The B2B sales landscape is changing. Today’s buyers are more educated than ever before thanks to the wealth of content that can be found through Google and shared on LinkedIn. It takes an inbound mindset across your organization to compete in this new space.
Here are three great articles from leaders in the inbound selling space who are using the principles of inbound marketing to create stronger connections and utilizing the power of social networks to access decision makers like never before.
Leveraging LinkedIn Connections
by Jill Konrath
Connections matter. Big time. Recent research from Reachable.com shows just how much it impacts your ability to get a callback from a “stranger.” In fact, you’re:
- 3x more likely if you contact a mutual acquaintance.
- 4x more likely if the connection calls to make an introduction.
- 11x more likely if they have an actual connection.
See. It does make a difference. But most sellers don’t know how to leverage their LinkedIn connections nearly as much as they could.
Leveraging 2nd-Level Connections. “There was an organization that I was trying to penetrate. As I looked through the list of active LinkedIn users, I wrote down the names of my 2nd level connections. Then I looked at each of their profiles to find out who my 1st level connection was to these individuals. One was connected to a close friend of mine. As I looked over her bio, I noticed she and my friend had worked together before. When I connected with this 2nd level person via email, I mentioned our mutual friend. She then got me in contact with the right person within her organization.” ~ Bryan K.
Read original: Leveraging LinkedIn Connections
P.S. If you’re interested in stepping up your LinkedIn game, then you need to check out Jill’s awesome eBooks Cracking the LinkedIn Sales Code and LinkedIn Sales Secrets Revealed. Serious quality in these resources.
Loses Due to Lack of Consensus
by S. Anthony Iannarino
Lately I am seeing more and more salespeople lose opportunities because they don’t have the support of the necessary stakeholders. Here’s two ideas to prevent this from putting an opportunity in your loss column.
In some cases they don’t have authority. Even though they have someone with a relatively impressive title and who also happens to be the CEO of the problem, they don’t have the support of the real decision-maker (the person their contact needs to convince).
They struggle to coach their contacts to do a good enough job selling the stakeholder with real authority. The way to find this contact is to ask the question, “Who else are we going to need in order to get this initiative approved?” Some salespeople fear asking this question because they are afraid it will alienate their contact. Not asking the question is far more dangerous. It can cost you your opportunity.
The Real Deciders
At the opposite end of the spectrum I see some salespeople who have gained the support of the stakeholder or stakeholders that have authority but who have not gained the support of the stakeholders who would be affected by their solution. Gone are the days in which having the person with authority is enough. Now that person wants to ensure they have the support of their team, the people whom they are going to charge with executing on that solution.
Read original: Losses Due to Lack of Consensus
Sales Approach Lessons from Delta Airline’s Pre-Flight Safety Videos
by Frank Belzer
By now, travelers are so tired of the safety routine which flight attendants are compelled to give at the beginning of every flight. We’ve heard them before and tune out before it even begins. That said, knowing, remembering and understanding what is in that announcement at the right time could be life saving. But, people don’t pay attention because:
- They’ve already heard it many times.
- They don’t think there will be an emergency.
- If there’s an emergency, the instructions won’t make a difference anyway.
- They know what to do.
- They will let the crew tell them what to do.
- The lessons are too boring to sit through it.
So, how did Delta get people to listen in spite of the above? If you’ve seen their videos recently, then you know how. They made the videos funny and thoughtful. They made several of them. Now I find myself watching to see which one it is! These videos also have had thousands of hits on YouTube. Are you kidding me – airline safety announcements going viral!?
Read original: Sales Approach Lesson from Delta Airlines’ Pre-Flight Safety Videos