98% of reps with 5,000+ LinkedIn connections make their number according to Sales Benchmark Index (@TonyAlbachiara). Marketing Automation is great but nothing replaces smart selling. Better yet, I’d suggest mixing both LinkedIn prospecting with Marketing Automation intelligence to get even further ahead (a post for another day). In any case, Sales professionals need to leverage LinkedIn to improve their hit rates. How?
Gaining B2B prospects via LinkedIn referrals is the best way to succeed in 2014. Hands down. Don’t waste time on cold calls with a 1-3% appointment success rate (AAISP, 2012). Think investing in email blasts is better? Slightly better maybe, but still an unimpressive 4.4% open rate (Google, 2013). Still not convinced? Read the 3 Reasons why you aren’t getting enough quality referrals.
Instead, invest your time and energy into improving your LinkedIn game. It will pay dividends.