Putting the R back in CRM
Photo credit to Daria Shevtsova @ https://unsplash.com/@daria_shevtsova
If you work in sales, you’re already all too familiar with the wonders — and the horrors — of CRMs. For the uninitiated, a CRM is basically a nice interface where you log information about prospects, so you can pull it back up when you need it. But the fact that we have to enter this information manually is an inherent limitation, because it means your CRM is only as good as what your team puts into it.
This is why LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be a valuable companion, by helping enhance the value of your CRM for your sales team. The concept is simple: Sales Navigator gives you contacts and data backed by the world’s largest self-populated professional network. Can you imagine getting info on your prospects directly from their activities on LinkedIn? Or finding contacts by leveraging people already connected to you? That’s how Sales Navigator can help, by supplementing and circumventing the usual hassles of CRMs.
Prospecting is all about three steps: (1) finding the right people, (2) getting in touch with them to deliver your pitch, and (3) getting them to agree to another meeting.
While this may sound simple, it isn’t. I work in Latin America, where it can be very hard to get your hands on good databases and contact lists. Vendors often can’t even provide you with the right names, let alone viable leads. And even if you do get some names, you still need to run campaigns with those prospects, so it doesn’t feel like cold-calling — and that can get expensive.
That’s why Sales Navigator has become such a valuable tool: It allows us to find and engage with customers, even before we’ve gotten them into our CRM. Here’s how Sales Navigator helps my team, at each stage of the prospecting process:
1.Finding the right prospects.
Sales Navigator helps my reps find the right accounts and people without having to deal with the usual hassles of digging through our CRM. Finding new accounts and contacts is easy, as Sales Navigator suggests them based on the preferences each rep specifies. Its search filters are straightforward, and Lead Builder is far more intelligent than the regular LinkedIn search engine, and way more accurate than Google.
In short, it’s not just a blind hunt anymore — Sales Navigator understands what a sales rep is looking for and offers new leads that are actually relevant. It even suggests who in your network can provide a warm introduction. With Sales Navigator, we’ve stopped waiting for call lists and started building relationships, faster and more accurately than we did before.
2.Getting in touch with prospects to deliver your pitch.
Whoever says cold-calling is dead definitely doesn’t work in Sales. On the other hand, anyone who does cold-calling alone is certifiably insane. You can’t solely depend on cold-calling just as you can’t solely depend on marketing leads, so the best solution is to meet somewhere in the middle: Reach out to prospects, but do so backed by insight and mutual connections.
At this point, most requests to connect are simply written off as spam. But by saving leads and contacts in Sales Navigator, my team is able to understand potential prospects’ interests and needs, and leverage the power of our own networks to get warmer introductions. By reaching out using known sources, backed by knowledge and credibility, we’re able to get a much higher response rate.
3. Getting prospects to agree to another meeting.
Delivering your pitch is an art, something you start learning from Day 1 as a sales professional. But does it always work? Definitely not. The more you can customize your pitch to your customer’s sensibilities, though, the better chance it has of working.
What if you were able to tune your pitch to one your prospect would dance to? Well, Sales Navigator is no Pied Piper, but it can get you close, if you just follow the trail. Sales Navigator works as a content curator, specific to the contacts and accounts you save, allowing you to really focus on what they’re doing and what matters to them. Need something to talk about with customers? Look at their feed; look at their company’s page; like or share something they’ve posted before you give them a call. There’s no need to contact them from scratch or send them random content they didn’t request — now you can reach out to them in a way that matters.
Truth be told, if you work in sales and have a CRM, the process won’t get better unless you start doing customer data differently. Sales Navigator won’t fix your sales pipeline, but it will definitely give your reps the ability to own it, by allowing them to really engage with prospects for the first time ever.
Read the full BMC — LinkedIn Case Study and learn how Sales Navigator helped us.
Originally published at IT is what IT is.