Social media have forever changed the way sellers operate. We live in the era of “social selling”, in which attracting the attention of well-informed customers has become an art. Effective sales also depend on building relationships online and transforming them into real sales opportunities with tools such as CRM systems.

Linkedin sales – how to start?

It all depends on how we find and engage potential customers via social media. In this case, the adjective “social” means building the necessary relationships online, answering customer questions and creating content that will interest them and ultimately lead to sales.

Mike Derezin, who helped to implement LinkedIn’s Social Selling tools, said: “The use of social media in the context of business is conducive to the creation of genuine links that pay off”. This is perfectly illustrated by the results of the research: 51% of retailers who base their activities on social selling achieve or exceed their goals.

 

Is it worth selling via LinkedIn?

If you are talking about business contacts, LinkedIn should be your first choice. This platform has evolved from a company directory to a network of professional relationships.

LinkedIn has even developed its own B2B Social Selling Index showing networking efficiency. It measures the sales efforts of this platform’s users and will continue to grow if:

  • Your LinkedIn profile is customer oriented,
  • You make effective use of the possibilities of search tools,
  • You publish content important for your followers,
  • You maintain contact and nurture relationships with valuable users.

 

Let your profile be your visiting card

It’s time to get rid of your LinkedIn profile, which looks like a CV. Nobody cares that you tried to establish contact with some client 5 years ago.

Effective social selling requires that LinkedIn users visiting your profile see an expert. Not a salesperson – an expert!

According to LinkedIn itself, 92% of B2B customers contact people who are considered professionals and industry leaders*.

 

How to create a profile that really sells?

Here are a few tips that will make your LinkedIn profile more effective in the sales process.

  1. Use professional photos and company logos. User profiles that care about their image are visited up to 11 times more often).
  2. Write an eye-catching headline. Make sure that it contains up-to-date information about your position, company and a brief description of how you can help potential customers.
  3. Create a concrete and attractive description. Thanks to this, the visitor is to assimilate the most important information about you. It is here that he can find out what you have to offer him.
  4. Add multimedia. Maximize your chances of attracting the attention of a potential customer by adding video and presentations. Make sure to present examples of your achievements.

 

How to find clients via LinkedIn?

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. According to Gartner Group, currently on average 7 people are involved in the sales process in one company. You certainly don’t want to talk to one who has nothing to say, do you?

The key to successful B2B sales through social media is knowing which people can make key decisions. If this is determined, the next step is to reach them with an individual message about how we can support them.

The client wants to be informed and guided in the shortest way to make a purchase decision. That is why “cold” actions are slowly dying. It is much more effective to find and select a specific destination than to spread information randomly.

The ideal solution is to integrate the Sales Navigator tool, built into LinkedIn, with a CRM system such as Salesforce. Thanks to such synchronization we will receive, among other things, recommendations of potential customers based on sales preferences or interaction (e.g. visiting a profile).

 

Reach the key decision makers

Use filters and conditional searches (i.e. and, or, not) to find the right people in the LinkedIn tools to support lead acquisition. Thanks to the integration of Salesforce with Sales Navigator, search results can be changed to customer accounts in your CRM. You don’t have to worry about updating this information, it will take place automatically.

Take advantage of the opportunity to interact with your 2nd and 3rd level contacts. Ask your friends to introduce you. Establish a relationship by viewing their profiles. Move your information directly to Salesforce (using AppExchange applications) where you can continue to manage it.

Learn more about the client – LinkedIn reports that 69% of retailers exceeded their sales targets if they previously viewed at least 10 profiles of people in the company they contacted.

 

Post valuable content

Try to think of social selling as a way to achieve your business goals on the one hand, and as a tool to build true relationships on the other. There are people behind the profiles at LinkedIn. Make them interested in you and only then in your product.

Do not try to sell directly. No one in real life throws a business card or offer at you without asking a question. Try to find the information that help start a conversation, such as a job change or a new post. Interact with your contacts and bring them into your pipeline, directing them outside LinkedIn.

If you publish something, consider whether it will be useful for your potential clients. As many as 64% of them say they appreciate retailers who provide them with knowledge about the industry and their business. In practice, it can take you no more than 5 to 10 minutes a day, because at LinkedIn you just have to click on “like” or “share” and you are already providing the knowledge to your network.

 

Acquire new contacts

The rule is simple – a larger network of contacts gives you more opportunities to find and talk to potential clients. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s options to expand your number of friends.

LinkedIn’s research shows that customers are 5 times more likely to interact with B2B vendors who are introduced to them by someone else. Social media have the advantage that such acquaintances can be exploited on a large scale.

Thanks to the integration of Salesforce with the Sales Navigator tool, you will be able to see from the CRM level whether someone from your company knows the person you want to contact. This will save you time.

 

Summary

LinkedIn allows those responsible for sales to gain potential customers and build and maintain relations with them, which is necessary to conclude transactions. All of this is done using methods that are not traditional selling methods.

We need to get used to it and to adapt to the changing reality. Social selling is becoming a natural solution, and the integration of social media with CRM systems is already growing today and will continue to grow in the future.

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