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May 31, 2018 Sales

3 Key Takeaways from the LinkedIn Sales and Marketing Roadshow

Theresa Conway wearing a gray patterned jacket and black framed glasses.
By Theresa Conway

Have you noticed a difference in your lead flow and opportunity conversion rates? Every week we gather and monitor leading indicators on our Company Scorecard, and for some time we have seen our outbound lead flow decrease due to the major disruption that is occurring in the sales and marketing functions: 70% of a buyer’s journey is complete before we even have the chance to talk with them!  As buyers seek information online to help inform them of the options available before they make a purchase, this change in buyer behavior has caused us to reconsider the focus of our outbound sales and marketing efforts and put a more concentrated effort toward our social selling strategy. Coincidentally, at the same time we decided to dig deeper into social selling, my colleagues Kevin and Sarah and I were invited to attend the LinkedIn Sales and Marketing Roadshow held in Boston last week. It’s usually never an easy decision to willingly choose to spend two hours or more in Boston traffic, but the effort to attend this session was well worth the trip!

Traditionally, marketing and sales see their audiences differently. This has not always been the case at BrainSell, because as a small company our marketing and sales people sit right next to each other! However, the shift to social selling has forced us to rethink how we engage with customers throughout their buying journey, and this level of engagement doesn’t stop after the ink has dried! Specifically, we are asking ourselves how we can provide value during the 70% of the sales conversation that occurs online before the first phone call.

Here are my three takeaways from the LinkedIn Sales and Marketing Roadshow that provided us the guidance to help evolve our approach.

  1. The traditional marketing funnel and sales pipeline are being replaced by an integrated sales and marketing journey. Rather than consider marketing activities that address TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU (top, middle and bottom of funnel, respectively), we should be developing marketing programs targeting customer awareness and education. Rather than the traditional stages of a sales pipeline being completed solely by an account executive, we should be developing account-based marketing programs and engaging with the buyer to provide value-added content through social media.
  2. High levels of marketing and sales engagement will allow us to find the right buyer with the need for the product and service we are selling, aka The Sweet Spot. Low levels of engagement by either marketing or sales leads to missed opportunities or a warm audience, or worse still, an untapped audience.
  3. In a typical B2B opportunity, an average of seven buyers are involved in the buying process. A contact with whom we have engaged will have six colleagues providing input into the final sales decision, and we want to engage with them also! Leveraging our own professional connections and tools available through LinkedIn such as Sales Navigator allow us to find introduction paths to all members of the buying circle.

I’m excited that we’ve seen the signs telling us to take the next right turn! The shift in our sales and marketing focus should allow us to create sales capacity, improve conversion rates, and increase retention rates with existing customers, all of which delivers to the bottom line, and most importantly, means we are delivering the value for which our customers are seeking!

Have you initiated a social selling approach within your organization? Share your experience in the comment section, below.

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Theresa Conway

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Theresa Conway

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