When it comes to B2B sales, LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful tool that all successful salespeople should be using. As of last September, there are over 10 million UK professionals on LinkedIn, making up 4 out of 5 professionals in the entire country. Therefore, it’s a huge source of leads ready to be mined. This article will discuss some ways this can be done.
Just with other social networks, you can’t just go out there and start selling to anyone and everyone. As with Twitter and Facebook, you need to offer value to your followers. Share industry news, insights, helpful information, anything that would be useful to your buyers. If you have a blog, write articles that help your customers with problems they may need to solve to do their jobs. Share all this via your LinkedIn account and you’ll start to grow an audience.
Join A Group
LinkedIn groups are a very good way of building your profile among your potential customers. Most LinkedIn training mentors suggest you join 4-5 groups, but choose one or two to be active in on at least a weekly basis. Your choice of what group to join is very important here, since there’s no point building your reputation among people who aren’t going to eventually buy from you. Choose a group that covers the industry that your average buyer is in, or one that addresses issues that your customers face on a daily basis.
For example, if you sell CRM software, you might want to join a group that discusses sales methods or how to prospect for leads. These are issues that your target market will face on a daily basis, and so it’s a good bet that this is where they will be hanging out on LinkedIn.
Once you’re a member of a group, again make sure all your posts deliver value rather than a sales pitch.
Prospecting For Leads
Possibly the most useful feature of LinkedIn is it’s powerful search function. Thanks to a set of filters, you can filter results not just to the kind of company you want to sell to, but also the right person in the company.
Let’s take the CRM software salesperson as an example again. Your buyer will likely be a sales director since they are accountable for increasing sales, which your software can help with. Let’s also imagine your software is targeted towards small businesses. Using the search filters, you can type in a relevant search term, then filter down so your results are just those people who match your ideal customer.
First of all, you’d filter by location to get either UK businesses or companies in your area, wherever is easiest to sell to. Next, try filtering by industry. LinkedIn Premium users get a set of even more powerful filters, which are well worth the price. With a paid account, you are able to filter by seniority level and company size, meaning in our example you can quickly and easily find that sales director of a SME that your product is designed for.
Finally, searches can be saved, so as your network grows, more people will enter your filtered search of ideal clients.
Grow Your Network
The search feature of LinkedIn is only as useful as the size of your network. As you probably already know, other members are either first, second or third degree connections, depending on how they are connected with you. First degree connections are people you are directly linked with. Second degree connections are not connected with you, but they can see your profile and you can send them a connection request. Meanwhile, third degree connections are not connected with you, so they cannot see your entire profile and you cannot message them without a premium account.
The way to expose your profile to more people is by adding more first degree connections. In turn, this will grow your network of second and third degree connections. From there, you can begin to message your first degree connections with a quick value proposition and aim to set a meeting.
Our Double Your Sales With LinkedIn training course shares more methods you can use to help grow your network and how to effectively approach prospects online.