10 Practical and Tactical LinkedIn Tips for Social Selling Success
At the time of this post publishing, LinkedIn® has more than 660 million users. That makes it the largest professional networking platform in the world. With so many active users, many B2B companies are beginning to recognize the potential that LinkedIn® offers to reach their target customer. However, to achieve social selling success, many organizations still need to improve their techniques to leverage this platform.
With the right strategies, your sellers can find, engage, and connect with prospects on LinkedIn® to grow their pipeline. Then, they can continue to nurture prospects to convert those online connections into offline sales conversations.
Keep reading to learn the 10 essential tactical LinkedIn® tips that can help your team build more sales pipeline.Teach sellers how to leverage #social platforms such as LinkedIn to grow pipeline. With the right #SocialSelling activities, sellers will be able to create more #sales conversations. Learn 10 practical tips from @LinkedInExpert. #B2BSalesClick To Tweet
10 LinkedIn® Techniques for Social Selling Success
Social selling is all about finding, engaging and connecting with your prospects through social media platforms. However, social selling is more than commenting on posts and sending messages to prospects. The goal is to build relationships based on trust, so your sellers can convert their social engagements into sales conversations.
Here are 10 practical tips to teach your reps to become successful social sellers on LinkedIn®:
1. Update LinkedIn® Profiles from Resume to Resource
62% of buyers today look for an informative LinkedIn® profile when deciding whether to work with a sales rep or not. This emphasizes the need to optimize your reps’ LinkedIn® profiles to turn them into a resource for buyers.
Your sellers’ LinkedIn® profiles act as their personal websites. It should include buyer-centric messaging that shows who they help, how they help, and who they’ve helped in the past. The more value the profile offers that addresses your target buyer’s pain points, the more likely it is that prospects will engage in a sales conversation.The LinkedIn profiles of your sellers act as their personal websites. It should include buyer-centric messaging and content that addresses the #buyer's pain points. @LinkedInExpert #SMM #B2BSales #ModernSellingClick To Tweet
2. Add Case Studies and Client Success Stories
LinkedIn® provides the option to add rich media to a profile. Adding the right type of content strengthens your reps’ credibility by sharing how they’ve helped previous clients. This content should highlight specific examples of how your company can solve prospect’s business pain points.
Collaborate with marketing to identify the right types of content sellers should add, such as videos, blogs, case studies, testimonials, and client success stories. Sellers should add this content to the Summary, Experience, and Projects and Publications sections of their LinkedIn® profile.
3. Engage with New Connections
New connections are opportunities to develop a relationship with a prospect or with someone who could provide referrals or both. That’s why it’s important to engage with them through direct messages from the moment they become connections.
Having a pre-written Welcome Message template is vital in the social selling process. After all, as your sellers’ activity increases, they increase profile views and have more connection requests. An easily customizable template helps reps save precious time.
This is a perfect opportunity to follow the PVC Sales MethodologyTM. Sellers should personalize the message, provide value, and end with a soft CTA, such as a question about the content or the biggest struggles in their role. This shows new connections that your sellers are considering their needs and concerns.
4. Build Out Solid Search Strings
The core of social selling is engaging with the right people, so finding them first is foundational. Once you’ve identified your ideal buyer, you have to develop targeted search strings for reps to use when prospecting.
LinkedIn® provides many types of searches and shows results based on keywords found on an individual’s profile (another reason why updating your profile is so important!). Therefore, sellers aren’t limited to using basic filters such as demographics, company, or location. One effective technique is using Boolean Search strings to show targeted results so sellers know they are the right audience.Finding ideal #buyers on LinkedIn is essential for building relationships with prospects. Develop search strings for #sales reps to use to find the right audience. #SalesProspecting #LinkedInTip @LinkedInExpertClick To Tweet
5. Prospecting on LinkedIn®
LinkedIn® allows you to view shared connections you have with those in your network. All sellers need to do is add a 2nd-degree filter to their search string to quickly identify who in their network can possibly introduce them to the prospect. Using this feature allows reps to find opportunities for referral introductions by asking mutual connections.
One prospecting technique to teach your reps is to socially surround prospects on LinkedIn®. Social surrounding is a strategy to earn a referral to a target prospect by building relationships with the prospect’s colleagues or friends through LinkedIn®. Then, sellers can ask for a referral introduction, which will have more impact because it comes from someone the prospect trusts.
6. Sales Navigator’s Search Filters
LinkedIn® Sales Navigator can help you pinpoint ideal prospects in ways no other solution can. Leveraging this tool can guide you in identifying who your clients and networking partners know.
From there, your reps can quickly ask for introductions to new prospects. Sales Navigator is a great tool, but one mistake many organizations make is that they don’t teach sellers how to properly use it, then they question if it’s truly worth the investment. That’s why Sales Navigator training is imperative to achieving success with the platform.
7. Develop Valuable Content
Producing and distributing the right content is crucial to social selling success because it provides sellers with content to share through social accounts, as well as directly with prospects at specific stages of the buying process. And, as mentioned earlier, they can add it to their LinkedIn® profile as rich media.
The problem is that, according to CSO Insights, 21.3% of the content sellers share is created by the sellers themselves. This is a time-consuming task that pulls them away from revenue-generating activities, such as building relationships, asking for referrals, and scheduling calls.
To properly develop a content for sales enablement strategy, you must coordinate with marketing and sales enablement leaders to identify the types of content sellers need to effectively target specific buyer personas at specific stages of the buying process.Producing and distributing the right content is crucial to #SocialSelling success. Coordinate with #marketing and #SalesEnablement leaders to identify the content sellers need. @LinkedInExpert #ContentForSales #SalesClick To Tweet
8. Use a Social Sharing Tool
As mentioned, a key element of social selling is regularly sharing content on social media. The key is to make that process as easy as possible so that sellers don’t spend too much time scheduling their social posts.
There are many tools available. Find one that offers the ability to easily schedule posts. Ideally, your company will create an employee advocacy program, which takes simple social sharing to the next level. An employee advocacy program allows sellers to easily find curated 3rd party and company content to post to their social accounts.
9. Invite People to Connect on LinkedIn
Whether your reps meet prospects through social platforms, at networking events, or at conferences, they should ask to connect on LinkedIn®.
After all, that is where your sellers are sharing content, engaging on other posts, and connecting with prospects. These types of social selling activities build their thought leadership and personal brand. As their network continues to grow, they will increase their reach to find even more connections and prospects.
10. Schedule LinkedIn® Activities
Ask reps to schedule time in their calendars every single day to work on their LinkedIn® activities, such as posting, commenting, and asking for referrals. Have them prioritize that time as if they were with a client with no distractions.
As little as ten minutes a day can help them achieve social selling success by building relationships and gaining new connections. This strategic sales cadence is important as it makes sharing content a part of every seller’s routine, ensuring they are consistently posting new content.10 minutes a day can help your sellers achieve #SocialSelling success. Don’t let their #prospecting time get interrupted – it’s the # 1 thing they can do to get in front of new #clients. @LinkedInExpert #SellingWithLinkedin #SuccessClick To Tweet
How to Measure the Success of Your Social Selling Program
When implementing a social selling strategy, it is essential that you understand the key metrics so that you can clearly define success. This will help secure executive buy-in and ensure that sellers and leadership understand how to measure success.
Some of the most important metrics that determine the success of your social selling program are:
- More Sales Conversations – practicing social selling as explained here results in more conversations with the right people.
- Higher Rates of Conversation to Opportunity – with an increase in social selling activities, reps should experience increased profile views, connections, and relationships with new prospects. By continuing to nurture these connections, they should convert more of them to opportunities.
- Growth in Pipeline – your team should see an increase in the number of leads and pipeline.
- Increase in Sales – the numbers trickle down starting with more sales conversations, more opportunities, more pipeline and therefore, sales should increase as a direct result of the social selling activities.
How to Leverage Content
Modern buyers have completely changed the buying process. They perform more independent research, actively seeking information on how to address their pain points. Thus, content plays a powerful role in social selling. As mentioned earlier, it drives credibility, thought-leadership, and awareness of individual sellers and your business’ solutions.
However, the key is to understand what type of content to share, with whom, and when. Often, marketing produces top-of-the-funnel content designed to create brand awareness and drive traffic to the website. This type of content is useful for sellers to share sometimes. Additionally, sellers need access to much more targeted content specifically designed for a unique buyer persona at each stage of the buying process.
As a sales leader, you must determine what kind of information your target buyer needs and when. For example, a CFO will want to easily understand the cost, time, resources needed, and expected ROI of a particular solution. On the other hand, the Head of Product will be more interested in how a solution will improve the team’s efficiency and workflow. Consequently, they require unique pieces of content that address their individual concerns.
Another aspect to consider is when to use different types of content. For example, video messaging has proven to increase engagement on social platforms. Teach sellers how to incorporate a video for sales strategy so they understand what types of videos to record, the messaging to use, and when to share it.
To achieve sustained social selling success, sellers should experiment with sharing different types of content to see how your audience responds. Then, focus on the ones that perform the best.Consider different types of #content for each type of #buyer and for specific stages of their journey. To achieve sustained #SocialSelling success, experiment sharing different types and see how your audience responds. @LinkedInExpert #ContentForSalesClick To Tweet
Achieve Social Selling Success
The 10 tactics outlined above can help sales reps maximize LinkedIn® as a digital lead generation platform. Social selling activities, when properly executed, will increase sales opportunities and fill pipeline.
Are your sellers effectively leveraging digital selling techniques on LinkedIn® for prospecting and gaining referrals? We surveyed 862 sales reps to learn how sellers in a variety of industries are using digital selling. Learn how sellers are failing at digital selling and read advice from sales leaders on how to guide your sellers on effective digital selling. Download the State of Digital Selling with LinkedIn® 2019 today!