How sales reps can make the most of LinkedIn

By Anders Björklund

How sales reps can make the most of LinkedIn

It's easy to think of LinkedIn as all about you, your profile, interactions, and posts. But, it's anything but—there are more than 850 million members on LinkedIn. And people are posting content, engaging on their feeds, and creating their newsletters. If you ignore all that and only focus on your stuff, you are missing a possibility to connect with your potential and existing customers on a more profound level.

What do you want to happen when posting something on LinkedIn? 

What to do

First, I'm never assuming people will like and comment on it. However, most people, including your potential and existing customers, believe that this is how they will achieve their desired future state. Therefore, when they post on LinkedIn, they want others to like, share, and engage with that post and are grateful to those who do.

Of course, you must be relevant and authentic; it'll be obvious if you're doing it only to gain personal favours. I would suggest that you engage and interact with me. You should also aim to become part of the community you want to work with to learn from what they say and build your expertise.

Similar to a dinner party, the most famous person is often the person who listens well instead of the person who dominates every conversation. Spending 15 minutes per day on LinkedIn engaging with your community's content will pay off in the long run.

Do these things well.

There are a couple of evident disparities between top-performing sales reps' actions and everyone else's. They are:

Put your buyers first

Here's where it starts. LinkedIn profiles that prioritise their connections' needs and work to establish long-term relationships with them outperform the competition. So usually, doing good leads to doing well—a victory for integrity and relevance.

How do you then put the buyer first? I claim that there are some primary areas to focus on:

  • Research
  • Multithread
  • Use technology
  • Cooperate with marketing
  • Focus on building relations

Do more research than everyone else.

The modern ones understand that researching the people they aim to reach is a prerequisite for relevance.

This applies at all stages of your sales funnel: 

  • Prospecting. So you can deliver relevant content and messages.
  • Consideration. So you deeply understand your potential contact or buyer's needs and tailor the relevant content and solutions for them. 
  • Your answer continues to provide value post-business, so you stay on top of their changing business.

Research is lonely work—it's not always fun and doesn't always seem worth it. But the data is precise—it's always worth it.

Top-performing individuals are more likely to multithread.

Multithreading is building relationships with multiple contacts and stakeholders within a company instead of having one primary contact.

The more people you excite through multithreading, the more likely it is to close and the more secure it is. Additionally, multithreading often leads to more significant sales spanning many departments, providing even more value to the buyer.

You must start from scratch with that company if you rely on just one primary contact, and that contact switches jobs. Therefore, to guard against that risk, getting multiple people involved and excited about your deal is critical. 

Top-performing sales reps use technology.

Some people understand that sales enablement tools are the ultimate multiplier. Therefore, they invest time in learning how to use these tools so they can use them to do their jobs and tasks more efficiently.
I know—all new sales tools require time to master, the time you think you don't have. However, I advise making that time, as having your technology work for you will pay off.

Top-performing sales reps have stronger relationships with their marketing.

A sales rep or a sales manager aligned with and cooperating with marketing is more likely to define the leads they get from marketing as relevant or excellent than those who aren't. 

We live in an era of social media, and you are judged if you have a LinkedIn profile. This entails building your brand on LinkedIn and bracing yourself for any marketing and sales efforts your company is already putting on the platform. 

Make it a high priority to connect with marketing. For example, assume that a marketer creating a content asset wants to hear from sales. They want to hear about what you hear in the market—resonating messages, which titles are most open to our product, etc. If they don't want that, they are not the right marketers.

To win long-term, sales and marketing must have a close relationship, as all modern businesses understand. So do whatever you can to tighten that bond, and don't be afraid to get into the marketing fun.

The takeaway – relation people are made, not born.

None of these qualities is innate. Instead, all these are learned skills, and some retain some skills more quickly than others; everyone can get more proficient at all of them.

What this means to your company and sales managers – focus your training on these areas, and you'll undoubtedly see results. These are the skills modern salespeople are good at, so if your team gets better in these areas, you'll have a sales team of more relevant, happy, and skilled colleagues who perform better.

Your company may invest in LinkedIn training in these areas; if they don't, you should take it upon yourself to improve in the suggested areas.

Would you like guidance on how to use LinkedIn as a natural part of doing business?

 

Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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