Last week we had the opportunity to be part of the InsideSales.com conference 2015. It was a good week where I was able to meet sales thought leaders and learn a lot from the workshops and from other attendees. As part of the conference, HireVue's very own Gabe Villamizar was invited to be part of a panel discussion to answer the question: Does Social Selling Really Work?
Webinar Panel Transcript
Ken: Take a moment and introduce one of my dear friends Jim Keenan. He runs the blog "A Sales Guy" and a great consulting practice. He's now a Forbes author. And we've got Jamie Shanks, one of the leading consultants in LinkedIn, "Sales for Life". I met Jamie a couple years ago. We've done some fun projects together. And I want to talk about my dear friend Gabe Villamizar, formerly InsideSales.com now HireVue, one of the thought leaders in the world especially on Twitter, this dude rocks. And our own Michael Hanks, we're going to show some of the secret sauce of InsideSales.com.
So we're going to jump in and the first big question, "Does social selling really work?" What are your thoughts guys? Is it really working out there?
Jamie: The easiest way to describe this, I wouldn't be here if it didn't work. I wouldn't have a business. There is no question that sales professionals have an opportunity to meet the buyer where the buyer is already doing due diligence which is online. So it absolutely does work.
Michael: I was just talking to one of our Biz Development guys yesterday, asking what he's seen when he started utilizing some of the strategies. And he, just yesterday, scheduled a new appointment through his social selling tactics. So it's obviously working and he's brand new and he's already seen ton of things happening so, definitely.
Ken: Cool. Anyone else?
Jamie: No question. That's just a silly question.
Ken: Okay, loosen my ear caps, sorry about that.
Michael: The real question was why didn't I get the red memo?
Jim: It was pre-planned.
Ken: Must be the Forbes article about..., yeah, whoever that one I've read. Okay, definition of Social Selling. Is Social Selling really selling? Are people closing sales were social selling?
Jamie: So I believe that they're facilitating earlier on in the mind journey and that post is both from an Inside Sales professional trying to drive leads into opportunities and from account management trying to create grounds while cross-selling and up-selling within an existing account, socially stranding that account. Does it close the deal? No. But there's empirical evidence that it shortens the sales cycle and increases the opportunity from lead to opportunity. But there is still the person to person interaction that is meant to drive and close that sale.
Ken: So you typically bridge from the Social Media is what you're saying?
Jamie: My goal is to take the world online to offline as fast as possible as long as it doesn't create a break in that chain. So if I go offline too quickly, I've not built enough insight in value, so I keep them online to the point where I feel it's a perfect opportunity for us to have real live conversations.
Gabe: Yeah, and we've actually been interviewing a lot of Sales thought leaders and Social Selling thought leaders. And I kind of agree with what they're saying how, I mean back in the day, you wouldn't say Fax Selling or Phone Selling or Email Selling. It's going to be, it's a buzzword for sure, Social Selling. But a few years from now, it's going to be known as Selling. We just identified Social Selling because since 2004, 2003, all these Social Media Networks came out of nowhere and digital natives grew up with all these social media channels and they're integrating it now into the workforce and a lot of baby boomers, gen x and other generations are like, "Oh! What's this? You know, maybe we should integrate it as well." So in a few years down the road, it's just going to be called Selling. But you better embrace it, do it and if not, you're going to be left behind.
Jim: I'm not giving you anymore interviews.
Ken: Take a minute you guys and talk about your own Social Media of choice. Where do you spend most of your time and tell us what about you and your own personal world of Social Media.
Jim: I spend most of my time on Twitter and blogging. Lot of people don't see blogging as Social Selling but in my opinion, the base of social anything, you have to have something to share. You have to have something to talk about. You have to have something to collaborate with. So if you don't have a home base for your information for your content to share and provide value then you're relegated to sharing other people's and that makes it more difficult to drive your values. So mine is blogging as some sort of home base for content first and then secondly is the idea of Twitter. Twitter is open and that's what I like the most about it. It can spread faster. You can find people and engage with them quicker. You can access to them easier. I like the fluidity and the velocity that Twitter creates that. LinkedIn is phenomenal but I don't find it as fluid and has the velocity that Twitter does.
Jamie: My company is buyer personas. We have three, and they're all Vice President level, Sales Marketing and Enablement. And because of that, the medium of choice for us has always been LinkedIn. Now, there's two parts to that and Jim already solved part one as he just described. LinkedIn is the vehicle in which I communicate but I need something of value to communicate with. And for us, that would be content in the form of really three major types of assets; Blogs, Videos and/or Webinars and EBooks. That's the resources that we use to strike up conversations using the platform of LinkedIn and then drawing them out of LinkedIn to have real life conversations.
Gabe: Yeah, for me like Ken says, it has to be Twitter. A lot of Inside Sales reps are starting to adopt Twitter and you can know who's talking about what, what are they're interested in, what hashtags do they use, who's their favorite sports team, what days of the week do they tweet the most, who do they engage with the most. If you can study and gather all that sales intelligence and attach it to a link or attach it to a contact or a prospect, then I would know if I want to sell something to Jamie, I'm like, "Oh Jamie, I saw that you're skiing yesterday. Remember when we talk about skiing, right?" Or, "Michael, I saw that you like that NBA or Utah Jazz," and I would kind of bring up something about the Utah Jazz, it's no longer a cold call.
So if you integrate Twitter with your traditional selling and email and cold calls, it makes the whole world of difference because it makes you identify like this Steve Richards from Vorsight VP, the 3x3 research, find three things for a prospect in less than three minutes. So that helps me identify what the prospect is all about and who they're talking to and things of that nature.
Michael: Yeah, and I have to agree with all these guys. We try to focus Inside Sales in training all of reps to make sure they have the best type of content which will land in blogs and making sure that they're keeping their LinkedIn as a base when putting in all their fundamentals there and then from there, using Twitter as megaphone. And so those would be our two main ones as well.
Ken: If you heard what he said, we have two main elements and this is something I want to talk about. It's probably the biggest iPad in the last year in Social Media, and Mike Hanks helped me find that. I call it the Pitcher-Catcher Methodology. And Twitter is the pitcher but you got to have a catcher. If you don't have a way to catch that tweet that drives to landing page on a website, on a blog, slideshare.net, really, really cool, and that converts it to a lead. You have no results. Now I drove Gabe crazy. I'm driving Mike crazy. On one word; cold results. Am I right? How many times have I called you guys and I say, "Guys, if it doesn't have a lot, it doesn't matter." Right? And we were recently ranked number one in the world because of the one thing. If it doesn't drive results in, it doesn't matter. But Mike would you take a minute and walk through what you found on that Pitcher-Catcher Methodology and I want each of you to take a minute and talk about how do you turn your Social Media into results.
Michael: So that's one thing that we feel Social Media's going down a new road or driving that new path with making sure that the content is leading you to a place to get a lead, to making get the results you need. And so we found that we actually have hundreds of thousands of people visiting our SlideShare website all the time, downloading a lot of slides that we do. And we found that by being able to pitch that type of content that the people want leads them back to a reg form or whatever that helps drive them down the funnel of understanding what Inside Sales does. And once they know what we do, they'll continue down that pipeline and we'll get the lead and it all starts driving better results.
Gabe: Yeah, because of Ken, I remember Ken call me like 11:00 p.m. one time. My wife is like, "Who's calling?" And it was Ken because he really wanted to know, "Gabe, how do you drive value from Twitter?" He's like, "I have over 30,000 followers but I like really want to know..." And I know he saw the value but the value is always evolving. So with my good friend here, Peter Chung, he just recently joined HireVue, he really wanted to see the results of how to use Traditional Selling with Social Selling. So then, with Traditional Selling, you call a prospect. Maybe have $2 per day. Leave a voice mail and send an email. That's how you prospect nowadays.
Well, how can you accelerate that process with Social Selling? Well, instead of calling and sending a voice mail, then why don't you call them, leave a voicemail, send a LinkedIn invite and say, "I just want to make sure you got my voice mail." Then find them on Twitter, tweet at them, and always go back to the previous action. And then that way can accelerate the whole process and almost have nine to twelve touches per prospect in a 72-hour window.
So if you can accelerate how many touches you have per prospect through Social Media, you're going to stand out. I mean, how many email do you get per day people try to sell you things?
Jamie: Oh my gosh.
Gabe: But if you are to reach out on Ken on Twitter or LinkedIn or through an IN Mail, you have higher chance of getting hold of him because you're standing out from the norm. You're different. You're like that purple cow except [inaudible 00:12:26]
Jim: Or comment on his blog post before, "Hello!"
Gabe: Oh he loved that! Be different and so integrate Social Selling with Traditional Selling. And Peter, how many touches do we have per week with Traditional and Social Selling like? Over 20, 30, I don't know?
Peter: Well, you know, I'm pretty new still on to HireVue. But one of the first things that we did is process overhaul and building that into a process, building that into our CRM, building that into our training. So that there's a discipline around that so now we can have that visibility that I learned from Ken to be able to define those results. We actually have that visibility to say how many LinkedIn messages it's going to take to get this thing set and then it will actually pass on to our closers; how many Social Media touches him, we can actually go in. We've built our CRM, or tweet it a little bit so we can have that visibility to say what type of touches lead to that, right? And we can see in every stage of the sale.
Jamie: So everybody in the audience, raise your hand if the sales organization, the entire ecosystem of your company is larger than 50 Sales Professionals or more. Just raise your hand. The vast majority of this room. The reason that this is a value is, let's look at somebody that runs a Marketing Department. As running the Marketing Department, you have a Twitter arm, a Facebook, a LinkedIn account, and it has X number of total followers or friends, whatever you'd like to call it. The problem in most organizations is marketing has been that distribution army of content. And it's only as powerful as "it's like their database". It's almost like a version of a CRM except social.
You have this team of 50 8th grader. Think about a scale of 500 or a thousand sales professionals sharing content. You then become the distribution army. We're all here because we're involved in Inside Sales. Well, that distribution army is on average connected to 500 people. Now their social reach may be a percentage of those people are your real target buyers but the other people know other people that can introduce them.
The whole concept here is imagining and empowering these people to share content, we're talking about the conversion funnel, sharing blogs that are really insightful and they pose the question of "Why?" and the end of that is a call to action to a larger gated asset like an eBook or a webinar that answers the question of "How?" All of a sudden your Inside Sales team has an influx of inbound leads far faster than say the traditional telephone sometimes can do because you are able to touch people at a rapid pace. And if you empower all these people to do this, it will repeat the process. You're scaling inbound leads out of page you couldn't have imagined before.
Jim: I want to add a little piece to this and tweak kind of bit and this part is little. One of the things that I found that we can do to get more value in measure social media is not trying to be so freaking linear, right? Management says, I can see Ken call him at 11:00, "I want to how this one Twitter follow is going to give me this one lead, this one product." Right?
We're looking for that one to one. Everybody wants to see it, feel it, touch it and feel good about it. But what I'm learning and what I think people need to do is be open a little more and don't have to necessarily know that XYZ lead came in from XYZ piece of content or XYZ social chapter or social channel. I got a call today from a guy who wants one of our recruiting services and he said, "Oh! I was came in directly through me from email." and he said, "I was recommended by a friend." So of course I said, "Who's your friend?" I had no clue who this person was, none. So something we've done got to this person and to the point that they were like, "Well yo! You need to call these people!" Right? So don't be so tight-asked about where the leads come from. Count them all up and give them credit to your program and you'll get more value.
Ken: Well said. I want to take a minute on this next slide. This is huge, you guys, this came from a Research Study on Business and Community. And the research was done on high-gross companies, companies that grow 15 times faster than the norm...
Jim: See, I was right, blogging...
Ken: And look at number one, you guys, the blue is the highest gross companies, the orange is average growth, the number one platform for these high-gross companies was a blog...
Jim: Can I get a witness?
Ken: Maybe! Now Trish and I used to say, "What the heck goes into blog?" Remember that? When she said, "Wait a minute Ken, my biggest deal came off the blog." And things started going on and that's when I realized there's a huge synergy, I'm going to call a blog, it is social but I also call it digital because people don't realize what a blog really is. It's your own magazine.
Jim: Yes, it is.
Ken: Because everybody else is going out on a business. Forbes, is a WordPress Blog. It's your own place to put up your own daily content and bypass those expensive middle man. So the blog in my opinion is the Catcher's meat for your content. Now, let's take a minute. Which of these up here are pictures, which can you go out and send thousands or hundreds of thousands of pictures to the Catcher's meat? Most of them. Search will drive it, LinkedIn will drive it, Twitter, Email, Email especially but look at email you guys. The average companies wear out email, they drive us nuts. The problem is Spam Act because we all hate it. But if you follow the model of Optein on the blog and people want great content, they will never opt out. But the synergy is email and blog, Twitter and blog.
Jim: This would look better as a graphic and a hub and spoke.
Jim: With the blog in the middle and then arrows pointing in the direction in the information sheet goes. Sometimes it's bilateral, sometimes it's one-directional, maybe add a little Pitcher-Catcher thing to each line, but this would look much, much better and provide more value. It was the hub and spoke with the blog right in the middle.
Ken: Cool. So let's talk about that you guys, your experience was sort of a Pitcher-Catcher model. You got content, you got a way to get a distribution turn to lead. What kinds of things do you do to turn things into leads?
Jamie: Fifty percent of my entire company's revenue comes from content marketing. It's the simplest way to look at it. Now which piece of content, I completely agree with Jim. We taught organizations for the longest time that there was a Linear Correlation between said eBook and said lead. What we're finding, and it started within stands with our own business, is that Al is an example, meet a buyer at a trade show. And they'll have said, "I don't know who I am." For the last three months, I've been reading your content, we've downloaded these eBooks, went to one of your webinars and I noticed you're connected to company ABC. I've already reached out to them, said you're a great guy, I think your company, and so...
Jim's point is not as linear as we once thought but the whole is greater, there's no question, synergy, the whole is greater than some of its parts; we, as an example, concentrate as I've mentioned before on three major types of assets. Blogs, but we embed video into that blog, Merrington eBooks and then the webinars itself, all the download. It is 50% of our entire companies' revenue. If we just stopped for a day, the machine stops moving. It is the most critical piece above me on say, referrals or conversations in LinkedIn, it's the baseline.
Gabe: Yeah, I like to just call it the Social Selling Process, right? If you were to get anything from what I said today, you might want to write this three, four things down. Number one is optimize your social profiles. Number two is listen for the right trigger events and I'll get into that in just a little bit. Number three, share the right content. And number 4 is engage in a non-creepy way. Because I can find anybody that's talking about, "I want to go to Jason Miraz concert." Anybody has tweeting that, I can find them. I can find anybody who's talking about certain keywords and they're very low-hanging through, right? Well, if I retell to them in a cold call way through Twitter or LinkedIn, it's still going to scare them. So don't think that Social Selling is going to be your solution and you have to stop cold calling and emailing. You have to do a really good balance.
But the most important part for us is listening. If I can enable all 75 of Inside Sales reps how to listen, it's awesome. So for example, anybody who's used that #ISA15, I'm tracking every single one who's doing that. What I'm going to do after that is enable all my Inside Sales reps to say, "Reach out to all these people and ask them if they can [inaudible 00:21:23]. Reach out to these people and follow them. Reach out to these people and reply to them." So if you listen for the right trigger events when people have a changed jobs on LinkedIn, through LinkedIn Sales Navigator, if you reach out to them when they have a birthday, when you reach out to them when they're tweeting certain words, when you reach out to them when they change jobs because the one I still be a superstar at the next job so that they'll open on buying new software. So listen to a lot of those trigger events to LinkedIn Sales Navigator and through Twitter and things of that nature.
Jamie: Just want to add one thing. For many people in the audience, you might feel, well, the buyer persona that we sell to isn't that social savvy, isn't using it that much. Finance, IT, Human Resources; if you are selling to one of those three, Sales and Marketing, you already know we're heavy adaptors of LinkedIn. But if you sell into the IT, Finance or HR function, it will blow your mind how many millions of these people, just in North America, are engaged in leaving what I called Digital Breadcrumbs. They're giving you insight into their business, you just have to figure out how to grab it.
Michael: And I would just echo what they said, one thing that I would add though is we, basically what gave us sane on spot on, and that's something that we try to teach to all of our reps over Inside Sales. The one thing that we do is, we make sure that they are all spot on their core social media. So Ken has an amazing seven steps or seven levels of social media and the number one is making sure you're good at your core. And then within that, there is the six Cs. And so we make sure that we train each and one, all of our reps, or everybody in the company actually to be spot on and build out their social presence and then utilizing the same tactics that they were saying in their social presence.
But the one thing that we make sure that they don't do is whenever we can train all the on boarders that come into our company and I just make sure I tell them, "Don't be the mall kiosk guy." Because how many people ever go to the mall, and you're just walking down and there's the lotion guy and he's trying to give you that lotion, you're like, "Ugh!" You got to do one of these, you walk on by. And so, when you're online and you're social selling, you can't be this overly aggressive. It has to be, like Ken was saying, it just has to come naturally, you just have to nurture, you have to just have to make sure that you're a thought leader and that's something that we definitely stress within the company.
Jim: You know, these guys nailed it. And how many people you have millennials that work for them is the STR or some type of sales was it? And how many of these millennials are pretty go with social media? So I have a couple, and this was almost a rude awakening and working for me is an interesting experience. So I come in and these kids, good kids, bright kids, it's one of my call a golden retriever puppy and he said, "What can I do next? What can I do next?" This kid is awesome. But in a super social he knew it all but he didn't know how to apply it for business. And so, don't assume and this is my advice on this topic is everything is a spot on but you're going to need to provide an infrastructure for them and you need to train them. And you're going to need to teach them on two elements of social selling.
One, being the soft skills of social selling and that's don't be the mall kiosk guy, right? But the other one is the hard skills of social selling. Like one of my golden retriever guy, Max, if you're watching, that's you, was streaming on Meerkat. It never dawned on him to use Hootsuite, create a list of all his clients, a list of his current clients and then check them out once a day, like it just didn't dawn on him. So it made me realize there's a lot that I needed to teach them and I need to put in place for them, so they not only understood social in itself but how to leverage social for business and get the most out of it in a functional hard way. So I really recommend that.
Ken: Thank you. We're finding all of my, that's my favorite thing you just brought up. We just fill it on what we call The six Cs of Social Media. And if you don't follow that, you follow the one C which is chaos and we're finding that everywhere. So this was actually done recently for a nationwide certification program for the Boy Scouts of America but mostly for their adult leaders who don't have a clue, it's really funny. So level one is what we call the Core. I'm just going to hit this really fast and I want to bring up some of these things too as we coach other people on the Core; Curator, let's talk about curation for a minute. There's some fun things you can do to move around your continental people's content to get results. Give us some of your ideas on how you curate content to have them do what you want them to do.
Jamie: There's two important steps. You have to look at it as the individual's sales professional, what they can do, and then what the organization has to do. Individual Sales Professional, you can use a free tool called Feedly. And Feedly allows you to aggregate any blog in the world. So I'm listening to Lory's blog and Trisha's blog and Ken's blog. And it comes in a daily feed, it's mobile enabled, literally, I wake up in the morning, pull up my phone in the night stand and I'm reading and deciding if any of these is valuable to my customer. But does a number is scalable in an organization?
This is where you can go back and on Monday morning you run a sup with your marketing team to explain the need for a content library. Because what happens is you're going to constantly on-board new sales professionals. They don't know the content that was written by the company 18 months ago that's still a value to the market. What you need to do is arrange a content library, map it over the buyer's journey based on stages. They dive into a certain stage and within there are assets that answers questions within that stage and so that can be curated, third party content. It doesn't have to be just your company's content. It can be valuable content that answers questions at that very moment, at that very stage. If you have those two, you're on the right path so far of being able to acquire content and distribute it quickly.
Ken: Great. New thoughts on curation using other people's content to further your purposes.
Gabe: Yes, I'm huge on that because a lot of people, when they jump on socials, especially Inside Sales guys, they want to talk about me, me, me all the time. They treat it like a billboard, right? But remember, billboard only target certain amount of people. So what you want to do is make sure you share a let's say, your top pins has Sales Blogs and have a rotation. I've said this over and over because a lot of people want to see what kind of things you're tweeting, right? What kind of content you're sharing on LinkedIn and kind of be moderate and be aware of type of audiences that are in each different network. Not everybody that is on Facebook is the same on LinkedIn. Not everybody on LinkedIn is the same on Twitter and Instagram which is a huge upcoming platform that is going to take over and already has actually, and then Meerkat, there's so many of them.
But what I'm trying to say is make sure you talk about... let's say if you share five tweets a day, your first three will be about third party content, your favorite blog, your favorite company, etcetera. Then the forth was going to be a promotional tweet about your company or what you're trying to sell. And then the fifth one retweet a sales-thought leaders, world marketing thought leaders or your company that you follow. By doing that, you're not going to annoy all your followers as in like, "Wow, Gabe all he talks about is HireVue 24/7. Why would I ever want to follow him?" Right?
So you make sure you have a balance of how much content you share, that's third party, that's curated and that's yours and then even show your personality, right? People want to see, that's why Meerkat took off because it's a live video stream app that shows people what you're doing right now in this instant moment. So show people your personality. Take a selfie, take a picture of your dog, of your food. but to do that 24/7, it gets freaking annoying, right? So have a good balance and use, for those two things, use Buffer app or use Hootsuite. Just schedule those, because otherwise, you're going to go crazy trying to tweet five times a day, right? How do you do that? You go crazy. Well, I'm already tweeting like 30 tweets in two days because I've already scheduled them. Like Jamie said, at the beginning of the week, I sit down, spend half an hour, fill up all my content for the week.
Jamie: One thing I'll add and this is where Gabe and I perhaps think a little bit differently. Gabe coming from the marketing minds, myself coming from the sales mind. Being social for the active being social, in my opinion, is wasted energy for myself. If I'm going to share third party content, it has to drive not immediate return of investment but long term return on investment because it speaks to solving particular problems. Now when you share a content, I'm the biggest believer that you're really focusing, when you're sharing it at the mass level, you're sharing it at the very early stages of the funnel, right? You're sharing from status quo to shifting priorities.
So the type of content that I'd like to share at the mass level has to answer questions on "Why?", "Why should I do this? Why should I move off to status quo? What are general problems in the market? Why should I think differently?" So the third party content that I'm going to share, I'm a believer that I'd rather a smaller network but extremely laser-focused on one topic and I'm hammering the crap out of that topic and owning that topic and being able to solve problems to that topic rather than also being social for the actively in social.
Michael: I would just have one word, love. We're really big in showing love in terms of getting list. So you guys know of Ken's huge on Forbes and many of you probably have received emails from him to say, "Hey! I would love a comment on my Forbes." But you also know that if you ever have a book or something you want push, you would send it to Ken and he's going to post that right then. And so that's one thing, in terms of what everybody's saying, "Show love to receive love." It's just going to benefit everybody but, yeah.
Jim: Read Adam Grant's book, Give and Take. It's about the idea of giving and it's correlation to success. We have a page called "A Sales Guy U!" and you can get eBooks, tools, etcetera. But one whole section of it, whole section is everybody else's eBooks, videos, so we built a whole resource center around sharing other people's stuff and the argument is if someone comes in for Trisha's stuff or someone comes in for Lory's stuff, they can't help but triple rush it. So you know, give and you get. It's that simple! So, yeah, but take at the corner.
Ken: That's the perfect TF for level five, you guys, collaboration. I just finished three phone articles on YouTube which I think is the Holy Grail of Social Media in relation to Inside Sales because remember Inside Sales is about mimicking the face-to-face sales model. Nothing can do that better than video. So these YouTubers have more impact than all of us thought leaders combined. Lindy Sterling has 850 million views and she's a 25 year-old-girl who dances with the violin. And I'm thinking, "Holy Crap!" So I asked her, "Tell us your story." and she said, "There's one word, collaboration."
I thought, "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. That's actually what we've all done to be here today, isn't it?" I mean, we've collaborated on webinars. We've collaborated on our big virtual summit. If we lift each other up leads to better in our own space. So, same thing, non-competitive, that guy's a competitor, I don't care. People who will lift you by you lifting them. People are good. They reciprocate and you both do better. The Big Virtual Summit we did with 82 thought leaders, that probably that one event made us the number one Social Currency Company in the United States. They went, and we know we're not measured, but what happens when you align the 82 best in one common direction? Oh, it's starting to make sense. Let's talk about collaboration and how it has impacted some of you guys and what you do and how you'd recommend we collaborate.
Jamie: You've been the God Father. You taught our business how to do this. There's no question. Again, I'm going to come back. I don't want to sound harsh as we come back to the science of diligence side of it. When I'm looking at it from the perspective of creating, example, webinars, we use webinars all the time. The collective horse power of Ken's social network and email and Jim's and Trish's and Lory's, it's far greater than our own. And as an organization, there's two real pieces of value. I'm going to create content that my network actually would find valuable and raise our level of insight. They'll see us as a more insightful organization.
Part two, the more sales side of it is the database that Jim, Ken, Trish and Lory have, I'm able to leverage because their network are going to come to this webinar and I'll have a call attached and an asset to download afterwards, I'll see a 10 Ds, registrants, downloads, I have more leads from my Leadian Team. So again, back to the art and the science, there is no question that the collaboration is far greater than just trying to drive social by yourself.
Jim: The best way to be collaborative is stop being so narcissistic. No, your information isn't better than anybody else's. No, you do not have a corner in the market. No, you're not better. You're one part of an ecosystem, embrace the whole ecosystem.
Ken: Beautiful. I deserve a hand right here. that was pretty good. That's right, Jim is a bit smart. Anything else describes on collaboration.
Michael: None after that.
Ken: What do I tell you guys to do for everybody here? Constantly.
Michael: Go post it. Go share it.
Ken: Yeah, it's fun. Everybody is good when they respond. So anyway, the last one, and this is the holy grail, the rest doesn't matter. Collaboration, even does not matter if you don't do this. The key is called Action. I pulled the wrong slide. The core. Can you bring it over? Where did you go, Ryan? Okay, here we go. Collaboration but the key is skill number six called Action, okay? So let's talk about close to action and we weave them in to your Social Media. What do you think about when you say, "Okay, I'm going to write something, how can I convert it to a result?"
Michael: The whole purpose is to continue the conversation I feel and make yourself be the thought leader that you need to be. And if there isn't a call to action to have people continue to engage with you then nothing is going to happen. It's going to fall flat on its face. And especially if you're coming in to continue that conversation, the same thing, you can't be a drive by comment or you cannot come in and say, "Hey! Great article," and then stop. Because that's not driving the conversation and nobody's winning when that happens. And so just being able to understand your market and ask the right questions to get everyone engaged and when you go on and comment on Ken's article or Keenan's blog, you ask questions to continue the conversations so everyone continues learning.
Gabe: And make sure that your call to actions are not, I mean, all of us know when you're being sold to. And especially millennials, we know that what's an ad and what's not. What's going to be an ad and what's not. What's genuine and what's fake and what's real. So if you're going to add a call to action to the things you do, whether it's a tweet or LinkedIn post, a blog, make sure, again, I'm going back to the same word I used, balance. Make sure you have a balance because otherwise people become immune to your call to actions. Okay? So make sure that your hottest article or tweet or LinkedIn post is done at the right time, at the right place. Because if you have add a crappy call to action to everything you do, people become immune to you and that's the last thing you want.
Jamie: I'll step back for a minute away from the content side of the call to action because I think as Inside Sales Professionals, one thing that would scare us is thinking, "Well that sounds like a long tail strategy." Like, "I need to hit numbers next month and next month and next month." Tools like LinkedIn allows your team to roadmap relationships and be able to have conversations based on triggers, like job change alerts, people go in and out of organizations. I can see a spirit of influence around an entire university or college network and who could introduce me based on that shared life experience and trust. I could see the relationships of my own existing customers and how they can introduce. So the call to action, I'm just taking a different spin on this, there can be the long tail call to action of downloading eBooks and assets but there's also the ability to strike up conversations and that call to action that's immediate, as immediate as the telephone is.
Jim: Everything I think the only thing I can add here is what we've learned is we don't believe that it needs to be a call to action to everything. I mean that's, again, give me, give me, give me. There's plenty of that in the world, trust me. Read your Facebook page. So we break our assets down into what assets are we asking friend for that called action, where it's actually give us their name and number. Now we have assets, we say provide implied called action like a comment or if you'd like to learn more type of thing, then it's your choice, go here but you can get everything without giving us any. And then there's content that says, "We're not asking for anything, it's yours, it's free, we don't care who's watching it."
We believe by having each of those classes, you have to pay attention to the type of content you create. We don't create content that asks for anything unless it's bad ass content. It's going to be really, really good because when you ask somebody for something, it is a transaction. We say it's free, it's not free! One of my biggest pet peeves was some clown comes to our site and puts an XYZ, XYZ and that's their name, that's stealing. Just because you don't pay money, doesn't mean the inherent transaction is there.
I'm giving you some, here's the deal, I will give you knowledge in exchange for your name and number, okay? I could never walk into a store and say, "Hey! I like that computer but I don't think they should charge this much. I'm just going to use fake money and take it." So how do we think we can do that with content? So it's an exchange. If you're going to ask, my commitment to you is bad ass content. If you like it, give me a name and number. But I'm also going to give you content that you don't have to give me any. Enjoy it, revel in it, roll in it, have fun with it and it all come around full circle.
Gabe: Ken, he's really good in that type of content.
Jim: I'm sorry.
Gabe: You're really good in that type of content.
Jim: Oh, thank you, thank you.
Jamie: Bad ass.
Ken: Leo. We got a question over here.
Leo: [inaudible 00:40:16]
Gabe: Depends on what type of CRM you're using and which marketing automation. For example, I love, if you're on mobile, you don't want to fill out five forms, five lead forms, like first name, last name, email. Where's your headquarters? Where do you live? Do you have a cat or dog? Make it as simple as possible. So depends, again, HubSpot lets you use a multi-form subject field. So for example, if you download something, they'll ask you for your first name and that's it. And then the next time you go to another landing page that's related to that where you got your contents, it going to ask you, "What's your position?" And then, you put your position. Then you unlock the content. But make it as simple as possible. I mean, nowadays, all you really need most of the time is email. Because there's so many data and sales intelligence where going to plug in the email and then will give you the rest of the fields. So in my opinion, what I've seen is, if you're mobile, if you optimize just for first name and email, or first name, last name and email and that's it, then I think you're going to see a higher conversion ratios of how many people downloaded the content.
Jamie: Or social access where they...
Gabe: Twitter handle.
Jamie: Exactly. All you need to do is to click to assign to your Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn and then that information you then grab.
Gabe: Exactly. How cool would that be if you download, if all you need is to download an eBook is, "Give me your Twitter handle." And then as soon as you download that, then that Twitter handle goes to an Inside Sales rep and Inside Sales rep says, "Thank you for downloading the eBook." And they're like, "Holy crap! How did they do that? No one's ever done that. I'm usually used to getting an email or getting a phone call." So think outside of the box of how you can generate different forms of communication with social media.
Ken: Okay, so let's start opening more questions. Anybody? Okay, question right here. We've got a mic around here. We'll share mics up here so we can hand them out to the audience.
Man 1: In the conference, we've talked a lot about the STR role and then there's Account Executive. So my question with the Social Selling is what role focuses more in the Social Selling or is there a mix of how much Social Selling each role would do? Can you maybe elaborate on that a little bit?
Jamie: Simple concept, every deal, every day. Every function within the organization needs to be leveraging it. I'm the biggest believer that one of the... Everybody raise their hand if they've worked in an organization with 50 sales reps or more. That means give or take ratio, you're working at a company that have at least a couple hundred employees into the thousands. The real value also of social is there is a fact that there's somebody seating in you Human Resources Department right now that is ex university roommates with the decision maker. Or there's somebody in Finance that golfs every Wednesday with the high decision maker of an organization. So I'm a believer that inside Field Sales, Account Management can all be leveraging it and they actually leverage to the network of their own employees to help with interactions. So there is an opportunity in all departments to be able to leverage social. Some more than others, but all.
Jim: Many years ago, there was a woman who wrote a book, her name is Patricia Seagull [SP], I believe and I'll just cut to the point. She basically said that every, you need to understand every touch point in your company. And when she wrote this book, there was no such thing as social. So touch points are primarily, anybody would get a phone call or would meet face to face. So touch point was a person sitting at a Customer Service table or somebody who has met face to face. Now, because of social, every single person is a potential touch point for your company. If you're not leveraging those touch points, you're leaving money in time at the table.
Ken: Any other question?
Gabe: So what happens is a lot of sales reps like, "Oh, you're giving me more to-dos. You're giving me more work." And a lot of people won't accept Social Selling and a lot of them are going to have a hard time integrating it to their traditional selling, especially those top sales reps who's sold a lot and has made millions. They're like, "Why would I want to start and do social selling? I'm already successful." But then once he's started a few wins, specially of those people who are onboarding and ramped, they're like a sponge, they're absorbing all the information, those are the best people that I could teach Social Selling to. They'll integrate it to their workflow pretty nicely.
Ken: Before we make the next question, I want to make a prediction. I want you guys to write this down, okay? I predict the best sales reps in the near future will generate the wrong leads and bypass marketing.
Jim: When I sold, marketing did what nothing for me, you did yourself. I was moved away from that.
Ken: And this is the way you do it. Our number one rep who's number one BDR, number one small business and now, number one mid-market.
Gabe: Anton, right?
Ken: Yep. And they're the biggest sales and it's all LinkedIn.
Jamie: And everybody has the opportunity now to be their own publisher of content. There's a new tool in LinkedIn called Publishing under the pulse network of their organization. I can publish, I can even republish existing content from our company's website and have a call to action and specifically, it will be a call to action based off of my network. So I can have it depends on how I place the call to action. People are driven to my LinkedIn page, to my content and asset that they downloaded and it can be given credit to me as an individual. There is an absolute future where an individual contributor could, and I don't know if they're going to get into contact, creations based but they can be in a content distribution to lead face on their own.
Ken: Absolutely. Absolutely. We have a question right here. Apologize to barge in on you but I had to say that.
Gary: Oh, Ken, that's actually a perfect lead into because that's exactly where I was going with it. And that is that the people that utilize social media for social selling are the ones that are doing that proactive searching to find the right people that connect with the right people. So one insert I want to put in here is that some of these larger enterprise corporations have an issue with their reps blogging and posting things on Twitter.
Jim: You're right. I'm giving some love. It just exhaust me.
Gary: So raspberries are perfect, it's a perfect appropriate fit, we don't have any lawyers in here, so I agree. But there is that issue, so exercise caution in regards to that.
Jim: But take this, we said the same things about emails. So those who're old enough, do you remember when email came out? Not everybody got an email account. Because some clown in legal was like, "What if they write something wrong to the customer and pisses all off?" And then not everybody got a phone. Some of us are old enough to remember when not everybody got a phone on their desk for the same reason, "Hook everybody a phone and they might call and say the wrong thing." We've been saying the same thing forever.
Gary: Okay, Jim, all right.
Jim: I'm agreeing with you.
Gary: That's like apples and oranges but that's okay.
Jim: I completely disagree.
Gary: No, no, no, it's a good comment. That was on the side, my real point was this, is that when it comes to doing what Ken talked about, finding our own, developing our own business, it's tracing and following people, you know, like Jamie is talking about in LinkedIn. I've been connected with Jamie for a long time. It's very helpful because things he posts, I can repost, whatever, it's great. But now, I'm starting to tell the reps, follow the people that you're trying to target on Twitter. Follow your own leaders in your own company on Twitter to see what they're posting. So there's so much more that the reps can do beyond their own posting and blogging. Some people don't want to do it, they're afraid to do it and legals are pushing them down like what I was talking about but if this is right, so this is good and I appreciate all of you're saying.
Jamie: Can I just elaborate on what Gary is saying? When I started my business three years ago, we didn't create our own original content. And one of the biggest ways that we kick started it and this can happen at the individual sales rep level. It's coined the term Influence Remarketing but it goes beyond the marketing phase to the sales phase. I looked out and tried to figure out, there's Lory, there's Trish, there's Ken, there's Jim, there are people that have been doing this a lot longer than I have. And I leverage their content to make me appear smarter. And eventually, I've read so much of it that I started to develop my own voice in Social but the idea that you can actually find influence, there's rock star in every industry no matter how unsexy you think your industry is. There are rock stars. You can follow these people and these people write original content that can propel you to appear smarter and more insightful to your industry.
Ken: In fact, can I jump in there, that's the exact metaphor. Curation before creation. Curation are the training wheels. That's it. You're creating other people's content that are great thinkers and pretty soon, it rubs off. And then I didn't use the word author, I wrote creation. You don't have to write. You can take a picture. You can do a video. Creation of any kind of content, when you're finally ready to have your voice. But in the meantime, curate anybody else's so you can figure out where your voice even lies.
Jamie: How much did I suck out of your brain for about a year before we met?
Ken: Okay, so this is a goofy question, fun goofy question, this club matter anymore, that's peering that's matter anymore.
Gabe: Yeah, we were actually talking about that before we started. I would say it used to matter and I'll tell you why because I remember when I was a Leadian rep at InsideSales.com or BDR, I was very proud that my class gross higher than Ken's gross. This is like three years ago. And I thought, "What the freak good is Twitter anyway?" So it started out, they're like the first company that ever measured how much influence engagement reach voice you had throughout all your Social Media networks; LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Blog, you name it. So it started out like a good way to measure, how much influence you have on social if you click all your channels. Nowadays, I don't think it does matter that much. So I have a class score of 74. What does that mean? That means that I'm really good at maneuvering and manipulating the algorithm of how it does to kind of spit up score, you know. That's my opinion.
Jim: Notice he didn't tell you his cloud score.
Ken: Other ways to measure success?
Gabe: In social?
Ken: I don't know, what do you mean?
Jim: The content. So just because someone today doesn't have a high cloud score tons of falls, if their content is just as sleek and really good and creates tons of value, they're going to be someone you need to follow and watch they're going to have clouds. So just look at the content and frequency of delivering bad ass content and the rest speaks for itself.
Jamie: I was just going to say as a lagging indicator, there's no question that's in your CRM. If this is all going to translate back to leads and contacts and opportunities are being created because of these conversations. That's a lagging indicator. My leading indicator that I'm looking at right now, I look at my own personal network. I see myself as a digital newspaper. And everyday, my job is to grow my newspapers subscribers. And that my social reaches growing at least by a percentage. So for me, the simplest gauge of current behavior, our current indicator, is that my personal network grows by one every single day and there are few others but that's the easiest one.
Ken: That's beautiful. We're going to allow the last comment come from Jim and I'm going to have each of you keep the isle's clear because he's going to be booking through the airport. He's got about a 1:30 flight, 1:15 baby. Okay, say something. We love you man!
Jim: What do you want me to say?
Ken: The most memorable thing you can think of.
Jim: Social matters, grab it, keep everybody involved in the organization and stop looking at it so linearly, look at it broader, heaven spoke.
All: Thank you.
Ken: No worries, no worries. All right, we can ask one or two more questions. He's got to book it out of here but any last minute questions from our crew here? Trish?
Trish: I think that the next great technology needs to be a platform where numbers of people in an organization can find content and it grows out under everyone in the organization names at different times at different channels.
Ken: That's cool. Did you guys hear that?
Gabe: Yeah, there's already stuff that does that.
Trish: Like what?
Gabe: Well, we'll talk about it after.
Trish: Oh, okay.
Gabe: There's once was called GaggleAMP does that. Advocate.com does that. Buffer app.
Jamie: Dynamic Signal, Social Chorus, yeah, there.
Man 2: Are you [inaudible 00:54:02] in employee advocacy?
Jamie: The ability to one-to-many model.
Jamie: And for us, we did it to HootSuite. I mean call me a homer for being a kanak but the HootSuite is the one-to-many system at the enterprise level, you can run one-to-many system.
Gabe: We actually implement that at HireVue. So everybody that's on board with HireVue automatically is going to be, we have access to their Twitter account, to the LinkedIn, that's just part of how our culture is. So with a click of a button, throughout the whole day, everybody is going to be standing tweets that are HireVue branded and under LinkedIn. Not all the same times so it's kind of spamming.
Jamie: Stagger it.
Ken: Like thunderclap.
Trish: Like this one, I schedule it, and it goes out approximately.
Ken: Oh, yeah.
Jamie: And HootSuite now is building, comes out next month, where there'll be a content library built within it. So you can pull from the library, either the market or the individual sales rep can go in and then assign content for the week. Just pull up Twitter right now and you'll say, "How, Jamie, did you just tweet like 16 minutes ago? You're on stage." It's because it's been socially arranged. Our whole organization was set up that way.
Ken: One last question. Who wants it? Right here, last question.
Woman: This is my question for Gabe. How are you getting these touch points in LinkedIn, you know sending a LinkedIn message to a prospect or something into your CRM to the new port on.
Gabe: Right, I'm glad, you're smart. That's a good question. So because Peter's onboard with us, this guys is a genius, because we talked to our sales force admin and have him create a drop down activity. So we send LinkedIn message in, LinkedIn message out, tweet, reply, favorite, it's kind of a pain but the manual logging it in. But at the end of the day, we can say, "How many retweets does it take to close the lead? How many favorites does it take?" It's all about the results I can't cross sync and we're testing it. It's all about testing it, right Ken? Don't be afraid of doing it, just test it. And this might not work but we just launched it a few weeks ago and we are testing with a small group of people and if this kills it, we're going to be the first company in the world that's doing this.
Jamie: Or there's actually two tools, we already used one. We used Ecquire and the one that we're switching to is called KiteDesk. KiteDesk is one click of a button and I pull any record, any contact information from our LinkedIn to our Sales Force and any conversation through an IN mail or free group message. It pulls everything. And I can have it set up as an activity record of contact, the lead and opportunity, fills in the information including Pick Less, little check tabs, the whole bit, they're cheat tools.
Ken: Now KiteDesk is no longer able to use the link in API but they still tag the date and bring it in but takes an extra step or two. They can also tap your CRM and your email, some other fun things and use all these medias together.
Jamie: And once you sync to one... Let's say I synced Trish's into my CRM, any activity going forward will now auto sync through. And that includes email and includes social. So now I don't need to constantly, every time I send Trisha message send through, it just starts creating an auto workflow.
Gabe: Okay, so here's the currency of value we hope you've gotten today and that you'll give back a little bit to our wonderful Mans, maybe follow them. Jim Keenan, the sales guy had to take off, his blog's awesome. Take a last minute and just tell them how they followed you guys out there on social.
Jamie: Please, everybody in the room, add me to LinkedIn, that's the tool of choice for myself and we at LinkedIn, we are the resource for social selling training, happy to help you in any way we can.
Gabe: Yeah, add Gabe Villamizar on Twitter or on LinkedIn. That's it for me. So Gabe Villamizar not Villamyzer, for all people out there. It's Gabe, G-A-B-E, and then Villamizar, V-I-L-L-A-M-I-Z-A-R.
Michael: And I'd be happy to tick an X, my name is Michael Hanks, so that's my LinkedIn and then Twitter is Michael C. Hanks, so.
Ken: All right, let's give everybody a hand, thank you. Some of the best in the world right here.
Linkedin Sales Solutions Transcript
Male: . . . is Dominic Archibald. Dominic heads up global demand generation at LinkedIn. His professional passion is to pioneer new solutions to traditional problems thereby changing how the world works and ultimately making a difference in people's lives. This dream led Dominic to LinkedIn. Prior to LinkedIn, Dominic spent several years in consulting, learning how to identify, structure, and capture business opportunities with a focus on sales strategy and effectiveness in technology. Please welcome Dominic Archibald.
Dominic: Hello everyone. My name is Dominic Archibald and I lead demand generation for LinkedIn sales solutions. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity today to take you behind the scenes at LinkedIn and reveal how our own sales reps use LinkedIn to sell every day. What you're about to see are the actual training materials that we use to teach social selling strategies to new LinkedIn sales reps. I should note that these strategies were born in our LinkedIn sales development team, proving that a social selling methodology can flourish in a high volume customer acquisition environment as much as they do in an enterprise sales model geared for senior level relationship building.
In order to set the scene, I think it's important to provide a bit of color about our sales philosophy at LinkedIn. This philosophy is built upon three key lessons that we've learned about today's B2B buyer. First, a study from the Corporate Executive Board tells us that buyers are five times more likely to take a meeting when engaged through a warm introduction compared to cold outreach. This should be no surprise. We all prefer to do business through people we trust. The challenge is that it's hard for most sales reps to count on introductions as their primary way of doing business. They're just too few and far between.
Second, according to the IBC, 75% of buyers are doing research on vendors through social media before making any B2B purchase decision. The best example of this is to think about the last time you planned a vacation. For many of us, we want to know what other people recommend in their travels, and our first step is to look for reviews and commentary on a site like TripAdvisor. Similarly, today's B2B buyer is much more informed about the seller than ever before.
Finally, 90% of decision makers say they will not respond to cold outreach. I don't know about all of you, but I ignore about ten cold e-mails a week and would never answer a call from a stranger trying to sell me something. The scary thought for most sales leaders is this: if my sales team is relying on the cold call or cold e-mails to reach people, doesn't that mean that 90% of the audience is off limits?
At LinkedIn, we believe that social selling provides an opportunity to capitalize on these lessons about today's B2B buyer. We define social selling with four ideas. First, effective social sellers create a professional brand that instills trust with clients. Second, social sellers realize that they need to network to more than one person to reach a deal. Gone are the days of hunting for that one all-powerful decision maker. In fact, the corporate executive board states that, on average, there are 5.4 decision makers involved in any B2B purchase. We, as a sales rep, need to be able to reach all of them.
Third, social sellers engage with our clients with insights. It's becoming harder and harder to reach a deal simply by asking lots of questions. Reps are now expected to contribute value to their clients, which requires that they first know something about the person and the company they are dealing with. Social media and social selling provide a powerful way to gain these insights. Finally, social sellers know that the easiest path to a deal is through relationships, and LinkedIn provides a rep with huge visibility into all the relationships that his company can muster to reach an account.
What does all this mean for sales performance? Well, it turns out that these four social selling capabilities are highly correlated with sales success. You see, we can measure and quantify the social selling activity of any person in the world based on the actions that he or she takes on LinkedIn. We know how well every sales rep on LinkedIn is performing on the four dimensions of social selling.
Then, the question becomes do social sellers outperform their peers. We answered this in two ways. First, we surveyed thousands of sales reps and asked them questions like how well are they performing on quota. When we compared the survey data against their social selling performance on LinkedIn, we found that sales people who actively sell on LinkedIn are over 50% more likely than their peers to beat quota. Second, we wanted to know whether social selling activity translates to long term sales career success. We looked at every sales professional on LinkedIn and evaluated how quickly they have been promoted in their careers as indicated by their LinkedIn profile. It turns out that sales professionals who are highly engaged on LinkedIn dramatically outpaced their peers in their careers including getting promoted to VP 17 months faster.
With the table set, for the remainder of our time together, I'd like to show you the playbook that we use to teach our own LinkedIn sales reps to sell using LinkedIn. First, I'll share how a rep can establish herself as a trusted expert through her LinkedIn profile. Second, I'll show you how a rep can use LinkedIn to quickly find the right people and best relationships to sell through with a mixture of active and passive hunting tactics. Third, I'll talk about how to turn these relationships into deals at high volume. This turns warm introductions into a rep's primary source of business. Finally, we developed a methodology to reach out to new prospects in a warm personal way even when there's no magic relationship to sell through. This approach is based on how the right and left sides of the brain process information. We call it right side, left side outreach.
Before we jump in, I'd like to point out that the approach we're about to share is built on top of our flagship product for sales professionals, Sales Navigator, but many of these tactics apply to free LinkedIn as well.
Building an expert brand is the first skill set that we teach to new LinkedIn reps. Our goal here, simply put, is to establish the rep as a trusted expert in his space. Remember, our buyers are now taking the time to learn about us before they ever begin a sales conversation, and this includes getting smart about us as salespeople.
When we teach this to our reps, we practice five ideas. First, while it sounds obvious, having a high quality LinkedIn photo is the single most important part of the profile in terms of getting people to read and engage. Second, your tagline, which is the line of text right under your name, should be action oriented and not just provide your title. You want this tagline to be interesting and inspiring so that people want to learn more about you.
The next section to take advantage of is your summary which is the free form text under your photo. This summary section is your opportunity to tell your story and to help other people, especially prospects and clients, to get to know you as a person. Next, I highly recommend taking advantage of rich media like videos to make your profile more interactive and to more deeply engage visitors. Finally, throughout your profile you as the rep or the sales leader should take every opportunity to educate the potential buyers who might be visiting your profile about your company, your thought leadership, and how you can create value.
Next, we'll talk about finding and engaging the right contacts. When I managed sales teams, I found that much of their time was spent searching for the next person to call and that they often struggled to find the key players at their accounts. Along came LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and searching for prospects and new clients changed forever. Now, all a rep has to do is describe one time for LinkedIn the type of person that she typically looks for, say for example marketing professionals at VP level and above at pharmaceutical companies. From then on, for any account that she looks at, LinkedIn will automatically run this search, identify the key people, and put them in front of the rep. We call this lead recommendations.
In the Sales Navigator screen shot that you see here, LinkedIn is recommending the top people at the account who meet the rep's search criteria. She can then click on any one of them to learn more. By identifying the key players at the account on LinkedIn, we make it possible for the rep to find those 5.4 players that we need to reach out to in order to be able to close a deal.
Our next weapon when it comes to hunting is the power of team introductions. I like to describe this to my reps as the death of the Rolodex. For most of the history of sales, a rep's success was largely defined by his Rolodex, how many personal connections, how many business cards could he call on to start a deal. Now, with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, even the most junior rep at the company can read the Rolodex of all of his peers. When a rep looks at an account in Sales Navigator, he can see every potential relationship that exists between his company and that account and ultimately turn these company connections into warm introductions by reaching out to the other person at the company to ask them to put them in touch. I like to think of this as coming into the office in the morning to find a line of your coworkers waiting at your desk, each offering to put you in touch with somebody they know at your accounts. This is completely game breaking for a sales rep and it was not possible before LinkedIn. We'll talk more about how to get the most out of these relationships in a few minutes.
In addition to actively hunting for key prospects into their accounts, we also teach our reps the power of what I call passive hunting. This is the art of listening for social triggers on LinkedIn and across the web that can turn into ideal selling moments. Each morning when my reps get in they pull up their Sales Navigator feed, which you can see here, which provides real time insights and updates about the people and companies they are trying to sell to. These insights include new team connections into the account, company news updates, and shares or posts by a key prospect. These insights are golden selling moments since they represent a context and an opportunity to reach out to a prospect.
The second strategy that we teach to our reps is how to sell through the relationships they find on LinkedIn and to do it at speed. We've found that the key to getting the most return from the time spent on selling through relationships is all about engaging the person who will be introducing you. Remember, we are asking a colleague for a favor, so our success relies on our ability to get them to play ball. This is even more important when we don't know this colleague personally.
We teach our reps two simple ideas to accomplish this. First, these team connections are silver bullets. While they are an incredibly powerful way to get into an account, a rep needs to be thoughtful about when they fire these bullets. For example, a rep should be mindful about asking her CEO to put her in touch with a junior level contact. Second, the rep should make the process as easy as possible on the team connection, including offering to ghost write the e-mail that they will then send to their own connection.
As I mentioned earlier, there are going to be times that requesting an introduction won't make sense, or will require too much leg work, or maybe even the team connection doesn't feel comfortable introducing in this way. In these situations, we teach our reps a powerful alternative that we call the name drop. With this tactic, rather than ask for an introduction, our reps reach out directly to the contact and simply drop the name of the person they know in common. This might sound like hi John, I see that you are connected to Dominic Archibald, do you know each other. Then, reference Dominic in the subject line.
It's amazing how effective a name drop can be, and it takes a fraction of the effort of a full introduction. If there's one secret play that we've learned at LinkedIn that is a true game changer, it's this one. This is a go to for our LinkedIn reps. I hope many of you will find success with this tactic.
This brings us to our fourth and final strategy that we teach to our LinkedIn reps. The fact is that we're not always going to find the magic bullet relationships to sell through. Instead of falling back on a cold call, I believe that we can turn most cold outreach into a warm interaction even without an introduction. The approach that we teach to do this is based on the science of neurolinguistics, the study of how the brain processes language. One of the findings of this discipline is that the brain interprets information best when it connects emotionally with an idea before grappling with the logical argument. This intuitively makes sense to all salespeople. We call it establishing rapport. However, I find that even the strongest sales reps who do this naturally on the phone forget all about rapport when it comes to e-mail. Rapport goes out the window and they go straight for e-mails that say look at our great product.
The simple and powerful method that we teach is to start by reading the prospect's LinkedIn profile. We then send a first message, the right side touch that leads with a personal fact gleaned from the profile. This could be about a personal interest or passion, a school reference, or a comment about a recent article or post. This first personal connection is the key, even if we don't receive a response from the prospect of this right side touch. We then send a second, left side, logic-based message that shows how our solution can meet a business need. This one two punch of right side left side e-mails generates by far the highest response rate.
That brings us to the conclusion of our presentation. I hope that you have enjoyed learning a few of the strategies that our own LinkedIn reps use every day to find success with social selling. If you are interested in learning more, please visit us at sales.linkedin.com. Best of luck to all of you in 2015.