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Show Transcript

LinkedIn released the state of sales in 2021 report, and I can confirm, it’s fire!

Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.


AJ Wilcox
Hey there, LinkedIn Ads fanatics, I have a confession for you. I am a marketer. I’m a marketer through and through. And I don’t consider myself a salesperson. In fact, I consider myself to be the furthest thing from a salesperson. But after years of internal debate, and reconciling the image of the sleazy used car salesman with what I do, I finally come to admit to myself that sales performance is deeply and undeniably connected with my LinkedIn Ads efforts, it’s absolutely not uncommon for us to be absolutely slaying it for a client and getting incredible costs and results and low cost per lead. But then just to find out that their sales team doesn’t know how to handle the leads, they don’t close any, and it makes us look bad. Or the other way around. We can be doing decently, but maybe we haven’t quite hit our stride with optimizations yet. And then sales happens to close something. And suddenly, we look like rock stars. No matter which way you slice it. We as marketers live and die by the performance of our sales counterparts. Because of this connection. I’m pleased to have Sean Callahan from LinkedIn as our guest this week. I’ve gotten to collaborate with him on many projects, I’m lucky to call him a friend. And his team has recently released the state of sales report. And I know you’re going to find it fascinating, as well as it will help you become a better marketer.

First in the news, in May, LinkedIn released several new features. So let’s walk through those. The first is boosting posts, basically, like a really simple version of campaign manager for maybe a social marketer who doesn’t do much on the paid side to be able to boost their posts to target audiences. I’m not very excited about this, I kind of think, meh, because I would much rather use campaign manager. But maybe you’ve got folks on your social team, or maybe even organic team that would be interested to know about this. Next, LinkedIn officially released their event ads. And on the roadmap episodes in the past, we’ve talked several times about event ads and what they’re going to be in my testing, I haven’t found them to outperform a single image sponsored content ads when promoting an event. But it’s definitely worth testing to see if you can get them to help perform. One thing of note in our testing is that you can’t have multiple copies of the event for like individual campaign tracking. So it’s kind of like boosting posts, you pretty much create one event, and then share it into multiple campaigns. I don’t like that for attribution. So I hope we’ll have a little bit more control over attribution for event and in the future. The next one I am really excited about this is we’re now able to go live on LinkedIn live without a third party app. So I absolutely love using They’re my favorite streaming platform. But every single time I go live on LinkedIn, I always have some sort of a technical hurdle. Because I’m trying to run through, you know, three or four different applications, it runs my laptop so hard, that it’s just you know, the fan is screaming. And so now we get to do this by broadcasting directly through something like zoom or a WebEx that you might already be using to go live. It simplifies things. And it’s going to give me a lot more confidence when going live. And hopefully, you’ll be able to see me go live a little bit more often. We also got some beefed up event analytics. So these are more insights into your LinkedIn events, which is something we’re super grateful for. We’ve really wanted this ever since events came out. Every time LinkedIn releases a new feature, we want to you’ll have all kinds of insights into whether or not it’s working. And now we actually have that for events. In the same release, LinkedIn also released mobile page insights. So if you’ve ever wanted to see how your LinkedIn page was performing, but you were on the go, you were just pretty much out of luck. Well, now LinkedIn have released the ability to see your page analytics, right from the LinkedIn mobile app. And this is fantastic. I applaud anytime we get more control and insight in the mobile app. Something else really exciting. I’ve been asked about this for years and years, LinkedIn just released their official certifications. And not only are they free, but if you get certified within the next 30 days. It’s probably like the next 20 days after this podcast goes live. But you’ll get one of the like bragging rights of being one of the very first people to be certified. So check the notes down below. In the show notes, you’ll see a link right to the certifications. There are two that you can take right now and get them attached to your LinkedIn profile to show off that you rock at LinkedIn Ads. And our last piece of news here something I’m really, really excited. In many of the last episodes, I’ve kind of hinted and teased about this. But as of this week, the official LinkedIn Ads course update is now live. So to give you an idea, I recorded the last LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads. It’s been several years now. And the content was about an hour and five minutes long. And I’ve been collecting feedback and questions, and you know, all kinds of different insights over the last several years. And I’ve now gotten to put that into the update. So if you’ve taken the course in the past, I would highly recommend go and take the updated course, I think it’s about an hour and 45 minutes long, and it is chockfull. I couldn’t be more proud of the information and the learnings that you’ll have within the course. So hit the link in the show notes, go to LinkedIn Learning, and take the course you’ll be absolutely pleased you did. Popping into recent reviews, first of all, a huge thank you to the one person who rated this podcast with one star and didn’t even leave a review. I don’t know what I did to piss you off. But feel free to reach out to me to discuss what I could be doing better on the show or how we can better support you. We had a review from Max in Thailand, and he says, “This is Max. I’m an Italian living in Thailand, I just want to drop a note to say thank you for your work, and really appreciate the level of details in your podcast. I’m not a podcast listener, and I stumbled in your channel by chance. But I have found this to be one of the best free radio sources I have ever seen. Congratulations, and thanks again.” Max, thank you so much. It means the world to me that someone who’s not into podcasts would become a podcast listener because of this show. So thanks so much. And on behalf of the medium of podcasting, I hope you find lots of other valuable stuff here too. We also had David leave a review who said, “I’m an intern, and our founder has assigned to me with finding the absolute best podcast. So I had to reach out to you because the LinkedIn Ads Show podcast is absolutely amazing. Our company is focused on providing the necessary tools and knowledge to our customers to fill their calendars with demos through cold emails and LinkedIn.” David, thanks so much for sharing those experiences. First of all, I’m glad that the show showed up in your searches, as you were out trying to find this for the CEO, and boy, glad to have you as a listener. Okay, with that being said, I want to feature you all of you here in the reviews highlight. So make sure you go to whatever podcast player or hub and leave us a review on the podcast. Of course, I would prefer not leaving one star reviews. Especially not saying why. But certainly, please leave a review. Let us know what you think of the show and we’ll shout you out. Okay, I’m so excited to have Sean Callahan. Let’s jump right to the interview.

All right, Sean Callahan. Welcome to the show. Sean is a Senior Content Manager at LinkedIn. He works out of the Chicago office. Personally, he’s the author of several children’s books, including the most recent Voting with a Porpoise. He helped create LinkedIn’s latest state of sales reports. Sean and I go way back. We met at CES several years back. We’ve gotten to collaborate on a bunch of different projects and things. And now I’m really excited to get to talk to you about this latest report. So welcome to the show.

Sean Callahan 8:25
Hey, thanks for having me on. AJ, it’s great to connect again.

AJ Wilcox 8:29
Always, always fun pleasure for me. So first of all, tell us about the state of sales report. And why you and your team decided to take it on, how long it’s been running, all those goodies.

Sean Callahan 8:40
Yeah, well, this is a this is a report. This is the fifth time we’ve done this state of sales report. It’s a survey of what’s going on in sales. We’re trying to talk to our customers for the LinkedIn Sales Navigator product and the LinkedIn Sales Insights product about where sales is headed. We’re just trying to be useful to the marketplace. And this report is pretty extensive. So it’s global in nature. We interviewed or we surveyed more than 7500 people in 10 countries, the US and Canada, Netherlands, Germany, France, UK, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and India. And I think that’s actually 11 because we did have the Netherlands this year. And we asked them a huge battery of questions. It’s buyers and sellers were asking, so we’re getting both sides of the sales process. And we also use LinkedIn data for this. You know, on our platform, we’re able to tell through Sales Navigator analyzing actions by salespeople, what actions work and what don’t. We find generally that if you share content on a regular basis, but not overly sharing that you do better, same with sending emails, we’ve got some data on that. And we also interviewed 30 to 40 sales experts and sales leaders for this version of the report, which was something new. So we brought in different perspectives from the industry, not only in the US and Canada, but around the globe, Latin America, EMEA, and APAC and got their points of views and included those in the reports, there’s a global version of the report that’s coming out in a month, we have already released a US version, UK version, a version for France just came out this week. We have Brazil and Mexico already out and a version of the Netherlands in English out and the other reports will be coming out over the next several weeks. So it’s a pretty extensive project. And and again, we’re just trying to be useful for the sales industry and and talk about what’s happening, I can go into the seven trends that we found here, I’ll just list them we’ll talk in more detail, I think as we go along in this conversation. But number one was virtual selling is good for sellers and even better for buyers. Number two is sales organizations and managers must adjust to a remote working world and the just now, sales organizations are preventing sellers from putting buyers first I think this is a really interesting one and I can go into detail on that as we dive in a little deeper. We found six sales behaviors in particular that are killing deals. We found that sales technology provides, especially in this virtual selling world, a key pathway to building trust. Number six was for sales organizations, data is more crucial than ever. And number seven was buyers and sellers are ramping up their use of LinkedIn.

AJ Wilcox 11:35
Oh, so first of all super interesting trends. I loved reading all of them. What I really like about this report is it really is an amalgamation of so many important things. Of course, there’s the survey. So you’re getting data from your customers, but then you brought in experts. And my favorite part is you’re actually using LinkedIn data. I can’t imagine anyone else who has more insights about what sales folks are doing than LinkedIn. And so I’m so glad that you’ve gotten to bring that to the table.

Sean Callahan 12:03
Yeah, I think it makes our report unique, and gives us a view of the sales world that is almost impossible to replicate.

AJ Wilcox 12:12
Oh, yeah. So because our listeners are for the vast majority, LinkedIn Ads professionals, mostly in the marketing job function. I’m really curious, what sort of impact do you think this data and these findings will have on us as marketers? And what insights can we take from it?

Sean Callahan 12:30
Yeah, well, I think one of the key things is that marketers should just understand that sales is in a period of change right now. And I think that may help as a marketer myself, and working with a bunch of salespeople. I understand, you know, and throughout my career, that marketing and sales don’t always work together, as well as they probably should have, or as well as certainly as well as we want them to. But I think understanding that there’s a huge shift happening in sales right now, with virtual selling technology coming on, remote work coming into play, I think it’s important for marketers to understand that that’s number one. Number two, I think there’s some interesting stuff in this report about the power of brand for salespeople. And it can give marketers sort of a leg up in explaining to salespeople the power of marketing for them. You know, I think sometimes it’s hard for salespeople to appreciate what marketers can do for them. And this helps, because, for instance, in the six behaviors that are immediate deal killers, and this is all data from the US Canada report. One of the top behaviors that is seen as a deal killer by buyers is that the salesperson is affiliated with a brand that I don’t trust. So putting money behind branding is something that is going to help salespeople gain the trust of buyers. I think that’s an interesting, you know, thing that I think sometimes it’s hard for marketers to communicate that and here we have it. In our survey, we also had buyers rank the factors that are important in influencing the purchase of a product or service. And number one was trust in the brand of product or service, like it had nothing to do with the salesperson, you know that number one thing is about the brand of the product or service. And I think that speaks to how marketers can begin to talk to salespeople about what marketing and investment in marketing brings to the table for salespeople and helping to close deals, meet their quota, etc.

AJ Wilcox 14:42
Oh, I like it. Okay, so that leads me to another question here. What can we do to strengthen our sales teams with the findings from this report? Is this as simple as like forward it to the sales team and you try to get them to read it? Like do you have any tips for us as marketers to help our sales teams act on this?

Sean Callahan 14:59
Yeah. I think talking about brand is important. And I think salespeople understand it in their gut, you know that if they walk into a customer, or if they’re emailing a customer, the brand in, you know, is one that they’re confident that the customer, the prospect is going to recognize and has as a good feeling about. I think that’s very powerful and seeing it come from not a marketer saying this, but buyers saying this, you know, I think that’s very valuable from the marketing point of view. It’s kind of a recapitulation of the idea that no one ever got fired for buying IBM. Buyers, like the comfort of a brand that they recognize. And marketers can use this to argue for more investment in brand, which ultimately is not helping the marketer, but helping the salesperson and helping the salesperson close deals.

AJ Wilcox 15:54
So true. And we find this time after time, anytime that we’re running an account based marketing or an ABM campaign, if our clients are doing active outreach from their sales departments to their buyer, we find that as soon as we start advertising, our advertising gets a lot more efficient. And their success rates get a lot more efficient, just because these people now if heard of you, they know who you are, they assume there’s some legitimacy to your brand. And so I definitely second that branding is super valuable to what we do.

Sean Callahan 16:25
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’m partial to the phrase or the slogan that if they don’t get into the top of the funnel, you’re not going to get them to the bottom of the funnel.

AJ Wilcox 16:34
Oh, yeah. So without spoiling the exciting stuff in the report, can you talk about what went in to finding these trends? And maybe a little bit about what may have surprised you?

Sean Callahan 16:44
Yeah, one of the surprising things is this concept of buyer first is interesting to me. And it’s interesting that in what we found is 65% of sellers say they always put the buyer first. And only 23% of buyers agree. So it’s about 1/3 of buyers, but there’s more closeness in there, then you would think so what we found is that it’s it’s kind of a necessity to put the buyer first, especially in the first days of COVID happening, you didn’t even know whether your buyer was, you know, in business anymore. So you really had to think buyer first, you know, some companies were doing very well like say Netflix or Peloton in the first days of the of the pandemic, they were doing well. And so maybe they were going to buy products. But then there were other at the other end of the spectrum, there were companies in the travel industry, let’s say where they were probably completely on hold and that and not going to buy buy anything. So So we found that but this buyer first thing is very interesting with sales people sort of wanting to be buyer first. And buyers obviously wanting salespeople to be buyer first. But there’s a disconnect in whether it’s actually happening. And we found, we identified that we had six behaviors that we said, okay, these behaviors are inarguably buyer first. And some of them, for example, are providing free and easy access to product reviews and other content, that’s a buyer first behavior. Staying actively engaged after the sale, to ensure value delivery, being completely transparent about pricing. All those are what we would call buyer first behaviors in the sales process. What we found is that both buyers and sellers totally agreed that these were important in the buying process. So we found that there was total agreement on that, but where we found the disagreement was, you know, buyers saying that sellers practice these behaviors all the time was, you know, around 30%. So similar to the number that said that, you know, sellers are putting buyers first. But we also found that individual sales people are saying like I put the buyer first. But, then they were also saying that we asked them about whether their organization puts the buyer first. And they said kind of they said no. They said I am, but my organization doesn’t my organization put the buyer first all of the time. And the you know, for these buyer first behaviors that we were talking about providing free and easy access to product reviews and other content, staying actively engaged etc, was around 40% of the time they said that their organization put these behaviors into practice all the time. And so I think what that speaks to is that there are barriers in the organization to being buyer first and we found some of these barriers are kind of obvious, right like emphasis on short term sales or revenue goals. limited budgets, maybe limited commitment to training or inadequate coaching. Maybe it’s just the organizational culture, or the lack of the right skill set among existing sales talent, because we know sales has gotten much more complex, especially in, say, the technology industry or you know, even old smokestack industries like manufacturing, etc, are relying more and more on technology. And so the sales process has become more complicated. But organizations aren’t adjusting, and they’re making it more difficult than it should be for the average salesperson to place the buyer first. And that’s what we found. I think that’s like one of the key takeaways from the state of sales report.

AJ Wilcox 20:45
It sounds like the sales reps are ready for this change. They’re creating the groundswell. And now it’s the organization’s time to catch up to come and do the right thing.

Sean Callahan 20:55
I think largely, that’s true. I mean, I think some sales organizations are well ahead of the curve. But yeah, I think sales managers and sales executives, you know, they need to take a look at their organization and kind of assess whether they are enabling their salespeople to do what they need to do to, you know, really, to sell in this current environment. And I don’t think this current environment is going to change very much. I think remote work is kind of here to stay and virtual selling is going to continue to remain important. But there probably will be a hybrid as the pandemic begins to recede, where you’re doing some in person along with virtual selling, and you’re probably going to need to be skilled at both to be successful.

AJ Wilcox 21:40
Oh, totally agreed. How do you think COVID has impacted virtual selling? And I know you already said this, but what do you think in the future? Why do you see that this is a change that that is so permanent? What makes you think that the world can’t just go back to where we were pre-COVID?

Sean Callahan 21:58
Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting question. I was listening, we just happen to have a live event, live virtual event today where we were talking about this very thing. And it was a sales expert, Alejandro Cabral, he works in Argentina, for Kimberly Clark Professional. He said that evolution never goes backwards. And he was referring to you adapt these sales technologies, and they become de facto how you how business gets done. So the technologies that enabled salespeople to sell virtually in the pandemic, companies saw that, you know, hey we can close deals without getting in front of customers, we can reduce our travel and entertainment budgets, and still close deals. Buyers told us in this report that 50% of them in the US and even more globally said that buying became easier when they did it virtually. And they were working remotely. And buyers said by huge numbers that they would love to work more than, you know, I think it was something like 60 some percent wanted to work remotely more than 50% of the time. So this this remote work, which kind of requires a virtual selling approach is not going away. Companies see it as valuable, their employees like it, not only from the personal standpoint, but from the business standpoint, in fact that it makes buying easier. So I don’t think any of this stuff is going away. I mean, obviously we’re going to start to go back to conferences and meeting people as the vaccination levels go up. And the disease begins to recede. But these changes are permanent to a large degree. And it’s in some way, because these changes were already happening with sales technology, enabling a lot of this virtual selling and closing deals without ever actually shaking hands with a person in the flesh.

AJ Wilcox 24:03
Yeah, I agree with that. It’s more like it didn’t change the way that we do business. It just accelerated the change that was already in the works. And now we’re living the way that Yeah, we probably naturally would have within three or four years, but COVID sure accelerated us towards it

Sean Callahan 24:20
Yeah, accelerated is the word. I mean, this was coming. But it made it happen much faster in something that you know, your marketing audience might remember is like, I think 2008, 2009 that downturn really had an impact on the adoption of online advertising. I think online advertising was something that companies were doing, but in that downturn, they understood that it was cheaper, and they could prove immediately whether it was working or not. And in that era where there was such tight money, companies really move towards that much faster than they would have normally. And they moved away from things like print where it was harder to prove the value to online advertising. And that changed, you know, the value of advertising online like almost overnight.

AJ Wilcox 25:13
And what a beautiful change that was. Yes, for you. It was a great, great change. True! You said something earlier that made me think of a quote that was actually in the report. I absolutely loved this quote. It’s by the CEO of Flockjay, Help me with his last name, it’s Shaan Hathiramani, is that close? Enough?

Sean Callahan 25:32
Close enough

AJ Wilcox 25:33
Okay, cool. He says the digital world is here to stay. The inefficiency of travel of in person business meetings, late night dinner appointments will make face to face meetings less common and not necessary. In many cases, organizations will use more data, more video more telesales? I don’t think that we will go back to the world that was

Sean Callahan 25:53
Yes. I totally agree with Shaan. I think that’s he’s absolutely right in everything. And I think we’re seeing right, I don’t think anything, you could argue with any aspect of that, quote.

AJ Wilcox 26:06
Yeah. So it’ll be interesting to see. Because there’s, there’s a lot of this stuff that was in person that was really annoying. And we wish we could do it remotely. And then there was a whole bunch of things like events and conferences, where, you know, we did a lot of that, for fun and for work. And I’m interested to see if that comes back, you know, raging. People have been locked inside for a year and a half or two years. Now, I can’t wait to get out and meet people again. Or if people are just gonna say, oh, I found that I really liked being in my house. I don’t think I need to do conferences anymore. Do you have any insights into maybe what can happen there with public events?

Sean Callahan 26:41
Yeah, I think events will come back. And we talked about this hybrid idea, right? I think it’s going to be harder to meet individually, like a buyer at our office, for instance, I think that’s going to be hard, especially in the near term. Because I don’t think companies want people from the outside coming into the office, it’s just, you know, they’re not sure it’s safe yet. But I think that these conferences, especially the best ones, are going to thrive, because people still in this hybrid model are going to want to get together. And it’s going to be maybe even more important than it was in the past. Someone was telling me a long time ago about why they thought that the events business would thrive in B2B, where publications might not. And this is, I think turned out to be true, is that events are the only thing that Google can’t do. You know, in person, it’s something that the online world doesn’t enable us to do. But these events, you get to meet people meet new people, shake hands, go out to dinner, have a drink, whatever, that stuff is going to be more important at these events, because it’s kind of going to be at least in the, say, foreseeable future, the only place you can do it.

AJ Wilcox 28:00
I totally agree with that. My thought is, you know, so many of us are so burned out by zoom, we’ve participated in so many virtual events. And really, no matter how you slice it, the type of learning that you do in a virtual event is significantly different than the type of learning that you would do in person. And so I think people will be excited to get back to that level of learning where they’re not multitasking. And yeah, thanks during that.

Sean Callahan 28:25
Yeah, I mean, I’d love virtual events. And I think virtual events are here to stay. But the one thing that they lack, to the degree that an in person has is, you know, the aisles, the conference hallways where you meet people and talk to you know, that’s an important part of a conference. And I think that’s something that we’re going to crave.

AJ Wilcox 28:44
Yeah, good point, someone’s gonna find a solution for that.

Sean Callahan 28:47
Yes. Well, there are like, you know, there’s sort of, you know, you got breakout rooms that virtual events and you have the chat down the side. But they’re trying to approximate I think, the conference aisle-ways in hallways,

AJ Wilcox 29:02
Yeah, you get some of the serendipity and meeting with those types of things. Boy, it’s gonna be hard to replicate the I was just randomly standing behind this person that, you know, at a food truck, or we were both in line to ask a speaker a question and ended up striking the conversation. I hope we get to preserve those kinds of things. Okay, here’s the quick sponsor break, and then we’ll dive into the rest of the interview.

The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by, the LinkedIn Ads experts.

AJ Wilcox 29:34
If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you B2Linked is the agency you’ll want to work with. We’ve spent over $135 million on LinkedIn Ads, and no one. I mean, no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead. We’re official LinkedIn partners, and you’ll deal only with LinkedIn experts from day one. Fill out the contact form on any page of to chat about your campaigns. We’d love to work with you. And definitely let us know that the podcast sent you. Alright, let’s go ahead and jump right back into the interview.

Out of curiosity, we’ve talked a little bit about how COVID really affected selling. But tell me how you think COVID affected the buying of the buyer side of all this?

Sean Callahan 30:17
Yeah, well, I talked a little bit about the the remote work. And I think that’s part of what’s going on here that buyers 50% of buyers say that working remotely has made the purchasing process easier. That’s from our survey data. And we also found that remote job postings, they’re not going away, they’ve increased by more than 5x globally since the start of the pandemic. And that’s, that’s LinkedIn data, LinkedIn platform data, 64% of buyers in North America are working remotely more than half of the time. Again, that’s our survey data and 70% of buyers want to continue working remote they have for more of the time in the future. So that’s really transformational, I think. And for selling, it’s huge that, you know, how we work in offices is going to change forever. I’m lucky or odd in that I’ve worked from home on 1, 2, 3, like five straight jobs. I’ve had a home office job since 1998. I’ve been working. But I think more and more people are going to be like that. Working from home all the time, we found that it’s doable. There are obviously downsides like your resume, fatigue is a real thing. And people want to have connection with people. That’s why conferences are going to continue to work. But there has been a definite shift. Like I said before, that that idea that evolution doesn’t go backwards is real too. We’re not going to be able to walk this back, the genie is out of the bottle.

AJ Wilcox 31:49
I love that example you shared about the 2008 downturn and the adoption of online advertising. I hadn’t considered that before. And I’ve been wondering like, ooh, is the world going to go back to the way it was? I think you just cemented in my mind that no, it’s not this, this is an evolution.

Sean Callahan 32:08
I really think so. Because that we didn’t really go back to print advertising, you know, it hasn’t really recovered

AJ Wilcox 32:16
Oh yeah. Alright, so shifting gears here a little bit? How are sales organizations using data?

Sean Callahan 32:21
Well, I do know that sales organizations are using tons of data and more all the time. And one of the key things is their metrics, how they measure success. And that has changed over the past few years. You know, the cliche is that sales organizations measure quota, individual quota and team quota. And what we’re finding is that customer satisfaction, and customer retention are two of the top metrics for sales organizations, rather than individual quota and team quota. Those are still important. But they are not what they used to be as far as like far and away, what organizations are measuring organizations are taking a longer term view of the world. That’s an important thing to take note of. They’re also using a lot of data in how they go about identifying customers. They use it to identify accounts they can go after, industries they can go after, geographies they can go after. And you know, LinkedIn, frankly, is one place where you can find that kind of data. And that stuff is becoming more and more important. And one of the quotes in the state of sales is that you know, data for sales organizations has become table stakes. If you don’t have data, you’re sort of driving without your headlights.

AJ Wilcox 33:56
Oh, beautiful.That was an amazing answer to a question I didn’t think through very well before I just read it off. So let me ask you this one, how are sales organizations using the data from this report?

Sean Callahan 34:10
Well, I hope they’re they’re using it to look at where they’re headed, where this industry is headed. I think what this report does is there are several key insights about how to become a buyer first sales organization. And I think that’s crucial. And I think the report also works to confirm what I think sales leaders understand in their gut, that remote working is here to stay. The virtual selling is a skill that you are going to need to succeed. And those kind of insights, I think this report can help sales organizations to prove to the rest of their company that there are certain changes that need to be made

AJ Wilcox 34:59
Wonderful. Because we’ve talked about this report, it’s obviously awesome is the furthest thing from a fluff piece that we’ve ever seen from from anyone. Where can we go and find this report? Where can our listeners go to, to actually, you know, search through these insights themselves?

Sean Callahan 35:13
Yeah, we have a short length. That is, well, it could be shorter. Let’s put it that way. But it’s So it’s

AJ Wilcox 35:31
Perfect. And we’ll throw that in the show notes as well, for those of you who don’t have a pen around or just want to scroll down from your podcast player and hit that link. And, Shawn, and this can be either for you, business life or personal life. What are you most excited about that’s coming up?

Sean Callahan 35:50
Well, I’ll do a business one, I’ve been talking about state of sales, this whole thing, we’ve got a little piece of state of sales, that’s going to come out a little later in the year. It’s what top performers do differently. So in the state of sales survey, we’re able to identify sellers who met 125% or more of quota, and compare them to others who took the survey, and were able to identify certain things that these sellers do differently. And I’ll give you a couple examples. To whet your appetite for this piece. It’s top performers do more research, they actually spend a little bit less time selling than average performers. And they do their research those they’re totally prepared when they they have a call. They by about 15 to 20 percentage points, they do more kind of things like look up person’s LinkedIn profile, visit the company website, find out who’s on the buying committee through Sales Navigator. They do those kinds of things, more than average performers. There’s some other material in there, too. That’s very interesting. But it’s that that research piece and that total preparation piece that top performers have. And I will also tell you that this may be coming out after this, but I have the entire week from July 5 through July 9 off, and I’m looking forward to that.

AJ Wilcox 37:12
Oh, very cool. Without divulging too much. Is there anything on vacation that you’re really looking forward to? Or you’re you’re gonna make sure you do.

Sean Callahan 37:20
I waste a lot of time in my life playing golf, and I will probably do that over that period of time.

AJ Wilcox 37:27
Cool. I love it. Well, I’m super excited for that next report because that sounds exactly what we want to share with all of our clients and their sales teams. Let’s get more of those 125% of quota folks out there. So Shawn, if people want to connect with you, what’s the best place to do it?

Sean Callahan 37:44
Well, you can always look at my LinkedIn profile. Or you can send me an email and my LinkedIn address, which is I would love to talk to anybody who wants to talk state of sales.

AJ Wilcox 37:57
Love it. All right. Sean, thanks so much for joining us. We’d love to have you back again, sometime here soon. Maybe even talk about the what top performers do differently piece. So anyway, stay in touch. And thanks so much for coming on.

Sean Callahan 38:09
Hey, thanks for having me. AJ really enjoyed it. Talk with you soon.

AJ Wilcox 38:13
All right. See ya!

Sean Callahan 38:14
Alright, I’ve got the episode resources for you coming right up. So stick around.

Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.

AJ Wilcox 38:35
All right, I’ve got some great resources for you today. First of all, there’s a link to the state of sales report down in the show notes. That’s It’s a little bit long. But yeah, just go click the link. Next is Sean Callahan. He mentioned his email address is scallahan. So that’s And there’s also going to be a link to his LinkedIn profile, he’d love to connect with you all. I’ve also got a link to the new LinkedIn Ads certifications. So make sure you level up your own resume and go and get those ASAP. And I’ve also got a link to the new LinkedIn Ads course that I told you about. I’m super proud of it. Of course, I want you to take it, but certainly if you have anyone in your organization who is trying to level up or learn LinkedIn Ads, point them towards this course. It is by far the best resource out there. If you have any suggestions, any questions about the podcast, anything like that, reach out to us at Please do look down at whatever podcast player you’re listening to right now. And rate us you know, subscribe. And definitely leave us a review as well. We’d love to shout you out. All right, with all of that. We’ll see you back here next week, I hope. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.