Five Strategies Challenger Sales Reps Use to Leverage LinkedIn
Some of you may ask what a Challenger Sales Rep is; here’s a quick overview. The Challenger Sale is a groundbreaking book based on a 10-year study of enterprise sales organizations by CEB. The Challenger Customer followed it. Both publications have formed the way we approach sales in the digital era.
Many statistics that you have read about the sales process have come from CEB’s research, including:
- 57% of the buying decision has been formed before a supplier or salesperson even knows they are in the market
- An average 6.8 stakeholders involved in every enterprise sales deal
In addition, CEB and the Challenger series have inspired the significant shift in today’s sales approach including teach, tailor and take control of the customer conversation and the collaborative buyer’s journey.
I learned about The Challenger Sale in early 2012 when Aramark brought me in to design and implement a LinkedIn training program based on the lessons learned from CEB’s best-selling publication. After months of research and testing, I rolled out my program successfully to Aramark and subsequently to hundreds of other sales teams.
I mention this because the strategies I am about to share in the video below on how Challenger sales reps are leveraging LinkedIn is not a shot in the dark or even a theory; it has years of proven success. I encourage you to embrace the lessons, share with your sales teams and peers and leverage LinkedIn to grow your business.
- Converting your profile from a resume to a resource. When you are in business development and are leveraging LinkedIn, it is vital that your profile offer value to your audience. Make sure your headline is more of a value proposition, your summary isn’t about your years on business or your passion but about insights that can have an impact on their business and include case studies that offer credibility to you and your companies work.
- Identifying your 6.8 decision makers in under 3 minutes. It’s essential to know the search criteria that quickly pulls up all of the stakeholders to whom you need access. Create buyer personas based on LinkedIn filters and use them with every prospective account.
- Gaining access to those 6.8 through your Coach, Champion or Network. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; build relationships across the company. Whether it is introductions from your primary connection or direct connects, make sure you nurture everyone who will be involved in the sale.
- Getting more client referrals to qualified buyers. The sales process isn’t over when they sign the contract. One step that often gets overlooked is asking for referrals, but identifying who your clients know on LinkedIn and proactively asking for introductions is key to consistently building your pipeline with new opportunities.
- Producing content that attracts, teaches and engages your buyers and get them to want to take your call. In today’s digital world, if you are not the one providing commercial insights, getting your buyers thinking differently and positioning yourself as the subject matter expert – someone else will.