Prospecting for Prospectors: How Base’s Ryan Wong Uses LinkedIn to Discover SDR Talent
Collin Stewart, CEO

June 23, 2017

This post was originally published on Base CRM blog.

A 39% response rate to initial messages. A 50% commitment rate to meetings. And an 8% conversion rate.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? There isn’t an outbound sales team anywhere that wouldn’t be proud to say those were their numbers.

But what if those stats weren’t indicative of a robust sales funnel but, rather, a very effective hiring process? Because that’s how successful Ryan Wong, Senior Manager of Pipeline Generation at Base, has been reaching out to candidates.

“Hiring is obviously a huge priority for us,” says Wong, on a recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.

“You have to have the right people in place. So, every week I spend 2 hours per day, 10 hours per week, looking for talent.”

Spending that amount of time just canvassing for candidates may sound like a huge investment to other sales leaders. There’s a pipeline to fill and deals to close, of course. But Base has aggressive expansion plans this year, so hiring the right people is paramount.

To date, Base has an inbound team with 5 reps, with plans to get to 11 reps by the end of the year. On the outbound side, Base has 6 reps, and also plans to grow that team to 11 members by year’s end. These aggressive headcount goals are necessary to support an even more aggressive revenue goal, as Base has plans to double its pipeline generation this year.

“We’re going to hit our targets,” adds Wong. “And if we can, we’ll triple that pipeline.”

To make sure his prospecting is as efficient as possible, Wong has developed four ways to contact and entice potential new hires:

  1. Prospecting via LinkedIn list building
  2. Contacting those who viewed his LinkedIn profile
  3. Posting about all new hires
  4. Treating his LinkedIn profile page as if it were a landing page

 

“You have to have the right people in place. So, every week I spend 2 hours per day, 10 hours per week, looking for talent.”

Prospecting via LinkedIn list building

This practice is just as it sounds: using LinkedIn to build lists of potential candidates for jobs at Base. To build a workable list, there’s really only one critical aspect to consider: what do you want to filter for when building your list?

You can filter by geographical location, years in current position, years at a company, or years of overall experience. You can also filter for skills – cold calling, for instance. The more filters you put on your search, the more refined it becomes.

Once he’s built his list of candidates, Wong reaches out with a templated InMail message. For example, he’s built a template that includes messaging about the schools’ respective candidates went to. People often have strong ties to their university, so a mention of a sports team, sorority, or a fraternity will get people to open the message.

From there, the message is very simple and rather light – it entirely revolves around establishing that Base is a great place to work and why they should have a quick chat.

“We’ve really had success with this. In Q1, we sent 187 inMails, had 72 responses, 38 accepted meetings, and actually hired 3 of those people,” says Wong.

“We take that as a win.”

Contacting those who viewed his LinkedIn profile

It sounds like an obvious thing, but how often do people really reach out to those who view their LinkedIn profiles?

Well, Wong does. Routinely.

“We look at all of the people who look at us, then send a quick message really asking what brought them there and how we can help them out,” says Wong.

“It doesn’t ever hurt to learn why people visited your profile. It could be a business deal, and it has been for us before, or it could be someone who wants to join.”

Posting about all new hires

Every SDR who begins working at Base becomes the subject of a “new hire” blog post highlighting a few details of the new employee’s background and a picture of the company’s hiring package.

Like Wong’s other hiring methods, it’s an extremely simple idea, but it does a great job detailing what it’s like to work at Base. And that’s what Wong is after – to paint a picture of what Base is like, describe why the company is awesome and show candidates that they would be joining a team full of great colleagues.

And everyone participates in this exercise. Both the new hire and longtime employees share the post to help build momentum and create an audience.

“It’s about focusing on the individual and showing our networks that we care about that individual. So, when someone reads that post they say, ‘Hey, this is interesting. This is really cool,’” says Wong.

“One such blog share got almost 16,000 views, 98 likes and 9 comments in a week. That’s a pretty successful posting for us. This method is a really good way of getting our name out there. We’ve had 4-5 meetings set with potential candidates from this method and we’ve had people say ‘that post is why we reached out to you.’”

Treating his LinkedIn profile page as if it were a landing page

Often, if not always, people use their LinkedIn profiles solely to promote themselves and their accomplishments.

And they’re not wrong for doing so.

But, Wong looks at his LinkedIn profile a little differently – to him, it’s a landing page geared to attract new hires. For example, Wong has two sections on his LinkedIn profile titled “Why You Should Join” and “How I Can Help You.

In the sections, he lists details on the success of the company, training, and onboardings, as well as a high-level overview of his professional experience. Wong prefers bulleted lists here to make sure his page doesn’t get bogged down with too much noise.

“It’s hard because you don’t want to put too much in these sections, but you have to show them what you’ve done, so try and highlight your performance and references,” adds Wong.

“With these four things combined, we think it makes for a pretty strong strategy.”

For more on Wong’s hiring process at Base, check out his recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.