Dominic Archibald from LinkedIn goes over tactics that LinkedIn’s own sales team employs to train people on social selling - goes over fundamentals like building a profile, how to have a warm introduction.
My name is Brandon Lopez, I’m the demand generation leader at LSS for North America. I’ll be the MC for today’s webinar. I’m extremely excited today to have two very unique perspectives on social selling with us today from LinkedIn. First, John Mayhall, SMB sales leader. John’s vase experience spans sales and operations for both our sales solutions and marketing solutions businesses here at LinkedIn. And Dominic Archibald is our global demand generation leader at LSS. Dominic has an extensive background in Sales Development and Inside Sales as well as marketing demand creation. But first some housekeeping: 1. questions via chat or tweet us @linkedinselling 2. you will receive a recording of the presentation afterwards Now onto the agenda for today.
Goal for this webinar is to give you a first-ever, behind the scenes look at how LinkedIn thinks about social selling. You’ll have a number of takeaways that you can use right away to help you accelerate your year. I’ll start with a brief overview of the webinar theme and hand it over to John to discuss the social selling imperative and best practices that we’re seeing with reps. Then Dominic will reveal our secret sauce for social selling and we’ll wrap up with Q&A. But first, I’d like to take a second to discuss our three lines of business and mission for LinkedIn Sales Solutions.
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I wanted to set the scene for this next session with a quick story. About two years ago, I started managing a Sales Development hunting team here at LinkedIn, and was trying to understand this social selling that I was hearing about. Back in those days, even here at LinkedIn, we taught our reps that their success was tied directly to the number of calls they made, and social selling just seemed like a fun idea. Then, one morning, I got a phone call that changed everything. This call was from a Sales rep on another team at LinkedIn, and he asked me a simple question. He said “Do you know Dan Laughlin?”
Turns out that this rep had been planning his strategy for one of his accounts, and noticed in our Sales Product, Sales Navigator, that I was connected to a senior leader at the company named Dan. He told me that he had been trying to crack this account for months, and would love an introduction to Dan. I reached out to Dan and made the intro. A month later, the deal was signed. I realized at that moment that I needed to find a way to create that moment at scale in my Sales team.
In case you werent familiar, we have three major B2B lines of business at LinkedIn: hire, market, sell. For hire we provide services for recruiting and job seeking. For marketing we provide content marketing, advertising, and lead nurture solutions. And for my business unit, Sales Solutions we provide ways to help sales professionals. Our mission is to connect the world’s buyers and sellers to build relationships. And what’s exciting about that is….
In the traditional sales model there is only one buyer, you have to find them and keep trying to contact them But many other people in company; decisions are not made in isolation Some of them influence the primary buyer; you have to identify who these influencers and other members of the buying committee According to CEB there are 5.4 people involved in the average buying decision - meaning 4.4 influencers in a given buying decision, in addition to 1 purchaser
B2B decision makers inform themselves in various ways when making a purchasing decision. Traditionally, these have included vendor websites, white papers and network referrals / recommendations. However, today, social media underpins all three of these sources (company pages on LinkedIn, blog posts, social relationships) – so its no surprise that 75% of B2B decision makers use social media to make informed purchases. And, use of social media increases with the seniority of the buyer – 84% of VP+ decision makers use social media when making a purchasing decision. If you’re not actively using social media to reach buyers, you could be missing 75% of the people out there.
You used to be able to reach your buyer with cold calling. But buyers are overwhelmed with cold outreach. They’ve put up a brick wall. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, 90% of c-level execs ignore cold outreach. That means you’re only reaching 10% of all decision makers. So how can you continue to build relationships if you can’t reach them?
Have you adapted your sales process to fit the buyer’s new process? Are you looking for one all-powerful decision maker? With the expanded buying group of 5.4 people, if you are single-threading an account, you are setting yourself up to be blocked if that one buyer goes dark Imagine your decision maker at a table with all of the people he needs to convince to purchase your product; if you haven’t reached out to them, the likelihood that meeting goes well is slim Are you relying on the account to keep you updated? They’re more informed about you now; you have to ensure you are equally informed about them. Imagine that you’ve only been targeting one decision maker. What happens if that one person changes jobs - and you don’t know? Suddenly, all of your work with that account is lost. You need to be informed on what is going on with them so you can intelligently speak to their challenges or successes. Did their stock just tank? Did someone important in the industry start working there? When the buyers start doing research online, you want to be part of their research process - be their go-to source of information. Otherwise, how can you influence the decision. Are you treating your prospects like a name in a database? Cold outreach is not effective, and is getting less effective over time. Why? Because decision makers are bombarded with calls and emails. How do you get through the clutter? How do you get in the door?
In this new normal, you have to cater your sales process to the way the buyer is now working. You need to : Focus on the right people and companies Stay informed on key updates at your target accounts Build trust with your prospects and customers
What you are about to see is the playbook that we developed to teach our reps to do social selling at the speed of a hunting team.
Once you have selected accounts you want to focus on, the challenge becomes finding the right people to engage. This is where Lead Builder serves as a tool that our most savvy reps use from the beginning. For anyone who has ever bought a lead list, consider this as similar. Only It taps into the biggest professional database in the world The contact data is updated by the user who has incentives to keep it fresh And most importantly, it tells you how everyone knows each other So the big advantage reps have once they focus on a subset of accounts is that they can save these into lead builder – save a lead for IT Decision Makers across a set of 20 select tech companies for instance, and render a list of individuals then drill down on who they are connected to, and where they have a path for an introduction via a teammate or external connection
Next we’ll talk about finding and engaging the right contacts. When I managed sales teams, I found that much of their time was spent searching for the next person to call, and that they often struggled to find the key players at their accounts.
Along came LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and searching for new prospects changed forever.
Now, all a rep has to do is describe one time for LinkedIn the type of person she typically looks for, say for example Marketing professionals at VP level and above at Pharmaceutical companies. From then on, for any account that she looks at, LinkedIn will automatically run this search, identify the key people, and put them in front of the rep. We call this lead recommendations, and in the Sales Navigator screenshot here, you can see that LinkedIn is recommending the top people at the account who meet the rep’s search criteria. By identifying all the key players at the account on LinkedIn, we make it possible for the rep to find the 5.4 players who we need to connect with in order to close a deal.
In addition to searching for new leads, we teach our reps to quickly spot team connections into these accounts. These connections can turn into warm introductions like we saw earlier with Dan.
I like to describe this to new reps as the death of the rolodex. For most of the history of Sales, a rep’s success was largely defined by his rolodex – how many personal connections, how many business cards, could he call on to start a deal.
But now, with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, even the most junior rep can read the rolodex of the entire company. When a rep looks at an account in Sales Navigator, he can see every potential relationship that exists between his company and that account, and ultimately turn these company connections into warm introductions. I like to think of this as coming into the office in the morning to find a line of your co-workers waiting at your desk, each offering to put you in touch with somebody they know in your accounts. This is completely game-changing for the Sales rep, and was not possible before LinkedIn
We will talk more about how to get the most out of these relationships in a few minutes.
In addition to actively hunting for the key prospects in their accounts, we also teach our reps the power of what I call passive hunting. This is the art of listening for social triggers on LinkedIn and across the web that can turn into ideal selling moments.
Each morning when my reps get in, they pull up their Sales Navigator feed, which provides real-time insights and updates about the people and companies they are trying to sell to. These insights include: New team connections into the account Company news updates And shares or posts by a key prospect
In those situations that a full introduction doesn’t make sense or will require too much legwork, we teach our reps a powerful alternative: what we call the name drop
With this move, our reps reach out directly to the contact who is connected to somebody at LinkedIn, and simply drop the name.
This might sound like “Hi so-and-so, I see that you are connected to Dominic Archibald – do you know each other?”
It’s amazing how effective a name drop can be, and it takes a fraction of the effort.
So far we’ve taught our reps to hunt with LinkedIn and to sell through relationships. However, we’re not always going to have a magic silver bullet team connection. So now we fall back on “cold outreach” to try to get in the door. However, there is a simple, powerful way to turn this cold outreach into a warm interaction, even without a relationship.
The approach we teach is based on the science of neurolinguistics, the study of how the brain processes language. Once of the findings of this discipline is that the brain processes information best when it connects emotionally with an idea before grappling with a logical argument.
This intuitively makes sense to all Sales people – we call it establishing rapport. However, what I find is that most reps forget about rapport when it comes to email outreach, and that they typically go straight for the logical argument before making a personal connection. This explains the 20 cold emails I get every day from sales reps at other companies that include nothing personal about me.
The simple, and powerful, method we teach is to send a first message that leads with a personal fact gleaned from the LinkedIn profile, and then reaching out with subsequent messages that focus on how our solution can meet a business need.
LinkedIn Sales Solutions Mission:
Connect the world’s buyers and sellers to
are now involved in the
average B2B buying decision
Corporate Executive Board 2013 – Winning The Consensus Purchase
Decisions involve more people than ever before
of B2B buyers now use
social media to be more
informed on vendors
IDC 2014 – Social Buying Meets Social Selling
Decision makers rely on social media to choose between
Harvard Business Review 2012 – Tweet Me, Friend Me, Make Me Buy. Decision makers are C-level
of decision makers say they
never respond to cold
Decision makers now ignore cold outreach
%75of B2B buyers now use
social media to be more
informed on vendors
Relying on the buyer to
inform you on
5.4people are now involved
in the average B2B buying
Looking for one
%90of decision makers say they
never respond to cold
Cold-calling prospects like
they’re just a name in a
I found out a month later
the Director of Marketing
left my account and joined
another top prospect of
The VP of Marketing went
dark and now
I’m back at square one
I keep pounding –
email, phone, voicemail
– but can’t get a response
How well has your team adapted to this new normal?
Are you still:
Focus on the right
on key updates at
your target accounts
Build trust with
Building relationships with prospects and customers is
different in this new normal. You need to:
Social sellers perform better on key metrics
More likely to hit quota than
social selling laggards
Promoted to VP faster by
Hunting on LinkedIn
Building an expert brand
Selling through relationships
The Secret Sauce – How we teach LinkedIn reps
Professional photo is your first impression
Tagline should be action oriented, not just a title
Summary should describe your passions
Rich media should illustrate your story
Educate potential buyers who visit your profile
Building an Expert Brand
Your LinkedIn profile should inform and inspire
Hunting – Step 1 is to build a lead list
Lead Builder is the key to finding 5+ decision makers
Let LinkedIn do the hunting for you
Hunting – Step 2 is to engage recommended leads
Hunting – Step 3 is to find team connections
Take advantage of your entire company’s rolodex
Hunting – Step 4 is to listen for selling moments
Social triggers create golden selling moments
An example of a selling moment
The rep sees an insight in the feed…
An example of a selling moment
He reaches out while prospect is in the moment…
An example of a selling moment
A warm hand-off is the best way to build trust
Selling through relationships – Introductions
• Fast and lightweight, yet powerful
• Best used for less senior prospects or if connection is tenuous
• Appropriate to name drop without permission
Selling through relationships – Name Drop
Get the value of an intro with a fraction of the effort
Appeal first to emotional (right)
side of the brain…
• Personal interests
• School pride
• Articles and posts
…Before challenging the logical
(left) side of the brain
As a last resort, “cold” outreach can still be warm
Visit us at Sales.LinkedIn.com
Want to learn more?