No fewer than nine out of ten Dutch sales and marketing managers expect to acquire the most new customers via LinkedIn in 2021. This is apparent from a survey by prospex among 111 Dutch commercial managers. Despite the high sales expectations surrounding the business platform, as many as 48 percent of respondents find the quality of the leads to be subpar.
Interestingly enough, LinkedIn is not yet the most valuable. For example, only sixty percent currently call LinkedIn the most valuable platform. Their own network (78 percent) and references (68 percent) score significantly higher. “Many B2B companies see the potential of LinkedIn, but aren’t sure how to leverage it,” said Maxim Spek, founder and owner of prospex. “Our research clearly shows this, which explains their dissatisfaction with the quality of incoming leads. Whether LinkedIn will actually deliver more qualitative leads than its own network and references is still open to question. Those two have been at the top of the list of most valuable sales channels for years.”
In addition to the quality of the leads, no fewer than three quarters of commercial professionals are dissatisfied with the number of leads that come in via LinkedIn. This is partly because 64 percent of them consider generating sufficient appointments from their own online network as the biggest challenge. At both an organizational (53 percent) and personal (57 percent) level, respondents are unable to implement a successful sales approach for LinkedIn. Spek: “Nowadays, most companies have mastered simple things like posting and following up. The survey shows that many respondents find it difficult to outline the total process based on a clear vision. Distinctive content is important and fun, but that’s just the fuel. It is useless without a car. First vision, process and skills, then content creation.”
The research also shows that the human aspect plays a crucial role in the sales process. For example, no fewer than seven in ten respondents state that people are more important to company brands. As a result, 77 percent of them currently pay more attention to social networking than a year ago. Spek: “It is already very common in the consumer sector, but in the B2B sector you don’t think of influencers so quickly. Yet this happens every day, unconsciously or not. People are more likely to accept from someone they know or respect than from a company. It is not for nothing that most collaborations are still established through their own network or references. When you start to see yourself more as a brand and, based on that strategy, remain relevant for your connections, you will see that this has more effect than when you communicate purely from your company name.”