The B2B sales strategy focuses on building long-term relationships with the customers to attract customers who not just convert but also generate more business opportunities, rather than just generating one-off sales opportunities.
Exploring the lesser-known contacts strengthens all the four networks of B2B sales strategy including prospecting, nurturing, maintaining, and leading, and thus, helps the sales teams realize their business bottom-lines.
Pam Didner, renowned Sales Engagement Keynote Speaker, also the Founder and CEO of Relentless Pursuit explains that one needs to enable sales as a marketer:
"It turns out the scope of a salesperson's job can be very broad: from inside sales to outside sales, from leads research, needs analysis, responses to requests for proposals (RFPs), down to customer services and billings. Salespeople have to cover a lot of ground, but they can't do it all."
Professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn are an important part of B2B sales strategy for startups, whether they operate in a physical or virtual environment. A proper understanding of the professional networks empowers sales professionals to work smarter and effectively in strengthening their relationships with the customers.
Let's explore how lesser-known contacts strengthen B2B sales strategy by impacting the professional networks of four different sales roles and functions including the account executives who prospect leads, relationship managers who nurture customers, customer success managers who maintain relationships, and sales leaders who manage sales teams.
Exploring Lesser Familiar Contacts in the Account Executives (AE) Network
One of the most important principles in the science of networks is the concept of the lesser familiar facts.
Any of the network contacts either qualify as a strong or a weak tie. Strong ties are the ones marketers have a close affinity with, including family members, their schoolmates, or colleagues.
Within these groups, one is likely to have common contacts which means people who already know each other. On the other hand, the lesser familiar contacts are ones' direct connections that one doesn't frequently interact with. These include acquaintances or other distant social counterparts which may include people one comes across during meetings.
Unveiling new lead generation opportunities is an integral part of the job of account executives and sales professionals in the prospecting function. Successful account executives look beyond their direct contacts for finding new leads in obscure and unexpected places. Effective prospecting includes continually growing as a part of a wide and diverse contact base.
A strong tie network is often comprised of members who already know each other and are unable to provide new lead opportunities. Therefore, exploring your lesser familiar contacts enhances your prospecting opportunities in the realm of modern selling.
The Real-life network of Account Executives are Intertwined
Most of the real-life LinkedIn network of experienced account executives are interconnected with each other. Thus, there exists a strong tie of contacts that know each other too well to give fresh leads.
Therefore, in the real-world cultivating your lesser-known ties can help you unlock new sales opportunities. Approaching the people one has strong ties with maybe an ineffective technique when prospecting.
The lesser familiar contacts provide new potential windows of opportunities for modern selling by strengthening the B2B sales strategy.
Thus, marketers should explore their lesser familiar contacts to extend their reach to the new prospects who were previously beyond reach. Lesser-known contacts can produce unique opportunities for modern selling and amplify your modern selling approach by providing you with the unique customer databases that barely overlap.
The Lesser-Known Contacts Help in Preparing the Stronger Sales Network Required for a Strong B2B Sales Strategy
Often your lesser-known LinkedIn contacts are responsible for diversifying your network to establish you as a pro in the field of modern selling. Reflecting on your network can help you identify the lesser familiar connections that can be used to improve your modern selling approach.
The lesser-known contacts are the people the marketers may have met in conferences, alumni events, or trade shows and there may be untapped potential in these prospects.
Marketers should also join relevant groups on LinkedIn to stay abreast of the latest industrial developments in the field of modern selling and should accordingly define their B2B sales strategy.
The LinkedIn group activity has doubled in the past couple of years, and they are a great place to start when marketers are looking to diversify their network.
LinkedIn along with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator provides marketers with an ideal set-up to fuel their modern selling approaches by equipping them to find out the potential buyers and connect with them in a hassle-free manner.
By using carefully targeted InMails with LinkedIn Premium or LinkedIn Sales Navigator, marketers can drive higher engagement than traditional channels.
LinkedIn proclaims that InMail witnesses a 10-25% success rate when it comes to getting a response from the prospects and hence, can be used as an effective aid to modern selling techniques.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator also helps optimize your search leads by looking outside of your direct connections. Leveraging the Extended Network Access, the marketers can view the connections up to the third degree to optimize their lead generation opportunities to full potential.
LinkedIn has the Lead Recommendations tool that suggests the influencers and decision-makers from prospective companies to help marketers fuel their lead generation efforts.
Using the Teamlink feature of LinkedIn, marketers can be informed of the other connections in their network who can serve as a connection to the potential customers and thus can help the marketers enhance their modern selling approaches.
Furthermore, LinkedIn has other features such as Sales Navigator Alerts, Saved Leads, and the 'Leads that follow your company' to keep the marketers abreast of the activities of their prospects. By striking a timely and contextual conversation at the right time, marketers can optimize their modern selling techniques.
Exploring the lesser-known contacts also assists the nurturing part of the sales funnel. Relationship managers can utilize the power of their lesser-known contacts to strengthen their customer relationship management frameworks.
Let's Wrap Up
Customer-centricity lies at the core of the modern B2B sales strategies and by exploring the lesser-known contacts you step an inch closer to hyper-prospecting and customer-centricity.
Once you have ample amounts of high-quality leads, to begin with, you can serve them with tailored pieces of content to nurse them further down the sales funnel. Once you understand the pain-points of your prospects and accordingly provide them with adequate insights, you make your B2B sales strategies more personalized to realize your business bottom-lines.
Valasys Media is a well-renowned name in providing hyper-tailored B2B services including lead generation, lead nurturing, account-based marketing, list building services, contact discovery services, content syndication services, event promotion, appointment setting, business intelligence, and CRM services, to help you acquire and nurture your leads until they convert into paying customers and thus optimize your pipeline opportunities.