In my years of inside sales, I’ve learned that you’re only as good as the list of contacts you have.
A list of good, clean, targeted contact data is almost as good as the oxygen we breathe. Without it, we’re looking around for prospects aimlessly… where it can seem like we’re dialing into space – just hoping to get an answer on the other end.
Several months ago, one of our advisors hooked me up with a great list of contacts from his own database. I was eager to start my outreach and get Ziplyne in front of tons of software companies and their leadership teams.
All I had to do was find a good cadence and I’d be mowing through that list!
After a few days of calling company headquarters and sending email blasts.. I wasn’t getting the return I had hoped for. I quickly learned that I’m not in the B2C game anymore. Selling to the enterprise is an entirely different beast.
For the last 5 years I had been selling a SaaS platform called Krossover, where we provided the service of breaking down film and providing analytics to scholastic and professional sports teams. Our sales team could call any high school and college coach in the country and get them on a demo.
A majority of the coaches we talked to are also teachers. So we would call the main office of their school, dig up their class schedule and call them during their free period. It was like fishing with dynamite.
“You know what coach… are you around a computer right now? Because I can actually show you what Krossover looks like over a quick screen share.”
We knew they were in a classroom or office, of course there was a computer right next to them!!
Selling to enterprises; however, is quite different. You can’t just get to the desk of a C-level executive on demand. You need to grab their attention first. Which proved to be quite difficult for me in my initial outreach.
After seeing the challenge I was facing, I spoke to my cousin who works for a marketing agency. We got talking. He then brought up the idea of posting LinkedIn content for a way to drive awareness about the Ziplyne product. This is something that I would have never considered at Krossover because our list of contact information was all we really needed to reach out market.
Turns out… LinkedIn is a great medium for us at Ziplyne. Sure, it may not be as direct as phone or email – but selling indirectly can be very effective. Especially with those who can’t stand being cold called or emailed.
Leading up to my LinkedIn approach, I was sitting on a lot of good content already. I had video recordings of our in-app guides (or “zips” as we call them) on a bunch of different SaaS free trials to show a real-life example of how our self-service overlay can guide users through any web-based software. These videos were originally intended to go into my direct emails to demonstrate how much easier your platform is to use with in-app guidance. So, in already having these recordings on hand, I figured to start blasting them out to the LinkedIn community.
Through a LinkedIn post I can tag the company whose platform was featured in my post and get the eyes of their leadership as well as anyone else who is indirectly seeing my post. This allowed me to cut time on making so many videos for individual prospects and exponentially expand my viewership to get more of a return on my work.
I was beginning to spread awareness versus focusing on a specific lead.
Quickly I started to get some real inbound success. Whether it be through DM’s, likes on my post or even views on my profile; I would take any of these events as a willingness to start a conversation (I generate about 3 quality conversations per post). Through these conversations I’m able to learn about why the content speaks to them and transition the chat into where our product can help their internal teams and/or customers fully adopt the software they use.
The beautiful thing about spreading awareness is that it’s always working for you. It’s planting a seed in the mind of anyone who’s watching. So when people go back to their jobs and struggle with having to learn (or teach) how to use a certain software product… or see that their customers are churning on their own web application, they can make that connection to my post about in-app guidance to promote learning and adoption within software.
I’m not saying that LinkedIn is the end all be all for sales reps. But consider it in a blended model for your outreach. If you truly love what you sell or market, then you’ll find that great ideas for a post are all around you during the work day. Just keep an open mind and trust that people find value in your perspective.
You never know who’s watching and what they are experiencing at work. You just might be exactly what they are looking for and your post couldn’t have come at a better time.
To learn more about Ziplyne and how we’re helping companies navigate the challenges of user friction, you can reach Dan directly at firstname.lastname@example.org