Salesforce was one of the first CRM companies that popped up at the dawn of the digital age, and they have been able to adapt to an ever changing business environment. Designed at a time when social media didn't exist in its current form, the nature of a CRM database is at a relative disadvantage when compared to a social network database, which is constantly updated by the users themselves.
LinkedIn has changed the game when it comes to how professionals connect in the online environment. With their extensive collection of information, they occupy a very unique position. The marketing potential that exists within LinkedIn is enormous. While not designed with sales as its first priority (LinkedIn was designed as an online business networking club), as time has gone by, people have looked for ways to use this latent potential to their advantage.
Many people have contrasted Salesforce with LinkedIn, or even set them up as competitors. In this situation it may be more productive to see them as having a potentially synergistic relationship, and not as competing platforms.
How LinkedIn & Salesforce Work Together
Salesforce has the same limitations that any CRM service will have; it relies on your company to populate the database. This means that your funnel will have to generate the contact info for your sales leads, and this usually means spending money.
LinkedIn takes advantage of what social media does best, namely, collecting vast amounts of personal or professional data, and organising it. This gives sales professionals the ability to create data collection funnels to identify prospective leads, with a far lower opportunity cost.
Maximise Your Lead Generation
Lead generation is the most basic component of the sales process, but leads usually come with a price attached to them. LinkedIn has the ability to completely revolutionise this dynamic. Most people who look through your website aren't going to share their information, or opt-in to your owned traffic without an incentive.
But with modern tracking methods any LinkedIn user that visits your website from LinkedIn can be recorded, and bingo; you have a sales lead! In addition to creating leads, LinkedIn offers your company the perfect platform for reaching out to potential clients. Making sure you don't fall into salesy communication tactics is important, but nonetheless the capability that LinkedIn offers is a game changer.
This easily acquired data makes populating your Salesforce CRM database a lot cheaper. Once your new leads are in your system, Salesforce can take over and do what it does best. LinkedIn wasn't designed to do what Salesforce excels at, and even with some of their recent innovations, LinkedIn still lacks Salesforce’s capacity as a data management system.
Put simply, LinkedIn gives you access to an almost unlimited source of sales and marketing data. Salesforce lets you categorise that data and use it strategically to cultivate leads.
Use Both To Your Advantage
In recent years LinkedIn has moved closer to some of the areas that Salesforce specialises in, but as of yet they don't offer a competing service. This may be due to the fact that LinkedIn is currently valued at around £20 billion ($26.2 billion), and they have their hands full with developing their paid advertising services, rather than extending their CRM capability.
Both LinkedIn and Salesforce offer your company some powerful marketing tools, but they were not designed to be used together. However, many businesses do use them both concurrently and very successfully as part of a bespoke business development strategy. Some of the data collection features needed to sync the two will have to be made for your website by professionals, so that you can collect data on potential leads at little cost. Regardless of how you decide to use these two services to your advantage, creating a system to reduce lead generation costs is a positive move.
Speak to one of our marketing experts about the most cost-effective sales and marketing channels to use for your business.