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Prospect Research – For Better Sales Calls and Improved Conversions

Prospect Research – For Better Sales Calls and Improved Conversions

Nishi Kanth

Nishi Kanth

Product Marketing Manager and Prospecting Expert at eGrabber Inc
I am an expert in social lead generation and social media prospecting. I use and market tools and can help sales and marketing professionals in targeted prospecting for improved responses and conversions.
Nishi Kanth

In our last blog, we saw how you can leverage social networks to identify and contact C-Level decision makers in your prospective companies. You saw a few techniques on how you can leverage LinkedIn to establish an initial contact and thereon continue the dialogue over your prospect’s business email.

Let us now try and understand what you need to do once your prospect is ready to hear your proposition. One of the most common mistakes that sales professionals commit is to try and make every sales call the same. We must realize that your prospects may be similar, but are not the same. Hence every sales call you make needs to be different and tailor-made to the individual needs of your prospect. The end objective of any sales call is to propose a solution that the prospect wants, but not the one that you have.

Follow these simple steps to make your sales call a worthy one.

Know Your Prospect

One of the key steps in sales prospecting is to gather as much information as possible about your prospect. You need to get a 360 degree view of your prospect, the industry they operate in, their target customers, their possible business challenges, their growth plans and so on. By being well informed of the prospect, you have better chances of having the prospect hear you better. A few places where you can find some information about your prospects are being presented below. This is not an exhaustive list, but a good starting point, for sure.

Research The Company

Company website – You need to understand your prospect’s line of business, what is their business objective, what could be their biggest challenge and what is their value proposition to their customers, and how you will contribute in helping them achieve their business goals.

Examine who their customers are, what problem of their customers are your prospects trying to address, and how can you help them in solving those problems. By having all this handy, your sales call will turn out to be more of a requirements gathering meeting than a typical pitching.

Research the Professional Side of the Decision Maker

LinkedIn profiles – One of the key forums that sales professionals need to leverage in a B2B prospecting framework is LinkedIn. A LinkedIn profile will tell you what kind of a person your prospect is. Read through the profile. Observe the groups subscribed to; read the discussions where you see some participation, see if you have some common connections who can write a nice line about you even before the meeting. Examine if your prospect is asking questions pertaining to some challenge and if you can solve that challenge. All these small things make you more familiar to your prospect even before the call. You would have figured out your call opening statement.

Research the Personal Side of the Decision Maker

Blogs– Sales prospecting can be more meaningful when you also know what kind of a person your prospect is. If your prospect is a blogger, it is worth spending time reading through those blogs. The choice of words will give you an idea on how you should moderate the call with your prospect. If the content is extremely professional and brief to the point, you should adopt the same strategy during your call / meeting. If you find liberal dosages of humour, you can adopt a more friendly approach. A nice way to start the conversation would be to congratulate your prospect for a recent achievement.

The Smart Way

We have a fantastic prospect research tool – eGrabber eMail Prospector – that will get you the business information about any prospect from any nook and corner of the Internet. The best part about this is it can get you the business email and phone of the prospect in a jiffy. This means your time to research and search for information about your prospect is significantly cut down and you have more time to focus on preparing for every call.

Experience the tool

In a nutshell, research well, talk to your prospect in his language and make “prospect research” a part of your working style. Believe me, your prospects will enjoy talking to you and your sales become a cake walk.

Happy Selling!!

Request for Demo

About MeI am passionate about helping clients in building a workable prospect funnel. I can help people micro target and gain better results of the campaigns. I have experience across the entire breadth of sales and marketing functions. I use a combination of time tested and disruptive methods to increase the lead funnel of any organization.

 

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Strategies to Generate Warm B2B Sales Leads on Social Media

Strategies to Generate Warm B2B Sales Leads on Social Media

Ambi Moorthy

Ambi Moorthy

Product Marketing at eGrabber Inc.
Passionate product marketing professional - managing B2B content generation, webinar production & strategic relationships with B2B and recruiting industry experts, partners / resellers, also developing original marketing content for company website, newsletters, articles, Ads, blogs.
Ambi Moorthy

Do you dive into the various social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ for B2B leads?

Are you not sure how to channelize your time and efforts spent on these platforms that result in actionable warm leads?

I am going to share through a series of articles easy strategies that will generate leads from social media, you can integrate them into your marketing and lead-gen program.

Strategy 1: LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn has been the go to place for B2B sales Leads. LinkedIn groups spread across different verticals and they bring like minded professionals together in a forum. The conversations and the ideas exchanged are very informative, there is a limitation of 50 groups you must pick and join the groups wisely.

Generate warm leads through discussions

Contribute on LinkedIn Groups - B2B Sales LeadsAll LinkedIn groups have an idea exchange discussion forums and they are a goldmine of leads, members of the group post their questions related to lead-gen, strategy, pipeline development and management. They also ask opinion about a service provider and call for suggestions about a service or a product.

A referral to your business on these forums is best when given by your existing customer, instead of your own sales reps, it always helps to have a handful of socially savvy customers who can vouch for you on these forums to build credibility and send warm leads to your website.

Establish Thought Leadership

Establish Thought LeadershipThe more you are active and contribute and engage meaningfully to these discussions, people from your target market would like, connect and eventually end up buying your service or product.

LinkedIn groups also highlight the top contributors for their engaging comments and lively discussions started, this enables a “Pull” strategy instead of a “Push” strategy, the highlighted section will drive traffic to your profile and engaging content will get them to connect & contact you.

So get started with meaningful conversations today and let the leads start flowing.

Similarly, have you generated leads on LinkedIn through other methods? feel free to share them in the comments below

Strategy 2… watch this blog… coming in my next post

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7 Easy Steps for Engaging B2B Prospects on LinkedIn

7 Easy Steps for Engaging B2B Prospects on LinkedIn

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Viveka von Rosen

I am the author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day (http://amazon.com/author/linkedinexpert) and am here to make LinkedIn and social media work for you!

• Forbes Top 20 Women in Social Media (2011, 2012, 2013)
• Forbes Top 50 Most Influential People in Social Media (2011, 2012, 2013)
• TopRank's 25 Women Who Rock Social Media in 2011, 2012
• BigMoneyWeb's 200 most fearless women on the web
• Listed by Mari Smith for the niche quality of a social media superstar
• Over 12K Endorsements on LinkedIn
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Latest posts by Viveka von Rosen (see all)

LinkedIn is a great tool for finding prospects for your business.  But then what?  You found someone, you might have even used AccountResearcher to get their phone number and email and reached out to them. But what if they don’t respond?  Or even if they respond, what do you do with them?

The best way I know to keep a prospect active and engaged is by keeping in touch with them on a regular basis (and by regular I mean 2x a month – not 2x a day!)   I don’t mean hounding their answering machine – but rather, stay in touch and top of mind with them by sending – sparingly – information they might find useful.  And the best way to do that is to use LinkedIn Contacts.

Staying top of mind

How to stay Top Of Mind with Top Prospects on LinkedIn

  1. Find your prospect (through LinkedIn’s Advanced Search or through AccountResearcher.)
  2. Do your research!  Read their profile, look them up on Google or use AccountResearcher to find PR about them and their company.  If you have the paid account, make copious notes in the “Notes” section of their profile (under “Relationship”.  If you have the free account you have to wait until they accept your invitation to use the Notes section – so keep your notes in a word doc of CRM if you use one.
  3. Invite a prospect to connect with you (through a group is usually the best way).
  4. Try and set up a meeting with them  – informational interviews work best.  Remember – you want to find out about them – not pitch your product or service. Make notes about that conversation right in their profile as well.
  5. Set a reminder to once a month to send an article of interest to that top prospect.
  6. Find a blog post or article using LinkedIn’s new Influencer Article search (see below) and share it.
  7. Rinse and repeat (a few times a month)

Its not rocket science – but it sure is effective!

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