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Are You Sure What You Need is Another Sales Event?

When I talk to Marketers and I ask them how are their ABM (Account Based Marketing) Programs as well as programs to work closer to sales, the answer always is; “When I ask sales how we can help them, they just ask for an event.”

Events are lazy selling… Okay I’ve said it.

If you are reading this you are a sales person or a sales leader and you have a quarter number to make, don’t you want leads and meetings now to make your number quicker? Events just push this out to the future.

I used to work at a “top table” software house and all the salespeople around me would say “we need an event”. My response to that was “why don’t you just ring the people up and go and see them”. I realise if you work for a smaller company, or are not “known” that isn’t so easy, but stick with me, all will be revealed.

I used to think it funny that while we were measured on a quarterly basis and “good” looked like bringing in and closing as much business forward as you could. That in the world of demand generation “good” was pushing the fateful day when you actually speak to the client as far into the future as you could.

Anyway back to the modern day and regardless if you are a “brand” or a a small start-up in Madrid there is a way you can take a set of focus accounts, profile them quickly and get meetings with the decision makers.

There is a term that is starting to be used called Account Based Intelligence (ABI), don’t worry about it, I think it’s purely the need for people to connect a three letter acronym (TLA) to everything.

The idea is simple. Using all the tools we have access today, how can I get the one person in an account that I would need to talk to? After all, I don’t need 20 leads to make my number I just need one!

The Tools

So let’s look at the tools that can help you with this:-

Microsoft – LinkedIn Sales Navigator – Now owned by Microsoft, Sales Navigator (SN) seems to have been with us for years, it is a quick and “easy” way to investigate people within in an account. What I like about it, is the ability to find decision makers (which is great of course) but those influencers / change makers in an account. That is a person with influence but not authority.

The downside to Sales Navigator is that it’s a bit like a Formula One (F1) car, we can all drive, but driving a F1 car all requires us to re-learn and I can assure you, you cannot learn to drive am F1 car via a webinar. But that is a blog for another day.

As SN integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 if you are a Microsoft CRM user, you can just drop the results into the CRM, which is useful.

If you live in a Salesforce world then node.io is a great option. With Node you plug in your accounts and using artificial intelligence (AI) it will profile the accounts for you, it will also, based on it’s benchmark data also suggest other accounts you might want to look at.

Time to Invest in Ourselves

So once you’ve got your accounts and the details of the people to contact, off you go.

The problem is, as we all know as salespeople that hard work starts here. We can do a couple of things:-

  • Call them up – This does require us to deal with gatekeepers and to be honest in 2018 the likelihood of getting through is pretty slim.
  • Contact them over social – Again, if like most people your LinkedIn profile looks like a CV the likelihood of success is pretty slim.
  • While I know that nobody likes a show off, but I can contact people at a C-Level and they want to meet me. What makes me different from you? I have a personal brand.

    Related: 5 Attitudes That Say Your Organisation’s Not Ready for All-Out Social Media

    Personal Brand

    You have probably heard this before, but personal brands, pay. Now, I’m not saying take a Hubspot article off the internet and follow the steps, you will look like a salesperson who has taken a Hubspot article off the internet.

    I remember being on holiday in Vietnam and we came across a shop that would make you a suit for work for £60, when a Boss suit in the UK will cost anything between £300 to £500 you can make a major saving. One of the people on the tour, got one made, what could go wrong. The suit looked like a cheap suit he had made on holiday in Vietnam. In fact he didn’t save money, he wasted £60.

    You need to treat your social media as a your pro-active tool to get leads and meetings.

    So the tools exist for you to get into accounts, the data is there for you to get the insight you need for that meeting and your social media channels can be tuned to get C-Level meetings, so what are you waiting for?