Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
Keep me updated!Subscribe
It's easy to think of LinkedIn as all about you and your profile. But it's much more than than. There are more than 850 million members on LinkedIn who regularly create posts and engage with content. If you ignore all of them and only focus what you're creating, you are missing a major chance to connect with your existing and future customers.
The most important thing is to be relevant and authentic. These two words should be at the top of your mind whenever you're on LinkedIn. It'll be obvious to everyone if you're only chasing clicks and likes. You should also aim to become part of the community you want to reach, like a specific industry or group of companies. Focus on learning from what they say and build your expertise.
Just like at a dinner party, the most popular person at the table is usually the best listener, and not the person who dominates every conversation. With this in mind, spending 15 minutes a day authentically engaging with your target community will pay off in the long run.
There are a couple of clear differences in the LinkedIn behaviour of top-performing sales reps and everyone else. If you want to make it into the top ranks, try to do the same.
Here's where it starts. LinkedIn users that prioritise their connections' needs and work to establish long-term relationships with them outperform the competition. But how do you put the buyer first? Focus on these areas to get going:
Truly modern sales people understand that researching the people they aim to reach is a prerequisite for success. This applies at all stages of your sales funnel:
Research is lonely work — it's not always fun and doesn't always seem worth it. But if it gives you the upper hand over competitors, you'll be glad you did it.
Multithreading is the act of building relationships with multiple contacts and stakeholders within a company, instead of just having one primary contact.
The more people you engage at a company through multithreading, the more likely you'll be able to safely close the deal. Additionally, multithreading often leads to more significant sales spanning multiple departments, providing even more value to the buyer and the sales rep.
If you rely on just one primary contact, you face starting over from scratch when the contact gets a new job. So make sure to guard against that risk by getting multiple people involved and excited about your deal.
Some salespeople understand that sales enablement tools such as LinkedIn are the ultimate multiplier. That's why they invest time in learning how to use these tools so they can use them to do their jobs more effectively. All new sales tools require time to master, time that you think you don't have. However, I advise looking at your schedule and making time for more learning. It will pay major dividends in the long run.
Top-performing sales reps have stronger relationships with their marketing colleagues
A sales rep who is aligned with and cooperating with marketing is more likely to define the leads they get from marketing as relevant or excellent than one who isn't.
We live in an era of social media, and if you have a LinkedIn profile, your contacts will judge you on it. This means you have to build your brand on LinkedIn and keep up to speed with any marketing efforts your company is making 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 your product, etc. If they don't want that feedback, 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.
No-one is born with all these skills. They can all be learned, and even though some people pick up new skills more quickly than others, everyone can at least get more proficient at them.
What does this mean to your company and sales managers? Focus training on these areas, and you'll undoubtedly see results. These are the skills that successful 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.
If you're a sales rep or a sales manager who wants to get better at the skills I've mentioned in this article, we can give you a hand. Take a look at our LinkedIn training package to see the kind of training we can offer and book a meeting with me to discuss it further.
Do you want more knowledge on boosting your sales process with LinkedIn? Take a look at these articles.