If you’re reading this post, then you already know the power of LinkedIn.
We don’t need to tell you how many users the B2B social platform has (750+ million!) or how many companies have an active presence there (an astounding 57 million plus).
What you need to know is how you can leverage LinkedIn for sales – from prospecting to actual outreach. In other words, what you and your sales team can actually do to get meetings booked through LinkedIn.
Let’s dive in.
How To Use LinkedIn For Sales
By its very nature, the professional networking platform is geared towards making lead generation and sales easier for you. With millions of users on-site who actually want to interact with others and learn more, the only thing stopping you is your strategy and execution.
So what can you do to form a strategy that works? And how can you actually make sure that it works?
The basic rule is to use a combination of the various tools that LinkedIn offers;
- Your profile
- Premium account
- Sales Navigator
- Voice messages
- Search filters and alerts
Your Profile – First Impression And Best ‘Sales Pitch’
Before you think about investing in a premium account, you first need to ensure that your profile is properly set up. This includes:
- Your picture and cover image: make sure you have an up close and clear picture of yourself in the profile section. For the cover/background photo, you can choose to go with an image that includes your brand or an achievement you’re proud of. Here’s an example from the founder of Cloudlead, Noman;
- Your headline: your ‘one-liner’ or headline should be short, sweet and personal. It should ideally reflect your current role(s) as in Noman’s example above.
- Experience and recommendations: before deciding to connect with you, many people quickly scroll through your profile down to the experience and recommendations section. Make sure it’s filled out with relevant information.
- Summary: this is your chance to write something that is relevant to your role and business. Mention how you help people solve a specific problem – much like your elevator pitch. Here’s an example from our co-founder Moaaz’s profile that demonstrates the value clients receive from Cloudlead.
- Experience: As per official statistics from LinkedIn, having more than one position listed on your profile can boost your views by 29x! Additionally, instead of listing down your job responsibilities (in your current role), provide actual numbers to prove the difference you have made in customers’ businesses.
- Creator Mode: Add unique content (videos, posts, case studies, presentations, etc.) on your profile to set yourself up a thought leader/influencer in your niche. It’s really an obvious choice since there has been a reported 55% year-over-year increase in conversations since users have started creating more content post-COVID 19. The best way to do this is to enable creator mode on your profile as it’s a great tool for attracting more followers and clients.
Create A Premium Account
While this is a pricey option, the upgrade has a host of benefits like improved search, additional profile searches, more limit for InMail, the ability to see who has viewed your profile and more.
In short, it’s a worthy investment for people who want to become influencers on LinkedIn or those who use their profiles for sales and marketing purposes.
Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator To Prospect
This is another great way to find leads – the only catch is that it’s a bit expensive – you can check out the current pricing on the official LinkedIn Sales Navigator Plans & Pricing page.
Still, it’s arguably one of the best tools for salespeople who regularly use the platform to prospect and generate leads. For instance, SDR’s can use the ‘Advanced Search’ option to enter very specific criteria such as:
- Employee size
- Revenue range
- Job updates
- LinkedIn activity
- Keyword search
Even better, Sales Navigator also recommends leads to you based on all your activity – search history, sales preferences, profile views, communication, etc. This helps you build a list of decision makers at companies that fit into your general ideal customer profile and target market.
Another way to make prospecting easier with this is to save your searches so that you don’t have to spend time entering the same information the next time you want to build a list. You can even set up email alerts for new members who match your specific filters.
Tap Into InMail’s Full Potential
If you have a premium account, you’ll be granted access to what is essentially LinkedIn’s internal messaging system. With this in your tool set, you can easily send messages to any user without needing to connect with them first.
A word of warning though – InMail has been used and abused so many times that users are typically wary of opening your messages. For those who do read these, you need to carefully customize your messaging as opposed to adopting a mass message type of approach – you don’t want to end up as an example shared on someone’s timeline of how ‘not’ to prospect. It’s also a good idea to end your message with a question since it prompts the recipient to actually respond to you.
As with cold outreach, the key is to provide value from the get go – don’t simply insert ‘company name’ and some random statistics to highlight your product. Here are some great ideas for truly customizing your message:
- Add small details about the recipient in your message – a reference to their interests, say something about their recent post/comment, etc.
- Send over new research in their space
- Tell them about an event/podcast/webinar that’s relevant to them – even better if your company is somehow involved in the event. For instance, this weekly Live Cold Calling event by Salescast is sponsored by Cloudlead so we typically start conversations by inviting prospects to attend it.
Write And Publish Articles On The Platform
Content, especially long form, remains the best way to build your reputation as an expert or influencer in your field. It not only adds depth to your profile but also pulls in prospects who are actually interested in your product or service – pretty much a win-win!
You can add images and videos within the article to make it more visually engaging. And you know what’s a great idea? Including a short video that summarizes your article so people who don’t want to read the whole thing can simply watch the video. In fact, the Video Marketing Statistics 2022 report states that 81% of marketers believe video has helped them directly increase sales.
We recommend using a tool like Lumen5 for this as it automatically creates a video from your content – just edit it a bit, adjust the frame timing and you’re good to go.
Join LinkedIn Groups
While LinkedIn groups are no longer the goldmine for prospecting they used to be, they’re still a good resource to tap into.
To make the most out of them, you should remain active (post/comment at least twice or thrice a week), offer valuable advice and whatever you do, don’t try to sell directly. Slowly build your reputation so members have you in their mind when they want a relevant solution.
The easiest way to find relevant groups is through keyword search – type some keywords in the search bar then select ‘Groups.’ You can further refine your search by clicking on the All Filters option that opens as a sidebar.
Send Voice Messages To Connections
Initially rolled out in 2018, this feature of LinkedIn is still greatly under-utilized. This is despite the fact that there are great benefits of ‘humanizing’ outreach through personal touches, such as voice messages. Take, for example, an influencer who got a 40% open rate and 18 appointments using this feature.
It’s safe to say that not many salespeople are using voice messages to connect with their prospects, making this channel nowhere near saturated. If you take full advantage of voice messages, you can also see results similar to what Morgan Ingram, the Director of Sales Execution and Evolution at JB Sales, gets – a 40% response rate and 20% success rate in moving leads down the funnel.
Here’s a little tip: Want to learn more about social selling and LinkedIn? Follow his profile for some great advice and eye-opening statistics!
If you’re not using LinkedIn to generate sales for your business, you’re missing out on a major source of quality leads.
The key to running a successful campaign on the platform is of course to keep trying. For instance, if one tool or technique doesn’t work for you, try a different combination – and remember to only reach out to prospects with relevant solutions and customized messages.