✨ Start Here
Building Your Lifeline on Inbound
Breaking into Strategic Accounts
1. Social Has a Longer Time to Pipeline
Let’s take a look at a fundamental feature of social selling: longer time to pipeline.
People don't come to LinkedIn to be sold. They log-in to learn, to be inspired, to engage. They want to meet their peers, learn from them, and scroll the news.
And to complicate matters: your name, photo, and headline is tied to everything you do on the platform. You're not an anonymous seller with an email address or a phone number. People can look you up, see what you do, and decide for themselves whether you're worth their time.
Combining these two facts leads us to a simple truth – social has a higher bar of credibility.
This naturally creates a trade-off. If you need to invest more time upfront to build credibility on social, the time to qualified pipeline will be longer. (See graphic above)
The interesting trade-off we see is that deals close faster when sourced from social. Now why would that be?! Well, in our experience, it's because you've built credibility. You've done all the things you would normally do once a buyer is in pipeline... just pre-pipeline. Things like:
- Demonstrate the value of your product or service
- Identify the challenges that your buyers are experiencing
- Linking those pains with your solution
- Building trust and credibility by showing up, being generous with your time, always adding value
- Articulating a compelling pitch
In traditional sales, a lot of this happens after the buyer enters into pipeline. It happens on discovery calls, on calls with multiple stakeholders, and in email chains. On social, you're able to accomplish those same activities before the buyer enters into pipeline.
2. You Need a Lifeline
The main mistake sellers make when they start thinking about creating inbound is this: they start to think like a marketer. Don’t.
Marketers don’t have quota like you do. Marketers are trained on creating content strategies that are full-time jobs. Marketers are over-obsessed with “personal branding.”
This is a guide built for sellers, not marketers. The way we think about generating inbound is creating your lifeline.
Think about it this way:
- If there’s longer time to pipeline…
- …and only a small % of your market is open to purchasing at any point in time…
- …and you can only warmup a certain number of accounts using the outbound plays since they are fairly time intensive…
- …you need a strategy to continue getting 1-to-many exposure to create a lifeline of inbound leads to help you hit quota.
This lifeline requires a steady, but not huge investment. It readily complements your outbound prospecting plays without adding too much additional time to your LinkedIn.
3. Inbound Strategies Take the Longest to See Results
We recommend starting with the outbound plays because it’s easiest to generate quick results.
- The timeline for most outbound plays are 30-90 days, although the current record is 17 minutes from commenting to booked meeting.
- The timeline for most inbound plays are 90-180 days+. It’s more than double the time.
This is why we think about it as creating your lifeline. It’s not going to create immediate results. It’s a demand generation play. But you’re going to thank yourself in 180 days time when your prospecting just somehow doesn’t pay off (we’ve all been there) but your inbound funnel continues to create new leads to help you hit quota.