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The Social Selling Blog

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on April 15, 2015

Don’t Take Shortcuts with Social Selling

Over the past year, social selling has become a hot topic in many business conversations. Selling is no longer about being an interrupter – people don’t often appreciate cold calls that interrupt their lives and work schedules. Now, the emphasis is on identifying and nurturing relationships so you are there when it matters most to clients, instead of only reaching out when it is most convenient for you.

Nurturing business relationships isn’t anything new. What has changed though, is the emergence of social media over the past 5 years and how it has helped eliminate the barriers of connecting with people. With Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, millions of people are now at your fingertips – just a click away from becoming a virtual connection. But whether it is tweeting with a stranger who asked a question on Twitter, or connecting with someone you’ve never met nor talked to on LinkedIn, the one thing that has changed is the quality of those relationships.

People are simply adding connections for the sake of increasing their total network and then doing nothing more with those relationships until they send a message to their new connection pitching their product. What they don’t realize is this actually isn’t social selling – it’s just a new method of cold calling.

Instead of simply connecting with someone for the sake of connecting to drive up LinkedIn Connection totals (or Twitter Followers), take the extra step and try to nurture a real relationship. Make your network about quality instead of simply quantity. Send them a follow-up note thanking them for connecting (never an auto-reply!), try and set up a call to have a brief chat, and put in some effort to get to know them a bit more. You never know when they might be able to help you with a future business problem, or when you might be able to help them.

That is also why here at Introhive we score all of the connections and relationships that are inside our database. We recognize that in this day of social selling not every relationship is made equal. This score gives our users a guideline as to how well someone knows someone else, so when they are looking to ask for an introduction into someone (or simply ask about some background intel) they’ll know if this is a real relationship or not.

How are you going out of your way to create real and lasting relationships with those you meet online? We’d love to hear your story.

on April 1, 2015

Save Time With CRM Data Automation

CRM systems are fantastic ways to keep sales teams and the rest of the organization on the same page. Whether it is managing sales activity & pipeline, marketing leads and campaigns, or customer engagements & support, having insights into the activities of others makes sure your organization is running like a well oiled machine.

As substantial as the benefits of a CRM system may be, the costs are also high. Besides a hefty price tag, the opportunity costs can also be high as CRM systems are only as good as the data you put into them. While employees might start out with the best of intentions, keeping everything up to date can be a time suck, as life is busy and creating new contact records (or logging email activity) can sit on the backburner to sales calls and customer calls.

What if there was a way to simplify this? What if instead of spending time with CRM administrative tasks we could focus on our primary jobs? Well here at Introhive we do.

Using the data automation functionality of our CRM data science, Introhive employees actually get daily emails listing the contacts and activities that they haven’t already logged into our CRM system. With a simple click from within that email they are able to select all the contacts and activities they’d like to log, and then click a button syncing it with our CRM system. Not only does this keep our database completely up-to-date, but it frees everyone’s time up – saving on average 7 hours a week from manually logging this themselves.

What tools are you using to keep your CRM data up-to-date and clean? We’d love to hear all about them. And if you are interested in learning more about our CRM syncing capabilities be sure to email us at info@introhive.com or click HERE to learn more.

on March 26, 2015

Event Reporting: It’s More Than Just Leads

introhive booth

Here at Introhive we attend a lot of events. They provide us with great value as they are a excellent source for lead generation, while at the same time strengthening our relationship with the number of customers and partners that we have.

After any event, it’s important to take stock on whether it was a success or not. Here are a few things we take into consideration when deciding on how worthwhile the event was, as well as whether or not we should attend next year:

Pipeline Driven
This is the easiest and one of the most valuable metrics that we track. By creating a Campaign in our CRM around each event, we can track not only how many leads were generated at a particular event, but also the resulting growth of our sales pipeline. This gives us a great indication on how much direct business was generated as we compare and evaluate one event to another.

Relationships Nurtured
We never go into an event and simply put up a booth and hope for the best. Lots of leg-work goes in ahead of time setting up meetings around the event (or at our booth) with key partners, customers, and prospects. After each event we summarize all the meetings to identify a couple of things when evaluating our success:

– Were we able to move existing pipeline along with our prospects?
– Were we able to strengthen our relationship with partners and their customers?
– Were we able to strengthen our relationship with our customer-base?

This analysis give us a good reference point on all the softer analytics that were derived from the event when we look back, which are just as important to us as a booth lead.

New vs. Existing Relationship Breakdown
One of the key things that we always like to track from events is the breakdown between people we met that were brand new to Introhive vs. people we met that we had an existing relationship with. We always record everyone we interacted with at the event in a CRM campaign. Once we have a record of our interactions, we can cross-reference this with our Introhive relationship data, giving us an indication as to the percentage of people from the event that were brand new to Introhive vs. those with an established relationship with our brand that we were able to further the conversation along with.

Taking all 3 of these things into account gives us a good idea as to if an event was a success or not. What are some of the key metrics you use when measuring the success of your events? We’d love to hear them.

on March 11, 2015

Introhive at Microsoft Convergence

Heading to Microsoft Convergence in Atlanta next week? So are we and we’d love to chat with you about how Introhive is helping Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers drive cleaner and more complete data into their CRM, while increasing end-user adoption and accelerating their sales pipelines.

Here’s how:

Swing by booth #759 as Mark Timmons or myself would love to chat and show you a demo of Introhive in action.

on March 2, 2015

More Than Just Introductions

Relationship mapping and social selling are starting to become hot topics, as everyone is looking to get a competitive edge. It has led to the popularity in the business world of social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as people try to figure out who they know that knows someone that might be interested in their business.

It has also led to companies such as Introhive, who go beyond the relationship mapping of just social connections by also incorporating those connections found in email, meetings, and mobile. No matter where the connection is, these powerful relationships can be leveraged for much more than simply asking for a warm introduction to someone.

Here’s how Introhive helps:

Collaboration & Insight
Many Introhive clients leverage existing relationships through intelligence gathering from colleagues of theirs who might have inside information about a particular prospect or company. This intelligence can be leveraged during the RFP-crafting process, or ny simply having the intel in your back pocket as you head into an important meeting or demo.

Relationship Trending
Not all relationships are built the same. Because of this, we’ve built relationship intelligence into our platform to give an indication of how well someone knows someone else. First off, this gives you an indicator of the likelihood that a person can provide you with an introduction, or, at the very least, with some deep insights into the account. Secondly, by rolling up the scores of all the connections inside a particular account, not only can you can see how well your overall company is connected to other organizations, you can also see whether that relationship is trending in a positive or negative way.

Account Sponsorship
Relationship selling isn’t just limited to the sales team. Executive teams and board members typically have deep and important relationships at a number of organizations. Identifying these relationships can help account planning, as you determine which executives and/or board members might be the best fit as an executive sponsor on a particular account. See which execs not only have relationships inside a particular account, but identify the departments, title level, and relationship strength of each to make sure you can make strategic decisions when it comes to assigning members of your team to the best accounts.

These are just a couple ways companies are using relationship mapping with Introhive to go beyond simply asking for an introduction. Have we missed any? We’d love to hear of other ways you are using relationship mapping to further your business.

on January 8, 2015

Come join our QA team!

Love technology? So do we! Introhive is looking for a Technical Support QA Analyst to join our fast-paced development team in Fredericton, NB.

The ideal candidate will be highly motivated and a team player. Post-secondary education is a must. Knowledge of Windows OS, Exchange, Domino, ActiveDirectory, and AWS is preferred.

Interested candidates can submit resumes to info@introhive.com.