“Top Sellers” use LinkedIn 6 hours or more per week to grow their business. How often do you use it for engaging with your customers and prospects?
Although, traditional selling and communication channels such as phone and email are tried and true, social media platforms like LinkedIn can also immensely increase sales performance.
According to a latest LinkedIn report, “1 of every 3 professionals in the world is on LinkedIn”.
If you are not already optimizing LinkedIn to boost revenues then you are missing out on one of the most valuable opportunities. LinkedIn is the best social network for lead generation being the greatest source of B2B inside sales intelligence and research data. Many inside sales reps are using it for prospecting and lead generation and are witnessing a huge increase in opportunities.
Here are 10 tips for using LinkedIn for B2B Inside Sales Prospecting
TIP #1: Build an awesome profile page
Your prospects can anytime look at your profile to find out relevant information. So, make sure it delivers a professional impression of both you and your company.
- Ensure that your profile is 100% complete
- Use a nice close-up “Picture” that stands out and looks professional
- Use a powerful “Headline” that indicates how you can cater to your prospect's needs
- Include current links to your company’s site and your other social media pages
- Get heaps of “Recommendations” from existing happy customers, colleagues, co-workers and former employers
- Keep your profile updated, always
TIP #2: Join Useful LinkedIn groups
You can undoubtedly make more connections by joining groups on LinkedIn. It can give you insights about your prospects and their companies.
- Join your respective industry groups
- Join relevant groups in which your clients and customers are involved in
You can also leverage groups to discover the prospect’s pain areas and then addressing those challenges with valuable and authentic answers. So, actively contribute in group discussions and establish yourself as thought leaders so that you easily get noticed by your targets and stand a chance to approach them.
TIP #3: Connect to your Customers and Prospects with Smart Search Facility
Don’t miss out the opportunity of connecting with your prospect on LinkedIn immediately after the first contact or even before. LinkedIn’s advanced “search” facility provides a fabulous way to find people by title, company, location, etc. Through a paid (premium) account you can add company size and seniority level also. Search for people from your target industry using relevant keywords and find lot of prospects.
If you don’t want to send a connection request at first then by only looking at a certain number of profiles may earn you a few prospects. As you look at people’s profiles, a certain number of them will always look back. And that’s a good excuse to reach out to them with a friend/connection request.
TIP #4: Leverage the power of InMail
According to LinkedIn, sending InMail is 30 times more likely to get a response than a regular mail. Through InMail, you can reach any of LinkedIn’s 300+ million members without having their phone number or email address. This will get you a professional and credible outreach—with your LinkedIn profile attached.
TIP #5: Keep the Message Short and Simple
Renowned author “Jill Konrath” emphasizes on the power of 3×3 i.e.no more than three paragraphs and no more than three sentences per paragraph in a message. So, keep your message short and sweet.
Search for a common ground and mention the same in the message. Go through their profile and the insights to find the same. Coming up with a reference would be great but if not so, then you can see which school or college they went to, their hometown, their former companies etc.
Provide a call-to-action such as Request for additional information/Set up a demo/Visit the Website/Schedule a Call, etc.
TIP #6: No more Cold Calling
Gain valuable insight by accessing customer’s profile and current activities. An inside sales representative can learn enough about someone to make a call more relevant and useful to them. Use the information properly to easily understand and analyze the customer before having the first interaction.
TIP #7: Follow your Prospect’s and Customer’s companies
Try and learn what is happening in your prospect’s companies. Discover any changes happening in their companies that can help you spot new opportunities. So, always stay up to date.
TIP #8: Share Valuable Content
LinkedIn is a fantastic medium to share your business content. In fact, a survey of LinkedIn members found that LinkedIn is considered to be the most effective social network for delivering B2B content. So, always stay connected with your customers and prospects by sending them relevant information, articles, blogs, etc. Don’t let them forget you at any point in time. By delivering useful and engaging content, you’ll drive engagement and help your message spread faster.
TIP #9: Ask for Referrals from your Customers
“91% of the customers say they will give reference. Only 11% of the salespeople ask for it”
Check the LinkedIn network of your customer and find a few relevant accounts who can be your prospect. Then get yourself introduced to that prospect through that customer. Research shows that prospects are significantly more likely to respond to your message when you reference a common connection.
TIP #10: Optimize LinkedIn for Prospecting before or after any Event/Trade Show/Seminar
- Connect with LinkedIn after an event or a trade show
Send them a connection request on LinkedIn reminding them of the positive experiences shared in the booth. Do this immediately after the event so that they don’t forget you and accept the request.
- Promote your upcoming events and seminars on LinkedIn group
LinkedIn being the largest community of professionals can be very useful and effective for promoting any upcoming event or seminar. You can easily connect with your target audience, send them invites, and timely follow-up using this platform.
So, don’t wait, start optimizing LinkedIn and initiate social selling activities today for developing and managing your prospects and to have a competitive edge over other players in the market.