Eloqua team’s social brands turn sales staff into top performers
Eloqua is in the business of helping marketing executives around the world accelerate revenue growth. More than 85,000 users rely on the marketing automation power of Eloqua to improve demand generation and lead management.
Melissa Madian, Senior Director of Worldwide Field Enablement at Eloqua is responsible for training, certifying and educating the company’s pre- and post-sales teams. Her focus is on ensuring that the right systems and processes are used in a consistent manner across the company.
Like many executives, Madian is an active user of LinkedIn and regularly updates her profile. “While I had built my own professional profile online and used it to establish important business relationships, I recognized the need for our sales teams to get on the social bandwagon and develop their own professional brands.”
A 100% complete LinkedIn profile is of tremendous value with cold calling, explains Madian. “If you leave a message for someone you’ve never spoken with before, they will likely Google you. Your LinkedIn profile should be the first thing that comes up. A completed LinkedIn profile significantly increases both your visibility and credibility with prospects, while improving your overall personal brand.”
“It’s interesting to see how prospects can be connected through a colleague or another customer. Our sales team is discovering they can really leverage LinkedIn connections to extend their opportunities.”
~ Melissa Madian, Senior Director of Worldwide Field Enablement, Eloqua
The first step for Madian was to teach sales staff how to create exceptional profiles and use LinkedIn effectively. She says that many team members took their personal branding on LinkedIn very seriously. “One particular sales person put up fantastic descriptions and provided itemized lists of previous employers, past accomplishments and recommendations from other people. He even embedded slide shows, videos and Twitter feeds. We like to use him as the model for how to create a really good LinkedIn profile, engage with their connected community and extend their reach.”
“With our sales team taking the time to not only complete their profiles but also ensure their connections are up to date, we have seen an increase in the number of prospects that have successfully been connected through colleagues or existing customers,” says Madian. “More often than not, one sales person is helping another by facilitating customer introductions. They’re discovering they can really collaborate and leverage LinkedIn connections and their professional profiles to create new opportunities for the entire team and generate revenue for the company.”
Today, Eloqua considers LinkedIn a business imperative. “As a dedicated professional network, LinkedIn should be everyone’s first priority. Once they’ve built their professional brand they can then take their online presence to the next level by adding their social ‘wings’ and integrating feeds from other social networks.”
The benefits of using LinkedIn keep on growing, says Madian. She has seen a significant increase in the number of people viewing the sales team’s profiles. “People are regularly posting content on LinkedIn to promote Eloqua or report their professional activities. Our education and marketing teams are having great success with LinkedIn Groups as a way to actively engage with customers and answer questions. The sales team continues to join these groups and participate, whereas they never used to talk much before. These groups provide prospects with a bit of a preview into our Eloqua community and encourage potential prospects to visit employees’ profiles or the Eloqua corporate page.”
“Everyone is also working hard at creating user groups, connecting with prospects, networking with colleagues and encouraging referrals. Even our education and marketing teams now have groups on LinkedIn and are asking our sales guys to join them. They never used to talk before.”
“One of the great things about LinkedIn is that it helps our sales team develop their professional brand without too much effort,” she adds. “And they get to connect with internal employees to reach even more customers.”
Madian advises other sales executives to make LinkedIn a priority. “Take the time to create a really good profile because someone is going to Google you at some point.”