5 Ways to Identify Key Decision Makers with Social Selling

Call upon top social selling practices to surface the contacts that matter most.

November 16, 2017

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While we’ve long contended that social media is an excellent way to identify decision makers, new third-party data backs up this impact. According to a summary of the 2013-2016 Sales Best Practices Study published by Tamara Schenk of CSO Insights, social media is proving highly effective for identifying new business opportunities and identifying decision makers. No wonder CSO Insights found that world-class sales organizations put twice as much focus on using social media in this way.

Here are five ways your organization can join their ranks by tapping into social selling to find the right people.

Get Specific with Searches

To zero in on the people who fit your ideal customer profile, use Sales Navigator to search LinkedIn by title, position, and even seniority. For example, plug in terms like Account Manager, VP, and Purchasing Manager. Once you enter relevant criteria, you can quickly create a list of matching leads and save them in Sales Navigator so you can gather insights over time as you monitor these decision makers’ social feeds. Connecting with a higher percentage of the buying committee while understanding their top priorities greatly ups the odds of closing a deal.

Follow the Clues in Profiles

The profiles of LinkedIn members can reveal quite a bit if you know how to read between the lines.

View decision makers by company of interest to determine see which ones are most active on LinkedIn. Those that post content and comment on or like others’ posts clearly understand the value of social networks like LinkedIn. That means they are more likely to welcome interactions and invitations to connect via social media.

At the same time, their profiles can prove very insightful. Look for updates, content, and discussions that reveal what is keeping these decision makers up at night. For example, perhaps one posts a presentation from a recent conference that outlines the company’s strategic plans for the coming year. Or maybe someone mentions frustration with a key business process that your solution can help address.

Every sales rep knows that personal interests often pave the way for professional interactions. With personalization in mind, look for details that can help establish a connection and facilitate a conversation. This might come in the form of a shared alma mater, a mutual hobby, or other common passion that you can highlight in your initial outreach.

Use LinkedIn Groups

Many decision makers seek the input and experiences of their peers in LinkedIn Groups as they conduct pre-purchase research. Visit the LinkedIn profiles of target decision makers to see what groups they belong to, and narrow those down to ones that are relevant to the value you offer. You can also focus on groups that are debating the issues that are top of mind for your prospective buyers. In both cases, group discussions can help you suss out the role these decision makers are playing in the purchase process.

Scour Company Websites

A target company’s website can be a treasure trove of important clues. Check out the company directory or leadership page to get a sense of key roles. Then review the most recent blog posts and press releases for an idea of the company’s strategic focus. The careers page can also provide hints into priorities and initiatives by shedding light on upcoming projects. Imagine connecting a key decision maker with a specific blog post in which that person outlines an important issue and then seeing that this same person is hiring to support a top initiative. These are the types of insights that give you a much better chance of reaching out with relevance and besting the competition.

Work Your Network

Tap into all the effort you’ve put into developing your existing network. You might already be connected with someone who worked with the decision maker you’re targeting. To figure this out, use the TeamLink feature in Sales Navigator to map out a web of mutual connections between yourself and the decision maker. You can also search your internal Customer Relationship Management for records of past contact. Once you identify a mutual connection, request a warm introduction to the decision maker you hope to engage.

Identifying the right people is the first step to elevating your prospecting efforts. Once you know who you need to reach, it’s about using the relationships and data at your disposal to initiate and strengthen the connection.

For more ways to find and engage the right decision makers, download our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Account Based Marketing and Social Selling.