Tue, Feb 28, 2017

How to use LinkedIn for prospecting and sales


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LinkedIn is a prospecting tool, but it can also be used as a handy sales tool that will increase conversion and trust in your product or service and will keep your brand present where it matters the most: with your buyer persona.

For professional networking, LinkedIn is one of the most important social networks currently available. It has nearly 500 million users and is increasingly used as a critical sales enablement tool.

Unlike Facebook or Twitter, usually people who log onto LinkedIn are looking for work connections for their personal, academic and professional growth, for themselves and their companies.

Nowadays, a series of groups and Linkedin Pulse help your buyer persona search for solutions to their problems and answers to their questions.

More importantly: it’s the perfect context for people to learn about solutions to their challenges and pain points.

If used intelligently, LinkedIn is a great intelligence tool to boost the sales of your product and services if you know where to point. It can turn into a place to convert and attract prospects and nurture them throughout an entire marketing and sales process.

As a sales representative for any company, you can use Linkedin as the best available business card, not only to attract an audience, but to have a presence in a continuous and proactive manner. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of Linkedin during your sales process:

  • Don’t push a product, but create solutions

It does not matter how useful your product or service is. If prospects are not aware of it, they will not leverage its value and benefit.

For the same reason, using cold calling and cold emailing strategies on social media is not the best idea to attract customers.

Use a content created for each buyer persona at each stage of the buyer journey so that it works as a lead magnet to your leads.

You can transform your website into a virtual encyclopedia of your industry, and share your insights and publications with prospects in appropriate groups.

This is a perfect way to generate organic conversions on your website. You also want to use this content on Linked Pulse - a great lead generation tool.

  • Aim for the goal

LinkedIn’s features let professionals look for information and share knowledge with the colleagues they share interests, expertise, industries, and skills.

This is also a place where many people find insights and discuss how to improve specific processes at work.

Your brand’s presence at the exact moment and context is your most important strategy in LinkedIn.

But first, you must know who your buyer persona is - the one your product or service is designed for.

On this network, there is a wide array of different groups with unique interests and needs, so increasing your presence where your buyer persona searches for information and spends time should be a priority. Here are some questions to help you identify them:

    • What are their goals and challenges?
    • What role do they play where they work and in their personal life?
    • What stops them from achieving their goals?
    • What kind of information is he looking for?
    • Don’t guess, but ask!

Check with your current customers and research the groups they are currently members of and focus your content marketing in those groups that already have common interests with the people you are looking for.

  • Better Qualified Leads

Everybody has connections. Sounds like a cliché movie line, but it is not uncommon for users that you target to share a third or second-degree contact.

Statista has compiled some interesting data: 30% of LinkedIn users have between 500 and 999 connections. This extends the channels for you to spread the word, and get in touch with leads that share some type of connection with those whom you have already nurtured, qualified and attracted.

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This helps you better prospect high-quality leads, who will have a higher chance of turning into customers and to whom the sales department can approach with more trust and security.

  • A” data spy.”

Even though most users rarely post their contact emails, LinkedIn can be great help to find out who are the decision maker is in the company you are prospecting.

So, you have obtained access to second or third-degree connections of an important prospect and found out who the decision maker for this company is: you have their name, position, location, and groups they are in. While you might not have an email, half the job is done.

  • The “After Party.”

Once a purchase has been made, Linkedin is still one of the best channels to communicate and make a presence to clients. The last stage of Inbound is the delight stage. You want to turn your customers into promoters. Make sure to create customer based content and share it with them on Linked too. If this content has value for them, rest assured it will be shared by them, in turn promoting your company.

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Raimundo Estela
Raimundo Estela    

Raimundo Estela is a journalist from Universidad Andres Bello, with over three years working in mass media.