Warning—if you’re in an ultra-competitive industry and/or sell enterprise deals, you need to lock down your social connections. These connections are basically a tracking beacon for RFQ, RFP, proposals, etc.
But first—make sure you’re grabbing your competition’s networks!
I obviously don’t need to explain why monitoring the social connections of your competitors is valuable, but I will make this blog highly tactical. I’ll show you how business units, divisions, and even entire companies are centralizing their competitive intelligence gathering.
Step 1: Plan the Heist
First, you need a centralized system. This system requires a place where all connections are housed, so you can make sense of the data. To accomplish this, you’ll most likely need one centralized LinkedIn account that can peer over the fence at the competition. Which person at a company is a sales team most likely to connect with? The company’s recruiter or a sales leader who’s recruiting!
That person’s LinkedIn account becomes the command center. The responsibility of this account is to connect with the competitor’s sales team. Obviously, a connection message about your company’s growth and exciting things will whet the appetite of the competitor’s sellers. Now this LinkedIn profile can view the competitor’s connections.
Step 2: Snatch & Grab
On a weekly or bi-weekly basis, your internal “command center” LinkedIn account will drop into the social networks of your competition. The purpose is to map their sphere of influence and any changes in their social proximity to accounts. We’ve seen companies then log these accounts in a spreadsheet in preparation for a Monday morning internal sales call.
Step 3: How to Sell the Goods to the Sales Team
Sales leaders have run numerous models, but one common system is to deliver this intelligence to BDRs/SDRs/inside sales, unless the accounts are owned by an AE or customer success. Make sure each account is assigned and notified of the correct internal owner (this is critical to prevent customer churn). I personally have seen this multiple times in prospective accounts we’ve been working. I’ll notice that after our proposal calls, they may connect to other likeminded companies. You need to first understand this information so you can mitigate the effects.