There are 690M+ professionals on LinkedIn and 94% of B2B marketers are already using the platform to distribute content. A majority of sales personnel make use of LinkedIn for sales prospecting. So, why shouldn’t you?
If you are missing out on leveraging LinkedIn for sales via lead generation and building trusted relationships, we’ve put together 41 tips to help you start growing.
Using LinkedIn For Sales Prospecting
1. ABC - Always Be Connecting
Networking with your prospects has always been pivotal to generate high-quality leads and drive sales. It is essential that you keep connecting with prospective customers and growing your business community. LinkedIn is an excellent platform to do so.
Find things in common to start interacting with your prospects before connecting with them. A mutual connection can also help you get started with a referral. Building this rapport will make it more comfortable for new prospects to get on a call and discuss business possibilities with you.
2. Personalize Your Connection Requests
Professionals on LinkedIn often look for a personalized message to accompany the connection requests they receive. It helps them know why you want to connect and how you can help each other.
A personalized message also adds to the first impression you are giving them. Simply state why you’d like to be connected. Or, if you know the person from a conference or summit, be sure to mention that.
3. Keep Networking With Converted Leads
Don’t stop connecting and interacting with customers with whom you have closed deals. Keeping them in your network gives you insights into their career. You’ll be notified if they switch companies or get promoted.
A simple congratulations will keep your business relationship rooted. You can later pitch to their new company or try upselling another product or service. At the least, you can ask them for valuable referrals.
4. Leverage LinkedIn’s Search Filters
LinkedIn foresaw the needs of prospecting sales on the platform and has come up with quite an extensive range of search filters. You can filter your customer segments by people, companies, or groups based on the degree of connection, location, industry, language, service categories, etc.
By using these filters, you are led in the right direction to discover the right prospects to nurture into leads.
5. Keep Tab On Prospects By Following Their Company Pages
In order to nurture your sales prospects and ultimately drive ROI, you need to know what kind of content should reach them and when it should do so. Checking a B2B prospect’s company website every day can be tiring. LinkedIn offers a simpler solution- just follow their company page!
You’ll get to know all about the target company’s short- and long-term goals, the kind of assistance they may need, the events they are planning, any announcements they make, and so on. With this knowledge, you can send customized messages to your prospects. It’s all about building a good rapport and gaining their trust.
6. Leverage LinkedIn Groups
Joining LinkedIn Groups are great because they are a pool of prospects. Rather than sending out cold requests, you can strategize your sales prospecting through groups. This ideally means that you join an appropriate group, engage with members, and build your authority.
Once you’ve gained their trust by giving them value, you can make proposals that are most likely to generate leads. The key here, however, is to research and join the right community of industry experts; like if you are targeting digital marketers, look for a digital marketing group, join it, and start engaging.
7. Strategize With Referrals And Introductions
People buy from people they know and trust. What better way to approach a prospective customer than to have a mutual connection refer you in? If the person introducing you is one of your existing happy customers, getting a referral on LinkedIn shouldn’t be too difficult.
Although proven highly effective, your referrals need to be carefully strategized, so that it properly outlines the value that you have to offer and doesn’t seem fake. Consider sending out a message that can be reused by customers willing to refer you.
Hope you are having a great week!
I would like to introduce you to Geetha from Spinta Digital. Her company gave my start-up the thrust we needed to boost our online presence via digital marketing and social media strategies. I believe your agency can benefit from her services too.
I’ll let you two take it forward from here.
8. Keep Posting Relevant Content Consistently
Posting industry-related content consistently on business-centric social platforms like LinkedIn builds credibility for you and your business. LinkedIn is also extremely organic and even just text content will give you an amazing reach.
Try asking an intriguing question or opening a discussion on a trending topic. If you find it difficult to come up with content, keep sharing and reposting relatable content. Tag connections in the relevant industry and get conversations going. The more engagement you get, the more likely you are to land prospects.
9. Engage With Industry-Related Posts
Did you know that commenting and engaging with others’ posts related to your field of expertise also aids your efforts in sales prospecting? It allows you to get in front of other prospects, whom you don’t yet know about. If they start trusting you through these conversations, you have a high chance of converting them.
LinkedIn’s algorithm also gives your posts a wider reach based on your interaction and engagement rates. Keep yourself active as often as possible.
10. Check Out Prospect’s Skills And Endorsements
From a sales prospecting perspective, LinkedIn features have multi-fold purposes. The skills and endorsements section that is seen at the bottom of LinkedIn profiles becomes a ‘prospect mine’.
People who endorse your target prospects are probably from the same niche; which makes them possible prospects to you as well.
11. Keep An Eye On The ‘People Also Viewed’ Panel
While trying to understand your prospect better through their LinkedIn profile, make sure you check out the ‘People Also Viewed’ panel on the right. This panel lists out others of similar interests and designations.
It allows you to dig deeper into your prospect’s connections, and there is a good possibility that some on the list can become your potential leads. You can even find influencers and decision-makers here.
12. Watch Your Competitors
You can learn much from keeping track of your competitor’s activities on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Besides, you get first-hand updates on whom they work with and which opportunities they are trying to seize.
These insights can help you understand your market prospects better, send more personalized content their way, build trust, and sell to them.
13. Figure Out Which Organizations You Can Target
Many a time, although you are targeting individuals, you’ll want to sell to the organizations that they are a part of. In such cases, you’ll have to map out what kind of organizations need your product/service and how to go about picking the corresponding decision-makers.
LinkedIn makes it easier for you to research these companies, their demographics, departments, team layouts, etc. With such details, you will have clarity on how to proceed with your sales prospecting.
14. Include LinkedIn In Your Email Marketing
Email marketing is your go-to solution to nurture cold leads. However, not all of your prospects may prefer to communicate with you through email threads. So, it becomes essential to provide them with other options and when it comes to B2B sales prospects, LinkedIn is a welcome option.
Encourage prospects to connect with you on LinkedIn- this way they get to keep constant tabs on your services. It also establishes visibility and transparency between the two of you.
15. Reach Out To The Stakeholders
For B2B sales through LinkedIn, select a couple of stakeholders from each prospective company whom you can target and nurture. Include them in your CRM and reach out to them with personalized messages and emails.
LinkedIn profiles can help you do your homework and get information about stakeholders’ interests. Create content and email sequences based on this data to nurture cold prospects into customers.
16. Download Details About Your Connections From LinkedIn
As discussed, email marketing is powerful. In order to successfully run automated email sequences to the right audience, LinkedIn allows you to export a copy of your connection’s data. This majorly includes their name, email address, company, and position; that is more than enough information to determine whether or not they are prospects to be nurtured.
How do you export these details?
- In the Homepage, select ‘Settings and Privacy’ under the ‘Me’ tab.
- Under ‘Data Privacy’ on the left panel, select ‘How LinkedIn uses your data.’
- Under ‘Get a copy of your data,’ you will have checkboxes to ‘select something in particular.’
- Check ‘Connections’ and wait for LinkedIn to email you a downloadable Excel/CSV file in about 10 minutes.
Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator
17. Use Advanced Search To Find The Right Leads
LinkedIn Sales Navigator lets you perform advanced searches to drill down on prospects. When using LinkedIn for sales prospecting, this premium tool can ease out your search process.
You can finely tune criteria for people and company-based searches with 20+ advanced filters. The generated lists can be saved and followed up with personalization later.
18. Leverage Prospect Searches With Keyword Modifiers
Use keywords that are hopefully in your target audience’s profiles, in your searches on Sales Navigator. You can also make Boolean searches by including keyword modifiers, such as AND, OR, NOT, quotes, and parentheses.
With keyword modifiers, you can try more combinations on advanced searches and aim to generate more accurate prospect lists.
19. Check Out Lead Recommendations
Sales Navigator generates lead recommendations for you based on your sales preferences. These interest-based lists can get you the right prospects in a jiffy.
Lead Recommendations include target companies, decision-makers in target companies, possible influencers, etc.
20. Put Your Prospects In The Spotlight
When you perform advanced searches on the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, four spotlight boxes will appear on your dashboard. Typically these highlight numbers for the total results, those that share an experience with you, those that changed a job recently, and those that posted recently on LinkedIn.
With such insights, social sellers can increase the effectiveness of their connection requests and InMails to these prospects.
21. Save Your Search Results
Once you’ve generated a list of prospects with LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, you can simply save your results. You don’t have to go through the whole process of typing in the right keywords and using the right Boolean modifiers again.
You can also set email alerts to notify you when possible prospects match your pre-defined search criteria.
22. Integrate LinkedIn Sales Navigator With Your Inbox
Did you know that you can access the Sales Navigator for prospecting without having to leave your inbox? Some tools enable this functionality with both Gmail and Microsoft’s Office 365.
Once the integration is done you can compose highly personalized emails and send InMails and connection requests to prospects without having to switch tabs.
23. Pick Key Decision-makers And Stakeholders
When taking an outbound sales prospecting approach with LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, it becomes vital to zero-down on your target company’s important decision-makers. It’s easy because Sales Navigator gives you this list when you search for a prospective organization.
However, nearly 7 people in an organization are involved in the decision phase. So, targeting stakeholders who may have an internal say in the decision can also help.
24. Target Prospects In LinkedIn Groups
The Sales Navigator expands prospecting all across LinkedIn including groups. Instead of having to join groups, Sales Navigator lets you connect with members inside relevant groups just by looking the group up.
Common groups can be a great conversation starter when reaching out to new prospects. You can also automate this process.
25. Set Up Alerts
It’s tedious to keep track of hundreds of prospects daily. Instead simply set up alerts (by type) with the Sales Navigator and let it monitor your prospects for you. You’ll automatically be notified when someone gets promoted or changes a job.
Using InMail For Sales
26. Be Extra Careful With InMails
InMail, which comes with the premium LinkedIn package, lets you send private, credible, and customized messages to any user on the platform. With InMails your messages will have greater response rates. You can also start effective and warm conversations with prospects, which makes it easier for you to build relationships and set up for a sale.
27. Send Personalized InMails
Your sales prospecting strategies revolve around personalized conversations. Your InMails shouldn’t seem like cold emails; they need to be value-centric.
Consider talking about recent trends in your prospect’s industry, send relevant content/articles, invite them to an event, or introduce a beneficial connection.
28. Don’t Rush Into Your Sales Pitch
You’ve put in much effort to narrow down on sales prospects. Although your ultimate aim in using InMails is to generate ROI, make sure that you don’t come off too forceful.
Your InMail must be structured so that it gives more value to the reader. Intrigue them and have them wanting to know more. This will help you build trusted relationships with them, which will invariably lead to sales.
29. Send Out Appreciations
Use InMails more for building connections rather than just selling. A simple way to do so is to congratulate professionals on achievements through an InMail, instead of commenting on their post. Chances are that your prospect appreciates your interest and warms up to talking to you!
30. Be Sure To Save Successful InMails
Always keep track of which of your InMails are most receptive and which are not. You can strategize your sales prospecting accordingly and reuse the successful templates for similar prospects in the future.
Here’s a template to get you started.
31. Target The First Line Right At Them
We already know the importance of the subject line. Once you have an eye-catching subject, make sure to draw attention with your InMail's first line. Keep it casual but make it all about your prospect.
With their entire LinkedIn profile, you now know your prospect’s interests. Address an uncommon commonality that you share. They are most likely to be hooked and continue reading.
32. Call Them To Action
With all the planning going into your sales prospecting on LinkedIn, don’t forget to include a relevant CTA (Call To Action). Your CTA may be an invitation to discuss further or you could subtly ask an intriguing question to continue the conversation.
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile For Better Sales
33. Make Sure That You Are Visible To All On LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a professional social platform on which prospects want to know more about you and your brand before making a purchase. Keeping your profile and cover pictures, headline, summary, etc., private isn’t helping.
To change to a public profile, head to ‘Visibility’ under ‘Settings and Privacy.’
34. Get A Professional Headshot
Your profile picture is one of the first things people look at when they check out your LinkedIn profile. Get a professional headshot that adds to your credibility. Smile to portray confidence and approachability.
35. Invest Time To Create A Cover Picture
Not having a cover image when trying to land clients on LinkedIn is almost unacceptable. The background image should be attractive and give a crisp of what your product/service can do for the customer.
Keep the image simple and relevant to the audience like Grammarly.
36. Have A Great Headline
Your headline needs to tell prospective customers exactly who you are and how you can help them. Address the benefits of your product/service if you must but keep it to the point.
By default, LinkedIn displays your current designation as your headline. However, you can tweak it to provide value and stand out. Remember, that the headline appears everywhere your name does on LinkedIn. Include keywords to the headline to boost your visibility.
37. Draft A Summary That Speaks To Your Prospects
Prospects that land on your profile will hardly give you a few minutes to convince them. It’s pivotal to have a prospect-focused summary that immediately highlights who your prospects are and what you can do for them.
Talk to your prospects rather than talking about them. Address their pain points. By doing so, you showcase empathy and indicate that you understand their needs.
38. Enhance Your Profile With Projects And Media Attachments
You want your profile to be unique, captivating, and engaging to your prospects. Having a full and rich LinkedIn profile might help you here.
Upload attachments that emphasize the value of your product/service. Link to press releases. Upload customer testimonials. Use your profile as your personal sales pitch!
39. Improvise On Job Experiences To Pitch A Sale
A salesperson’s job experience is fairly different. Instead of being just a list of your jobs, it should talk about your company and showcase the value your product/service offers. If possible, add social proof by tagging some of your most happy customers.
40. Get Recommendations
Referrals and recommendations from good customers can warm up cold prospects. They start gaining trust in you and will be more open to discussing business with you. When using LinkedIn for sales, getting authentic recommendations sets you up for success.
41. Have A Rich And Complete LinkedIn Profile
Don’t leave out any relevant profile section that LinkedIn offers. You’ll never know when your educational background, licenses, and certifications, volunteer experience, or awards will give you the edge to land a prospect.
Let’s Wrap Up!
The impact of social selling is only sloping up with the rise of social media marketing. It’s quite obvious that LinkedIn is one of the best platforms out there for professional sales and prospecting.
Although the strategies may keep changing as more sales reps start using LinkedIn, the platform is here to stay. Keep experimenting with new game plans to target and engage with prospects better.