By David Baars, Marketing Manager at PipelineDeals
Have you downloaded your free copy of our new e-book yet? The tips below offer a peek at the wealth of insights you’ll find in The Pipeline Way: Building a Lead Machine. Some of these tips may sound simple, but salespeople who do them consistently are rare. If you take them to heart, especially #4, you will absolutely get more leads.
Become a LinkedIn power user. LinkedIn is the most important social media network for most B2B salespeople. Among many other tips in The Pipeline Way: Building a Lead Machine, we recommend using the LinkedIn smartphone app for on-the-spot “business card” exchange and participating in relevant LinkedIn groups to reach new targets and increase your credibility as a trusted resource.
Streamline your email messages. Nobody reads multi-paragraph emails from people they don’t know. Start with one great sentence that tells them what’s in it for them—a concise value proposition targeted to the recipient’s needs. Then ask them to connect you with the right person in their business, and thank them for their time. That’s it!
Follow a strict calling plan. When you send out email to a list, don’t drop the ball. Make a schedule for follow-up and stick to it. For example, you might send two emails and make five calls on a specific timeline over 16 days. It’s your best chance of getting leads—and it’s the only way to be able to track your results and improve your process over time.
Ask for referrals every time you connect to a prospect. At the end of every good call or meeting, no matter how early in the sales process, ask, “Who else do you know that might be interested in this stuff today?” As someone moves through your pipeline, they’re warming up and getting excited about the product. Each inflection point is an opportunity to get them to share that excitement with others.
Build momentum with geographic or vertical focus. If you start to get a deal in Dallas and another in San Francisco and another in Seattle, you’ve got three deals, but they’re not going to help you grow more quickly. Focus on an area where you can get connections and build out from there. Geographic focus is great. You can also focus on specific vertical markets and enhance your efforts by doing some extra research on that market’s specific needs and terminology.
Bonus tip: Work the hierarchy. If you’re having trouble connecting to a senior person because of your lowly stature as a salesperson, have your boss (or someone else in your company with a job title comparable to the target) make the connection and provide a referral to you. This is an incredibly effective way of getting responses in LinkedIn!
For more great tips and best practices, don’t forget to download your free copy of The Pipeline Way: Building a Lead Machine.