In the Spotlight: Geana Barbosa
From Sales Navigator advocate to acquisition lead at LinkedIn
December 6, 2019
Above: Geana Barbosa speaks on a customer advocate panel at a LinkedIn Sales Navigator event in September 2019 .
At Euromonitor International, Geana Barbosa was a customer advocate for LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Today, she's leading the aquisition team at LinkedIn Sales Navigator Asia. Geana shares her thoughts on how sales leaders in Asia can thrive and be enablers for their teams in the changing sales landscape.
Tell us one thing that’s not on your LinkedIn profile.
I play the drums and meditate regularly. I also travel a lot, which keeps me grounded in understanding how diverse the world is.
From Advocate to Acquisition lead— how have you shaped the way your teams sell at Euromonitor in the past, and now at LinkedIn Sales Solutions?
I aspire to be a leader that encourages team members to build their authentic professional brand; this differentiates us as sellers versus being a partner to our customers.
It can be as simple as building a meaningful LinkedIn profile or allowing them to take risks in trying new things. This encourages curiosity about the customer and with that, the opportunity to truly help a customer to win.
You mentioned in the above quote that sales leaders and teams now need to be smarter in identifying and being authentic when reaching more people within the buying circle — would you be able to elaborate more on this?
Purchasing decisions are no longer purely determined by one person, or by the chain of authority of a buyer. This means that sales professionals need to be even more curious, sophisticated and authentic in order to help their buyer partner succeed. If you, as a seller, understand the company’s unique needs, can navigate and build trust within the broader buying circle, that’s when you become an indispensable partner to your customer.
What are two top tips that sales leaders and teams in Asia can do to be on top of this change?
- Having a compelling vision and mission is the foundation that will tie your sales team’s individual aspirations to a common goal, and that goes way beyond just reaching sales quota. It creates a culture built on customer value.
- Enable right by providing your teams with the necessary tools to do their jobs effectively. In my opinion, access to an effective CRM system and LinkedIn Sales Navigator (better if they are synced!) should be part of any sales professional’s basic toolbox.
How can modern selling help to overcome the challenge with growing buyer circles?
Having done sales and having led sales team pre and post Sales Navigator, I can see the differences in approach. Here are my favorite enablement features, all great tools for sellers to become indispensable partners:
- Being on top of what matters to your customers: To encourage warm outreach, your team can save both accounts and people in their Sales Navigator accounts. The tool will curate key updates for that company or person based on their LinkedIn activity —what they published, what they liked or commented on etc.
- Be proactive, connect the dots: The expanded B2B buyer circle is a challenge for both sellers and buyers. Why not help the buyer succeed by engaging earlier with their extended buying circle and support consensus building? Previously at Euromonitor, we used this often on deal reviews. If only one person in the buying circle has been mapped at the time of review, we would utilise Sales Navigator to map potential stakeholders and engage early to build trust. We saw on average, a +25% in deal sizes.
- Being timely and relevant: Sales Navigator helps sales professionals to be at the right place, at the right time. By staying informed of organizational changes and new roles, sellers can become indispensable partners at critical moments.
According to a Forrester report, it’s highlighted that “traditional sales tactics no longer work because desensitized buyers never or take days to respond to emails and refuse to answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize.” As a sales leader who has been leading sales teams for over 10 years, why do you think this is happening?
People are hungry for authenticity and relevance. Mass automation only results in your audience being frustrated.
What are two top tips for sales leaders in Asia to rise up to this shift in traditional sales tactics?
I think it is about the quality of relationships rather than quantity.
- Highlight best practice examples: how your team took the time to understand their customer, acted as a true advisor and indispensable partner
- Raise your “sellers” profile: Create authentic content that shows your expertise and passion, or share content that is relevant to you and your customers.
What are your top 3 priorities/challenges for your Sales team moving into 2020?
We are on a mission to enable every sales professional in Asia to become an indispensable partner for their buyer. To accomplish that we need to:
- Meet our customers where they are: My team is working hard to uncover the key challenges of our clients in Asia - an exciting and diverse territory. Each client is at a different growth stage and that challenges us to have a keen awareness about what is happening in our customers’ industry and geography. We use Sales Navigator to understand our customers and partner with them to uncover personalised ways to solve their business challenges.
- Keep improving ourselves and be a role model: We are sales professionals offering solutions to sales professionals and we hope to inspire transformation by leading the way. How can we offer clients a modern selling program if we fail to follow that ourselves?
- Earn our right to win: Modern selling is still a new concept in Asia, we need to lead by example to earn our right to win.
Bonus question: Do you have a current favourite book/podcast that you’re reading/listening to?
It is not a new book, but I am reading it now, and loving it – To Sell is Human, by Daniel Pink. It talks about how everyone these days has a selling job, whether or not it’s in their job titles. At the end of the day, we all wear multiple hats at organizations and the ability to mobilize people from A to B is a must have skill for any professional to be successful.
There’s an increasing importance in authenticity, personalisation, and gaining access to the expanded B2B buyer circle that will shape the way your teams sell. Sales leaders can rise up to this changing sales landscape and be an enabler to their teams’ success by having a compelling vision focusing on customer centricity and leveraging on the right tools.
If you’d like to find out more about LinkedIn Sales Navigator, get in touch.
Watch Geana in this on-demand webinar, "Are Your Sales Teams Set Up for Success?" where she shares more tips on how business leaders can be enablers of success.