How your Peers are Getting Results from Social Prospecting

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This is a true story of how Social Prospecting is helping one Sales Leader. 

The Situation

This post is about how one Sales Leader has implemented social prospecting.  He works for a major American manufacturer of office furniture, equipment and home furnishings. His team was struggling to gain brand awareness in this space.  Their average buyer has little knowledge of his company’s full capabilities in each market.  The Sales Leader realized his buyer had changed.  Their buyers are performing more research online to educate themselves.  He understood conventional prospecting methods weren’t aligned to buyer behavior.  The customer research they performed backed this up.  Cold calling was resulting in success rates lower than 3%.  Social Prospecting was the perfect approach to reach their target buyer.

Here are the benefits they are experiencing due to the social prospecting program.

  • More Qualified Leads – his team is getting access to buyers they couldn’t reach in the past
  • Dealer mindshare – dealers become advocates for the supplier which extends their reach and improves dealer mindshare.  This result is greater wallet share and revenue growth within dealers
  • New Effective Referral Channel – Reps are getting more appointments from social referrals.  This is a more effective approach to prospecting
  • Insight Content Utilization – using insight content in introductions to influence the early stages of the buying process.  This leads to less competitive pressure in the later stages

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The Approach

Below is an outline of the approach he used to implement Social Prospecting.

  1. Enhance LinkedIn Profiles – built their online brand.  LinkedIn is the new business card
  2. Reach More Target Buyers – they improved their networks with quality connections that can purchase the their Solution
  3. Get Appoints via Referrals – The Sales Leader’s team leveraged relationships to get introduced to their target buyers.  Referrals have high conversion rates
  4. Gamify Adoption – nothing new gets adopted without effort.  Adoption rates go way up when you make it fun and competitive.  This is the idea behind gamification

Leadership

The Sales Leader listened to the feedback from his customer.  He took a risk and embraced social prospecting while others called it a fad.  He also understood the economics of his business.  He knew that some high cost techniques (i.e. tradeshows) would be too expensive.  He needed to keep his customer acquisition cost low.  This leader also set his ego aside.  He didn’t try to be a pioneer.  He reached out for help from experts that have performed the work before.  In doing so, he was able to gain adoption fast.  He didn’t wait for his company to rollout a social prospecting program.  He took initiative and thought led his team and the dealers. 

The Unexpected Benefit – Dealer Enablement

This organization works through a strong dealer network.  By developing a social prospecting process, they could enable their dealers to sell more.  This exponentially multiplies the impact of the supplier’s reps. 

By enabling the dealer, they are also gaining dealer mindshare.  This mindshare leads to increased market share and dealer advocacy.

Get Started

If the benefits in this post are appealing, download the Social Prospecting Enablement Toolkit. This Sales Leader has proven Social Prospecting works.  Make your Q1 prospecting efforts more effective.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Scott Gruher
Scott has extensive experience helping B2B Sales and Marketing Leaders Make the Number. Gruher has helped companies such as Yahoo, GXS, Ryder Systems, Conoco Phillips, Expeditors International, Genesys Telocommunications and Caliber Collision Centers accelerate their growth by leveraging the benchmarking method.

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