Account-based selling is all the talk these days. What you as a sales professional or leader might not know is that LinkedIn Navigator is an incredibly useful tool for social listening and executing data-driven tactics to win business with your target accounts.
Information is power. We’ve all heard it before. Navigator is extremely valuable for sales professionals because it provides them with a huge amount of information to increase their awareness of what’s happening within the target account:
Are the decision makers within this account engaging in social conversations?
Are they liking and/or sharing content?
Are they writing their own content?
Is the target company sharing content and/or engaging with consumers?
All of these things are important pieces of information for a sales professional to have visibility into so they can take more strategic action and do their jobs more efficiently.
SAVING LEADS AND ACCOUNTS
As you’re using LinkedIn Navigator, it’s very important that you’re saving contacts as leads under their associated accounts. Not only is organization very important so you can easily recall these individuals in the future, it’s also very important from a visibility standpoint. In an ideal scenario, every sales rep would have a 1:1 ratio between the contacts in their CRM and their saved leads in Navigator.
As you save a lead and the account they’re associated with, you’re automatically signing up for updates from both the individual and the account on the home screen of your Navigator page. This is one of the most valuable components of Navigator: the amount of visibility that you get into the activity of both companies and decision-makers within those accounts without actually being directly connected to them is incredible!
In regular LinkedIn, you have very limited visibility for someone’s activity unless you’re directly connected to them. Sure, you can click the “follow” button on their profile, but navigator really has taken it one step further by maximizing your visibility of the activity going on within the account.
You can also very easily filter each target account in your home feed on Navigator. Regular LinkedIn makes it virtually impossible to do this. You see all updates mixed together with zero filtering on the home screen. It’s unorganized and difficult to find any meaningful value on specific target accounts. Navigator, on the other hand, makes this much more efficient.
THE POWER OF COMMONALITIES
As mentioned in some of my past posts, commonalities are very important to your sales process because we as humans like to surround ourselves with people like us. It puts us in our comfort zone. Not only is this applicable for personal life, it also translates to the business world as well.
Naturally, if you can find commonality with the individuals you are looking to target and do business with, you’ll be more likely to build a relationship and/or win a deal. Some commonalities are:
Location (current or past)
Interests (professional and personal)
Experiences (alumni, work history, etc.)
If you have people, connections and/or shared experiences with a decision maker it lends to your likability and credibility. This credibility can dramatically improve your response rate because it helps break down the stereotype barrier between you and the person you’re trying to communicate with — when a buyer can think of you as a pushy, bull-dog tactic using, quota-driven sales rep you’re effectively equivalent to garbage in your buyer's mind. Or maybe even worse! At this level the buyer finds it not only easy but sometimes even satisfying to hang up the phone on you, not return your voice messages or read your emails.
We can, however, use commonality to break down these barriers and step away from the stereotypes. That’s the goal here; to connect on a genuine human-to-human level. When we can relate to our buyers with shared experience and commonalities it makes it significantly more likely to be successful in that relationship.
Navigator is an excellent tool for sales reps to leverage commonalities to strengthen their buyer relationships. Navigator has recently launched an “in-common-with” feature which is excellent for identifying these commonalities to spark conversation with the decision-makers in your target accounts. Now, when you see a decision maker’s activity on your home screen, Navigator will automatically identify things you have in common like you both belong to a certain group, you have common connections and/or locations, interests, alumni and so on. This is very helpful for decreasing the time it takes to analyze your buyers’ profiles.
With this, Navigator has made it easier to identify commonalities that professionals can leverage to initiate and strengthen relationships within the target account.
MAKE TECHNOLOGY WORK FOR YOU! SAVED SEARCH NOTIFICATIONS
One of the most beneficial and yet so often underused aspects of Navigator’s Lead Builder is the ability to save your searches for the purpose of automated notifications. When most people think of saved searches, they think of performing a search on decision makers within a particular account and saving it to be easily recalled in the future.
What most people don’t recognize about saving searches, however, is it actually allows you to build an associated notification. These automated email notifications from LinkedIn Navigator can be very powerful and have an array of different use cases. They can be used to monitor job changes in your industry, geography, target accounts and/or client base, all of which are valuable for trigger selling opportunities.
With regard to account-based selling, building notifications on your specific target accounts on a daily, weekly or monthly cadence will notify you when new people with the decision-maker titles that you’re looking for enter the organization.
For example, let’s say I’ve got an account that I’m targeting and I’ve been trying relentlessly for two months to break into this account. I haven’t had much luck so far getting in touch with the level of decision-maker that I need to contact and no one is responding to my communication attempts.
All of a sudden I get a notification that a new decision maker within my set of target titles has been hired. Maybe a new sales director, VP of marketing or CMO. What a perfect opportunity to spark up conversation and introduce myself!
I could say something like:
Congratulations on your new job! I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I’m here to help if you have any questions around [TOPIC]. I work with a lot of similar companies in your industry providing [VALUE].
By the way, I noticed that you like [INTEREST]. Me too! Here’s a really interesting video I think you might like...
You get the idea.
Starting up value-based conversations with new decision-makers as they enter into the organization is useful because they haven’t built up barriers yet. In other words, they haven’t been tainted by the millions of cold calls from sales reps asking the same discovery questions over and over again… yet.
In many cases, they’re bringing a renewed sense of curiosity with them into their new role and are often appreciative of people reaching out with info to help them get up-to-speed quicker. This presents sales pros with an opportunity to immediately lead with value.
THE FINAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE: ACTION
All this information is great but it’s meaningless without ACTION! In order to break into a target account, you need to take action and lots of ‘em. This may sound obvious and yet so many sales reps forget this part of the equation.
Don’t just sit in the shadows with all this info doing nothing with it. Approach your buyers through bothdirect and indirect engagement. Be timely and well researched. Send messages, view profiles, like, comment and share. Start new conversations, reignite old conversation and always ALWAYS focus on providing value. If you combine this level activity with business intelligence tools like Navigator you’ll blow your competition out of the water!
Happy selling my friends :)