The Dawn of a New Era in Sales Solution

Joan Foley, Head-Enterprise Sales West, LinkedIn Sales Solutions
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Joan Foley, Head-Enterprise Sales West, LinkedIn Sales Solutions

As a sales leader, I often get asked by my peers in the industry: “What are the must-have tools I need for my team?” Interestingly enough, prior to joining LinkedIn, I would have said everyone needs a CRM to keep track of what prospects you want to go after and the status of each of those prospects once you engage with them in an opportunity. It is your system of record. Most companies, no matter the size, utilize a CRM these days. You might also want to find some way to have your marketing team populate all the target companies you want to go after into your CRM. And finally I would have said you need to have everyone in your organization using free or premium versions of LinkedIn, as this is the way today to find the people in your target prospects and provides a vehicle for engaging and connecting with them.

"Sales Navigator benefits sales professionals for prospecting, engaging with prospects and filling the pipeline"

Then, I learned about Sales Navigator, the LinkedIn license designed and built for sales professionals. I was so blown away by how powerful this tool was for sales that when LinkedIn subsequently recruited me to lead a team selling this to enterprises, I decided that there were far too many people like me that, although they used LinkedIn, had no idea of the power Sales Navigator could bring to their sales teams. I joined LinkedIn to bring this message and solution to all of them. It is truly something that every sales team, whether hunters, farmers, inside, outside or lead generators should absolutely have. Sales people want to use it as it helps them do their job more efficiently. How often does that happen?

My view on this is not because I work for LinkedIn, but because I have personally seen so many companies as well as my own teams benefit tremendously from using it for social selling (finding and engaging with prospects digitally to get sales cycles started) and building pipeline more quickly. Cold outreach is essentially dead. How many people do you know that ever actually pick up their phone for a blind call in this day and age, let alone respond to a mass mailing? Most sales teams are already using LinkedIn in some way to address this change in the buying process. Sales Navigator takes it to the next level. It is so impactful, that in many organizations, sales representatives will spend their own money to buy individual licenses until their company buys a corporate version. There is no issue with adoption because sales people want to use it-they see and experience the benefits directly. There are many unique capabilities, but what stands out to me as a sales leader are: 1.The ability to save the accounts and target prospects in those accounts without being connected to them. Ongoing, anything the prospect shares on LinkedIn or does in terms of a job or company change will allow me to be notified automatically. 2. The ability to see who else in my company knows a target we are trying to reach. This is called TeamLink and provides a view into who can give a warm introduction to a target prospect.

Bottom-line, CRM’s benefit management for forecasting and running the business are required as the system of record. Sales Navigator benefits sales professionals for prospecting, engaging with prospects and filling the pipline and is required as the system of engagement.

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