You can find a guru who will tell you anything you want to hear.
If you believe Twitter is the answer to cancer, somebody will certainly confirm it.
If Facebook rocks your socks off, you will wander the planet with stinky feet.
Don’t even get me started on Pinterest. Although, if you have a lovely rhubarb pie recipe handy, I’d be forever grateful if you could kindly pass that along. I heart rhubarb pie.
I hate to bombard you right in the bonnet with a bunch of angry birds, but let’s get real, people.
If you are looking for B2B sales leads, there’s only one online social network that matters.
That’s it. That’s all. There is no close second. All debate is DOA.
You can try to convince me otherwise. But, honestly, you’d have better luck leapfrogging a leprechaun or arm wrestling an alligator. An angry alligator that just ate a hungry, hungry hippo. Just sayin’.
Here is the indisputable truth …
Business professionals love LinkedIn, and they’re spending more and more time there. With more than 300 million members, LinkedIn is the single most powerful tool ever invented for sales.
If you want to find legitimate sales leads and prospects, you have to understand your buyers and you must know where they hang out. It’s tough for most B2B sales teams to find and engage their buyers on Twitter.
Twitter works wonders for the Shelly Kramers of the world. The woman is a social butterfly of epic proportions who is plugged into the Internet 24/7, 365 days a year. She lives and breathes marketing and brand strategy, and that’s also how she makes money. But even Shelly knows that when it comes to social media marketing, Twitter alone isn’t going to deliver much value. Nor is Facebook. In fact, she knows that the vast majority of her prospects aren’t there. On this front, we very much agree.
The company I work for sells to VPs of sales. And you know what? We don’t see a lot of them on Twitter. If they happen to have an account, it is either dead as a doornail or managed by somebody else.
And whether like me you sell to VPs of sales, or if you sell to CFOs, technology executives, or procurement officers, if you’re paying attention, you’ll know that they don’t head to Twitter to help achieve their business objectives. If they tweet, it’s probably a hobby at best.
So where do these crazy-busy people turn to solve business challenges?
- Phone (or email) a friend
- Analyst reports
Decision-makers head to peer-to-peer networking LinkedIn groups to pose questions they have about vendors, or products, or platforms, or software they’re evaluating.
And you know what else they do? They serve up a ton of valuable data about themselves on their profiles:
- Job titles and responsibilities
- Size of their teams
- Revenues and budgets
- Goals and objectives
- Causes they care about
- Where they went to school
- Influencers they follow
You can see who they know, who they’ve worked with, who they’ve recommended, and who has recommended them. They reveal their thoughts, desires and fears by sharing content that speaks to each of these emotional triggers. If only you care enough to look.
LinkedIn is a gold mine of sales intelligence and B2B sales leads. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and their ilk come off smelling like the shaft. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But if you want sales leads? Get serious about LinkedIn.
Leo Dirr writes about inside sales, B2B marketing and social selling. He believes in the power of relationships and stories. He will leapfrog a leprechaun on request.