This is a simple, but very effective tip we were given by a client of ours. Search in the PEOPLE section of LinkedIn, for COMPANIES. This will provide you with EVERYONE, not just your 1st, 2nd and Group connections.
By now everyone’s noticed that the sales process has changed, it’s no longer about the sales profession but instead, it’s focused on the buyer’s journey. It’s changed so much that most sales professionals are not even involved in the buying journey until it’s too late. In fact, 74% of today’s B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase according to Forrester. They on social performing their due diligence and research without you. Many sales professionals who are still cold calling are being treated with less respect, and are losing out on more and more opportunities. Why? It’s not only because the buying journey has changed, but how it’s changed, and how relevant sales people are making themselves within that process. Too many reps are finding themselves behind the 8 ball and they don’t even know it.
We have helped 100’s of sales reps drive business using Social Selling. These sales reps understood the value of preparing themselves for the next sales evolution. They also realized that there’s one law from the “sales god’s” that will never be broken – selling takes time. Nurture, Nurture, Nurture! There has never been a magic bullet, nor will there ever be. It’s important to start building your social Klout today!
I started my true sales career on November 1, 2004 – 10 months after finishing my MBA. I’d had a role at BMO Nesbitt Burns from 2000-2002, but I wouldn’t consider that true sales. On November 1, 2004, I walked into a corporate real estate firm, housing 30+ sales reps all in crisp white shirts, dark suits and polished shoes, ready to do battle. The only problem was, I had no formal sales training – so I was scared. I didn’t know what I was capable of accomplishing in the sales world. I also had a massive $50,000 MBA debt that I dragged around like a boat anchor.
Over the last 8 years, I’ve been a sales rep, sales manager, sales director, and now sales leader. I’ve also been an entrepreneur for 3 years, giving me a first-class ticket to 100’s of sales departments across North America. I thought I’d share the top 10 lessons I’ve learned so far (in no particular order).
Social Selling is the most powerful sales methodology since the advent of email. Sales reps across North America are learning to blog, make videos and start conversations on LinkedIn. Many progressive marketing departments are now using social monitoring tools like Radian6 to listen for opportunities or threats. The question is, how are they listening and what are they listening to?
We met with Vision Critical today, 2 months after finalizing our last Social Selling Training module. The goal was to take the SUMMER (yes I said summer, they rocked their numbers in the summer) and digest & implement the Sales for Life best practices.
Adoption was an understatement. We were pleasantly surprised just how successful their inside sales team has been with LinkedIn. They were doing it all – monitoring, curating, posting original content and engaging. Engagement comes in 2 forms – some the soft, nurturing relationship development and some the tactical hard-sell for a next step. Either way, they are doing an outstanding job.
LinkedIn Answers is very difficult for sales reps to navigate and find useful topics. Sales for Life has created a short video to give sales reps instant opportunity to address relevant buying questions. Here are tips to make this dead simple.
Having worked in the sales recruiting industry for the past 8 years, and having personally interviewed 1,000’s of sales people, the one thing that I know for sure – good sales people don’t grow on trees. This is especially a challenge for hiring managers in the tech sector.There has been a recent trend over the past 5 years of tech companies investing more heavily into entry level inside sales people versus the tenured outside rainmaker sales reps. In fact, our most common sales recruiting request seems to be for junior inside sales reps with only 1-3 years sales experience, and a salary expectation of no more than 30-45K in base salary. What kind of sales person do you think you can find with 1 year of experience? You guessed it, an inexperienced one!