Prospectology 101: how sales managers effectively use LinkedIn to navigate the digital transformation of sales

Posted February 13, 2020

Guest post by Erika Davis, Content & Communication Strategist at Greaser Consulting

Meet Amy, a sales manager with a team of ten sales development representatives. Her team has been agile in their adoption of new digital sales technologies and processes, using Outreach in their sales tech stack to keep their strategies fresh and data-driven, and keeping up with the modern buyer.

To stay competitive in the digital sales landscape, Amy and her team use LinkedIn to deliver personalized messages to their prospects and initiate conversations, leveraging the channel because there’s less noise and more opportunity to make meaningful connections here than phone or email.

In this three-part series on “Prospectology,” we will look at how Amy and her team use LinkedIn and how you can recreate her strategy with your own outbound sales team.

Research to Personalize

While most sales managers know that research is important, very few take the time to empower their reps with specific directions on how to do effective prospect research. Oftentimes, sales reps don’t know where to look for information that will fill the spaces in their manual email templates, and they settle for sub-standard personalization. Reps are far better off when they take the time to do research on their prospects and distance themselves from the dozens of generic messages in their prospect’s inbox every weekday morning.

To make her sales team more effective and likely to stand out, Amy schedules a team meeting to outline how to conduct effective research online and how to use it in tandem with their messaging strategy in Outreach.

When searching for information to use in emails, she tells her team to look for information that leads the prospect to think about his or her business goals. Remember, effective personalization should express genuine interest in solving the prospect’s problems with the best solution.

Amy suggests that her reps schedule time in their week to research their top 10-20 prospects and take notes for custom emails and phone calls, as well as direct InMail messages on LinkedIn. She schedules a recurring research strategy hour during the time when phone calls have the lowest answer rate and tells her team she will be on the floor available for questions.

Not All Profiles are Created Equal

With an understanding that they need to personalize their prospecting, Amy teaches how to identify if the prospect’s LinkedIn is a valuable source of information. Useful LinkedIn profiles are clearly active and frequently updated, and have some or all of the following:

  • Profile photo
  • Detailed work history
  • A feed filled with liked and shared posts
  • Links to original posts
  • Original articles
  • Comments on other posts or articles
  • A member of other LinkedIn groups

If the prospect’s LinkedIn is clearly unused, it’s not a good source of information.

Putting Profiles into Action

Now that Amy’s team is honing in on the most valuable LI profiles, her reps need to know how to best engage. Let’s say Alex, a new hire, asks for Amy’s guidance on Jackson—a VP of Sales who works at a FinTech start-up in Seattle. Jackson belongs to five professional networking groups on LinkedIn and regularly posts his company’s updates. Alex also tells Amy that Jackson has also written five articles on Linkedin.

With his active engagement on LinkedIn, this profile is clearly gold for Alex. But the next step is crucial—if Alex reaches out with something too generic, he may have lost Jackson forever... Amy suggests that Alex begin a conversation by commenting on Jackson’s most recent post. Why?

As a VP of sales, Jackson certainly gets dozens of InMail messages from sales reps every week, and his voicemail is probably full and he rarely listens to them. But his recent article Jackson wrote about his experience managing a team has five likes and zero comments.

Jackson responds to his post with a thoughtful question, and gets a response back from Jackson within an hour.

Will Alex get the meeting? Stay tuned for Prospectology 102.


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