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TalkingSense With Alyssa Merwin: Deep Sales at LinkedIn

2 min

TalkingSense host Latané Conant, CMO of 6sense, interviews other B2B thought leaders as they dig into B2B marketing and sales challenges, strategies, and best practices.

Alyssa Merwin is Vice President, Global Sales Solutions at LinkedIn, where she leads the growth of LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Sales Insights. This industry leadership follows a decade spent at Gartner. 

You can see why 6sense CMO Latané Conant wanted Merwin’s expertise for the TalkingSense sales season, and their conversation delivered, covering “deep sales,” intent data and sales technology — as well as becoming a better leader.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, a quick summary of key points is below. 

How Sales Leaders Sell Deep to Close More

Looking at top performing sales representatives, Merwin’s team discovered something interesting: reps who sold 150% over quota spent less time selling.

There are three secrets to this success, Merwin explained:

  1. Effective prioritization
  2. Use of intent data
  3. Connecting with hidden allies

She said: “This is not the spray and pray approach of, ‘I’m just going to go try to get in touch with, reach out to as many people as I possibly can and see what sticks. I’m going to be super thoughtful, and I might spend less time selling. I might spend more time with fewer people, but I’m going to get to better outcomes.’”

How Sales Needs to Change

“There’s so much information available online, and I just think sales hasn’t adapted enough to more of the omnichannel experience, and we can no longer hold the cards,” she said. “We need to be more open with pricing information, and kind of meeting the buyers the way that they want to buy today. Which is actually getting through most of the sales cycle without needing to talk to someone.”

Why Connection and Culture Matters

When Merwin came to LinkedIn, she felt like she had a lot to prove. “And I had sort of this all business, ‘I’m going to just come in and do great work and just perform well and show them they made a great decision,’” attitude, she explained.

But it turned out that was the wrong approach for her new team.

“I got some pretty harsh feedback early on. Well, it felt harsh,” she said. “It was really great feedback, that the way I was leading, which was all business and really showing up as a manager — but not really bringing much of my personal life and just sharing a lot about me — it was really creating this disconnect with my team. And they weren’t invested in me and they weren’t feeling trusted or building trust with me.”

She had to change her approach to match the culture at LinkedIn and drive her team to success.


Conant and Merwin had much more to say about sales technology, data, and what it takes to be a great leader. Learn more about using data to sell smart in the full TalkingSense episode.

The 6sense Team

6sense helps B2B organizations achieve predictable revenue growth by putting the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team.

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