7 Tips on How to Get a Response From a Busy Prospect

This year the average businessman will send and receive 131 emails per day. While it’s a powerful tool, email causes an insurmountable amount of stress in our lives.

In Sales, email is still the most efficient way to communicate with our prospects, opportunities and customers. As we send and receive more emails than ever, we need to take stock of what we’re sending out and ensure that every email is optimized for a response. In our last post, we outlined the four pro-tips for prospecting emails, but now we’re taking it one step further on the nitty-gritty of writing emails that ensure a response from your busy prospects.

1. Know the Latest Email Stats

Very few Salespeople know how to effectively email busy people—prospects receive a bunch of emails every day that they either read, delete, archive, forward to the right person, mark as spam, and if you’re lucky, a reply.

Before sending out your next email, know your audience on a wider level. Let’s consider the follow statistics provided by Convince and Convert:

  • 21% of email recipients report email as Spam, even if they know it isn’t
  • 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone
  • 35% of professionals check email on a mobile device
  • 80% of social network members have received unsolicited email or invites

What can we decipher from these statistics? It tells us that our prospects are mobile, busier than ever and have less time than we expected for unsolicited sales pitches and emails. For our emails to make to the elusive “reply” zone, we need to get to know our audience.

2. Know Your Audience

It’s time for us Salespeople to take personalization seriously. Don’t cut corners to get your email activity numbers up, because your engagement rate is suffering.

Instead, take the time to research your email recipient and build a repertoire of information around them: who they are, what they care about, common interests, if they have a pet, what their responsibilities are at their company, etc. Today’s buyers want a great experience, and getting a full picture of who your prospect is will help your email response rate.

To take personalization to the next level, if you haven’t implemented #SocialSelling into your sales strategy, doing so will save you time in the future. Think about it: you’ll have all the data points, interests, pain points, etc—all the information you’d need to write a hyper-personalized email to your prospect.

3. APV: Always Provide Value

Whether it’s through a subject line or the email content, there is one thing you must do: APV (Always Provide Value). Sometimes we fall into the trap of overthinking things. Subject lines and email content is hard. But to overcome those challenges, we need to ask ourselves instead, “What value is being added if I send this email?”

As modern Salespeople we should be thinking less in terms of always be closing and more along the lines of always provide value. The key to today’s Sales is earning trust and becoming an advisor—we can’t do any of that until we provide value. So, the question now is what exactly is value?

Value is information that helps prospects better understand either their industry, role, competitive landscape, business, etc. You can provide value by sending content such as an article, interview Q&A, infographic, video, GIF, eBook, etc. that resonates with a prospect’s pain points.

APV Pro-Tip: Don’t pitch your product, instead pitch personalized value.

4. Avoid the Delete Button by Being Human

At the end of the day, prospects are receiving emails from strangers, even if they’re checking their inboxes 77 times per day. When we get a notification of a new email, here’s the thought process going on in our head:

  1. Who is emailing me?
  2. What do they want?
  3. I have no time.

It’s seems as though email has devolved from being a great communication tool to a game of “How to Avoid the Delete Button.” But don’t be discouraged just yet. You’re a human, not a sales bot. Don’t be afraid of letting some of your professional personality show through your tone and voice of your email.

Remember all that Social Selling data points you amassed? Here’s where you use it, when playing the delete button game.

5. Spend the Same Amount of Time Editing as Writing

So you’ve spent all that time crafting the most well researched, concise, human, engaging email, now what? Well I have some writerly advice for you: it’s time to ruthlessly edit.

There’s no magical word count to the perfect email. But, you should spend an equal amount of time editing your email as you spent writing it. Editing is key to keeping emails concise and on point. Your prospects are busy and you’ll never get a response if you craft a 1,200 word email, even if it’s hyper-personalized.

6. Have a Easy to Read Email Signature

This one seems obvious, but there are so many fancy email signatures floating around with a ton links, GIFs, logos, awards, etc. Just like your subject line and email content, your email signature should be simple.

Your email signature should have the basics:

  • First Name, Last Name
  • Title
  • Contact info: email, phone number
  • Link: Company site or Blog
  • Company Logo

7. Tout It

Your best bet in knowing if your prospect viewed your email is through an email tracking tool like ToutApp. Once you’ve done your research, readied your subject line, edited your email content and tightened up your signature—all that work shouldn’t go to waste. Remember to Tout It.

A Definitive Guide to Making Your Own Outreach Videos

(If you haven’t read them, check out the previous posts on SDR video intros, personalized video, and results analysis.)

 

Since we began featuring Kelly’s video outreach and her impressive results, a handful of sales managers have asked us how they can incorporate video into their own playbooks. So, in this final part of our SDR video series, we’re going to walk through how to create and employ outreach videos on your own. It will take a little time and money, but in the end you’ll have access to high-quality custom outreach video whenever you want it.

Before you get started creating your own studio, you may want to consider hiring a professional videographer to make your videos. A pro will have expertise and a great camera, but will cost a lot more money. Also, by hiring a pro you lose the freedom to iterate on your messaging by creating new videos, or to create personalized videos for high-value prospects.

So if you’re ready to try something new, here’s the entire process of DIY outreach video in five steps.

Step 1: Get the Gear

Fortunately, we live in an age when super high-quality video is within everyone’s reach. But that doesn’t mean you can just record yourself on your webcam and send it over to your prospects. Invest in some gear upfront. The ROI is huge.


 

The $360 In-Office Video Studio

  • Camera ($0)

Your iPhone. The video quality is great and the price is even better.

  • Tripod ($60)

Going handheld is great for action movies, but not so much for studio setups. You’ll need a tripod that can get your camera up to eye-level, and you’ll need a special mount for the iPhone.

Tripod – iPhone Mount )

  • Microphone ($150)

Bad sound is the telltale sign of an amateur production. Here’s a great-sounding microphone that plugs right into your iPhone.

iPhone Microphone )

  • Lights ($50)

You’ll want plenty of light on your face. This kit has two lights for you, and a smaller one for your background.

3 Light Kit )

  • Backdrop ($100)

This part is optional. You can shoot your videos at a desk or conference table with good results, but a paper backdrop adds a lot of professionalism. Choose white, gray, or a color that goes with your company branding.

Background Stand – Background Paper – 2x Clamps )


Got your gear? Move on to Step 2.

 

Step 2: Pick a Space and Set Up Your Studio

The best studio environments are free of outside light and sound. At ToutApp, we use a storage room with no windows — it’s quiet and pitch black when the overhead lights are off. Try to use a similar space in your office.

Once you’ve found a space, set up the backdrop against one wall. Then, set up your iPhone/microphone/tripod at eye level about six feet away from it. Raise your two large lights above eye level and place one on each side of the camera. Raise your small light to waist-level and place it a foot in front of the backdrop. Turn on your video lights, turn off the overhead lights, and stand between the camera and the backdrop.

That’s it. Your studio is ready to go.

(For more detail on setting up a studio space check out Wistia’s video on the subject here.)

Before recording, a few tips:

  • Get your energy up! Do some jumping jacks and tongue twisters beforehand; you’ll have a more natural delivery.
  • Have a coworker keep an eye on the recording so you can focus on what you’re saying.
  • Do a lot of takes. You’re going to misspeak or forget what to say. Don’t worry about it. SDR Kelly did hers about ten times and we picked the best one to share with prospects.
  • Be yourself. The whole point of video is showing your prospects who you really are — not telling them what you think they want to hear.

 

Step 3: Editing and Delivery

There are dozens of software options for editing your video. The simplest is iMovie. You can transfer footage straight from your phone to the program, select which part of your recording to use, and export to a web-friendly format. Here’s a good series of tutorials for iMovie beginners.

A couple tips for editing your prospecting video:

  • Start it right before you start talking; end it right after you stop. This seems kind of obvious, but it makes a big difference on the final product. Even a second of dead air before or after the video can give it an awkward feel.
  • Skip the music, text, and special effects. You want your prospect to focus on you and what your saying — anything else is a distraction, and can come off as cheesy.
  • Trial and error: play with it until you like what you see.
  • Share it with coworkers for feedback.
  • If need be, jump back into the studio and re-record.
  • Export the video in a 1080p .mp4 file for uploading to your video host.

Once you’ve exported the video, it’s time to get it online. YouTube is a serviceable video host, but for this purpose we recommend Wistia. With Wistia, the video will be hosted on a clean white landing page, and you’re able to dive into the analytics to see how much of the video your prospects watch.

 

Step 4: Sending it to your Prospects

Your video is live! Now it’s time to send it out.

Unfortunately, embedding a video directly in an email isn’t recommended, as the majority of your recipients won’t be able to view it. Instead, we recommend creating an image like this:

kelly video voicemail thumbnail

This is a screengrab of Kelly’s video overlaid with the Wistia play icon. To make one for your video, import the icon into iMovie, lay it over the video, find a spot where you’re smiling, and then export a still image. You can now insert this image into your email and then link it to your video.

If you don’t want to insert and link this image each time you send your video, try creating a template for it in Tout. Not only will the image/video link remain intact each time you send the email, but you’ll also get notification in the Live Feed when someone clicks on it.

Step 5: Testing and Iterating

Finally, it’s time to measure your success. With template analytics you can get feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

You can:

  • A/B test with and without video.
  • Try different messaging, placement within the email, and CTAs.
  • Compare the success rates of video for different SDRs.
  • Try creating personalized videos for high-value prospects.

The real magic of in-house video production is that you can easily make improvements based on the feedback you receive.

Good luck!

 

Resources

Besides being a great video host, Wistia excels in teaching video production. Check out their awesome videos and articles here.

OneMob is leading the integration of video into enterprise workflows. It could be the perfect solution if your company plans to scale up personalized video.

Do you want to get outreach videos, but don’t want to mess with all the equipment? Post on Thumbtack for a pro who can bring his/her own equipment and expertise to the project. Or, if you’re in the Bay Area, VidFluent creates high-quality intro videos, and hosts them, too. In any case, rates range from $200-$500 per video for a professional job.

The Results of Using Video in SDR Outreach

Two weeks ago, we equipped SDR extraordinaire Kelly with her own custom videos. The videos included a generalized “video voicemail” designed for first touches, a “last try” for last-ditch attempts, and a personalized video, recorded for a single, high-value prospect. (If you missed them, check out the blog posts about creating the videos here and here.)

Since then, Kelly’s been sending out the videos to prospects all over the world. Now it’s time to look at the preliminary results.

Here are ToutApp’s pipeline leaderboards for December ’15 and January ’16. (Sensitive info redacted).

kelly december circled

Pipeline Opportunity Value, December 2015

kelly january circled

Pipeline Opportunity Value, January 2016

 

Kelly’s killing it. She’s piped 50% more than last month with still a week to go in this one, and she’s gone from solid performer to wide-margin leader amongst the team.

Zooming in, here are the analytics on Kelly’s “First Touch” template. It touts an absurdly high success rate of 13.3%. A 5% success rate is considered excellent.

analytics-gif-1

To note: three of Kelly’s meetings were booked without the prospect ever replying to the email. The reason? She called these prospects a few minutes after noticing in the Tout Live Feed that they’d viewed the video. She found they were much more responsive to her call than usual. In one of those calls she booked a meeting on the spot.

Needless to say, Kelly and her managers are thrilled.

Here’s Kelly’s perspective:

 

 

 

Disclaimer: this study is far from definitive; it’s a small sample with a single rep. To figure out the real ROI on video we need 10X the data spread over different SDRs. So starting next month, we’re rolling out video voicemail for the rest of our Sales Development team. We’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Interested in equipping your own reps with videos like Kelly’s? Next week, we’ll show you how to set up a studio in your own office and create your own — no experience necessary.

Targeting Tier 1 Prospects with Personalized Video

Last week, ToutApp SDR Kelly added video pitches to her prospecting arsenal.

This week, she’s getting personal.

 

Unlike last week’s videos, this video is for a single prospect: Starfish Inc. (Name changed for this blog post).

Starfish is one of Kelly’s Tier 1 leads. Their size and industry make for an ideal prospect, and Kelly has prioritized them in her outreach for over a month. But with no success. Her emails to contacts there are opened but not responded to, and her calls don’t even go to voicemail — they ring and ring indefinitely. Dead end.

Last week, Kelly sent Starfish her first-touch video. The contact opened the email and watched the video. But again, no response. Dead end.

So now, to show Starfish that she’s serious about connecting specifically with them, Kelly’s sending the above video.

Pros and Cons of Personalizing Video

This thirty-second video took over thirty minutes to make. Kelly did ten takes, we chose the best one, then trimmed, compressed and uploaded. It’s no small task, and unlike last week’s videos, this is a one-shot deal. A good, personalized email could be written in a tenth the time, and with no special gear or technical know-how. (Tout helps with personalized emails though.)

On the other hand, this video could cut through the noise and move Starfish down the pipeline, when no email could have achieved the same. In that case, the investment will have paid off.

A/B Testing

What works best? Over the long term, the only way to hone prospecting methods is with A/B testing and an eye on the analytics. The more data we have on the relative efficacy of different video, messaging, and other media, the better we’ll get at maximizing response rates, meetings booked, and deals closed.

We’ll be back next week with some results.

Arming an SDR with Her Own Custom Video

ToutApp SDRs have big personalities.

They’re the ones who come in on Mondays with captivating stories of fighting off a home invasion of raccoons. Or losing $2k at blackjack sitting next to Susan Sarandon. They’re the ones cracking jokes at all-hands meetings, and giving each other hard time about that trainwreck qualification call last month. You know the type.

It’s no coincidence that our SDRs have big personalities; it’s why they’re SDRs in the first place. It’s their job to reach out to strangers and to build a trusted relationship from nothing. That’s a tall order. Without charisma, it’s near impossible.

The problem SDRs run into, however, is how to convey their personalities without ever being in the same room with their prospects. They write emails and leave voicemails. But the charm that wins over Susan Sarandon in Vegas just doesn’t come through in an email or a voicemail. Decades-old studies indicate that over half of communication is nonverbal. That’s leaving a lot on the table.

To tackle this inefficiency, we’ve launched a new initiative for our SDR team. We created two videos for one of our SDRs — videos which she herself can use in reaching out to prospects.


 

Step 1: Create the Videos

 

Meet Kelly:

 

 

This is Kelly’s video version of her first-touch voicemail. Why this in lieu of/in addition to a voicemail?

  • Her body language accompanies her message
  • She gets to make eye contact with each prospect who views the video
  • Prospects will associate her accompanying and future emails with a real human being
  • The video lives in an email, so a prospect doesn’t have to access a voicemail box to see it
  • She knows if/when a prospect views it

Here is the second video we made for Kelly. It’s a last attempt to connect with a prospect. As you can see, she turns up the attitude a notch.

 

 

Step 2: Create the Templates

The next step was to create email templates using Kelly’s new content.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 12.48.34 PM

This being ToutApp, we put the videos into email templates like this one.

 

By keeping these emails templated in Tout, she can quickly pull them up in Gmail, customize, and send them out. This saves her a bunch of time linking and formatting the media, and will also provide data on how those templates — and the videos therein — are performing with prospects. 

One note about the email formatting: almost every email service provider blocks embedded videos from playing within an email, so we haven’t embedded the video here at all. The thumbnail within the email is a simple image which links to the video in a new browser window.


 

Step 3: Gather Data

In the new world we live in where it takes eight calls on average to reach a prospect, it’s more important than ever to find ways to break through the clutter. We’ll cover this initiative in our blog series in the coming weeks to give you insights and best practices on video pitches.

Meanwhile, let us know what you think of the approach, and how you might do it differently.

How to Work Effectively Beyond the Sales Floor

Up until recently, teamwork across a sales team was an unnatural thing–a mere myth. Sales teams have the natural tendency to operate as lone wolves hunting the woods for deals and prospects. Too often, Salespeople are off on their own sales floor and not thinking about how they can partner with Customer Success, Marketing and Engineering to get the upper hand in the sales process.

Today’s buyers are different and demand a full customer experience which extends beyond talking to Sales. They want someone to aide them throughout their demo process, they want to read relevant content throughout the sales process, and they want a reliable product that will solve their problems. All these things can be checked off the list, if and when, Sales partners with their entire organization. To work effectively across your organization, it doesn’t require crisis counseling–it just requires a full opt-in from everyone.

Step #1: Hire Collaborators

This may seem obvious, but can be overlooked. Sales leaders want to hire experienced reps who are able to talk about their accomplishments in pushing hard to exceed their quota, but they don’t want car salesmen anymore. Instead, when interviewing candidates, pay close attention to their use of “we” rather than “I”–even when talking about their sales quotas. Why? Sales may be a numbers game, but it’s not an individual sport anymore.

As sales cycles are growing more complex and as more stakeholders get involved on the buyer’s side–on the Sales side, there has to be more than one player as well. Think about it: there’s the sales manager, Sales Enablement, Product, Content Marketing, Customer Success, etc. All of those departments play a crucial role in the entire sales cycle–even though they aren’t in Sales. So, in order for those departments to play nice with Sales, we need to evolve from the lone wolf to the collaborator.

Sure, every department has their own separate function, goals, practices, culture, etc.–but when it comes down to it, every department exists for the business and therefore must collaborate with one another to succeed. The collaboration within an organization must begin with Sales because they’re the one department that within their day-to-day has the capacity to reach every department. Sales sends tickets to Support, they partner with Customer Success for upsells and cross-sells, they work with Marketing to surface great content and collaborate with Engineering to test new features.

Step #2: Make Time For Work That Matters

Every Salesperson, whether they’re an MDR, SDR, or AE spends some part of their day on non-selling activities. By freeing up time–even 5% of their day–to focus on meeting and collaborating with colleagues outside of the sales team will improve cross-departmental activity.

With investing in tools to increase sales productivity, it will not only free up time for Salespeople to focus on their deals, it’ll free up time for them to collaborate with their colleagues and get an outside perspective on how other departments can aide in their deals as well. For example, a Salesperson can spend five minutes with Product Marketing and figure out how to tailor their sales pitch to different buyer personas. Or, if a potential buyer is further down the sales funnel, a Salesperson can spend five minutes strategizing with Support on how to fix a product issues for a prospect.

Although these are technically non-selling activities, these brief moments across the organization are crucial for the sales process. It helps the Salesperson understand different mindsets and helps get the full picture through the lifecycle of the buyer’s journey. So, let’s all take a few minutes out of our day, step away from the sales floor and make time for work that matters too.

Step #3: Invest in a Built-In Collaboration Tool

At ToutApp, we use Slack and we love it. A lot of us cannot imagine our workday without it. Although certain conversations are better suited for a face-to-face format, for all the quick and little conversations–Slack is where it’s at. All team communications from deal progress, cupcakes in the kitchen to wishing a colleague a happy birthday is all in one place. A tool like Slack allows teams, small and large, to talk to each other without interrupting your sales process (too much).

Further, all Slack communications can be segmented by channel from AEs, SDRs, Sales, Marketing, etc. for even more succinct and streamlined conversations. This ensures that the appropriate people know what’s going on, have access to the right content and gives your organization an easy route to cross-departmental collaboration.

Pro-tip for when using Slack, it’s important to have channels cross-pollinate between teams. For example, over here at ToutApp, our #closers club is a mixture of the Sales, Customer Success and Marketing teams.  

Step #4: Have More Focused and Transparent Meetings

If your organization provides a paid service, you’ll need the involvement of every department to make sure that the customer experience is seamless. To get there, your organization needs to have more focused and transparent meetings across every team. Much like how an organization would work to align Sales and Marketing teams, having transparent and consistent meetings across the entire company–like an All Hands is a great way to foster collaboration.

During company-wide meetings, every team should share stories of deals they’ve closed, renewals, product best practices, customer satisfaction scores and share new blog content. In sharing all this information, it keeps everyone invested and informed with the happenings of every department.

Much like how Sales is moving away from the car salesman and lone wolf approach, other departments have to do their part and move away from working in silos. As organizations begin to understand and embrace the need for transparency in meetings, it’s beginning to positively impact their growth and revenue numbers. How? As Sales begins to partner with Customer Success, the number of cross-sells and upsells increases. Likewise as Sales partners with Marketing, the content created will be more relevant to buyers and aide in the sales process.

Good Sales is Collaboration

It’s time to stop the siloed sales team and truly invest in full-organization collaboration. As Sales continues to evolve, they’re going to need to collaborate with other departments in order to connect with their buyers.

Video | The #1 Skill for Founders and CEOs

Despite having the CEO title, your job as the head of a company is to be the greatest Salesperson for your company to investors, employees and customers. In our first episode of Manager Playbooks, TK discusses what he thinks might be the most important skill for today’s CEOs, and gives some examples of how that skill played a role in ToutApp’s growth.

Check out the video here:

Any followup questions for TK? Post them below!

SURVEY: 70% of Marketers Want More Meetings With Sales

Nearly 90% say that intra-team meetings help improve marketing outcomes and results

ToutApp, the sales platform that helps salespeople close more deals through advanced email tracking, templates and analytics, today announced the results of a commissioned study examining the frequency and effectiveness of intra-team communication between marketing and sales departments within B2B organizations. More than 300 B2B marketers across the U.S. were polled between November 2 and November 6, 2015.

70% Want More Meetings

Among all marketers surveyed, 70% said that they want meet with their sales teams “more frequently” to review and discuss strategy.  

“Research shows that organizations with aligned teams, where marketing and sales communicate frequently, experience higher year-over-year growth in annual revenue,” said Tawheed (TK) Kader, CEO and Founder of ToutApp. “Marketers and sales need to step outside of their siloes and come together to drive greater value for their organizations. Our data finds that the desire is clearly there, but the organizations themselves need to take advantage and implement a regular meeting system across teams.”

89% Say Meetings Boost Results

When asked to describe how effective or ineffective intra-team meetings typically are in improving marketing outcomes, the overwhelming majority of those polled, 89%, deemed them “effective.” There was room for improvement, however, with 51% citing them as “moderately effective” versus 39% “very effective.” Only 11% of marketers called marketing and sales team strategy meetings ineffective.    

“Intra-team meetings are overwhelmingly positive,” added Kader. “For B2B marketers seeking to improve marketing outcomes and drive better results from the top of the funnel down, it starts with sales alignment.”   

25% Cite Metrics as Top Challenge

The top challenge preventing marketers from meeting with sales to discuss strategy is that marketers believe they “measure success differently” from sales. 25% picked this as the biggest hurdle, followed by “my company doesn’t have a system in place for regular meetings” (22%) and “our goals are different” (16%).

“When looking to enhance intra-team communications, it’s essential that both departments understand why each side uses their respective metrics and how those metrics can be used on the other side,” said Kader. “This establishes a baseline with which both sales and marketing can leverage to evaluate their respective performances.”

Almost Half Want to Discuss Lead Quality

When asked to identify what they would like to discuss with sales teams the most, the top four focus areas among respondents were:

  1. Lead generation quality and conversion to sales: 46%
  2. How messages are received and questions that arise in their delivery: 40%
  3. Problems leads say that they’re facing in sales conversations: 32%
  4. Competitive companies that come up in sales calls: 27%

“Even if sales and marketing have different priorities and personalities, they share a common goal – to increase revenue,” said Kader. “For any business, you want to ensure that both halves of the funnel are aligned and aware of each other’s goals. The easiest way to do that is by facilitating consistent communication between the two departments, discussing everything from lead quality to the competitive landscape.”

Thanks to VentureBeat for the exclusive coverage of our new survey, click here to read the article. 

Why LinkedIn’s New Mobile App is a Game Changer for You

Last week, LinkedIn’s mobile app got a complete overhaul with changes that cater to the on-the-go (Sales)person. With 380+ million members, and two new members joining every two seconds, LinkedIn is the go-to network for professionals everywhere. Dare we say that it’s the staple network for more engaging content than Facebook?

The overhauled app is segmented into five different areas: Home, Me, Message, My Network and Search. We’ve spent the past few days using the app on our lunch break, waiting in line for coffee, on our commute to work and in bed before calling it a day, and we’ve compiled a list on how you can reap the benefits.

1. Create a More You-Centric Home Feed

The first major change is a more focused Home feed, which is less about your network and more about what matters to you as a Salesperson. The Home feed is a mix of updates from your network, who you follow and hand-picked topics and influencers that appeal to your interests. This marks a huge shift from LinkedIn’s desktop page where it shows your network activity, to a more you-centric feed.

Once you update (or download, if you’re new to the mobile app), during the onboarding experience, you’ll be able to select topic, subjects and influencers to follow that are relevant to you–which it makes it easier than ever to stay informed and in turn apply those learnings and content to your sales process. LinkedIn has long touted itself as the professional social network, and finally they’re living up to that name by surfacing content and news that helps you grow professionally as a Salesperson.

More of what matters for your day, less of what doesn’t / Photo Courtesy of LinkedIn

Now, we’re not saying that your network doesn’t matter–it does. But sometimes with all the clutter on LinkedIn, it’s nice to have a focus on what matters to you and allows us to better connect with prospects. With a streamlined Home feed experience, it allows us to zero-in and dive deeper into what matters.

2. Boost Your Opportunities to Connect With Your Network

If you find yourself asking, “Isn’t Sales about building relationships and educating customers? And not putting myself first?” The answer is yes. Sales is about educating the buyer and solving their problems. As LinkedIn fully revamped the Home feed section, they’ve moved information such as work anniversaries, promotions, new jobs, when a connection published a post, etc. to the My Network section.

Why? It makes more sense. All of those activities are now compartmentalized in it’s own section where you can focus on engaging with your network. Here’s how it works:

New update card from your connections

Blake J. Harber, Enterprise – Account Development Manager at HireVue, recently published a post and I was notified in the My Network section. I can read the post straight from the app, like it, comment on it, etc. Additionally, I can take my #SocialSelling efforts one step further and “reach out” and write a quick note about my thoughts on SDR teams.

The My Network section creates individual cards for each activity update, so you can focus on one person at a time and truly personalize each outreach message from congratulating a prospect on their promotion, wishing a customer a happy birthday, to sending a quick note about a post. With this new LinkedIn experience, you’ll never miss an opportunity to connect.

3. Stay Engaged With Your Network, Anywhere

If 70% of the buyer’s journey happens before they talk to Sales, Salespeople have to get creative and learn new ways of how and when to connect with buyers earlier on in the journey in order to have any influence during the sales process. As the sales stack continues to evolve with #SocialSelling, texting and working from their phones–LinkedIn’s revamped Message section will play a huge role in how Salespeople engage with their network.

The Message section is less like the formal InMail feature and is a more casual way to keep in touch with your network–whether it’s a prospect, customer or former colleague. No matter the intended audience, the revamped section facilitates quick, yet highly engaged conversations. And why is this a game changer for Salespeople?

Photo Courtesy of LinkedIn

The new Message section functions like a messaging app and gives your sales outreach a  personalized touch in a more immediate format. It’s optimized for those 1:1 engagements where you’ve already established a relationship with a prospect, they’re far down the funnel and you want to stay top of mind without sending a formal email, sharing a piece of content to your entire network, or scheduling a call. Instead, you can send a quick message and have a real-time discussion.

Conclusion

As Social Selling and personalizing your sales outreach is becoming more critical, LinkedIn’s new mobile app makes it easy to access information and implement it during your sales process. Joff Redfern on the LinkedIn blog said, “We know time is scarce, so we made it as easy as possible for you to connect to your professional network and stay informed about the conversations and content most relevant to you.”

In addition to the new functionality and sleek UI, we think that LinkedIn’s mobile app is going to be an even greater contributor to the sales process. If you haven’t updated your app yet, we urge you to do so now because it’s going to change the way you engage. What are your thoughts on the new LinkedIn mobile app experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

Video | 6 Traits of a Great Salesperson

Today is the first annual International Sales Day Out, created by the Inside Sales champions at AA-ISP.

Here’s the idea:

December 3rd 2015, marks the first annual International Sales Day Out! Today was created as a special time to pause briefly to reflect, celebrate and recognize all those who have dedicated themselves to the sales profession.

-Bob Perkins, AA-ISP Founder

To add to the celebration, we created this video that highlights the six traits every great Salespersons possesses.

Any key traits we missed in this video? Let us know!