Posted by: southwestcrm | April 7, 2009

Connect LinkedIn to your CRM and watch your sales grow

It was an amazing turnaround in fortunes.  I was working on a large prospective client trying to sell them a system when I hit a brick wall with my sales contact.  Whatever I did the sale was stalling.

For a bit of background, I sell CRM systems and the buying decision typically involves several key players within the prospect organisation and it so happened I was talking to only one of these decision makers.  All be it the main guy.

At the time I was using a version of a CRM system (which I won’t name here because this blog is not about selling a particular CRM system).  I just want to put across the concept.  The CRM system kept track of the opportunity and whole bunch of pre-sales activity but that’s where it stopped helping on this occasion.

Until, that is, the CRM vendor introduced a new module.  A ‘social networking’ module that connected to social networks.  At the time I paid lip service to it.  After all, CRM for my organisation is all about business and not social networking….Social networking is all about keeping in touch with old school friends, right?

Anyway I installed the module into my CRM system, selected the LinkedIn ‘connector’ and tried it out…

Now, I’ve read about paradigm shifts but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw.  Suddently right in front of my eyes, my CRM system came to life with really useful information.  The account I had been working began to show me all the employees at the prospect company that were in the LinkedIn network.  More to the point some of these contacts were actually in my network some levels down!!

For those that don’t use LinkedIn, my LinkedIn network is a list of people I connect with (e.g. business partners).  This network includes THEIR network and so on.  Before you know it your network starts to grow exponentially.

Let me get to the point.   I spotted that the finance controller at the prospect company (whom I had not spoken to or been in contact with) was in LinkedIn.  More to the point she was connected with one of my business partners as a first level contact.

Now you can probably work the rest out but suffice to say, my trusted business partner put in a good word and a new advocate was born.  The sales opportunity reignited with new impetus and a deal was concluded.  In hindsight I could have looked up the client in LinkedIn manually but the beauty of the CRM connector is that it told me automatically and in a system I live inside daily.

Moral: Connecting LinkedIn to your CRM system creates a true relationship building experience for business people.  Without this connection your CRM system is a good, but an underutilised, internal-facing resource.

More information can be found at http://www.southwestict.com

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Responses

  1. Wow – great story.
    I guess this is the future, CRM systems will have to connect automatically to the Social Networking sites.


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