LinkedIn and creativity to boost your sales with Dariia Gerasimova

The Prospecting Masterclass ep. 24

Hey there Croners! We made it to the 24th episode of The Prospecting Masterclass, the original Crono column that gives you insights and tips right from the best minds in sales.

Can you combine humour, sales expertise and good vibes? Today’s guest is here to prove that, yes, it is possible. We’ll be interviewing Dariia Gerasymova, Strategic Partnerships & Sales @ Leads Otter.

Enjoy reading the interview!

Hey Dariia, let's start with the "easy" question: 5 words to describe yourself!

Not desperate, but super-creative salesperson.

Can you give us a brief recap of your background in B2B Sales? How did you start?

8 years ago, I jumped into the tech industry but with a marketing focus. In 2021, I had a personal crisis and switched to B2B sales with no background. I joined  WeLoveNoCode as a BDR (one of the fast-growing no-code startups that is currently acquired by TopTal), where I quickly became the sales rock star (haha, could I name myself like this?), turning a humble $3K MRR into a head-turning $50K MRR in just 8 months.

It just gave me the understanding that I could do more. This feat earned me the title of Sales Team Lead, but I failed because I needed to understand how to manage people.

So, later, in 2022, I took on the challenge of being the solo sales maestro for a pre-seed startup, building processes from scratch. I did it again with another startup, but the PMF was never proven, so… here I AM!

I joined LeadsOtter, a fledgling startup in the sales trigger arena. In just 3 months, I made my startup crush the hiring signal data market. Now, we are closing 6-figure checks with well-known companies.

What would you suggest to someone starting today in B2B sales?

I think that you should focus on learning a lot and developing relationships with the leaders in B2B Sales.

Start following Sales Experts on LinkedIn, learn from them, and try to practice.
Also, you should take a course (without 80% of water) but a perfect one. If you don’t have a budget, that’s ok. Just learn from open LinkedIn sources. Today, you can learn a lot, from building high-converting sequences to cold calling.

What's the secret to level-up lead-generation strategies?

Personally, I believe in LinkedIn’s power as never before. This is your chance right now, as only 2% of users on LinkedIn are active in social selling. So the platform is pretty open for newcomers, and you definitely can do it, even inbound from LinkedIn.

Believe me: I have 2-4 incoming leads daily + many referrals just because someone saw my post or tagged me somewhere. It’s pure magic that not many people use right now.  

Start investing in your personal brand like never before, and you could increase your lead generation by 50%.

It’s just good timing, believe me (I made up 450K impressions from 0 within 4 months).

How do you combine soft skills and data to effectively understand your ICP?

To be honest, I always put myself in the ICP’s shoes. So, I am asking questions like:

  • How busy am I doing XYZ as this person does?
  • Do I have time to engage with people on LinkedIn? Or open emails? 
  • If yes, what kind of emails could trigger me out of 10,000+?

This is where data comes in. Like sales triggers, for example. 

At LeadsOtter, for instance, we provide hiring data signals to strongly explain why people should reach out. If you know that your ICP is hiring for the X role, you could highlight it in your outreach so this person can reflect.

That’s a pure combination of data points and human nature, as you cannot target correctly without an understanding of human nature.

Please put yourself in your ICP’s shoes and ask: “If I were in his/her place, would I react to this message or email?” If not, re-do and make yourself react with any emotion: laugh, anger, confusion, joy, etc., but not “meh,” which is important in the 2024 cold outreach.

How do you see B2B outbound sales changing in 2024? What challenges and trends do you anticipate?

Haha, we are all in trouble already! Honestly, it’s hard to be heard by your prospects right now with cold emails and cold call outreach. Yes, some gurus know how to win the game. But I think it’s only 20% of all businesses. And yes, some offline stuff works well again!

I mean, like sending personal notes or cookies or even sending a pillow with your prospect’s avatar to remind them about you (especially for lost deals). It might sound ridiculous, but it works, haha.

Let me share some rules I suggest to win the game:
  1. Be creative (use your brain, not chatGPT brain)
  2. Try different things, test a lot
  3. Use multichannel as much as you can (including offline)
  4. Personalize to bring emotions (without it, it is useless)
  5. Use LinkedIn for personal branding. The room is open now, but who knows how long it will be?

The challenges are already there. You could overcome them as one of those 20% of B2B sales gurus! Just believe that you can and work a lot to make it happen. So bland, but it’s true.

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