The Cold Call
One of the most difficult aspects of sales development in the business world today is the cold call. The truth is, our prospects get countless emails and calls everyday that scream “generic.” As I became more experienced in a sales development role, I started practicing new ways to minimize the “cold call atmosphere” and stand out to prospects. The most effective way to achieve this is through the Linkedin Sales Navigator tool.
It’s common to hear reps ask the same questions at the beginning of every call. Most of the time it involves something like, “would you be the best person to speak with about XYZ?” I’ve learned that prospects tend to find this provocative of a sales call, which turns him/her away before the rep can even describe what his/her company does. With the Sales Navigator tool & Linkedin, I have access to every prospect’s page within any company I’m targeting. I’ll walk you through how I leverage the functionality of Sales Navigator to boost prospecting effectiveness:
Step 1: Find the Right Keywords.
The first step to using Sales Navigator effectively is to find about 3-4 keywords that are associated with your offering. Plugging in variations of these keywords will help you identify the most appropriate people to speak to within any company. Once you take the time to find the right points of contact, you can then prepare a personalized message to use when you call them. For example, if you are prospecting for a company involved with mobile/web application testing, try using industry-relevant keywords such as Quality Assurance (QA) or User Experience (UX).
Step 2: Take the Time to Read Each Target Profile.
Take the time to read over a prospect’s Linkedin page to learn about what they have the most experience with and what specific job responsibilities make them a good fit for an exploratory conversation. This way, the first time that you speak to “John at West Corporation,” rather than asking if he has involvement in a certain matter, you can begin the conversation by declaring how you noticed the high level of experience that he has with a certain matter based off of his Linkedin profile.
Step 3: Capture Attention Quick.
The notion that someone would take the time to learn about a prospect before ever contacting them appeals greatly to high-level executives. Especially because these execs don’t have time to reiterate information about themselves that should already be researched or to qualify themselves for you. Maximizing the pertinent information you have on hand to perform pre-call research before every cold conversation will simultaneously minimize the cold call atmosphere. Most prospects will initially tend to avoid expressing any pain points they are experiencing, so if you effectively gain intel before the call, you will have an idea of what’s going on internally before connecting with the prospect. As a result, you minimize the amount of unnecessary questions they’ve probably been asked 1,000 times by other sales development professionals.
Step 4: Take Interest in Your Prospect’s Interests.
When you know for a fact that you’ve found the right prospect within a target account, don’t be afraid to review his/her documented interests and education listed in their profile. Prospect’s tend to find it impressive if you can create small talk based around his/her past experiences, interests, and qualifications.
Overall, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool is a great tool to leverage during your outbound prospecting efforts to supplement your pre-call research strategies. Are you using LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator? What other sales tools do you find effective? Comment below!