I'm not sure if there is any post that concentrates on the sales tools that have become prominent and necessary for success. Since I'm usually an early adopter of these tools, I figured it could benefit those who have access and consider them more of a hassle than what they're worth.... Believe me. They're not - it's just a matter of setting up the correct automation sequence that will work for you behind the scenes.
This post will be a work in progress - I'll try to update this with new information every few days, and please - suggestions are always welcome. Before I discuss my first topic, I have to address anyone reading this that thinks these tools are a waste of time.... Everyone is entitled to your opinion but take this seriously; There is a new breed of sales reps coming directly out of college with degrees in..... you guessed it - SALES.
Sales tools are one of the biggest investments companies are making to establish a direct correlation between productivity vs. actions backed with analytics. It's my opinion that you lean in with technology and lean out of avoiding it. So let's take the first step together with LinkedIn.
If you don't have to get Sales Navigator, I strongly suggest that you get it... Before my company paid for this, I paid close to $1000 a year. That sounds crazy. $3,000 over 3-years with an ROI of $35k + in commission dollars from opportunities I have closed from LinkedIn. However, if you're first starting, and you can't commit to $80 a month, I believe this still gives you a 30-day free trial, so if your hesitant, try it out and do as much as you can while it's free or buys it. I don't work for LinkedIn, and I don't HAVE to worry about your commission checks, but obviously, I am taking the time to help, so maybe I care... maybe I love you... Who knows?
The link I posted to this post is a great starter strategy for LinkedIn. I'm not going to go over in detail, but rather, the three-step process I use to make prospecting so much easier. Be warned, and you can't just grab these three steps in run into battle. I'm giving you the ammo, but if you don't have a profile that doesn't have a professional picture, exciting content, or any humanization - don't bother. Would you be friends with the guy that took a photo at a wedding with drunk googly eyes? Maybe I would - but I wouldn't do business with him.
Professional Picture - No selfies. Find a solid background, get a friend that knows how to clean up photos, and have them take the picture with their iPhone.
Content: This goes without saying; relevant content helps you make connections, but more importantly, enables you to establish common ground. Make it specific to your clients.
Humanization: Looking at LinkedIn profiles has become the new resume. The boring ones don't stand out. The about me section shouldn't be about your business life, but rather who you are when the tie comes off. Talk about your hobbies, your ambitions, your love for aardvarks (maybe not that one), but things you can connect with someone over - Fishing, golfing, boating (who doesn't love being on a boat).
Okay - Hang in there. I know I am long-winded.... The Honey Badger's 3-step guide to LinkedIn navigator success.
1) Get your account list in excel format, .csv to be exact. I'm hoping you have this at your fingertips. The information you'll need on your columns is Account Name, City, State, and website. Now there are other options, but those seem to get me the best return. Once you have that CSV, you have to cut it down to 500 accounts (Linkedin's maximum upload size) and Upload your list. Instructions here:
2) individualize your target personas. Then, create tags and save searches for each in the advanced search. The tags and lists I have saved are - IT Decision Maker, Business Decision Maker, C-Suite, Champion, and Back-Up Contact.
Instructions for doing an advanced search:
3) Target those individualized personas with collateral specific to them. Currently, my company focuses on CyberSecurity. Honestly, most companies are right now. We have a live webinar that we are inviting guests to. I open up my IT Persona List (which is connected to ALL of my accounts). One by one, I send them a connection request with something like this:
I see you're on the IT team at (company name). If you didn't know, I'm the (your company name) for your area.
I'm asking to connect because we offer a Bootcamp for cybersecurity on (Date) at no cost. Interested?
The Honey Badger"
I have had over 15-prospects sign-up this week, but remember... it means nothing if you don't gain a commitment of a meeting afterward. You're offering something free!!! That's super valuable, so you better ask for a meeting later.
For those that are interested, they will message you back and connect. Once you have their email address, have a customized email template with the event's registration details. In the first paragraph, tell say, "the reason we offer this to you at no cost is to understand better how (your company) relates to (their company). Within 72-hours of the webinar, we need to connect for that data. Please reply to this email with a time for the 16th, 17th, and 18th.
If they don't respond to you, follow up 72-hours BEFORE the event to set that time again. Typically, the second time, they will do so.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and hopefully, it benefits a few of you. Please tune in next time to look at ZoomInfo and the techniques behind incorporating it into your LinkedIn strategy. Until then, I'll look forward to any responses or thoughts you're willing to share.