Using social media to reach out to buyers is extremely effective. But most sales professionals aren’t leveraging social properly. In fact, I’m seeing a huge issue when sales pros use not only LinkedIn, but all social platforms. Here's the problem: the average salesperson makes only two attempts to reach a prospect, and they forget about the importance of a multi-touch approach.
Why you need a multi-touch approach
Engaging in a multi-touch approach means that to get a buyer’s attention, you must touch the buyer every three to four days over the course of three to four weeks. Why is this important? Companies like InsideSales.com have emphatically proven that touchpoints seven to 12 are the most important in getting results. But most sales pros give up after less than two touchpoints. In fact, on average, sales pros don’t even get to a second touchpoint when reaching a decision maker, champion or influencer! This is such a lost opportunity!
Example of a multi-touch strategy from Microsoft:
As you can see from the example above, it took 13 touchpoints for a prospect to become a customer. By the fourth touchpoint, 89% of salespeople have already given up. The number of touchpoints your prospects needs to convert depends on the context. According to the Online Marketing Institute, it takes a multitutde of touches to generate a sales-ready lead is due to the amount of information required by a prospect to be ready. Considerations for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeframe (BANT) are critical to making a purchase decision.
MY RESULTS WITH A MULTI-TOUCH APPROACH
To illustrate how successful a multi-touch approach is, I’ll share my own statistics with a recent campaign my team and I worked on. The campaign was for our Digital Growth Conference on March 29, 2016. Our goal was to drive 10 delegates to the conference, which included the VPs and C-Level executives of the largest technology companies in the world. The average attendee at our conference has 7,500 employees, with a median of 1,200 employees. These are the ultimate mid-market and enterprise technology companies in the world.
Decision makers are not easy to reach, so we employed a multi-touch approach to reach our goal. To implement a successful multi-touch strategy, you must understand and consider how each touchoint works together to ultimately drive the the right action.
HERE ARE MY PERSONAL RESULTS
Note: Please ignore the fact that I’m the CEO of Sales for Life, and have been out in the marketplace. My team actually outperformed my own sales numbers! I have a DSDR (Data Sharing for Demographic Research) for my team that says they doubled the response rate that I did.
Touchpoint #1: My first message went out to hundreds of Senior VP’s of Sales, Senior VP’s of Marketing, and Senior VP’s of Sales Enablement. This message was personalized to the individual's interests and any challenges they faced by looking at their recent activity on LinkedIn. I referenced specific mutual connections and what content would resonate with this individual. Within one week, I had 0 responses.
Touchpoint #2: I sent a follow-up message which was a very simple two sentence message designed to ping the individual. I received a 13.6% response rate. And 50% of those respondents acted positively to purchasing a ticket to our upcoming event.
One of the benefits of using LinkedIn Sales Navigator is it works almost like an instant messenger because it keeps the original message to that particular contact. So I was able to reply to my original message so my contact could see both the original and the follow-up messages.
Touchpoint #3: 17% of the entire list had responded back, with more positive response.
Touchpoint #4: Over 2 ½ weeks, I received a 25% response rate! This means that one out of every four messages had a response.
You may have received a better or worse response rate for your campaigns. But my results prove that a multi-touch approach works. They also show that social is extremely effective, because my results were from social only! Some of my sales pros also leveraged email and phone along with social, and had a 40-50% response rate with their multi-touch approach because they were leveraging multiple media. So social is an important part of your multi-touch cadence.
NEVER SEND A NAKED MESSAGE
Naked messages won’t get you the results you’re looking for. For our campaign, every single message had an image, or video, or blog of value that our potential conference attendees could share among their sales, marketing, or enablement team which reinforced the reason they needed to come to the conference.
Bottom line: It’s critical to apply a multi-touch approach with LinkedIn InMails if you want to be successful with Social Selling. You're not always going to garner a response on the first touchpoint, or even the second touchpoint. However by following a multi-touch strategy which can be used with LinkedIn InMails, this will dramatically increase your response rates. Try to reach a prospect a minimum of atleast 5-7 times to get the best results.
If you would like to learn more Social Selling strategies, join our next online workshop to learn 3 best practices to drive more sales opportunities.