Exploring Networking and Social Selling Through LinkedIn
I have spent a lot of time looking at sales processes and sales methodologies in the Business to Business (B2B) space.
In a previous blog post I shared information on the changing B2B buyer and how they preferred not to interact with a sales representative and how they would rather do research on their own.
How does a company or a sales representative stand out in this environment?
You see companies building their capabilities around digital marketing and content marketing and you see sales representatives building their personal brand, establishing their credentials and developing their presence in online networking, chief of which has been LinkedIn.
A tool that I find very intriguing and helpful is Linked Sales Navigator (of course you have to subscribe!).
I find it interesting that when I asked my LinkedIn connections (I have close to 1200 connections) who had experience with Sales Navigator, I did not get a single reply. That could be because:
a) people ignore my posts
b) it is their secret advantage and they do not want others to know
c) they are not using it
There is a very good chance that it may be all of the above!
I find when I spend time on LinkedIn, it is getting more and more difficult to get useful information and insights. I see inspirational memes that do not really inspire me. I see advertisements for products that are not all that helpful. And I see a lot of posts that really catch me wondering if I am on LinkedIn or on Facebook.
What I find helpful on Sales Navigator is that you have more control over your feed. You can create lead lists for individuals and companies but you do not have to make a connection or follow them. Like LinkedIn Premium, with Sales Navigator you can adjust your viewing settings to go “incognito” as you are exploring. When looking at an individual or company in Sales Navigator you can also see strong potential recommended contacts. It also shows a mutual connection that may be the best path to facilitate a potential introduction.
I also like the Social Selling Index. It evaluates and scores you on your work to:
a) build your personal brand
b) find the right people
c) engage with insights
d) build relationships
I also like the comparative scoring with people in your company, your industry and your network.
I am certainly not a shill for LinkedIn but after a month’s trial I opted to subscribe to Sales Navigator and I am continuing to explore and to learn. I could not imagine prospecting, doing lead generation or embarking on social selling without this tool.