Uncovering Sales Insights the Da Vinci Code Way

Three lessons modern sales professionals can apply from the Da Vinci Code to improve their prospecting results.

May 3, 2017

  • Cryptex with Secret Message Inside

In sales, it’s only a matter of time until you become embroiled in a buyer’s journey with global ramifications, one that’s also rooted in some of the world’s best-known cultural touchstones. Okay, so that only happens to like 40% of us, but that doesn’t mean we all can’t learn a thing or two from “The Da Vinci Code.”

Don’t worry if you didn’t see the movie or read the book because we’ve translated the movie’s lessons to help you better target, understand, and engage your prospects.

Follow the Trail of Clues

The story’s protagonist is the professor of symbology at Harvard, Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks). As Langdon works to figure out who killed a curator at the Louvre in Paris and why, he follows a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci.

In much the same way, you need to watch for, track down, and piece together indicators and signals about your prospects and accounts. On LinkedIn, look for these in the form of updates, published and shared posts and content, and discussions that reveal top-of-mind issues and priorities for the people and companies you’re targeting. The clues are there for anyone willing to seek them out and connect the dots. Examples include:

  • Account-related news and executive presentations on strategic corporate plans
  • Someone expressing dissatisfaction with a competitor’s solution
  • Comments on articles and posts covering a topic closely related to your solution

Map Out All the Players

As Langdon tries to solve the murder, he runs up against a host of seemingly separate individuals – including a Catholic monk, a bank president, and historian – who end up being connected in a web of intrigue. On his way to unraveling the mystery, he must piece together the roles of these various people. Though your pursuit of new deals and accounts might not be quite as exciting, you will need to map out multiple people at your accounts.

On LinkedIn, you can see how people are connected and tap into a vast ecosystem of players, all of whom can be traced directly back to your core professional circle. Using Advanced Search on LinkedIn, you can identify the key players at any account. You might even discover that some of your colleagues are already connected to these people. Taking a multi-threaded approach and building out a web of connections within target accounts puts you in a stronger position than if you only connect with a single contact at the company.

Call Upon All the Resources at Your Disposal

Langdon may be a world-renowned professor of symbology, but he’s out of his element in the criminal world he must navigate to solve the mystery. Fortunately, he has help from numerous allies, including a cryptologist, police detective, and religious librarian, among others. And he’s not too proud to think he has to go it alone.

In much the same way, you’re all the better for taking advantage of your network of connections, whether to find out more about a target prospect or account, or to request a warm introduction. The assistance might come from a colleague, a common connection, or even a promoter at your target account.

You leverage all these resources for warm introductions into the account. As a bonus, whenever you make a connection through the search engine, the LinkedIn algorithm will suggest five new people you should meet for lead recommendations.

Remember, even if contacts at your target account aren’t on the buying committee, they might be able to provide insight into the account’s strategic objectives and key players. And don’t be afraid to find an executive sponsor – a higher up at your company who can greatly boost your odds of engaging a target account by aligning with an executive at that account.

You probably won’t get a clue as clear-cut as “find Robert Langdon,” but with a little digging, you can find someone who can greatly boost your odds of engaging prospects and winning the sale.

For more clues into how to win over today’s B2B buyers, download our eBook,
Influencing B2B Buyers: New Insights into B2B Purchase Drivers.