Without fail, each week I get a call or email from a company somewhere in the world that falls in one of these categories:

  1. We recently purchased LinkedIn Navigator, and asking ourselves “now what?”
  2. We’re halfway through our annual subscription and looking at the usage reports asking ourselves “really, are you serious??”
  3. We’re approaching our annual renewal date, and the CFO has just asked the sales leadership team “build me a business case for retaining these licenses, because I don’t see it?”

Whichever stage your business is in, it’s frustrating I know – as we talk to hundreds of global companies a year. It’s frustrating because we all know how immensely effective LinkedIn Sales Navigator is, and how important being a modern, digital seller is for your sales organization. You keep asking yourself “Why can’t my sellers see the power of LinkedIn Sales Navigator like I do?”

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Is Like Driving A Fast Car

I love analogies, so humor me.

Your sellers are like daily commuters, they know they need to get from point A to point B each day, as quickly and efficiently as possible. While every commuter may choose their own unique path to getting to point B, each commuter will absolutely confirm that getting there faster is really important.

You just licensed each commuter a car for one year, and not any car, a Porsche 911 each for commuting. You smile and think to yourself, “check the box, I’ve solved the challenge with our commuters being late!” However, weeks go by and you find out that many of the Porsche’s have never left the garage, as many of the commuters are still taking their previous mode of transportation.

What! How is this possible?

You even used the free LinkedIn Navigator training, but there wasn’t much of an impact? That’s like me watching videos of Porsche’s user manual and expecting the ability to run laps around a race track.

Welcome to Pareto’s Law

80% of the impact is being done by 20% of the people.

To continue with the car analog, here’s how Pareto’s Law is applied within using LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

20% of the Porsches are being used daily, and have helped commuters shave 30 minutes off per day.

60% of the Porsches are used sparingly, as it turns out that 60% of the commuters have never driven a manual transmission car, so they are struggling and frustrated with their daily commute.

They sometimes just say “forget this, I’ll stick to what I know.”

20% of the Porsches have never left the garage because you forgot one critical mistake, 20% of the commuters don’t have a driver’s license!

As a real-life example, one of our global customers purchased 150 LinkedIn Sales Navigator licenses for their enterprise sales team. When we conducted a Competency Benchmarking – comprised of Audit & Assessments of the team, 11% of the sellers didn’t have a LinkedIn account yet had LinkedIn Sales Navigator licenses!

We’re talking about  greater than $100,000 in LinkedIn licenses that couldn’t be leveraged, as they didn’t have a driver’s license! We were baffled by this, imagine how the customer felt when they found out.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Insurance

Whatever stage you’re in, don’t for a minute believe that buying Porsche 911’s will solve your problem. Fast cars are tools and mediums for achieving a goal – commuting faster.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is your tool and medium, but only your race car drivers (your sales team) can execute hot laps around the track. You can ill afford a massive skill gap or use discrepancy as you approach your annual renewal, as any CFO will question this purchase.

What should I do in my insurance policy?

Step #1 – Competency Benchmarking

Find out where your sellers sit in their digital readiness. Get a comparison against competitors and best-in-class. Don’t live in a bubble. Don’t think online user manual videos will turn your sellers into race car drivers.

Step #2 – Overcome the “WHY”

Don’t assume your sellers automatically understand why LinkedIn is leveraged daily by best-in-class for finding, engaging, educating and developing customer relationships.

Push each seller off their status quo to change today, not tomorrow. Remember, some of your commuters actually think the subway is a better mode of transportation than a Porsche. You have to build a business case for your Porsche 911 investment, even if it seems so obvious to you.

Step #3 – Execute the “HOW”

You need sales process and best practices given to the sales team delivered by sales professionals.

Race car drivers are not going to take driving advice from a mechanic that’s never driven a car before. Do not expect that your Social Media Marketing Manager is going to effectively drive sales process results for your sales team, there just won’t be the level of upfront respect necessary to drive change. Only those that have “carried a bag” can teach those that “carry a bag.”

Step #4 – Reinforce the “WHAT”

One and done is a recipe for 10% retention rates. Think more like the Tipping Point book referencing 10,000 hours, than a 2 hour workshop as the solution. You gave the team a Porsche 911, how much time did your parents and driving instructor spend with you on your 16th birthday to drive a junk box car, let alone a Porsche?

Put in the hours to create change, as this is a habit no different than driving.


Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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