Selling in DACH: What’s the role of voicemail, LinkedIn, and texting?

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SalesHacker recently did an “Ultimate Sales Engagement Survey,” and the results are now live at that link. Some is predictable: LinkedIn is only effective if you have a tailored message, for example. C-Suiters often don’t have office phones (that might be less predictable) but even if they do, they don’t necessarily want to be hit up on their office phones.

But what’s important here isn’t the answers to these questions broadly, because if you’re a good sales principal, you’re targeting. Well, if you’re targeting DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), what’s important there?

DACH is not the place for voicemail: It does not exist at scale in the DACH market. It’s not going to be a way to reach decision-makers.

LinkedIn is relevant, but … there are still more German-first speakers on Xing these days. One of the problems with LinkedIn globally is the active users issue; while LinkedIn has 440M+ users, about 22% or less are active — and if you’re a busy exec, you don’t live in your InMails. If you combine the user base in DACH with that active users stat, it’s not always the best place to target prospects in this region.

Texting shouldn’t be in the playbook: If you are running late to a meeting and have no other way to reach the prospect, WhatsApp or SMS is fine. Otherwise, don’t use it. This is partially cultural and partially tied to GDPR regulations, whereby these three questions are crucial:

1 – Do you have a legitimate interest for sending the message? This can include your own need to cross-sell other products / services or promote wider use of an already purchased item, for example

2 – Do you need to send the message in order to achieve those interests? If you could reasonably achieve the same result through other, less intrusive means (such as unprompted visits to your website), legitimate interests do not apply

3 – Have you balanced the act of sending the message against the individual’s interests, rights and freedoms? This comes back to the early statement about reasonable expectations on their part.

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Because a lot of lazier sales people in other global pockets rely excessively on LinkedIn, SMS, email and voicemails, this presents a challenge in DACH. What it means is: you absolutely need a plan and the plan has to be about:

  • Providing and explaining the value
  • Nurturing the customers you have
  • Stop leading with services or tech (if you have amazing tech, someone else will have it in 4 months) and start leading with how you can transform their problems into solutions
  • Stop selling off pre-existing relationships — it doesn’t scale

The DACH market, culturally and politically/compliance-wise, is much more about driving value of the transformation and much less about “the hyper-growth hacks” that sales guys in other first-world countries take.

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