The power of the combination of LinkedIn and Artesian
As a salesperson you know the importance of finding and using relevant triggers when engaging your clients or prospects. The two main Social Selling tools which can help you to harness this information are LinkedIn and Artesian.
If I had to summarise the difference between these two platforms in one sentence, I would say ‘LinkedIn helps you find the best people to talk to; Artesian provides you with a variety of ways to engage with those people, keeps the relationship going and also identifies new opportunities in your targets even if you don’t have any contacts’.
Our experience tells us that the following formula holds true:
Unsurprisingly given the data LinkedIn have collected from all of us, they specialise in People; eg who is best to talk to, who is connected to me etc. LinkedIn do a world class job of harnessing the value within this data. It’s not just one-way though, there are several things you can do with your own LinkedIn profile to make yourself more attractive to buyers from customising your headline and summary to connecting your contact information, using a professional photo and publishing relevant content. We run a module on this in our bespoke Social Selling workshops for customers.
LinkedIn is free, but they also provide Premium services such as Sales Navigator which gives you enhanced search, management and alerting capabilities. If you find these a little pricey you may be surprised by the hidden depths of the standard version of LinkedIn – from smart searching to introductions there are a number of features people don’t know exist or how to use.
complements LinkedIn’s data – whether you identified your leads using Artesian or LinkedIn, it can provide you with ready-made research, door openers and engagement topics – called triggers. It also includes (amongst other things) detailed corporate data about each of the companies you are following, a company list builder for prospecting, market news and a team-sharing workflow which is designed around the way sales teams work.
You can also use Artesian to integrate with your mobile calendar so you can see the latest insights about companies you are about to meet.
Social selling doesn’t stop after the first engagement. The best social sellers have continual access to what is going on their customers companies or markets, so they can have something new to talk about every time they contact the customer. I find the most useful gems for an ongoing relationship are out there on the unstructured internet; in news, blogs, social media and trade publications. Social Sellers who use Artesian can select the types of news they are interested in, whether it is about expansion, management changes, regulation and law, awards, acquisition, downsizing or any of the hundreds more on offer, so they are receiving insights relevant to them throughout the sales cycle.
If you pay LinkedIn for their Sales Navigator tool you get access to a small selection of user-related triggers. Although these triggers can be rather infrequent, they are a good complement to the insight offered by Artesian. Here are some examples and what we’ve found when using them:
- A contact changes role or is mentioned in the news: Very useful when it happens, although infrequent.
- A contact shares some content on LinkedIn: Again, a useful insight into your prospects mind-set when it happens, but relatively few people share content, and you won’t learn anything they don’t want you to hear about.
- Work anniversaries: Is it just me who finds it a bit stalker-like when I receive a work anniversary congratulation from someone I hardly know?
- Company posts on LinkedIn: Useful, although this is only the companies curated view of the world.
- News stories about a company: Occasionally updates from a limited pool of sources.
Social Selling throughout the customer lifecycle?
We are all familiar with the Sales Funnel, but if you think about the entire duration of your relationship with a customer, it is more like an Hourglass (see diagram below):
LinkedIn is particularly useful at the top of the funnel, but because its data doesn’t move on very often, its impact tends to diminish over time. Artesian fills this gap. Here’s how you can use both services throughout the customer lifecycle:
- Top of the funnel:
- Artesian: Build lists of prospect companies with the right corporate profile
- Artesian: Listen for ‘sales triggers’ – leading indicators of a need for your product or service
- LinkedIn: Use advanced search (free) or Lead Builder (Sales Navigator) to identify the best people to talk to
- During the sales cycle:
- Artesian: Updates when you want them, with your choice of filters
- Artesian: Engagement templates to make insights easy to share, whether via email, LinkedIn, Twitter or CRM
- Artesian: Before you contact a company, check out their Company dashboard to see News, Social Media, Company Data, People, Markets, Bookmarks, Your Influence, etc.
- Artesian: Access insights relating to your upcoming meetings on your mobile device
- LinkedIn: Watch out for people posting content or changing roles
- LinkedIn: Check out company shares for the corporate view
- Post-sale (Servicing/Account management):
- Artesian: As above; but focus on the most relevant information (e.g. only ask for risk or relationship triggers, to keep the relationship warm and flag any potential concerns)
- Artesian: Be alerted to upselling opportunities e.g. Expansion, Mergers, etc.
- LinkedIn: Watch out for new joiners or people moving on
Measuring Social Selling Success
Finally, in terms of measurement, LinkedIn have a useful Social Selling Index to indicate the strength of your social selling behaviour in their environment. This includes how your LinkedIn profile is set up, who you are connecting with, what you are sharing and how much you are using your LinkedIn network.
Artesian’s Social Seller Score was launched a year earlier, and is based around the behaviours which represent social selling best practices when using Artesian: Targeting prospects more accurately, Connecting and understanding their agenda and Sharing/Tracking content in their language.
Both scores measure your Social Selling efficacy for different parts of social selling.
Managing Teams of Social Sellers
Using Artesian’s platform for Sales Leaders, you can also roll the Social Seller Score up into teams, and this can be used in conjunction with an integrated learning management platform to coach and develop sales teams in the most positive and productive practices.
Used individually both Artesian and LinkedIn Premium (Sales Navigator) are powerful.
Used together they are unbeatable.
If you only had to choose one, our customers are telling us that Artesian with LinkedIn’s free edition is the best of both worlds.