It was a joy to intern with Cruxy & Company, who relentlessly drive real change by transforming insight into action.
Having finished my first year at King’s College London studying Spanish and Management, I have learnt many new incredible skills that I can bring into the next year of University. I have enjoyed getting used to the ‘crux’ of things in a new work environment & I have gained amazing insight into the B2B Tech landscape.
The art of building a sales pipeline
Throughout my internship, I believe that all the tasks I have been assigned lead to one common denominator – the power of a network & how crucial it is in building an effective sales pipeline. Everybody has heard the old cliché: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”
Fortunately, or unfortunately, this adage is still alive & well. Everybody needs to develop the ability to nurture relationships. In business, the focus is on the right ways to leverage networking as a tool at both an individual & company level to establish mutually beneficial relationships. It’s networking with a purpose.
Networking: more than just your online presence
In the age of social media, there needs to be a mixture of online & offline networking. The clear benefit of online networking is the ability to connect with a broader set of connections across a wider geographical area.
The favoured methods of online business networking are:
- LinkedIn – where you build connections in a more formal, professional approach
- Twitter – where you can again build up & identify a network in a more informal approach.
The trap that individuals fall into is that they forget to network in person & rely entirely on faceless social media. In order to make the ‘quaint’ idea of actually meeting people, face-to-face work requires finding the right events, conferences and/or meetups. In London, there can be numerous potential events on any given day. Relying on faceless methods of networking will not build the same level of engagement.
You’ve found a way in; how do you maximise your efforts?
The best networking events are ones where you can contribute something yourself – you aren’t there to just hand out business cards.
Taking opportunities to speak to groups at events in your niche or complimentary market should not only help you meet potential customers & add to your list of prospects but also help you identify opportunities for partnerships & collaborations with others.
This can further help to raise your visibility & professional profile. The more people that see you at events & that know that you’re working in a given area, the more likely they may be to refer you & your company to other people. By understanding precisely the exact issues that they’re facing can allow you to target them effectively.
Networking should not stop at attendance: your approach can be further enhanced by seeking speaking opportunities. These opportunities give you the chance to position yourself as a unique problem-solver. Identifying meetups or conferences that are looking for speakers or suggesting ideas & topics to conference organisers can help to add real value. In addition, seeking industry awards can cement your position within the industry.
Alternatively, operating as a mentor will also show the leaders of that community your value. In addition, building relationships with management of the many incubators & accelerators that are prevalent in London can also build networks & business opportunities. Likewise, learning from others who are leaders in your industry & meeting people who’ve been there & succeeded can be inspirational.
Walking the line between digital & physical networking will be the difference between a 6/10 & a 9/10
Social media is great for identifying & building networks with your target audience in a more efficient & broader way than is possible with personal networking. However, getting away from your desk & meeting real people is the true answer to building your industry presence & sales pipeline. In building an effective network, you also need to focus on what you can do for other people, rather than just what they can offer you.
Furthermore, treating people with respect, proving yourself & establishing your value is critical for building a sales pipeline. Using networking to provide value & make genuine connections is critical in giving your sales pipeline a head start & I can now confirm that this is the true Cruxy way.