As you can see, this blog was originally written in 2013. You might be thinking, "that's too old!" But rest assured, we updated it in late 2017 for accuracy and comprehensiveness for today's inbound marketing landscape.
Tip #1. Warm Up Those Cold Calls
Even in today's digital landscape, B2B marketer or otherwise, cold calling is usually a part of the game - even if that comes after your inbound marketing efforts produce the lead. (Gotta call them eventually, right?) But unfortunately, many salespeople today also find the phone to be cringe-inducing. ("Can't I just send them an email, or text them?" they say.) But the good news is, there's a ton of resources available online that can help warm up those conversations. First and foremost, are you using the HubSpot CRMpartnered with the marketing platform? If so, you will gain insight into exactly what content the prospect has been reading on your website and clicking on in your emails. Not able to use the HubSpot CRM? Heading straight over to LinkedIn can help, too. LinkedIn is a veritable treasure trove of information about key contacts. Before you get on the phone or shoot an email off into space, take a minute to look up your contact on LinkedIn. Check out their personal profile and their company page. If you know what they have been up to, you’ll have a much better starting point and likely find a lot more success than going in blind.
Tip #2. Stay Up-to-Date with Social Media News
Social media today is instantaneous. Breaking news often finds its way to Facebook or Twitter feeds long before it’s reported by mainstream sources. You can use this to your sales advantage by following people and organizations that post news about your industry and your potential customers. When you know what’s going on with a certain company, you can use that information in sales calls outside of the social network. So, before you hop on the phone with a client, check out what is happening on social media sites they engage with. One way to do this is to use Twitter Search by going to https://twitter.com/search-home. When you click on the advanced link, you can search by keywords, people, or location. The information you find will help you start your conversation with a prospect on common ground.
Tip #3. Get in Touch With the Right Contacts
Successful sales is about building relationships, right? Right. But it’s hard to build a relationship when you don’t even know the right person to talk to. Here's where you can also utilize LinkedIn to get connected to the right people. Let's say you want someone who works in the Finance Department of a company, but the only contact you have is over in Marketing. There's a couple of ways to get to the right person. First, when looking at the contact that you have in that company, you can examine the column on their profile that says “People Who Viewed This Profile Also Viewed…” Typically you will notice other people that work at the same company, perhaps someone in Finance. The other option is to click the "Advanced" button next to “Search”, then click on “People”, this will allow you to search by company name and job title.
If relationship building isn't working organically, don't diminish the power of paid social advertising, either. You can run targeted down to location, job title, and heck - even if they like Game of Thrones or not, to get eyes on your product or service.
Tip #4. Use Twitter to Build Relationships
Making sales in any environment means building relationships with your potential customers. Twitter is the perfect environment for doing this since you can communicate directly to your prospects at any time. When sending @ replies or DMs, be sure to remember the general rules of Twitter and indeed of human interaction: don’t make everything about you or your sales pitch. Build a relationship by having regular conversations, asking questions, and getting to know someone. The trust that is fostered by this type of social media or Twitter interaction can be the foundation of a good sales pitch when the timing is right.
Tip #5. Use Your LinkedIn Connections to Foster Trust
Hopefully, you already have a robust LinkedIn network of colleagues, co-workers, supervisors and mentors that make up your first-degree connections. But as LinkedIn will be happy to tell you, these people connect you to their connections and so on down the line. Just a few degrees away, you have millions of contacts. Use these secondary and teritorial connections to foster an immediate sense of trust with your B2B contacts. Whether that means using LinkedIn’s “Get Introduced” feature to meet a friend of a friend or simply dropping someone’s name in an email to a potential client, this gives you an immediate, personal connection that is otherwise hard to come by. The idea of building trust goes back to the importance of relationships in sales. If your prospect trusts you, they’re much more likely to listen to you and ultimately purchase from you.