25 Social Selling Posts You Should Read

March 28th, 2014 by Jordi Gili

Last week Mr. Koka Sexton from Linkedin, recently named one of the top 10 Social Selling experts in the world, published a very personal list of Posts on the web that any sales professional should read in order to better understand the reality and opportunity of social selling.

Linkedin

He decided to include one of our posts on the list. It is #8 and talks about the dilemma that sales leaders are facing today on sales organization: a centralized lead generation team with social networks capabilities or sales teams equipped with social selling skills. A very relevant discussion today.

Please read all the posts, they are all key to get what social selling. Here is the link:

25 Social Selling Posts You Should Read

 

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How corporations may approach a Social Selling program?

February 4th, 2014 by Jordi Gili

We’ve put together a quick deck. Check it out!

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Conversations on Social Selling with Execus

January 9th, 2014 by Jordi Gili

We were recently interviewed on National Spanish Radio. Find the audio below (In catalan language only, sorry!)

ent of the Radio conversationA snapshot of the conversations

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What is Social Selling?

December 17th, 2013 by Jordi Gili

In our experience when speaking with Directors and Vice Presidents of sales, sometimes we have the feeling that there is moment of disconnection, where we have lost our audience. We catch it by the blink of an eye or an awkward face.  It is usually caused by this confusing term “social selling”. We all talk about it and we all understand different things, since there is no official description of the term.

Communication Breakdown

“Social Selling” Communication Breakdown

It is time that we all set a common ground and start seeing social selling as a multidimensional element that needs to be defined and seen at different levels.

1. People. Under this light social selling is a skill that can be taught, trained and mastered. Much like a sales cold call to a client needs training. Not only on the basics of the tools themselves (telephone) but on the art of connecting and starting a conversation. A modern sales professional needs to be proficient in this skill. In the near future it will be a requirement in job descriptions.

2. Process. Social selling is a process as well, to be precise is the “enhancement” of a company’s traditional sales process with the addition of a social networks layer. Processes are improved identifying best practices, social networks, and bits, pieces and tools that may be embedded to improve process output and performance.

3. Information. A Social Selling practice incorporates, produces and distributes many different types of information (content, contact details, messages, proposals …) that need to be stored, organized and communicated. In terms of tools, there is a need of a suite of software products to manage the information: from a (Social) CRM, to a Marketing automation and content management tool, to a (Social) network.

4. Organization. The amount of work to be performed needs distribution and assignment of roles and responsibilities. I’ve seen organizations take different approaches: from a centralized corporate “social selling” department that generates leads (it may also be outsourced) for the traditional salesforce; to the empowerment of the sales professionals with social selling capabilities. Different approaches yield different results. There is little doubt on what organizations will do in the future, but for the moment some of them take a very short-term tactical approach.

"Social Selling" understandin

So now we know … “Social Selling” understanding

When we talk about social selling we need to be specific on what dimension we are discussing or we may be all feel lost in translation. We all need to do a lot of work until we all feel comfortable with social selling!

What is your definition of Social Selling?

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Social Selling Best Practice: get the first meeting in 5 easy steps

October 24th, 2013 by Jordi Gili

Lately we’ve been having many conversations with clients and sharing/discussing results with social selling gurus at Linkedin (Ralf VonSosen, Koka Sexton) and at Hootsuite (Kevin O’Brien, Rylan Holey) so we’ve been able to identify many best practices in Social Selling. Let me share one practice that you can easily put in place: Get the first meeting.

1. Identify the target

Linkedin is arguably today THE social prospecting tool, so with the power of Linkedin’s Sales Navigator, a universe of 235.3M profiles (as of today) and the use of up to 22 filters (14 free plus 8 premium) to narrow your search, you can easily identify a set of targets.

For illustrative purposes, let’s say that you have identified me (Jordi Gili) as your sales target.

Jordi Gili Linkedin profile

Jordi Gili Linkedin profile

2. Follow your target on Twitter

According to Forrester research, “Fully 100% of business decision-makers use social media for work purposes” (July, 2013).  Follow your target on twitter. You may find your target’s twitter details under Contact Info

Jordi Gili Contact details

Jordi Gili Contact details

3. Add the target to your Hootsuite dashboard

Add your target twitter details and Linkedin groups he may belong to, to your targets stream on your Hootsuite social selling dashboard. Hootsuite’s enterprise solution is a great tool to track social media interactions that your targets may perform. This is what a stream looks like:

Hootsuite stream

Hootsuite stream

4. Start a conversation

(OK, this is not an EASY step)

Gain target intelligence by understanding topics of interests and background, both on Linkedin and Twitter. Interact with your target: Retweet some of the tweets, Like some Linkedin updates, comment on those Linkedin updates. Get your target’s attention and become relevant. Please no spam here.

A good practice may also include retweeting with a direct mention (@) and pointing to some curated content.

The appropriate “etiquette” and consistent presence will generate an interest. The target may be willing to understand who you are (visit Linkedin or Twitter profile),  look at your company’s website and potentially send a “Thank you” tweet or Linkedin acknowledge.

5. Get the meeting

Once you have the target’s attention, you may proceed to advance further into the relationship by asking to connect on Linkedin and schedule a meeting through a Twitter Direct Message or Linkedin message.

Want to share better practices? Have comments? Thoughts? – Participate!

3 Responses to “Social Selling Best Practice: get the first meeting in 5 easy steps”

  1. this process is mission critical for salespeople now – you can also use @ mentions on LinkedIn to engage with important Decision Makers through the buying process

    thanks for the article Jordi, look forward to more!

    - Jen @TeamExecnote

  2. Nicely written article Jordi! There’s definitely great opportunities with social to target and get the conversation started with selling.

    Thanks for the kind words and for recommending HootSuite!

    -Connor from HootSuite

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How to roll-out a Corporate Social Selling Program (Part III)

September 25th, 2013 by Jordi Gili

This is our last post of the “How to roll-out a Corporate Social Selling Program” series.

In these series of we are discussing a corporate approach to the implementation of a social selling initiative within the sales teams. As it is mentioned in Part I and II, a corporate approach to Social Selling is the key to capitalize on the opportunity to increase sales force productivity by 20-25% with social technologies described by McKinsey in late 2012 (McKinsey Global Institute report – The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies).

 

Execus Social Selling Program Introduction - ESSPIFig. 1 A consulting approach to a corporate Social Selling Program roll-out

 In Part I we described the general goals that the initiative should pursue in our opinion and the first step in the process: Identification of your company’s current stage in Social Selling.

In Part II we described the “To Be” place for the company using social selling tools, with the Identification of Desired Social Selling Stage.

In this Part III we will describe the set of actions to go from the “As is” to the “To Be” practices, with the Path to Action Stage.

The PATH TO ACTION Stage is basically the Implementation of the identified best practises/tools on Part II:

  • Consulting and assistance on the selection of the different softwares, vendors and providers selected
  • Integration of the tools/processes with the current tools/processes

Both main activities are complemented by our best practises and supporting PATHS:

  • A top-down approach
  • Definition of KPIs and reporting
  • Change Management and Training

I. Top Down Approach

Most probably than not, your company’s sales professionals are already using social tools to find opportunities and help materialize them. Sales people are almost by definition eager to explore and quickly to jump to new things if they bring them closer to their quota. Most of them already see the value of social selling, so it’squite an easy internal sell.

The benefits of a structured, formal approach to social selling for the teams are many:

  • The management’s implication sets a clear direction that this is “for real”.
  • Directives and communication of policy are set from management.
  • yields better results than individually, overall.
  • Best practices are shared, discussed and agreed within the team.
  • Social layer is “embedded” in your sales process, guided by experts.
  • May potentially be included as factor in bonus for individual performance.

II. Definiton of KPIs and Reporting

Your organization may be on “Guerrilla” mode today (see Part I), and without inventing any new complicated metrics, we will identify and select those existing metrics that may be more relevant as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), or what subset of those already implemented KPIs are going to measure impact of
Social Selling.

After the deployment of a formal corporate program, we will measure the impact of Social Selling by looking directly to those defined KPIs and their evolution.

In a more advanced scenario experts may help in a Systems Integration phase, helping find and select the proper Social Tools (Linkedin, Twitter, CRM, Flipboard, Saucedo, Buffer, or others …) and bring automatic measurement of the KPIs.

All actions will be performed in coordination with a corporate social 2.0 plan, if it is in place.

The implementation of social tool, bring the possibility to include a new set of Social Selling KPIs. See the following figure for instance, featuring LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator Reporting tool:

LISN ReportingFig. 2. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator Reporting screen

III. Change Management and Training

A Change Management line of action needs to be defined in order to ensure the success of the program. The main objectives are:

  • Involve the team in the Program. Explain objective of Program and Gain buy-in from the team
  • Intense Training Sessions covering Tools and New Sales Process to the team
  • Put in place live support to sales team for the day-to-day doubts in process and Tools when program is roll-out
  • Maintain communication of progress of Program with the team
  • Regular Management meetings are scheduled to track progress of Program.

With all Supporting actions in place, we can argue that we are ensuring  the success of the Social Selling Program roll-out for your organization.

See more at Execus Sales Solutions

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How to roll-out a Corporate Social Selling Program (Part II)

September 3rd, 2013 by Jordi Gili

This is the second post in a series of three where we are discussing a corporate approach to the implementation of a social selling initiative. As it is mentioned in Part I, a corporate approach to Social Selling is the key to capitalize on the opportunity to increase sales force productivity by 20-25% with social technologies described by McKinsey in late 2012 (McKinsey Global Institute report – The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies).

In Part I we described the general objectives that the initiative should pursue in our opinion and the first step in the process: Identification of your company’s current stage in Social Selling.

The following Phase is the Identification of Desired Social Selling Stage.

In this phase, the company may:

  • Acquire knowledge of world-class best practices in Social Selling
  • Identify the practises, software, bits and pieces that better suit your company’s needs
  • Define and agree a “new” social selling process to be implemented within the sales team

 1. Acquire knowledge of B2B Social Selling best practices

Best practices may come from different sources:

  • Direct connection with Social Selling solutions providers (LinkedIn’s sales solutions, Twitter-based software like Socedo, Content sharing tools, Social Media tracking …)
  • Consulting with thought leaders on social selling, including names like Jamie Shanks, Kurt Shaver, Matt Heinz, Lori Richardson and Jordi Gili. Bringing in subject matter experts to discuss and share world-class best practices may save a lot of research time. Linkedin has put together a promotional video with some great reference names: LinkedIn Sales Navigator – Customer Quotes on youtube
  • Refer to Social Selling published media: books, videos ….  In this area we’d like to share our Managing Director for Spain’s own experience, described on the book “Sell! with LinkedIn”- available on amazon.com- for a limited time readers of this post may contact Jordi Gili directly for a complimentary copy (jordi.gili @ execus.com)

2. Identify the social selling pieces that suit your company’s needs

Once all the options have been put on the table and analyzed, the important part is to identify those bits and pieces that really add value to your company: tools, processes, habits, practices, software, resources, sites ….

A good approach to define the “To Be” social selling process is using the base lead generation/sales process determined on Part I (Identification of your company’s current stage in Social Selling) and consult with a  team of experts to agree on those parts of the process that may potentially benefit from the use of Social Networks.

The pieces that may be identified include (but are not limited to): Targeted Ads, Early buying signals, KPIs and social selling reports, lead-Searching, content curation, improved market intelligence, warm referrals, using soft contact approaches, …

3. Define an “enhanced” social selling process

Once the pieces that are to be added in the sales/lead generation process are selected, the next step is to define and agree on a new sales process that incorporates the social selling layer.

As an example please see a typical example below. From a classic process (Fig. I) …

Base Sales Process

Fig. I. A Classic Lead Generation/Sales Process (Click to Enlarge)

 

…. to an enhanced social selling process (Fig. II):

Social Selling process II

Fig. II. “Enhanced” sales process with Social Selling techniques (Click to Enlarge)

Incorporating Social Selling in your processes may impact the following areas, but not limited to:

  • Lead Generation may benefit from LinkedIn Ads, and Early buying signals (LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Management may have access to a consistent, automated social selling scoreboard (reports)
  • The sales professionals may be responsible for up to 70% of the total lead generation, performing Searches, using Groups, Sharing …
  • First contact with targets may not be so cold, adding market intelligence, finding warm referrals, using soft contact approaches, …
  • Sales professionals may be more prepared when attending first meetings with clients by being more informed (signals from market)

Marketing may be suggested to participate in the Program. In fact, their contribution is very important. The following diagram suggests Marketing’s role:

 

Marketing and Social Selling

Fig. III. Marketing’s role in Social Selling (Click to Enlarge)

The main Benefit from the participation of Marketing is “keeping targets and leads warm”. That is achieved with the Creation of marketing content or Curation of relevant material to be served to the internal salesforce but to be addressed to Targets and Leads that may not be ready to buy yet. It is a central part of the One-to-one social selling process.

Once all options are discussed, the final process is defined and agreed. It will be the “To Be” Selling Process.

Next post will be the third and last part of the series and it will describe the PATH TO ACTION and some recommendations to the implementation of the Desired Social Selling process at your company.

- Learn more on a corporate approach to social selling at our corporate social selling programs site.

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How to roll-out a Corporate Social Selling Program (I)

July 31st, 2013 by Jordi Gili

This is the first post in a series of three where we will discuss how a corporation may approach a firm-wide social selling initiative. In our experience this approach tunes in with the management’s objectives of visibility and productivity increase while it empowers the sales force with real tolls to help achieve and exceed their quota.

A corporate approach to Social Selling is the key to capitalize on the opportunity to increase sales force productivity by 20-25% with social technologies described by McKinsey in late 2012 (McKinsey Global Institute report – The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies).

At Execus, we have developed a methodology, easily described with the following figure (click to enlarge):

Execus Social Selling Program Introduction - ESSPI

Figure I. A social Selling Program roll-out approach

It has been designed to help companies embrace social selling. We go back to basics and apply follow the process:

  1. Identification of your company’s Social Selling actual activities (current stage)
  2. Identification of the Social Selling Opportunities (desired stage)
  3. Definition of the path to Capitalize on the Social Selling opportunities (action from actual stage to desired stage)

We traditionally support the methodology with

  • A Top Down approach and Empowerment
  • KPI definition and measurement
  • Change Management and Training

Let’s start with Phase I.

I. Identification of your Company’s current Social Selling stage.

Of course, every company’s sales process is different. It is our understanding that we are NOT experts in selling your products, we will not tell you how to sell your products; but we will understand your process and “enhance it” embedding the appropriate best social selling practices that you agree may be relevant to your practice.

In a classic Selling process, we find Marketing nurturing the lead generation process. Traditional feeds are Web enquiries, Events/Shows lists, External Databases and other Marketing lists … The sources are filtered and segmented by the Marketing/Sales Management and assigned to the salesforce, in a process similar as the depicted in the figure (Click to Enlarge):

Base Sales Process

Fig. II. A Classic Lead Generation/Sales Process

The sales professionals may have a list of a few hundred leads to contact. A cold call is traditionally used with the purpose of getting a meeting. The meeting’s purpose is to generate an opportunity.

Sales professionals within your organization may already be using social networks in “guerrilla” mode (on their own, no rules) and may already be seeing value in the use of these tools.

On the other hand, management have no clear picture of what the salesforce is doing on Social Networks and how it is affecting the company’s branding and of course have no clear idea of benefits/return of investment in Social Networks (time, premium accounts, resources).

Your ESSPI Score clearly defines where your company is on Social Selling

In this stage we will clearly define your company’s lead generation/sales process and we’ll work with what’s currently in place. We will help identify where your company stands in terms of social selling by setting your ESSPI Initial Score. We perform a series of tests that return:

    • Your Social Selling adoption stage
    • Your ESSPI INITIAL SCORE: a number between 0-100
    • Your score vs. your competition (sector)
    • Your score vs. your competing area (country or continent)
    • A recommendation on next steps

Please contact us at esspi.score@execus.com to receive a personalized ESSPI score.

Please also read next post, where we share the next step in our approach to a social selling corporate program roll-out: Phase  II. Identification of the Desired Social Selling Stage.

For further reference please visit our Social Selling Corporate Site.

 

2 Responses to “How to roll-out a Corporate Social Selling Program (I)”

  1. Koka Sexton says:

    “Sales professionals within your organization may already be using social networks in “guerrilla” mode (on their own, no rules) and may already be seeing value in the use of these tools.”

    Social selling is showing real results and sales leaders should be implementing these best practices to their teams.

    • Jordi Gili says:

      Thank you for your comment Koka, I’m confident that from your current position you must be seeing some great examples of sales leaders that decide to approach social selling as a corporate initiative rather than an individual salesman action. The potential is too big to be missed. I’m sure that we will be seeing more and more great companies take a step in this direction in he coming months.

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Independent Research: data.com or Linkedin app for Business to Business social selling on Salesforce.com?

May 23rd, 2013 by Jordi Gili

Executive summary

This independent study has been designed to help salesforce.com users that are willing to enter a social selling initiative and are deciding on the right tool to support their initiative. It has been finalized on May 2013.

The study analyses the two most relevant options available today: data.com and Linkedin app.

The purpose is not to reach a final recommendation (every business need may be different to another), but to provide elements of judgment and contribute to further discussion on this topic.

In order to provide elements of judgment for comparison, the study analyzes both options from 5 different views: Relevance, User experience and Integration, Accuracy of Information, Geographical Reach and Pricing.

The conclusions may vary depending on the size, reach, target base and objectives that every organization has when embracing a social selling initiative. In our opinion, every company should review their processes, current tools and add-ons on salesforce, systems, strategy and organization before reaching a conclusion. Execus may help here.

Please find the useful report below with the study that will help you gain insight on both apps and acquire selection criteria.

The 15 minute presentation of the study can be found in the following video:

The whitepaper may be downloaded at www.execus.com.

The slide presentation may be found on slideshare.

 

Sell! with Linkedin - The book

I. Disclaimer and Notes on Study

This independent study has been designed to help salesforce.com users that are willing to enter a social selling initiative and are deciding on the right tool to support their initiative. It has been finalized on May 2013.

At Tomsawyer we independently research on Social Selling. For the delivery of this executive study we have relied on the knowledge and consulting services of Execus‘ professionals. Sources of Information have been our own research using Linkedin and data.com on salesforce.com, except where noted.

The purpose of this study is not to reach a final recommendation (every business need may be different to another), but to provide elements of judgment and contribute to further discussion on this topic.

data.com, salesforce.com, Linkedin.com are copyrighted trademarks of their respective corporations and have not been involved in the preparation of this study.

 

II. Introduction

Data.com and Linkedin’s Sales Navigator are today the two options that any corporation should be looking into when deciding the piece of software to support their social sales activity in order to gain intelligence, ensure updated, consistent and accurate data on the CRM and proactively generate leads for the company.

A. Data.comis today the leading account and contact data provider right inside the Sales Cloud. Professionals use it to clean Lead profiles, Market via real-time updates and gather selling and account intelligence with the updated complete contact profiles, all done within Salesforce. What is it in reality? It’s data from Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE:DNB), D&B, the leading provider of company information, altogether merged with information from jigsaw.com, owned by salesforce.com, with data from the –limited- contact records on the salesforce.com communities.

B. Linkedin’s Sales Navigator is the social network’s connector for Salesforce. It offers access to data from the 225M users on the site. As of today, the integration that it provides is limited to the visualization of your Linkedin account network within the CRM. The add-on is quite new and it is gaining relevance within the CRM community.

In order to provide elements of judgment for comparison, the study analyzes both options from 5 different views: Relevance, User experience and Integration, Accuracy of Information, Geographical Reach and Pricing. The study provides visual interpretation of the results, that are presented for illustrative purposes only in this format: A thumbs-up OK! sign when an option meets the requirement and a Hold-on WAIT! hand sign when the requirement is not clearly met.

 

III. Research on Data.com and Linkedin apps for Social Selling

The 5 elements that are used to compare both options are: Relevance of Information, User experience and Integration, Accuracy of Information, Geographical Reach and Pricing.

Item I. Relevance of Information

The Relevance of each add-on is measured on two dimensions: Number of records in the database and significance of the information to a business.

In terms of number of records in the database we have found that the number of records has a 10-1 ratio favorable to Linkedin – and growing, since Linkedin is adding 1 new member every 2 seconds (source: Linkedin.com) -

As an example, we take the US and UK markets. As of May 10th  2013, Data.com offers access to exactly 15,580,198 records of professionals in the US. A similar search of professionals in the US on Linkedin throws 73,247,977 results. That is a 1-5 ratio in data.com’s strongest market favorable to Linkedin. On the same date, a research on data.com for the UK market shows exactly 863,587 records;  while on Linkedin the results go up to 10,962,669. That is a 1-12 ratio.

The significance of the information to a given business strives in the size of organizations covered. Whilst data.com mostly covers large organizations, on Linkedin you can find from a freelance to a Fortune 100 CEO. The depth of the information ef every app may be very relevant to target specific sectors to your business.

Evaluation:

Item I. Relevance

Item I. Relevance

Item II. User experience and Integration

Linkedin today just presents some contact information done by integrating a VisualForce page into a contact form or a company form, while data.com offers more value. Data cleansing and import from Data.com into Salesfore is quite direct; with just one click of the mouse.

Current Linkedin’s policy is to make information available to salesforce, but not making it exportable. The claim is to “respect privacy of our users”. This is clearly an advantage to data.com for its users.

On a side note: why not make your contacts available to import on salesforce if they are already exportable from the Linkedin with the option to export LinkedIn Connections into .csv file? Why make it difficult for the user to export into csv and then import into salesforce?

Evaluation:

Item II. User experience and Integration

Item II. User experience and Integration

Item III. Accuracy of Information

One of the main concerns of “static” database users is the accuracy and consistency of its information – how fresh it is.

Freshness of information at data.com is relevant since it is updated manually. We analyzed a selection of markets to confirm the point. For instance, research in the UK market shows that of the total 863,587 records, 22,415 records or 2.6% of the information had been updated within the previous month. In our view, that is a good figure, quite above a  monthly “job rotation” of  1.1%  according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics “Job mobility and job tenure in the UK”.  D&B assures the quality of its data with a process called the DUNSRight® Quality Process.

Linkedin’s approach to always serve fresh information from its database to salesforce at every transaction ensures the accuracy of data. On the other hand, a number of members are not keeping their records updated and that may affect the accuracy of results, but we understand that this effect is very limited. On top of that, a number of members use their personal data information (telephone, email) and that sort of information is very relevant and rarely changes.

Another main concern of database users is the quality or reliability of the information that it contains. In this case, while data.com obtains information from official sources (SEC, …) and public information (media, …), Linkedin relies on the quality of the information that every user decides to share. Some Linkedin users may opt not to input accurate information on their careers or current positions. According to Mr. Reid Hoffman (Linkedin’s co-founder) people with more than 100 connections do not lie significantly on their profiles, but there is no audited information on that. In our opinion, both sources meet the criteria.

Evaluation:

Item III. Accuracy of Information

Item III. Accuracy of Information

Sell! with Linkedin - The book

Item IV. Geographical Reach

As of today data.com offers access to the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, USA, India, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, Singapore and South Africa. The rest of the geographies are not currently available.

Linkedin on the other hand offers access to virtually all countries in the globe.

The selection of one tool versus the other may hinder the company’s ability to reach relevant geographies like Germany, France, Russia, Japan, Mexico …

Item IV. Geographical Reach

Item IV. Geographical Reach

Item V. Pricing

 data.com’s Prospector is the site’s recommended account for B2B selling. It’s $125.00 per user per month.data.com account pricing

Linkedin’s Sales Plus is the base premium account that permits the interaction with salesforce. It’s $49.95 per user per month.

Linkedin for Salesforce Sales Plus account pricing

On comparison data.com licenses are 150% more expensive than Linkedin’s.

On a side note, data.com recently announced the data.com connect option (not available yet) claiming that companies can access information for free if they upload data in return (one record received per record uploaded) in a creative effort to build a community of contributors; but the proposition is not clear yet.

Evaluation:

 

Item V. Pricing

Item V. Pricing

IV. Results and Conclusions

Here’s a comparative table with the results of our Study.

Summary comparison data.com and Linkedin

Summary comparison data.com and Linkedin

The conclusions may vary depending on the size, reach, target base and objectives that every organization has when embracing a social selling initiative. In our opinion, every company should review their processes, current tools and add-ons on salesforce, systems, strategy and organization before reaching a conclusion. Execus may help here.

In general, results show that for those companies that are targeting US well established multinationals, data.com may be good option today. Those companies that are willing to take advantage of global opportunities, that are cost-aware and willing to leverage on already developed professional social networks definitely need to look into the Linkedin solution for salesforce.

A question for the future arises: will data.com be able to keep up with the tremendous growth both in size and in geography of Linkedin in order to remain competitive?

 

V. About Execus

Execus is a leading consulting firm on strategy, selection of systems, implementation and training on social media for Business to Business on a Pan-European and Latin America basis. We provide senior professionals to integrate with client teams.

—Other practices of the firm include Interim Management, Consulting within Finance, IT, HR, Sales and Operations.

Please contact Jordi Gili, MD Spain of the firm,  social practice leader and author of the book “Sell! with Linkedin”(available on amazon.com):

„jordi.gili@execus.com
„Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 583, 08011 Barcelona , Spain
Tel. (+34) 933063448

Sell! with Linkedin - The book

 

 

2 Responses to “Independent Research: data.com or Linkedin app for Business to Business social selling on Salesforce.com?”

  1. David Bujan says:

    Very interesting analysis to take into account when planning social sales strategy. Good job Jordi! Congratulations

    • Jordi Gili says:

      David,
      Your appreciation for this report is very valuable to us, since Aborda is one of the leading salesforce.com integrators in Europe.
      Big thank you!

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Why 90% of Fortune 1,000 will use Linkedin’s Sales Navigator by 2016

March 21st, 2013 by Jordi Gili

Short answer: Linkedin’s Sales Navigator will help increase relevant lead generation, sales professionals productivity and CRM log activity – and management satisfaction.

© Photographer: Suprijono Suharioto
Agency: Dreamstime

You know it’s true: Sales professionals Don’t Like CRMs. Sales people enjoy client face time, talking to prospects, the “freedom” of getting out of the office on working hours, the hype of closing a deal. They bore the administrative work, logging their activities into the CRM- email, phone calls, client visits … they think it’s a waste of their time, most of the time duplicating work: p.e. actual calling and then logging the call details. And managers may concur that their logging time is not the most productive use of their -expensive- time.

You also know it’s true: Managers LOVE CRMs. It’s the reporting “manna”. Every sales rep would log its activity, pipeline, maturity of opportunities, size of potential deals, number of visits, calls … And C-level officers have a single, consistent source of information on actual sales and visibility on forecast and future sales. Only if those sales reps where diligent enough…

Now let’s picture this: A sales pro logs into the corporate CRM. A set of new leads is already in his inbox – the Linkedin Ads campaign and Intelligent Lead Generation has worked well this past night and has identified those targets that have clicked on the Ads. Every lead comes populated with its Linkedin profile, title, organization, and it’s within the sales representative target group. The Lead was assigned based on connections and social proximity. From within the CRM, he gathers intelligence on the lead, sends an InMail with a soft introduction, at the same time checks responses from past interactions with other leads. Linkedin’s Inbox is accessible from within the CRM, and every activity is registered in the lead record. The sales cycle phase is followed within the CRM and all other interactions with the leads are logged on the system as well – IP phone calls are just a click away on the lead profile’s number; emails and web conferences are launched within the CRM, … At the same time, cost is under control: Linkedin licenses are managed centrally, and are property of the corporation -so not every sales representative expenses its own premium membership. The company is managing a large number of licenses and therefore driving overall cost down and avoiding paying for memberships to professionals that may no longer be with the company.

Sell! with Linkedin - The book

Result: Sales pros will be comfortable using the CRM since it truly enables their productivity and the system automatically logs their activities; and managers are even more satisfied with results since they have a more reliable and updated source of information while managing overall costs.

This is not far from becoming a reality.

Linkedin Sales Navigator already enables:
- Marketing campaigns (Linkedin Ads)
- Generation of lists of targets and leads (Saved Profiles, Automated Searches)
- Display of Linkedin Profiles within CRMs (Salesforce, Dynamics)
- Gathering of Intelligence: Teamlink lets you benefit from your colleagues network
- Management of multiple memberships

What’s the opportunity:
- Creation and launch of campaigns – Linkedin Ads- from within the Campaigns section of the CRM
- Enabling of access to WVYP (Who has viewed your profile) from the CRM
- Integration of Linkedin’s Inbox and InMails with the CRM
- Integration with Sales Cycle Management, Social Media add-ons, and other pieces of software for complex sales solutions management – or development a product of their own
- Corporate Licenses to manage access to Linkedin’s platform from corporate CRMs

Linkedin Sales Navigator can, and will be, the single most relevant piece of software to drive revenue growth that large corporations will acquire in the coming three years.

At Execus (http://salessolutions.execus.com) we anticipate that 90% of Fortune 1,000 will use Linkedin’s Sales Navigator by 2016.

Would you agree? Any comments?

One Response to “Why 90% of Fortune 1,000 will use Linkedin’s Sales Navigator by 2016”

  1. Victor Arias says:

    If it only were true…
    Look forward to seeing this Linkedin Sales Navigator, as you name it, work and produce results. No doubt the Linkedin professional network is the key to its success.

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