I love LinkedIn for sales, BUT…

I’m a supporter of LinkedIn for sales. There’s no better resource for finding information about the people that you want to engage and prospect into. I was one of the first to use LinkedIn as a sales tool when it was first launched in the UK…when dinosaurs roamed…

Mutual connections, common interests, their responsibilities and much more. All of these helps sales people find and focus on their Ideal Buying Persona, making approaches personalized and relevant.

BUT, here’s an issue that many sales people might not have considered…

Many companies that match your sweet spot customer profile may not have a LinkedIn profile. This is particularly true of smaller to medium sized businesses as well as HOT new startups and emerging tech that are appearing on the www daily.

If you sell to small and medium business or emerging markets, you may be missing a LOT of business that can represent opportunity for 20% to 40% organic growth. The good news is that your competition is missing out on this opportunity as well.

AND, if you or your sales/marketing executives are still using SIC or NAICS industry codes to segment your market (and build prospect lists for your sales people) – or are still reliant on data providers who use the structured data provided by industry codes – you’re potentially missing 3x to 10x of companies that match your sweet spot ideal customers.

To put this in perspective:

“You’ll be shocked by how many customers your sales personnel don’t know or call on.” Pete Borden, VP Strategic Sales & Marketing, General Tool

Advancements in AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning now make it easier than ever to uncover sweet spot ideal customers, not by using out of date, inaccurate and broad industry codes, but by searching the web for the keywords or phrases that your sweet spot customers use on their web sites to describe their business.

Looking to find all retailers that are pursuing “click and collect” initiatives or food manufacturers who are opening a “new plant” or “new facility?” Or what if you sell insurance and leasing to “granite fabricators” or want to find new re-sellers who have a “cloud” practice that you could partner with?

Done…in seconds.

Research and segmentation that previously took days or weeks, now can be done in less than 30 seconds – allowing for speed to market and competitive advantage for those who leverage AI.

And this doesn’t even touch on how AI finds more people/role information or deliver live news and insights that creates timely sales opportunity.

AI also scales! It’s very cost effective, less than the price of a Starbucks coffee per day per person, so each of your customer facing people can take advantage of the productivity gains to be had.

So, do you have high growth aspirations or double digit growth targets?

If so, you may want to check out what AI can do for you and how it could grow the pool of sweet spot companies for your sales people to sell to – or help you expand and penetrate emerging or hard to find niches quickly.

Here’s a first step to learning more: