Finding the Right People When You're Overwhelmed with Options

Target the right decision makers when you’re overwhelmed with leads by harnessing the power of social selling.

September 1, 2016

They say there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing. However, any experienced salesperson knows that you can sometimes find yourself with too many prospects sitting in front of you. The problem is that not all of them are good—in fact, some of your leads may be totally unqualified and unlikely to buy. It’s critical to recognize those early.

Social selling strategies can help you to choose the right path by targeting the decision makers and accounts that are most likely to lead to wins. Keep in mind, however, that it’s also a mistake to focus in too tightly on any single decision maker, as most purchasing decisions involve several people, and the exact people involved can change without warning.

Overwhelmed with Options

In the modern sales world, it’s a little too easy to become overwhelmed. Often, leads are flying in from all directions—but savvy sales reps know that not all leads are as promising as they sound. And though it may seem that the perfect contact is only a quick click away, without the proper context, it’s difficult to know if you’re really targeting the right person.

“The modern sales rep is drinking from a fire hose, and it’s hard to stay focused when you are drowning,” writes Dominic Archibald for LinkedIn’s Sales Blog, using watery metaphors to describe this common struggle. “Thanks to the proliferation of Sales and Marketing technology, today’s sales rep is swimming in a sea of red herring.” The trick is to find strategies that allow you to swim right past the red herring and toward the prize fish.

Prioritizing the Right People with Social Selling

Fortunately, when it comes to pinpointing the right leads and prospects, LinkedIn and social selling can help tremendously. The ability to zero in on specific people, organized by accounts and connections, is especially useful when it comes to targeting the right decision makers.

LinkedIn also makes it easier to determine the title and rank of each person within an account. Last, but certainly not least, social selling best practices mean that your information is always up-to-date. With better information, you’re less likely to be thrown off by recent or unexpected changes in an account you’re targeting—such as a change in a specific decision maker’s title.

Moving Beyond One-Relationship Sales

Although it’s crucial to build relationships with the right people in the modern sales climate, it’s equally important to recognize the perils of establishing only one relationship at a time, in each account. Sales experts often refer to this as the “one-relationship habit,” and it can be a dealbreaker for sales reps who tend to zoom in just a little bit too far.

The best solution is multi-threading, or working with multiple decision makers within each target company to reach a consensus sale. According to CEB, typical B2B buying decisions involve, on average, 5.4 decision makers. Keep that statistic in mind as you navigate the often-treacherous waters of modern selling.

For more useful tips on sales and multi-threading, download our eBook on Multiple Lines of Business.