Archive | Lead generation

Outbound lead generation – overlap with social prospecting

The Brand Triangle – three elements for better lead generation and sales success

What does it take for people to buy our products and services – and why does the brand triangle help us with lead generation and sales conversion?

They are effectively buying a promise that they will receive a benefit. Buyers need to have a lot of trust, especially for larger, complex and mission-critical purchases.

We see that trust is needed at three levels:

  • in the sales advisor – the person helping the buyer to decide,
  • in the product or service – that they are contracting to buy, and
  • in the company or business – that is delivering, supporting and developing the product or service.

Brand Triangle Personal Product Company Wurlwind

Consider this – when you last bought something significant did you need to feel comfortable in all three areas?

And if you chose not to buy something from a supplier was that because you disqualified them in one of these areas?

Putting the customer at the centre of the brand triangle

We’re being advised to “put the customer at the heart of our business”.

And this is especially true here, in this brand triangle model.

More than that, the concentric rings represent suspects, prospects, customers and advocates as we move to the bullseye.

And in our eyes these are defined as:

  • suspects – qualifying contacts – people (and companies) who meet our criteria of ‘ideal clients’, even if they don’t have a need just yet.
  • prospects – qualifying opportunities – people (and companies) who meet our criteria AND they have a need for what we provide
  • customers/clients – people (and companies) who have paid us money in return for our goods and services
  • advocates – customers and business partners who are actively recommending and referring us to other potential buyers

And, if viewed graphically from the side this looks rather like the sales funnel, with suspect at the top of the funnel and advocates at the bottom.

The rise of Personal Branding

Personal branding has been around for many years at the celebrity level, for people in the public eye in film, music, sport, politics etc.

Personal branding for senior professionals, consultants, business owners and others in business is relatively new.

There is admittedly considerable overlap with reputation.

Time was when it took a lot of money and time to create a brand and communicate it, so it was the preserve of larger companies and significant products – ones with sizeable sales and revenue potential.

The Internet and digital channels have broken down the cost barriers allowing individuals to develop and communicate their personal and professional brands in a way that was unthinkable and unreachable even a decade years ago.

In business personal branding rarely exists in isolation, and this article on the brand triangle attempts to clarify the interrelationships in a practical way.

Lead Generation – Engaging with Suspects and Prospects

Lead generation may be a continuous background activity and/or a campaign by campaign specific activity.

Outbound lead generation

In this model this means essentially identifying people who are our ideal clients and reaching out to them with a message that attempts to touch those who are interested.

This might mean advertising, it might be cold-calling. It might be direct mail. and there are many other activities.

We may strike lucky and contact those who are interested (prospects), but there are probably many who are not looking and are merely suspects.

The pitfalls of this are the number of people who are interrupted and who are not looking for what we offer, and the cost of that failure.

Inbound lead generation

The beauty of this is that we are only attracting prospects to contact us – people who are actively looking to solve a problem that we can solve.

We are doing this by understanding what they are looking for, and being in the places where they are going.

This might be (relevant) exhibitions and conferences, website optimisation for SEO value, article marketing, content marketing etc.

The pitfalls are that there are many places our buyers might look, and there’s a big investment especially if we only want a small number of clients.

Three strands to lead generation

To very briefly touch on a huge topic, lead generation can be undertaken by any combination of the three elements, personal, product and company.

For smaller businesses and solopreneurs the individual will be more significant than the product or company level.

  • Personal lead generation – this might be cold calling, seeking introductions, encouraging referrals,
  • Product/service based lead generation – this might be more offer based, with a price promotion for example, or specific SEO type activity
  • Company level lead generation – this is where PR, the website, sponsorship, exhibitions and so on are typical of this level

This highlights the challenge for many solopreneurs and small businesses – developing a marketing strategy – and then executing it effectively.

The brand triangle model can provide ideas about how outbound and inbound are complementary, and evolve over time.

A client of ours had an effective start-up model – the 4 + 40 + 400 strategy. He took a direct sales approach to gain his first 4 clients. He then employed a sales person and together they won the next 40. Then he recruited distribution partners to reach the next 400 clients.

 

Lead Nurture – the Know, Like and Trust Journey

Much of what we do in sales and marketing is to build up that trust, by going through the Know, Like and Trust progression with prospects.

  • The company visibility and reputation is developed over time, to emphasise that it is a good organisation as a supplier.
  • The products and services are created, updated, communicated, promoted, delivered, to reassure potential buyers of their value.
  • And personal contact continues to guide, advise and steer the buyer (or buyers) through their buying journey.

Again, this is where the brand triangle model is very useful, to check that trust is being established in all 3 areas.

Larger businesses will have marketing departments and product teams responsible for these activities, which will support front-line sales people.

Business owners, solopreneurs, consultants and others running their own business will be responsible for these aspects themselves.

 

Why does a Personal Brand matter?

Impulse purchases – those that are low cost, low risk – probably are not that influenced by personal brand. Sure, we’d prefer to deal with a friendly shop owner or assistant, but increasingly we’re happy to buy online from an ecommerce website.

Considered purchases however are much more influenced by the person who provides information, advice and who guides us through the purchase decision.

And they may have been our first contact with the proposition, especially if they contacted us, or if we were referred to them by someone.

And, in a wider context, Personal Brand is “what people know about us, and how they feel about us”, based on what they can find out and what they hear from others.

And this is where a positive Personal Brand and also visibility is a huge asset.

1. Our Personal Brand helps us to engage better

The purchase/sales process starts when a buyer engages. And that initial engagement could be in any of these areas – person, product or company.

It could be as a result of outbound lead generation or an inbound enquiry triggered by one of a plethora of activities. If personal brand is minimal then that’s reducing the engagement opportunity by a third.

2. Our Personal Brand helps us build Trust more quickly

When you rapidly moved through the purchase process was it because you were quickly and convincingly taken through the know like and trust progression in all three areas?

And was that because the person leading the sale demonstrated that they, their products and the company were aligned with meeting specific needs you had?

Once they had established trust as a person with you were you more willing to trust what they said about the products and about the company?

They demonstrated that they understood you, and had invested thought, time and probably money to meet the needs that you and others like you have, on a repeatable basis.

3. Our Personal Brand makes us more memorable

It may be cheesy to have nick-names, strap-lines, memory phrases and other devices that we choose to associate with our names, but they are ways of making ourselves more memorable, and memorable for something specific – a positioning statement or similar.

By taking responsibility for this, creating a phrase, using it regularly, we are making it easier for people to remember us for what we want to be remembered for. Without it we may be forgotten more easily, or people are unclear about our positioning.

4. Our Personal Brand makes us more referrable

Once we have become memorable, and have a market position, and maintain consistency, we become much more referable. We become the go-to person for something specific – for our specialisation. When a topic comes up in conversation, or a question, or a need, we are the name that is mentioned.

 

 

How to develop a Personal Brand

Over the past few years I’ve worked with and helped many independent consultants and business owners to discover, define and develop their personal brand.

This goes way beyond a CV, and beyond the positioning statement at the head of the CV.

And of course they should be created with the ideal client in mind, which is where this article started.

So let’s put the customer at the heart of our personal brand, as they are at the heart of our businesses.

For more information, advice and tips about PERSONAL BRANDING – take a look at  the Category here.

For more information about Personal Branding and the Brand Triangle

There are many resources about Personal Branding on this website, and on the Internet.

For example, have a look at the Wikipedia entry on Personal Branding here.

And for a chat about the Brand Triangle, Personal Branding and Lead Generation topics raised here why not book a discovery call with me, Mark Stonham, below.

Mark Stonham Wurlwind Discovery Call

LinkedIn Company Page and Advertising – how to boost your business online

LinkedIn Lead Generation LinkedIn Company Page Image Mark Stonham WurlwindBusinesses of all sizes can benefit from having a LinkedIn Company Page.

As a minimum it’s having an entry or listing in the LinkedIn Company Directory.

And it doesn’t cost money, just a little time to set it up.

However, with a bit more time it can become another lead generation vehicle.

Do you have a LinkedIn Company Page at the moment? Do your Competitors? Do your Clients?

Read on to find out the benefits of stepping up your presence on LinkedIn.

Who would benefit from a LinkedIn Company Page?

Here are some examples of the types of businesses  we’ve worked with for whom a Linkedin Company Page strategy is beneficial:

  • Independent consultants – even as a sole trader you can add credibility and be more findable by having a LinkedIn Company Page
  • Consultancy firms – as a team you can present the collective strength by having all consultants associated with the Company Page
  • Technology companies – you probably have a page already, but read on to find out how to gain more benefit
  • Marketing agencies   you probably have a page already, but read on to find out how to gain more benefit
  • Business Owners – as a sole trader or leader of a small team, if your market is Business, or you want partners, then a Company Page helps.

The focus below is on Marketing, Sales and Business Development, but other areas that could benefit are recruitment and investment.

What does a LinkedIn Company Page look like in practice?

There are many levels that a LinkedIn Company Page can be developed to, depending on resources and objective, such as:

  • a passive directory entry in the LinkedIn Database, describing what your business does, together with contact details
  • a fully optimised page (especially for keywords, sector and location), a compelling header graphic, a clear and customer oriented value proposition, credentials building evidence, a Call to Action, sign-posting to other contact points eg website, phone, email, twitter etc.
  • status updates highlighting news and resources that are valuable to customers and prospects, and linking off to your website and other locations
  • advertising to boost the reach of your status updates
  • advertising to generate leads using the LinkedIn Forms facility

Engaging your staff/colleagues, advocates, clients/customers and others with the content will increase the benefits, as they comment and share your message.

How a LinkedIn Company Page can be used as part of a lead generation strategy?

There are many techniques and tactics for how the LinkedIn Company Page can be used to generate leads, such as:

  • as a static, optimized page with a Call to Action it can generate enquiries
  • regular educational content makes it more worthwhile for people to follow the Page and get in touch
  • you can support colleagues, clients and advocates by sharing content that they are happy to Like, comment on and share.
  • You can invite/direct visitors to your website and content pages, as one of many sources of visitors to your website
  • you can invite visitors to your landing pages to access an offer of some sort – typically a digital product such as an eBook or eGuide

Tip: By sharing content that helps customers and clients to do their jobs better (rather than promotional or third party content) you help clients gain value from their purchase and relationship with you. This also helps prospects to see and imagine what you are like as a supplier beyond the initial sale.

What results can be achieved through a LinkedIn Company Page?

With a well designed and executed strategy there are many potential outcomes and benefits, for example in the following areas:

  • Increased conversion rates at various stages throughout the buyers’ journey, for you and/or your marketing and sales team
  • Enquiries and approaches for partnership, co-ventures and other commercial alliances
  • Referrals to people who would benefit from your company capability
  • Enquiries and leads for sales opportunities for you, or that can be passed to your sales team
  • Increased visitor/traffic to your Linkedin profile(s), website and other digital and online properties, where you can build your following, your email list etc.

Having various lead capture, qualification, response processes and lead nurture are beneficial to effectively and efficiently handle what will hopefully be a rapid increase in the number of inbound contacts received.

Additional LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies from Wurlwind

This is one of 7 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies we’ve designed and developed to progressively help people get more benefit from LinkedIn.

Have a look at other strategies via the links below, or download our Pocket Guide below for a handy reference.

And if you’d like an exploratory chat please book a call with me, Mark Stonham, via my online diary.

Linkedwin LinkedIn Review Masthead Image

 

Download LinkedIn Lead Generation Pocket Guide

Advanced Personal Branding – creating scale through leverage

LinkedIn Lead Generation Advanced Personal Branding Mark Stonham Wurlwind

Some people have been very successful at developing their personal brand into very successful businesses. Richard Branson and Virgin, Steve Jobs and Apple, Jamie Oliver to highlight just 3.

To me there are three things they do extremely well:

  • They have created and developed a reputation or personal brand that positions them very successfully
  • They have a means of monetizing their value in ways that go far beyond trading time for money
  • They run promotional projects and develop partnerships with peers to create a win:win

Solo-preneurs such as independent consultants, coaches, trainers, some sales people, and others have developed products or alliances that match these aspects and they run them as virtual organisations.
Business leaders do similar but in a more formal way, through a company that employs people and has contractual relationships with suppliers and distributors.

In both scenarios there are many similarities about the person who is the leader, the figure-head, the entrepreneur. And Advanced Personal Branding is an important factor.
The reality also is that they have a team of people who support them in what they do, and these people gain in several ways, financially, reputationally, in skills and experience etc.

Think of a few people in your field, or other fields, who you recognise as leaders? Think of 3 specific people – maybe at different levels – A-List, B-List and C-List to use the media celebrity classification.

Would you like to be viewed by others in the same way? How would that feel?

How would it change the way you went around lead generation, and the revenue and profit of your business?

How would it change your goals, plans and activities?

Who would benefit from Advanced Personal Branding?

Here are some examples of the types of people we’ve worked with for whom this strategy is applicable:

  • Business Leaders – people such as the CEO or Managing Director who are the public face of the business and who have a team of people who they support and who support them.
  • Independent Consultants – especially those who have a productized offering such as books, training courses, group programs and other revenue systems.
  • Sales Leaders – people in a senior business development role who are leading growth in existing or new markets for the business.
  • Subject Matter Experts – for example in technology companies this could be the CTO, or in a marketing agency the Creative Director.

What does Advanced Personal Branding look like in practice?

There are many activities that can be part of the mix to develop and build visibility through advanced personal branding such as:

  • write a book
  • speak at conferences
  • be active in the professional association for your sector
  • run a masterclass group
  • lead a discussion group or forum online

And alongside this LinkedIn is a powerful network to support, re-inforce and leverage that activity.

How can LinkedIn be used as part of a strategy to develop Advanced Personal Branding?

There are many techniques and tactics for how LinkedIn can be used to support an advanced personal branding strategy such as:

  • write our LinkedIn Personal Profile to convey our value and influence in a way that positions us as a leader in our field, and be found for this
  • create content, especially articles and status updates to lead the thinking in the specific specialisation and educate and inform followers
  • curate content from other reputable sources to help followers to develop their knowledge, their sources, as well as to build credibility

And within that strategy, LinkedIn can be part of the Customer Journey to lead people to other resources, such as newsletters and downloadable information via landing pages on our websites.

What results can be achieved through Advanced Personal Branding?

With a well designed and executed strategy there are many potential outcomes and benefits, for example in the following areas:

  • Increased conversion rates at various stages throughout the buyers’ journey, for you and/or your marketing and sales team
  • Generate and attract enquiries and approaches for partnership, co-ventures and other commercial alliances
  • Gain invitations to speaking opportunities to further raise your personal and business profile
  • Referrals to people who would benefit from your specialist knowledge
  • Enquiries and leads for sales opportunities for you, or that can be passed to your sales team
  • Increased visitor/traffic to your Linkedin profile, website and other digital and online properties, where you can build your following, your email list etc.

Having various lead capture, qualification, response and lead nurture processes and systems in place is beneficial to effectively and efficiently handle what will hopefully be a rapid increase in the number of inbound contacts and enquiries received.

Three essential elements to make Advance Personal Branding commercially effective

The ability to deliver value to partners as well as customers and clients becomes increasingly important for those who want to develop an advanced personal brand.

  1. Clarity about our Identity – because we will be investing a lot of time, effort and money to develop our reputation. Building a reputation around a skill and ability that we are naturally good at is so much easier and less stressful.
  2. Mastery of our Market – to understand not just customers and clients but also the other players, and whether they are competitors or potential collaborators. This helps us identify a unique niche where we can be Number 1.
  3. Effective Promotions, Projects and Partnerships – design and execution of effective promotional campaigns ourselves and then agreeing and executing joint campaigns, co-promotions, partnerships and similar activities. This helps us plan and run successful campaigns that achieve financial, development and learning goals and increase in scale progressively.

It takes years to build a reputation. It can also take years to build the team and infrastructure to support the monetization of that reputation. For those who are successful the rewards can be huge.

How Linkedin can be used in Advanced personal Branding

Here are a number of suggestions for ways LinkedIn can be used as part of Advanced Personal Branding

  • To research a market, to understand what it is, who the players are, what they offer and who their clients are
  • To communicate our identity and specialisation through our LinkedIn Personal Profile and the content we share
  • To identify potential partners and activities that we can collaborate around, such as conferences and events
  • To develop a channel of followers who we can provide value to
  • To invite our followers to enter our sales funnel is an appropriate way
  • To share the successes that we have helped our customers, clients and partners to achieve

Additional LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies from Wurlwind

This is one of 7 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies we’ve designed and developed to progressively help people get more benefit from LinkedIn.

Have a look at other strategies via these links, or download our Pocket Guide below for a handy guide.

And if you’d like an exploratory chat please book a call and add a topic via the following online diary.

Linkedwin LinkedIn Review Masthead Image

Download LinkedIn Lead Generation Pocket Guide

Wurlwind LinkedIn Lead Generation Blog

Welcome to the Wurlwind Community Blog. Here you’ll find articles, features, tips and techniques to help you develop and grow your business as a Trusted Advisor.

Referral Marketing and Customer Appreciation – Encouraging people to recommend you

LinkedIn Lead Generation Referral Marketing Image Mark Stonham WurlwindReferral Marketing is one of the most powerful lead generation techniques for people running smaller businesses.

It’s like having an unpaid sales team out there, listening out for signs from their clients and contacts. Personal recommendation makes the sales process much smoother.

It’s easy to overlook the potential for referrals through LinkedIn. And there are major benefits for people who put a little time and effort in to boost their online referrals position.

Who is more likely to provide Referrals?

Lets start with satisfied and delighted customers. They have already gone through the Know, Like and Trust journey, and made a commitment to you and your business. A little bit of effort in the post-sale period using LinkedIn to create a public win:win situation will pay huge dividends.

Then there are those who offer complementary services. They may well have clients who are your ideal customers. It may help them to develop relationships and protect their clients if they introduce an ally. There is also a reciprocal aspect, where they may look to you for an introduction in return.

Then there are people who recognise your expertise and are willing to put a good word in for you when the opportunity arises.

How can people provide referrals?

Ideally this is happening out of sight as it were, and your name is being mentioned by many people although for the large part you are unaware it’s happening. The first you may know is when the prospect gets in touch and mentions that so-and-so gave them your name. Sometimes this is visible in LinkedIn, when people say they are looking for a supplier and they ask for recommendations.

Taking a more pro-active approach, you may be looking for a way into a company or to an individual. And through LinkedIn there are suggested links of people you both know. From this you could ask for an introduction, or a specific referral to that person.

And in a low-key way, when people like, comment and share your status updates and articles there’s an implied referral aspect, or endorsement going on.

How can we encourage referrals?

Delivering an excellent service is the starting point. Satisfied clients may refer, whereas dissatisfied customers won’t refer, and may put out negative messages generally or specifically.

Having a well written LinkedIn Profile will make the referral process easier. And if the profile makes it clear not just who an ideal client is but also the circumstances for a referral so much the better.

And then being visible through activity on Linkedin is pretty important. Staying front of mind will prompt people to refer us, rather than stay silent or refer someone else.

There’s also an approach that starts sowing the seeds for referrals from the first contact with a potential client. It’s much easier to ask for a referral if it’s not a surprise at the end of the sales process, part way through, or in various other ways.

Next Steps to develop referral marketing

Showing appreciation and reciprocating with people who have previously give referrals is a good move.

Identifying other people who could be encouraged to provide referrals is another step.

And for more suggestions, and guidance on how to develop a referral marketing channel appropriate for your business and situation, why not book a call with me, Mark Stonham, below.

Additional LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies from Wurlwind

This is one of 7 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies we’ve designed and developed to progressively help people get more benefit from LinkedIn.

Have a look at other strategies via these links, or download our Pocket Guide below for a handy guide.

And if you’d like an exploratory chat please book a call and add a topic via the following online diary.

Linkedwin LinkedIn Review Masthead Image

Download LinkedIn Lead Generation Pocket Guide

Article Marketing – how to generate leads with articles in LinkedIn

LinkedIn Lead Generation Article Marketing Image Mark Stonham Wurlwind

The Internet has allowed everyone to become a publisher, including on LinkedIn, but it needs some smart article marketing techniques to stand out, get read, and convert readers into leads.

LinkedIn Article Marketing Challenges

There are many challenges when it comes to achieving a reasonable return when publishing articles in LinkedIn, including:

  1. Not all of our connections will see the article. There is a double whammy here. Firstly your connections who LinkedIn notifies may not be active on LinkedIn when the article is published. And secondly, LinkedIn doesn’t present every article to all of our connections.
  2. Reader time and attention is very limited. We filter out so much content these days. Articles really need to stand-out to grab attention.
  3. Relationships matter – LinkedIn detects who we have a ‘relationship’ with and presents our content (or not) accordingly. So, we need to have good relationships with people in LinkedIn, as this affects the distribution, and also the inclination of people to read.
  4. Getting people to engage and comment and Like an article is difficult. It is doubly so if the piece is heavily sales or lead generation oriented – a so-called click-bait article. People will be reluctant to comment if they are seen to be sharing very sales oriented content.

For individuals and smaller businesses it is hard to compete against large companies, agencies and people like celebrities with large followings. However there are ways to improve results.

Six Article Marketing fundamentals

Success comes from careful planning, as well as thorough execution.

  1. The Topic

Give this very careful thought. Research what your reader / prospect will be interested in. Especially think about the business issue(s) that are giving them some concern. By picking an ‘evergreen’ topic the article should have long-term value, and be a sales asset that you can still signpost people to and promote 1, 2, 3 years from now. Beware of self-promotional topics, and those that are trending topics or hyper topical, as they are likely to date very quickly.

2. The Reader Journey

I’m a big fan of The Challenger Sale, and one of their premises is to “Lead prospects TO your solution”, rather than to “Lead with your solution”. The Six Step Sales Choreography of Warmer, Reframe, Rational Drowning, Emotional Impact, The New Way and Your Solution, can be applied to articles just as much as to presentations. It’s a gentle but effective way to lead readers TO the next step, typically going to your website.

3. The pay-off

Again, from Challenger Sale, they refer to Educational Marketing. Provide the reader with some value that will help them to do their job better. Accept that very few people will click through, and make sure that even those who don’t click feel that there was a good return for the 2-5 minutes they invested to read your article. Even better, provide value so that they are prepared to share it with others.

4. The Article

You’ll need a headline with impact, a powerful header image, an engaging first paragraph, additional images, quotes etc. Use of Sub-headings, lists etc. make it easier to scan. There are probably a dozen styles to choose from – insight, case study, listicle, compilation, how-to, and so-on. A good friend of mine – Tony Coll – has coined the CHORTLE pneumonic to build emotional impact into articles.

5. The Promotion

Having invested time in writing the article it then deserves to be promoted. Unfortunately relying on organic traffic and viewers in LinkedIn is unlikely to achieve much. In a similar way that books on Amazon need to be promoted so too do Articles in LinkedIn. So, view this as a positive activity, as you send requests to advocates and colleagues to comment, you email your list to highlight the new article, schedule several status updates on various social media, and so on.

6. The Follow-through

Hopefully people will be commenting, in which case reply to each comment in LinkedIn. A few more people will be Liking, so look at what they’ve published and like in return. And if the topic has been well chosen it should enable you to strike up conversations either with suspects and prospects, or to approach people to see if they know people who would benefit from reading the piece, as a potential referral or introduction. And keep an eye on People who Viewed you Profile, and there may be several people worth approaching there.

What’s the return on Article Marketing?

That may sound like a huge amount of work. And to do it thoroughly is does take time.

Article Marketing is where there are advantages to having a lot of connections, especially ones you have strong relationships with in LinkedIn. A good article will reinforce your market position, move readers along their buying journey, or prompt them to provide a referral or an introduction.

However, it all depends on how many leads and new customers you’re actually looking for. And only you know what the maths looks like, and how much time you have.

So, maybe you want to scale back for your first few pieces. Maybe focus on ones that will be REALLY useful if/when you email a link to prospects who are currently in your sales pipeline. You are directly helping current sales campaigns and increasing your chance of closing those deals.

Publishing FOUR articles is (currently) a good idea as LinkedIn will list the other 3 you’ve published at the bottom of whichever the reader is reading. So, maybe one a month for 4 months is a good target?

If you’re the Managing Director or a public face for your business you can greatly assist your team by writing articles that will help them with their lead generation, sales campaigns and client relationships.

If you’re a solopreneur, a business owner, independent consultant or similar or going through a career change, then article marketing is a powerful way to position yourself and open doors and gain referrals.

I hope this has encouraged you to plan and write your first, or another, article in LinkedIn.

If you’d like to talk this through, and be guided through the process why not schedule a call with me, Mark Stonham, and I will help you to save time and improve your results.

Additional LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies from Wurlwind

This is one of 7 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies we’ve designed and developed to progressively help people get more benefit from LinkedIn.

Have a look at other strategies via these links, or download our Pocket Guide below for a handy guide.

And if you’d like an exploratory chat please book a call and add a topic via the following online diary.

Linkedwin LinkedIn Review Masthead Image

Download LinkedIn Lead Generation Pocket Guide

 

Key Account Sales – developing multiple relationships using LinkedIn

LinkedIn Lead Generation Target Account Marketing Image Mark Stonham WurlwindKey Account Sales, Account-Based Marketing, Target Accounts, and other terms are used when selling to larger organisations. Deal values are usually larger, deals are complex, and usually involve several decision-makers.

Starting and developing multiple sales relationships per company is an essential part of the process.  And this is where LinkedIn is very powerful. It helps us identify who is likely to be part of the decision-making process. And then who we know who also knows each of them.

If you’re reading this because you want to win major deals with large companies, or you have a real live sales opportunity in a major organisation and want to increase your chances of winning, then you’re in the right place.

You may be wondering how you can use LinkedIn to improve your sales conversions and win rate.

There are several ways you can use LinkedIn to support your sales efforts and increase your success in key account sales.

LinkedIn and Social Selling is not just about prospecting and lead generation for single decision-maker deals. For larger more complex sales it’s a valuable resource to use during larger and longer account-based marketing campaigns.

Quick start tips for Key Account Sales using LinkedIn

Pick your best prospect, one that you’re currently bidding or proposing to, and apply the tips and steps below to increase your probability of winning and to develop effective Social Selling habits.

  • Connect with your main contacts in your prospect, if you haven’t already done so.
  • See who you are both connected with – your shared contacts – and identify someone who could give you insight into what’s going on.
  • Write down 5 actions you’ll take that will build those relationships – Like, Share, Comment, Connect, Talk to… etc.

Now repeat for your second best prospect, then the third, and fourth. I’m sure you’ll be getting quicker at this by now, and building a positive habit.

Download our LinkedIn Lead Generation Pocket Guide for a Summary of 7 Strategies and other tips.

LinkedIn Tips for creating Key Account Sales opportunities

1. Qualify the opportunity

Use LinkedIn as one of your research sources to find out more about the company and the prime contact. If it’s an enquiry that’s come in via your website, a phone call or even from a lead nurture sequence, LinkedIn can be a good source of information.

  • From their LinkedIn Company Page, does the company meet your criteria, based on size, sector, location, and any other criteria you may use?
  • From the LinkedIn Profile of the person contacting you, are they in a role that you typically deal with, as decision-maker or as recommender?
  • How closely connected are you to the person contacting you, and again LinkedIn can identify who you have as shared connections.

With this information you’re much better prepared for that initial phone call, and you can show that you have done your homework, or ask for missing information on the call.

2. Who else is likely to be involved in the decision?

If there are typically several people involved in deciding to purchase what you offer then some additional research will put you in a stronger position.

  • From the employees listed on the Company Page, can you identify the people with the job titles you’d expect to be involved in the decision.
  • Can you identify shared connections with any of them, and identify someone (a trusted third party) who could provide insight about the business.
  • Have those key people shared Articles and Status Updates on LinkedIn that would give you a chance to reach out and maybe connect with them?

Quickly identifying and making contact with the right people will provide a firm foundation for your sales campaign

3. Keeping in touch during the campaign and after the proposal

Some purchases can take a long time to close, and keeping in touch with key people can be tricky, without seeming to chase the deal.

  • Share relevant articles, either from your company like case studies or from reliable third parties, via LinkedIn Message to individuals
  • Share news and articles to groups of buyers as a LinkedIn Email/Message Broadcast to a small TAG group of people.
  • Comment on Status Updates and Articles posted by decision-makers on LinkedIn

Building relationships, becoming a trusted advisor and guiding prospects through the buying process is a route to sales success. This will happen through many channels including face to face meetings, phone calls, emails and other activities. LinkedIn can be a great source of insight and also an additional communications channel to use.

And if you’ve established your personal brand at a senior level you may well be able to gain access to the project sponsor early on, and steal a march on your competitors if they only have access at a junior level.

Additional LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies from Wurlwind

This is one of 7 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies we’ve designed and developed to progressively help people get more benefit from LinkedIn.

Have a look at other strategies via these links, or download our Pocket Guide below for a handy guide.

And if you’d like an exploratory chat please book a call and add a topic via the following online diary.

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Download LinkedIn Lead Generation Pocket Guide

LinkedIn Lead Generation – 7 Strategies for Social Selling

If you sell to other businesses and want to increase sales and grow your business you’ll want to find out all about these Seven LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies.Using LinkedIn for lead generation, business development, marketing, selling and customer loyalty processes is incredibly beneficial. By connecting with your clients you’re a huge step closer to your next customer.To grow your business you almost certainly need one or more of these lead generation strategies.But it’s also easy to waste time in unproductive activity, following the wrong strategy, or failing to execute effectively.Many business owners, independent consultants and sales professionals use LinkedIn to find new clients. They know LinkedIn isn’t just for job-seekers and recruitment.These strategies have been developed and refined through the training I’ve developed and delivered over since 2011, and overhauled after the LinkedIn changes early in 2017.

Which of these strategies will create new opportunities and add new clients to your business?

SEVEN LinkedIn Lead Generation Training modules

Which is the best fit for what you need to achieve?

 

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1. LinkedIn Lead Generation Foundations

This strategy covers using LinkedIn effectively to support online and offline marketing and selling activity.

When buyers are looking for and short-listing potential suppliers it’s important to be found and also to not to be eliminated for lack of presence.

It’s ideal for people starting out or needing a refresher for LinkedIn. This module underpins all other modules, because if this area is weak the other activities will be less effective.

This module reflects the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI) as a solid and measurable foundation on which to build other lead generation campaigns and activities.

  • LinkedIn Introduction / Refresher –  what’s available in LinkedIn, and their value for business development.
  • Navigating around LinkedIn – key areas in LinkedIn and what function is available where (especially in the new UI).
  • Profile – completing the essential areas of your LinkedIn Profile and optimising for skills, keywords and customer focus.
  • Network – finding and connecting with the right mix of people to support lead generation and other goals
  • Content – what to share on a regular basis to build profile, visibility, reputation and trigger conversations.
  • Conversations – how to engage with people on Linkedin and develop sales related conversations.
  • Processes – developing effective routines, systems and using tools for sales productivity.

Takeaway – LinkedIn Foundations Checklist and Activity Planner for daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly activity.

See how strong your LinkedIn Foundations are

2. Social Prospecting using LinkedIn

This LinkedIn strategy focuses on finding and making contact with new people to build a prospect list at scale.

Most Consultants, Business Owners and Salespeople will need to do this to boost their sales pipeline at some time or another.

It’s about identifying and reaching out to say 100 people, connecting and starting sales conversations with 15-30 of them. Then rinse and repeat with another 100!

  • Search – Smart ways to use LinkedIn Search to find people and companies
  • Engage – 7 ways to reach out to people and contact them
  • Positioning – Profile update tips to improve engagement and conversations
  • Follow-up – Tips for organising and following up contacts and list building

Take-away – LinkedIn Prospecting Campaign Planner

Get better at finding and reaching out to decision makers on LinkedIn

3. Account-based Marketing (ABM) & Growing Key Accounts

How to use LinkedIn to go wider and deeper in larger and higher value client and prospect companies.

Opening and growing Key Accounts can create very large rewards, but it takes careful planning to get the strategy right.

It’s about expanding into a major company through LinkedIn, identifying multiple entry points and engaging with purpose. Then rinse and repeat with another major company!

  • Research & Listening – using LinkedIn to build up a comprehensive understanding of major businesses
  • Relationships – getting closer to key people through LinkedIn
  • Account Penetration – gaining introductions to the right people via existing contacts
  • Complex sales – using LinkedIn through an extended sale/purchase cycle to improve win rates.

Take-away – LinkedIn Key Account Planner

Gain tips to get into major accounts via LinkedIn

4. Advanced Personal Branding through LinkedIn

Raising our profiles and growing our networks by being more active in focused ways creates more enquiries and opportunities to follow-up.

Ideal for Subject Matter Experts (Consultants, Business Owners, Salespeople) with a specialist skill or in a niche.

It’s about attracting buyers and prospects by building authority and visibility, becoming a go-to person in your sector or niche.

Key techniques covered include:

  • Being Distinctive – with Advanced Positioning and Profile techniques
  • Boosting Credibility – building social proof and a powerful network presence
  • Increasing Visibility – Curating, sharing and creating content to develop your specialist positioning.
  • Building Relationships – Joining discussions, starting conversations, generating interest.

Take-away – LinkedIn Personal Branding Planner

Discover ways to boost your visibility through LinkedIn here

5. Developing Referrals through LinkedIn

Word of Mouth, and Word of Mouse, are important sources of business that many people overlook, or could be more structured about.

Whether the referral and partner channel is informal or formal the development techniques are similar, even if the reward structures differ.

This module focuses on tips and techniques to develop an effective referral channel through LinkedIn

  • Identifying – people who could become referral partners, formally or informally
  • Recruiting – How to approach people who you’d like to refer and introduce you
  • Educating  – Making it easy for people to refer you, and reminding them regularly
  • Rewarding – Identifying, offering and delivering appropriate rewards to referrers.

Take-away – LinkedIn Referral Campaign Planner

See how you could get more referrals through LinkedIn here

6. Article and content-based lead generation

Writing Blog posts and Articles is not only good for credibility but, with the right structure, promotion and distribution can also be great for lead generation.

A good lead generation article will engage the emotions of the reader, provide learning and rational proof, and lead them towards wanting to take action.

This module focuses on using Articles on your LinkedIn Personal Profile for Lead Generation

  • How to design the Customer Journey to increase lead generation through your profile.
  • Key elements to include in your Lead Generation Article
  • How to promote your article to increase views
  • The Call to Action and your response – What to offer beyond the article.

Take-away – LinkedIn Article based Campaign Planner

Find out tips on article marketing through LinkedIn here

7. Using your LinkedIn Company Page to generate leads

For those in a position to create and develop a LinkedIn Company Page there are several ways to use it to generate leads and enquiries.

This LinkedIn Training module focuses on using the LinkedIn Company Page to generate leads

  • Company Page optimisation – for keywords, call to action etc.
  • Status Updates and sharing of news and educational content
  • Sponsoring Updates and how to use them effectively
  • How to get more Followers – ways to organically grow the number of page followers
  • Ways to increase engagement – encouraging people to like, comment and share your content
  • How to generate leads through the Company Page – different lead generation techniques

Take-away – LinkedIn Company Page Promotion and Campaign Planner

Learn how to promote your business and advertise through LinkedIn

Hopefully at least one of those will be relevant and attractive to you.

Which LinkedIn Lead Generation strategy is your top priority?

If you’re not sure (and it’s a difficult choice to make) let’s have a chat.

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