to create a sales team account that combine individuals’ connections and suggests methods of contacting strategic 2nd and 3rd degree contacts utilizing these internal resources within the organization. Simply put, the application recommends which team member has the best inroad into a warm introduction with a potential client or customer. Access can be restricted to team members only and through attrition, the team’s connections remain with company. Further, LinkedIn Inmails have an extremely high response rate which is an added bonus to the sales suite.
Social selling is designed to introduce products and services where the customers are socializing at, and that place is LinkedIn. LinkedIn Groups allow users to segregate to their respective industries or topics of interest, making selling to them much easier. Moreover, additional applications such as Events, Polls, and Box allow potential customers to participate in ways never seen before. Since customers are becoming more informed and have greater access to information, it is vital to know more about who they are and what they need. The Salesforce.com integration makes keeping track of this information manageable and painless. Relationships truly matter and Sales Navigator will enable you to use the power of numbers and a “team” work environment to accomplish a lot more than just “hitting the numbers.” They might walk a way making lifelong friends.
This article is based on a LinkedIn Exclusive Event for Sales Professionals: How to Benefit From the Social Selling Revolution, on April 24, 2012 at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, California
Kevin L. Nichols is the Principal of KLN Consulting Group located in San Francisco, which specializes in Litigation, Diversity and Business Development/Social Media consulting.
For more information, please visit http://www.klnconsultinggroup.com.