When I get the chance to sit down with Andrew Bartels, one of the finest business-technologists I know, we have spirited and in-depth conversations about LinkedIn and Salesforce.com; about the integration between sales and marketing and where most businesses are relative to the available technology (think apps, social platforms, LinkedIn, CRMs etc.).
Andrew spends most of his days contemplating, consulting or integrating Salesforce.com into business process, workflows and cultures. He understands Salesforce.com at a level few do and that’s why I always reach out to him to learn more about how LinkedIn and Salesforce.com can work together.
When asked about how these tools can be utilized in tandem, Andrew had this to say: “The days of using Salesforce.com as no more than a system of record are behind us. Today by integrating the contact data you already have in Salesforce.com with LinkedIn you can transform your instance of Salesforce into a ‘System of Engagement’ which will empower your users to develop forward looking, actionable next steps.” To gain more great insight into Andrew’s thoughts and ideas on Salesforce.com, please visit his blog.
When I launched LinkedIn’s new Sales Navigator and saw the initial set up prompting a Salesforce.com data import, I immediately saw the potential and thought of Andrew. The level of chaos and more importantly, opportunity, just elevated to a whole new level.
This is not a brand new integration but it has been updated and most people are not merging the two together, and that’s a big miss for several reasons.
Why aren’t sales leaders and sales professionals combining LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Salesforce.com; two data powerhouses?
- They don’t know it’s available.
- They don’t know how.
- They haven’t customized Salesforce.com.
- They are not LinkedIn power-users
- They don’t want to upgrade and pay for the upgraded membership.
- They don’t have ongoing training and updates.
- They don’t know Andrew or me.
Why sales leaders and sales professionals need to combine LinkedIn and Salesforce.com.
Sign up for Sales Navigator and LinkedIn will prompt you to import your Salesforce.com accounts. (We’ve provided some data sheets and an FAQ sheet below). Need a bit more context for LinkedIn Sales Navigator? Read my last post, LinkedIn Sales Navigator — Getting Started.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator takes out all of the clutter from your LinkedIn.com individual profile and will showcase your accounts, suggest new leads, receive all updates from your point of contact and the company. You will, if your company has activated TeamLink, see how you are connected to the potential lead or client (if you are not already connected). Understanding the introduction pathway is critical. Leverage your network. Consider the following:
Your Salesforce.com contacts and accounts will now have a face to them. We are visual creatures and matching a face with a name makes that person real. We work with, collaborate and sell to people. Let’s turn our Salesforce.com records into real people and find out more about them, who we might know in common, what their company is doing on LinkedIn and more. We want to gather key intelligence to separate us from our competitors.
Buyers trust their networks*:
76% prefer to work with vendors recommended by someone they know
73% prefer to work with salespeople recommended by someone they know
65% say their network is critical for checking references
- When you use Sales Navigator and Salesforce.com in tandem you increase your context, key intelligence and network. Consider the difficulty you experience when you only have one point of contact in an account and they leave, are transferred, promoted etc. Your sales cycle stalls and you begin at square one again. Sales Navigator will provide greater perspective and show other key contacts that may re-ignite the buying cycle.
- You need to drive revenue and differentiate yourself and your company.
You may not feel ready for all these tools but know the modern buyer is connected, informed and discerning. They expect you to be informed and they expect you know who the other key people in their organization are. LinkedIn and/or Salesforce.com are two of the most important tools you need to use daily. Yes, daily.
Need to know more, let us know.
The Slideshare below is a great overview. The Salesforce.com example begins on slide 20.