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The State of Sales 2017 (Report Findings)

LinkedIn recently release a report on The State of Sales 2017 and only affirms what I have been advocating for quite some time already: That, far from being resistant to new methods, more organizations have actually embraced sales technology, allowing it to become deeply embedded in their day-to-day operations. In this technology-driven world, this finding is hardly surprising. Interestingly, I find myself repeating this at every speaking engagement, and I’ll probably never get tired of saying it: It’s time that we realized just how ingrained digital selling has become in our society. But what do the numbers from the latest LinkedIn report actually say about the state of digital sales in 2017? And what should your next course of action be if you want to take advantage of this shift in selling and technology? In this article, I’ll examine the data that The State of Sales 2017 report presents, share my own insights and experiences about each point, and hopefully be of help to you in absorbing what all of this really means for your business. Digital sales and the tech-driven shift The LinkedIn report starts with a pretty bold (but unsurprising) claim. Based on their findings, over 91% of […]

Networking on LinkedIn: All Work and No Play?

We all know that the LinkedIn was designed for business, but is personal networking on LinkedIn a possibility as well? Have you ever tried maintaining personal relationships — connecting with friends and relatives — on LinkedIn? There is no denying that LinkedIn is an excellent tool when it comes to building business networks and implementing social selling strategies. However, it’s also interesting to look at how well it works as a tool for establishing and nurturing personal relationships. Networking on LinkedIn: Business, Personal or Both? A recently conducted survey among almost 16,000 LinkedIn users across different countries revealed interesting — but not entirely surprising details about its international user base. According to the study, 70% of the respondents said that they applied for a position at businesses they were connected with through LinkedIn; almost half of them said that they don’t have the luxury of time to maintain LinkedIn relationships over a regular basis. Furthermore, 38% of these respondents expressed that they actually have difficulty establishing connections with people. In fact, the very idea itself may sound ridiculous to the social media-savvy business professional: Maintaining a LinkedIn account for keeping in touch with friends? It seems like an ill fit. […]

8 Proven Ways to Prospect Effectively (Infographic)

There’s a saying in business, nothing happens until someone sells something. Sales are critical for any business to be profitable and stay in business. Without new leads and prospects, there can be no new sales. This makes lead generation (or prospecting) absolutely vital for any businesses, regardless of size or industry. This can be daunting for many businesses, as some are unsure about the best ways to go about finding new leads, much less being able to prospect more effectively. Whether you are looking for new ways to prospect or simply make your existing lead generation system more effective, here are eight sales prospecting tips (in a handy infographic) that will help you achieve the results you want. 8 Tips to Prospect More Effectively (Source: Business Coaches Sydney) 1. Follow a Consistent Schedule Be consistent. Figure out how much time you can set aside each day to work on your prospecting. Even if it is only 15 minutes a day. By committing to a set amount of time each day, you will create a habit that will continue to bring in new leads and sales and become more efficient and effective with that time resulting in more consistent sales. For […]

10 Incredibly Useful LinkedIn Tools for Social Selling

Have you wondered if there is some third-party LinkedIn tools that will help you and save you time? Want to learn more about the most effective tools to use in conjunction with LinkedIn? LinkedIn has many features and functionalities that are constantly changing and adapting to the evolving needs of its user base. However, there are a number of tools that were made specifically to enhance LinkedIn’s built-in functions. Whether your goal is to attract new prospects, create new connections in your industry, or increase the effectiveness and ROI of your social selling strategies, you’ll find that using specialized tools will enhance your results and your overall experience in using the LinkedIn platform. Below is a list of 10 of the most useful tools to enhance your LinkedIn marketing and lead generation efforts. Check out what these tools can do, and why you should be using them right now. (Note: none of these are affiliate links and I do not earn any commissions for recommending these.) 10 Incredible LinkedIn Tools for Social Selling 1. Crystal Exactly what can you do with Crystal? Instead of the typical functions that you would normally expect from a LinkedIn supplementary tool, Crystal actually works […]

Social Selling: How Small Businesses Are Growing Sales

Although this post is sponsored by Microsoft Office, all opinions are my own. Lead generation can be challenging, especially for many small businesses. Unlike large companies with entire teams devoted to generating new leads and sales, such tasks in a small business usually fall on the already time constrained owner or marketing/sales personnel in the company. In many cases, a small business owner must wear all the hats (marketing, production, administration, lead generation, sales etc.) to make their business run. This does not leave a lot of time for lead generation. Yet without new leads and prospects, there can be no new sales. So how can your small business generate new leads efficiently and effectively with the time you have? Using a technique called social selling. What is Social Selling? Social selling refers to using social media platforms and other digital tools, and processes to find and connect with potential prospects to increase sales. Basically, social selling comes down to building relationships with potential prospects. But why should you put your time and effort into using social media to find and connect with prospects? Today, 74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline […]

How to Create an All-Star LinkedIn Profile [INFOGRAPHIC]

Having a LinkedIn profile is no longer enough, especially if no one is seeing it. Or worse, people are seeing your profile but it does a poor job of representing you and what you do. Your LinkedIn profile is an essential part of your personal brand and having a great one is a MUST if you plan to do any form of LinkedIn marketing. According to LinkedIn, your profile may already show up with All-Star status. Sadly, that means nothing at all. It could simple mean you’ve added the various sections into your profile, perhaps with little to nothing in those sections, yet it still shows all-star status giving you a false sense of your professional presence. To me an all-star profile means that you… Are easily found when someone searches for what you do and Your profile intrigues people, makes them want to connect and learn more about you In this article, I am going to show you exactly how to have true all-star status with a comprehensive step-by-step LinkedIn profile infographic so you can visually make sense of what it takes to truly have an all-star profile. In following the steps laid out in this article and infographic, […]

LinkedIn Membership Levels: Free vs Premium vs Sales Navigator

Over the last couple of weeks, I have received numerous emails and messages asking me questions about the differences between the LinkedIn membership levels, Premium Business Plus and Sales Navigator Professional. In fact, many people currently using Business Premium Plus want to know what benefits are left to having this account level or if they must upgrade to LinkedIn Sales Navigator to be able to accomplish their lead generation and social selling goals. I have put together a breakdown of the different features and tools included in each LinkedIn membership level, the cost and how they can be of benefit to you. Free LinkedIn Membership Let’s start with free LinkedIn accounts, as I have had plenty of questions come in from community members regarding the LinkedIn free membership. With so many important features gone, many are left wondering if LinkedIn is still useful with a free account or if they now need to pay for it to remain worthwhile to invest their time and resources in. With the removal of the Notes & Tags feature and the downgrade of the LinkedIn Advanced Search tool, lead generation has become more work with the free account. Not only must you use outside tools […]

LinkedIn Advanced Search Now Only Available with Sales Navigator [Tutorial]

Have you used LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people and/or companies for lead generation? With LinkedIn’s recent changes they have removed most of the advanced search functionality. This move is essentially forcing those that are using LinkedIn for lead generation to upgrade to Sales Navigator. In this article I am going to provide an in-depth look at how to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s Advanced Search as part of your lead generation and social selling process. Many within my community have expressed frustration at having to modify their lead gen process with the recent changes to LinkedIn. I am happy to report that only slightly modifications will be necessary to your existing process if you use Sales Navigator. Because it is a LinkedIn product, it already looks and functions similar to what you are used to. There are also additional benefits to using Sales Navigator as this product is built for the purpose of lead generation. You should be able to create an even more efficient and effective process using it, as you become more familiar and fine tune your process. The biggest downside is the cost. But, depending on what a sale is worth for you, it will be worth […]

LinkedIn Changes Tags & Notes: Here’s Your Alternative

LinkedIn has made some big changes and anyone I have taught how to use it for lead generation will need to make some changes on how to stay organized in their lead gen efforts. You may have already noticed the big warning at the top of the Relationship Tab section, LinkedIn will soon be removing your ability to save tags and notes for each of your connections. Quite frankly this is terrible news. If you are actively using LinkedIn for lead generation, this will severely impair your ability to do so, especially efficiently. I have been researching potential solutions, and while none will be as efficient, effective and affordable as LinkedIn’s own Relationship Tab was, the two options I am going to share will help you to continue your lead generation efforts going forward in the future. In today’s post, I am going to share an affordable and user friendly option, the Chrome plug-in called Dux-Soup. This will work best for those who have a limited budget or those who are just starting out. In my next article I will dive into LinkedIn’s own Sales Navigator. While more costly, this option is ideal for anyone who is doing a serious […]

3-Step LinkedIn Social Selling & Lead Generation Process

Does social selling seem too difficult or time consuming to include as part of your daily routine? Do you need an effective daily lead generation plan that produces results and is designed for your busy schedule? Social selling is just another way of saying lead generation. It is an essential part of every business strategy to find your ideal clients and build a relationship with them, so that when they need what you offer, they will come to you. But why is LinkedIn social selling so important? Because today, a sale is a journey, not an action. Today companies choose who to work with based on who has become part of their buying journey. Your ideal clients are doing independent research and looking for information to help them make an educated choice about how they will spend their money and ultimately they will choose the company/person who has assisted in their buying journey. The good news is that you can find these ideal clients, build a relationship with them and establish yourself as a trusted expert on LinkedIn. Here is a daily LinkedIn social selling plan broken down into three manageable steps to help you effectively and efficiently manage your […]

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