Middleman or Top Brass: Where Are Your Relationships?
June 20, 2019
I tried to convince my friend, John, to come visit me in San Francisco last weekend. His response, “Let me see what Emily thinks about that.” Emily is John’s girlfriend.
I had two options:
- Give John talking points and hope he convinces Emily on my behalf.
- Get Emily on the phone and convince her myself.
Obviously, I called Emily, whom I know well. Based on my promises of Golden Gate views, Redwood strolls and avoiding Fisherman’s Wharf at all costs, she accepted. Moral of the story: The best way to get what you want is to speak directly with the person who makes the decisions (sorry John, but you know Emily calls the shots!).
Here’s the problem, in B2B sales, access to decision makers is limited and most reps spend their time at the wrong end of the totem pole1. Less than 1 in 4 new relationships made by salespeople are with directors or above2.
However, you can increase the quality of your network by 48% if you focus on the right actions.
According to LinkedIn’s 2018 State of Sales Report, decision makers are more likely to consider a brand’s products or services when the experience is personalized:
- 93% more likely if a sales professional shares content relevant to their role.
- 93% more likely if a sales professional provides personalized communications.
If salespeople want to be considered during a sales process, they need to:
- Know who the right decision makers are
- Design personalized communications. (No copy & pasting between prospects!)
- Engage prospects with meaningful and relevant content.
As Richard Branson famously said, “Succeeding in business is all about making connections." We agree, with a caveat. We believe success in business is all about making the right connections. An analysis across 600 Sales Navigator + CRM-synced contracts reveals that when a rep connects with a decision maker during the sales cycle, their win-rate climbs 24%3.
- Sales Navigator users build more relationships with decision makers
- Relationships with decision makers increase win rates
Whether you are trying to land your next big deal, or just trying to convince your friend to visit you, make sure you are speaking with the people who call the shots.
1 Decision Makers are any director or above.
2 From October 2018 to March 2019.
3 Based on a March 2018 analysis of 600+ CRM-synced companies.