LinkedIn is a goldmine for getting to know prospects before a meeting. Instead of walking into a meeting cold, you can find out a client’s work history, how long they have been in their role, where their role sits within the company hierarchy, where they went to school, personal and professional interests – even whether you back the same sports team.
“Anything that helps you have a good conversation with a prospect or client helps win deals,” says Andy Pattinson, sales director for Cloud Sherpas, a Salesforce.com and Google Apps consultancy. “LinkedIn is the source of all truth because it’s updated by every member. If people aren’t on there you say, Why?”
While it’s simple enough to look up clients in LinkedIn.com, the information has a clear home in customer relationship management (CRM) databases. Several CRMs have “connectors” which display LinkedIn data within the programs.
Salesforce.com has created a native connector to display LinkedIn information within the client’s profile in Salesforce.com. The information also shows up in the account page.
Pattinson uses the EverContact app to collect contacts’ details from email addresses and a connector called Cirrus Insight to send selected directly contacts from Gmail to Salesforce.com as leads, prospects or clients. He then reviews their LinkedIn-enhanced profiles.
Zoho CRM is also integrated with LinkedIn. A user can search for LinkedIn profiles of contacts or leads for the most up-to-date background information and gain customer intelligence.
When you’re off to your next sales meeting, don’t forget to find out the full story behind a new client. It’s sitting on LinkedIn.