Title: Evalueserve – Using LinkedIn for lead generation and brand building
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Evalueserve provides knowledge services to a global client base, including Investment, Commercial and Retail Banks; Insurance Companies; Private Equity Firms; Corporates; Consulting and Research Firms; Law Firms; and Intellectual Property Firms. Evalueserve’s expertise covers areas, such as Financial and Investment Research, Business Research, Market Research, Intellectual Property, Data Analytics and Knowledge Technology Services.
The virtual nature of Evalueserve’s business model called for the use of web-based technologies to support our sales and marketing efforts across the globe. Using LinkedIn, a team member in India can initiate contact or create awareness about Evalueserve with prospective clients, adding comments to forums, asking or answering questions, etc. Clients also proactively approach us with queries, as they see our activities on the network. Viewing profiles of existing and potential clients helps in the client research process. LinkedIn helps the sales teams to identify key contacts and gauge their interests by viewing their forum posts or the events they attend. Most consumers realize that LinkedIn is their professional profile of record.
The result is a notable increase of sales leads together with a better image of the brand and the individuals working at Evalueserve.
Evalueserve has a global Sales and Marketing team. Client Engagement Managers in client locations are supported by the Sales Support teams in our India, China, Chile and Romania centres. Identifying the key contacts at organisations for the initial contact and scheduling meetings with these contacts has been a challenge. Cold-calling without the right background information has not proven to be successful over the years. Reaching clients through traditional media (press releases, white papers, etc.) has been useful in general brand building, but to create greater impact for our present and prospective clients, and get them to recognise us as a large knowledge services firm we required a more direct approach, which LinkedIn provided.
Evalueserve certainly is not the first company to use online networking for business development and marketing purposes. But as Evalueserve is a global company that works virtually in many ways, it is a good case of how modern business is developed and large networks are built without face-to-face meetings.
Many of our Sales Support team members had started using LinkedIn in 2007 and many of Evalueserve’s Client Engagement Managers in Europe and the US had already been using LinkedIn
- For branding, the Marketing Communications (Marcom) team has been encouraging the controlled use of forums for the distribution of white papers, articles, etc. or for answering questions asked by members, researching events and more
- New white papers are systematically posted (excerpts or links) in relevant groups or forums.
- Selected professionals of Evalueserve regularly browse LinkedIn forums to post advice on queries
- The Marcom team also regularly checks forums and questions, and arranges answers/forum posts to be published. Guidelines for Social Media have been included in the global Media Communication manual.
Sales team, Sales Support team and Marketing Communications team.
Planning & Outreach
The Sales team carries out classic research of profiles to identify key contacts within the client organisation or targeted organisations. Client information is also gathered from LinkedIn to prepare for meetings. InMails are sent or connections through groups or forums are established. For branding purposes, managers or subject-matter experts post or answer questions, or are active in LinkedIn groups. Groups and forums are used to post company links or excerpts of white papers/articles.
Impact – Outcome
- Lead generation: The Sales team gains direct access to C-Level people without having to go through numerous rounds of calls with secretaries. Using LinkedIn, one gets to know the focus of the profile being contacted and can customise the pitch accordingly to garner maximum interest. This helps us in reaching the right audience, saving a lot of time and improving our success rate.
- Brand building: By posting white papers on LinkedIn, we have received several requests from traditional media or blogs. Several Client Engagement Managers have also received messages through LinkedIn about their posts. We have also noticed the influx of external recommendations on LinkedIn. Using LinkedIn for marketing has helped us to improve our visibility and catch the attention of our target audience; traditional media is still used as a tool to reach out to a more general audience.
The table below shows the percentage breakup on Lead generation and Brand building for 5 key target verticals from an India perspective.
Lead generation: An effective keyword search can be used to reach out to the right people. A useful tip for lead generation is to check the list of people who have viewed our profile. This lets us know who is interested in the company, and the prospects thereafter are more than cold calls.
Confidentiality: A key challenge was to ensure the confidentiality of our clients and project. Therefore, a Social Media section was added to the global Media Communication manual, and an e-learning module was developed to create greater awareness on the subject.
LinkedIn is now an intrinsic part of Evalueserve’s sales and marketing strategy. In addition, we are also leveraging other social media networks in Germany/Europe like Xing. The Sales and Marketing teams use LinkedIn on a daily basis for business development and brand building.
Our next step will be to increase the use of LinkedIn across the organisation and to add the use of online social and business networking tools to the tool kit of each employee and increase training and awareness (an update on the Media Communication manual and training is currently underway).
Name of the company: Evalueserve
Number of employees: 1001-5000
Category: Business-to-business (B2B) (for limited corporation)
Case submitted by: Sandra Winkler, Global Head, Marketing communications