Recently, my VP Sales, Brian Lipp and I flew into Manhattan for a meeting with a global company that brought their CSO, CMO and Enablement teams all to the same boardroom.
As Brian and I put down our bags to start setting up for the meeting, the Chief Sales Officer said energetically, “I was checking you out online Jamie and I see you’re connected to Steve Richards from ExecVision. I’ve reached out to him to understand more about how you’re connected.”
Wow. “Social proof” (peer-to-peer reputation review) has already begun.
You know that old buyer technique that’s used often when a buyer asks to speak to references at the eleventh hour of a deal? My references were happening before I even step foot in the boardroom.
Your Online Reputation (Clearly Visible or Not) Is At The Forefront Of Buyers
For you to be a ghost in today’s digitally-driven world is unacceptable. Not having a visible online presence or being able to provide answers immediately is the same way a 4 year old playing with an iPhone when a commercial comes on YouTube, swipe off.
Do you really think a buyer is going to have the patience for a seller or sales organization that provides incognito information?
A few years ago, a customer of ours had a thesis: “Are customers going on the LinkedIn profiles of our sales team first, before looking at our company website or vice versa?”
Using tracking tools like Marketing Automation, the results were staggering. Roughly 80% of customers checked out the sales professional that had contacted them before the company’s website! Why?
People buy from people, and only after a buyer accepts the seller, then they’re willing to accept the information, product or service the seller represents.
Are you on LinkedIn? Have you Googled your name? Have you Googled the topic your buyer is trying to solve?
Do you show up anywhere online?
Just like lunch time activities kids play at recess at school, you’re going to get picked last!
Question: Are You Visible Online?
Do you like trying to get into the boardroom to present your product/service or do you want to be asked in by earning it? And don’t give me the excuse, “I’m just a sales professional, not a CEO. It might have worked for you, but not in my world.”
If you’re feeling that emotional bubble to the top of your mind, you’d better either stamp out that fire, or get ready to “just be a sales professional, forever.” No other opportunities are going to come find you, this I promise you. But, just maybe, digital can and will open a few doors.
And for sales leadership, how you like would to be recognized globally amongst your peers like Simon Yoxon-Grant.
It’s completely up to you on how you manage your online brand, which is the first place any buyer is kickstarting their due diligence process.