Category: B2B Sales

Swarmsales Now Allows You To Monetize Your Linkedin Network.

Swarmsales Now Allows You To Monetize Your Linkedin Network.

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What if I told you the era of Return on Relationships is finally here? Every day we help freelance enterprise sales professionals realize the ability they possess in being able to unlock their own network and increase their own net worth.

However, until recently, we were working to identify these relationships manually. How? By asking sales professionals to input their own data and to identify which accounts they would like to engage the companies on Swarmsales in to.

Well, that changed yesterday. And it moved the needle drastically in our ability to predict, intelligently, which one of your Linkedin relationships is highly monetizable.

“This is what I always imagined Linkedin’s Sales Navigator to do.”

 

Here is how it works:

  1. Sign up for Swarmsales as a sales professional.
  2. Simply go into your Linkedin Account and extract your archive file (takes 24 hours to get it via email from Linkedin.)
  3. Upload the .zip file into Swarmsales
  4. Our AI algorithms will process your data and allow you to select the most relevant connections, work history, and endorsements.
  5. Companies start matching you and inviting you to submit opportunities.
  6. Start getting paid!

This entire process will take you less than 5 mins to complete. (Please note you must have your archive file prior to initiating this process).

We recently showed to various sales leaders and investors this feature; and as a result, they commented: “WHOA, this is what I always imagined Linkedin’s Sales Navigator to be” said John Faxio, Sales Professional on Swarmsales. “Now I know what my network is worth!” said Karl Woolfenden.

This feature will be widely available in all Swarmsales Sales Professionals profiles by end of June 2018.

Want to see it action? Check it out below.

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Best Habits for Freelance Sales Representatives

Best Habits for Freelance Sales Representatives

Freelancing’s Increasing Appeal

In recent years, freelancing has increased in popularity. Since 2014, the freelance workforce grew 3x more than the total US workforce, and experts estimate that by 2027 the majority of the US workforce will be freelancers. The main desires driving people to start working as an independent contractor are: 1) to be their own boss, 2) to choose when they work, 3) to choose their own projects, 4) to choose where they work and 5) to earn extra money. 

In the last year alone, top professionals choosing to work independently jumped from 56% to 67%. On top of this, 2 in 3 full-time freelancers make more money than they were making in traditional jobs. 50% of freelancers would not take a traditional job, no matter the pay, due to the benefits freelancing offers.

However, working full-time as an independent contractor causes one important concern: financial predictability. Many are hesitant about the idea of freelancing because of doubts about where the next paycheck will come from. These concerns are more than justified; freelancers get paid per-contract as opposed to a consistent salary. When times are good, one can work many contracts and be well off. However, when opportunities dry up unpredictably, things get tough. Studies found 63% of freelancers use some of their savings at least once a month, while only 20% of non freelancers did. How, then, can one mitigate this problem and take full advantage of the benefits freelancing has to offer?


Versatility is Key.

 

The key to success as a freelancer lies in diversity and good relationships. Two thirds of freelancers agreed that having a diversified portfolio is more secure than working with a single employer. The average freelancer works with around 27 clients in a 6 month period. In other words, the more relationships you have, the more consistently you will find work. This concept applies to your skill set as well. About twice as many freelancers regularly update their skill set than traditional employees. First, this widens the scope of contracts you are qualified for, as you have a more versatile skill set. In the longer-term, it also helps mitigate the threat of job market transitions and leads to greater stability in the future.

 

A diverse portfolio also means having a strong network of fellow freelancers. Karen Schwitchenberg notes that after giving “advice to people about becoming independent consultants, they will sometimes come back when they have extra work or forward [her] name along to a potential client.” Help others in the gig economy, and they will help you. By having trusted relationships with other independent contractors, you can help ensure stability by knowing you have referrals to count on if work opportunities dry up.

 

Quality is also an important factor in a freelancer’s network. Around 50% of freelance contracts are with repeated clients, meaning the freelancer impressed in the past and was brought back on for more projects. Being a trusted relationship will help your success as an independent contractor, as clients will bring you back for contracts instead of taking the risk on a new, unproven freelancer.

(All statistics sourced from Edelman Intelligence’s study “Freelancing In America”)

 

Take it slow.

 

Look at making the jump to full-time independent contracting in the same way any other business ventures can. The key to success here is starting small, and developing your work into something sustainable. Given the importance of a professional network for freelancers, it is important to take the time to develop that network.

Many begin with ‘moonlighting’: part-time freelancing to earn supplemental income on top of a traditional job. Through moonlighting, new freelancers can slowly build and diversify their portfolios while still enjoying the stability of a traditional position. It also allows them to get experience under their belt so they aren’t surprised by the contrast between traditional work and individual contracting.

 

Getting Started

 

Swarmsales could be the key to launching a successful career as a freelance sales representative. By allowing you to target your existing accounts, Swarmsales not only allows you to reinforce your relationships with them, it also presents you with the opportunity to scale up your sales work. Without any exclusivity clauses, you’re free to work with as many companies as you please.

Furthermore, representatives can work simultaneously with small startups and publicly traded, multinational corporations. For a sales representative looking to diversity and widen their portfolio, this is crucial. The platform also facilitates starting small Reps move deals at the rate they can, and gradually increase their number of clients and accounts. With enough activity, can earn monthly retainers and take one more step to successfully working full-time as a freelancer.

Want to learn more? Signing up is free!

 

Sales Reps and their Future Roles

Sales Reps and their Future Roles

Since the industrial revolution, the world has constantly improved due to technological advances in the different fields. Technology has changed the way in which many jobs are carried out and sales reps were also affected. The rise of technological tools like email and social media has made the traditional form of selling obsolete. With so many tools, sellers do not need to invest their time in going to meetings to sell a product. Now with social media, they can make a list of potential clients and reach out to them. Even though technology has clearly impacted on the way sales are carried out, it doesn’t mean that salespeople will be jobless.

Nowadays, people choose to buy (or not) a product by the reviews posted online about said product. Prospects are doing online research about the varieties of products that exist in the market. They are researching the products they believe will satisfy their needs. If the product has good comments and reviews it is very likely that the prospect will purchase it. “The process where the salesperson used an aggressive pitch with the buyer doesn’t exist anymore” (Sales Hacker, 2018). If prospects don’t want a sales rep that is aggressive and on top of that are doing all the research by themselves, then where does the salesperson fit in?

The new role of sales reps

It’s clear that roles have changed. Since buyers trust reviews and likes on web pages more than a salesperson in a store, sellers transformed into some sort of advisors. Sales Hacker (2018) points out that the role of the salesperson now is to establish a relationship with the prospect, understand what the prospects’ needs are, what are the challenges that it’s facing at the moment and based on that information, explain to the prospect if the chosen product is the most accurate to satisfy its needs or to solve its problem. It is essential that the salesperson becomes an ally to the prospect. The sales reps need to listen to the client and help him find a solution to the challenges that arise in its business.

It doesn’t matter how technological our world becomes, a salesperson will always be necessary because “humans will always need emotional and rational help” (Steli Efti – founder and CEO of close.io) and that’s the kind of help that only humans can give. Technology will continue to change sales reps’ job. However, technology can’t build a meaningful and trustworthy relationship with a prospect. Only humans can do that. Sales reps must forget the old way of selling and shall start listening to what clients are expressing. It is key that sales reps begin to understand their clients if they want to stay in the business. As Simon Sinek said, “if you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business”.

Coming out of college and ever thought about becoming a freelancer? Try Enterprise Sales!

Going into sales is not always extremely appealing to millennials that are finishing up their undergraduate careers. Millennials fear that they will get bored of selling the same product over and over again, and going after people in efforts to convince them to buy products/services that the customers don’t need. However, millennials have not taken into consideration or learned about the opportunities of freelancing. Freelancers are self-employed and are not committed to particular employers in the long-term. Instead, freelancers get a chance to work multiple jobs, and they get to choose the companies and projects they work in.

Today, the market for jobs is constantly changing. In fact, over 54% of the U.S. workforce lacks confidence that their jobs will exist in the next 20 years (Edelman Intelligence, 2017). However, freelancers have an advantage. Over 65% of freelancers work to update their skills and keep up with the market changes. In comparison, only 45% of full-time employees do the same. (Edelman Intelligence, 2017).

For this reason, going into sales and freelancing should be extremely appealing to many millennials that are finishing up their undergraduate careers. An even better career as someone coming out of college is going into freelancing within enterprise sales.

Enterprise sales are very different from product/service sales. In product sales, one is selling the same product on an ongoing basis. On the other hand, enterprise sales sell solutions. A sales practice that is strategical and works towards facilitating other enterprises’ problems and everyday operations.

Here are some reasons why you should consider freelancing in enterprise sales:

1.) The ability to utilize your connections

As a student coming out of college, and most importantly as a millennial, we are connected to hundreds of people. With your connections, you can open the door and connect vendors and enterprises and allow them to build a relationship and close a deal. While using your already existing relationships, you will be opening doors for vendors and further grow your network.

2.) Exposure to different industries

Coming out of college you may be interested in sales and freelancing, but you may not know what exact industry you would like to go into. Freelancing in enterprise sales allows you to try different industries and work with multiple vendors and companies. Hence, allowing you to find what industry suits you best.

3.) Sales experience is extremely valuable

As mentioned in the first two points, working with multiple companies furthers your network and your career. With these experiences in multiple enterprises, you learn a lot about what works well in sales, the vendor and enterprise side of a deal, the industry needs, and what companies need help on. This makes you extremely valuable. It allows you to share what you learn with other companies to help them, while also showing them what you are capable of and further advancing your path in enterprise sales.

4.) Quick turnaround for your time

Companies will pay you large sums of money to open doors for them into other sectors by utilizing your already made connections for them. With this, opening the doors and closing deals for the companies usually have a short sale cycle and do not require you to stick to a specific enterprise, allowing you to manage who you work with and for you to decide your turn-around rate with enterprises.

With about half the hours of work, enterprise sales pay as well as the positions of Wall Street Bankers. As a Wall Street Banker, you will find yourself working anywhere from 80-100 hours a week (Wall Street Oasis, 2018). Alternatively, as a freelancer, your pay will be the same with only 40-60 hours per week. These shorter hours are due to the fact that you work directly with corporate clients. Whereas in other sales positions, you are only in front of customers for maybe 2 hours a day.

5.) Diversified Income

With the ability to work in different industries, and hold multiple deals at the same time, your income is diversified. Allowing you to reduce the volatility of your work.

Interested in learning more about Enterprise Sales? Fill out the form to find out about Swarmsales, how you can be a freelancer in this field, and how you can receive free sales training from Meddic and Spin Selling!

Visit our website: https://www.swarmsales.com/index.php

 

Social Selling: How To Nail It Without LinkedIn

Social Selling: How To Nail It Without LinkedIn

Taking a look at headlines from just recent years past — Death Of A Salesman: The Rise Of Social Selling, Why Your Business Desperately Needs Social Selling Champions, etc. — it’s easy to see that the concept of social selling has taken off. There’s no shortage of discussion about this issue across the Internet and plenty of general guides to help neophytes get started.

Where many such guides fall short, however, is in ignoring how to shift techniques across social media platforms outside of the oft-praised LinkedIn. A large part of social selling is identifying which social networks prospects are using in order to target them where they spend the most time.

If potential customers are spending the majority of their time away from LinkedIn, that’s where reps should shift their focus. This article will provide a more in-depth look into social selling outside of LinkedIn and how to tailor an approach to achieve greater impact.

Social Selling: On LinkedIn and Beyond

A straightforward definition of what social selling is can be found via Forbes:

“Social selling is a way for sales teams to use social media to connect with prospects and provide them with value. Consider it similar to lead nurturing in the sense that your goal is to engage buyers on an on-going, long-term basis.”

While not a replacement for other avenues of sales, it does add another tool to a sales rep’s bag of tricks — if used properly. The winning formula, according to many sources, consists of four main elements:

1. Identifying “target prospects” and their main social media platforms.

2. Building a professional profile and establishing a personal brand.

3. Creating original content and valuable insights.

4. Engaging with the audience and building strong relationships.
These are simple enough steps to follow, but they are also very general. In cases where how-to articles do go into further detail, they’re focused on LinkedIn, as the platform has developed quite the connection with social selling and positioned itself as the go-to network for such activities.

And for good reason. The lack of “chatter and politics” present on other sites plays a large role in LinkedIn’s dominant position, according to Forbes, as does their incorporation of metrics like their Social Selling Index (SSI).

What of the other social networks, though? If prospects are using Instagram, Facebook or Twitter as their primary sites, is it possible to find social selling success there as well? It is, but success requires building upon the general rules to accommodate the platform in question.

How-To: Changing Methodologies

Optimizing profiles, adapting behavior and more go into honing social selling techniques for specific social media platforms.

Facebook

On Facebook, it’s important to remember that users are generally browsing the platform with a casual mindset. Therefore, content posted to Facebook should make an attempt to capitalize on that mindset.

Sales professionals should take care not to inundate followers with too much. When they do post, they should include visual content that will resonate with their audience but be easy to digest: tips and tricks, short news pieces, etc. Lengthy treatises and straight-ahead pitches should be avoided.

When setting up their profile, sales professionals should set up a Facebook business page and put the focus on their personal brand. Using a visual motif that reflects the brand is a must, as is using the motif to maintain consistency throughout the profile.

Facebook’s recent push to compete in the Live Broadcasting economy is a huge leap ahead for sales professionals wanting to stand out as their own brand. Starting every Friday morning with a quick live feed about wins and losses of the week is one way to leverage this feature to build a consistent audience and create authenticity.

Twitter

Only 19 percent of Twitter users hop on the platform to network, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. They may not be hopping on with networking as the goal, but they are reading the posts of the accounts they follow and that’s exactly what you want. When targeting prospects on Twitter, the focus should be on doing more with less. Twitter offers less “real estate” than other platforms so maximizing every character is a must.

When it comes to organizing their profiles, sales pros should use commonplace social media best practices like using a professional headshot for their profile photo, including a captivating title (with a value proposition), having a brief (but engaging) positioning statement and including hashtags that potential buyers might be interested in following. Salespeople should also consider linking to their LinkedIn accounts and company Twitter handle, if applicable.

When it comes to behavior on Twitter, sales professionals should take care to stay authentic. They should avoid posting in a “spammy” manner that signals they are only on the platform to generate leads. On the flip side, though, they should also avoid long periods of inactivity or posting content and following up with minimal engagement.

Instead, sales professionals should post consistently (minimum once a day) and mix things up with links to articles, retweets, favorites and the like. They should make generous use of so-called “rich media,” the kind that includes images, and participate in chats with other users to gain a natural following.

Twitter has become a central hub for social issues and while these can be dicey topics, they can also provide huge wins for sales professionals. Discover the social issues your company supports through its charitable work and use the hashtags associated with those topics. Proudly displaying your support and your company’s support for charitable organizations humanizes you both. Social media is based on sharing real life, remember. So this is a great way to do just that.

Instagram

On Instagram, the focus on strong visuals should be taken to an even greater level. A sales pro’s bio and all posts should emphasize captivating video in order to maximize follower interest. Like Twitter, pros should make their profiles here succinct. On Instagram, though, it is also important to set profiles up for sales by including links to relevant outside pages (company page, store links, etc.).

Sales professionals should post regularly, using hashtags and calls-to-action to motivate followers. They should also focus on making connections using Instagram’s direct messaging feature. This allows for the vaunted one-on-one relationship with prospects that social selling is all about.

Instagram is a fun, light-hearted platform. Take advantage of this tone by going live on your way to a meeting and sharing the reason for why you are nervous or share the excitement immediately after a big close. Again, humanizing any brand is the fastest way to gain followers that become evangelists.

Recap

Sales professionals should keep these main points in mind when branching out into other networks for social selling:

The approach should fit the platform.

Facebook offers live broadcasting now.

Twitter is a great place to share your organization’s charitable work.

Instagram is the best place for multiple and frequent live broadcasts that bring your audience on the ride with you.

The Top 12 Things Your Sales and Marketing Teams Should Collaborate On

The Top 12 Things Your Sales and Marketing Teams Should Collaborate On

Sales and marketing collaboration, or alignment as the popular buzz has phrased it, will be a crucial component of B2B sales success in 2018. The “why” of the matter is something that has been well discussed in outlets such as Forbes:

“Gone are the days of marketing bringing in leads with clever headlines and unverified promises and then throwing them over the wall to sales.”

But what specifics should leaders focus their teams alignment efforts on for increased efficacy? This article address a few of the ways in which sales and marketing teams can come together for the greater good.

1. Creating a “Smarketing” Culture

Sales and marketing collaboration can’t occur if the teams don’t share the company’s values and vision. Cooperation begins when both teams understand what they accountable for, the other team’s perspective, and the overall brand mission. The first step is getting sales and marketing in the same room to hash out these pertinent details and create a consistent culture of ownership and teamwork.

2. Lead Generation

In supporting one another’s efforts, sales and marketing teams can increase quality lead generation. Working together, they can define the parameters for a good lead and determine the point at which leads should be handed off from marketing to sales. Beyond that, teams can refine their system by having sales communicate which leads became customers and what techniques worked in securing them.

3. Lead Conversion

After generating leads, sales and marketing can continue collaborating to convert those leads to sales. Two-way feedback between sales/marketing on successes and failures is key in this area, as is external feedback from customers, prospects and leads about what is effective. Examples of key questions to ask include:

What prevents some sales qualified leads from converting into real sales opportunities?

What causes certain marketing qualified leads to break off the negotiation process?

What specific factors caused a lead to close on a deal?

4. Sales Calls

For marketing efforts to have an impact, marketers have to understand the audience they are targeting. With sales professionals on the calls, marketing teams can often miss out on important buyer’s journey data. No marketers want to sit in on sales calls, but the sales professionals can use their CRM to track the valuable data and share it with marketing.

5. Sales Content Creation

Sales teams need content to help sell their message. Sales professionals can work with marketing to explain the types of presentations and data that push a sale along the funnel. Marketing teams also must know the right questions to ask their sales teams to be sure that marketing is providing what’s most impactful in a sales meeting.

6. Developing Buyer Personas

Buyer personas are a great way to form a picture of the ideal customer. The data revealed in each  buyer persona then allows teams to create targeted ads/pitches and increase acquisition. Through collaboration, sales and marketing can bring their expertise together in crafting said profiles — sales brings the frontline experience from interacting with customers, while marketing supplies overarching industry insights.

7. Formulating KPIs

Not all KPIs need to remain the domain of a single team. Sales and marketing can collaborate to create crossover performance indicators that are important to both realms. Lead generation, conversion rates, cost per lead, social media engagement and the like matter to both sales and marketing. Having them brainstorm similar areas of assessment can bring the teams together.

8. Analysis

Moving beyond KPIs, both teams can come together to perform analysis on metrics as well. Working in tandem, they can get a better picture of what’s working while looking at lead gen data, marketing campaigns, webpage visits-to-lead ratios, and other valuable data produced in each department.

9. Optimizing the Sales Funnel

Sales and marketing teams can cooperate to fine-tune the old-school sales funnel you might be operating on with a better working revenue cycle. This can improve the visibility of leads (among other things) and give managers a clearer picture of how making changes in the customer acquisition process will influence revenue generation.

10. Showing Off the Team

Sales teams function as frontline representatives of the company. Sometimes, though, they can use some assistance putting their best foot forward, which is where the marketing collaboration comes into play.

Marketing can help promote the personalities on the sales team, with content marketing strategies designed to showcase their talent. Ghostwritten blog posts and articles are a good place to start, and with some coordination, sales/marketing pros can find other directions to help boost their visibility.

11. Creating FAQs & Glossaries

Sales and marketing teams can also work together to create quality content for a company website in the form of FAQs and glossaries of terms. Sales professionals answer countless questions throughout the course of their duties. By recording a list of the most common ones and supplying them to marketing, content creators on the team will have a robust selection of relevant material to work with.

12. Coordinating Training

Developing the teams’ skills can have direct positive impacts on ROI. By collaborating on the development and undertaking of training programs, sales and marketing can come together in a way that benefits their overall effectiveness. Have them work together on sharing best practices and learning about the processes they use to carry out their separate duties.