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 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 significant chance to connect with your existing and future customers.

What to do as a sales rep on LinkedIn

The most important thing is to be relevant and authentic. These two words should be at the top of your mind on LinkedIn. Everyone will see it 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 daily authentically engaging with your target community will pay off in the long run.

Do you want to get the most out of LinkedIn? Do these things well

There are clear differences in the LinkedIn behaviour of top-performing sales reps and everyone else. If you want to reach the top ranks, try to do the same.

Put your buyers first

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:

  • Use technology — LinkedIn and your CRM system are great places to discover the profile of your existing buyers and understand what they need from your company.
  • Cooperate with marketing — Even if you have more direct contact with customers, marketers can give you a broader perspective and uncover customers' online behaviour.
  • Focus on building relations — Having many followers is nice, but it doesn't guarantee sales success. Focus on becoming a trustworthy partner rather than just an influencer.

Do more research than everyone else

Truly modern salespeople understand that researching the people they aim to reach is a prerequisite for success. This applies at all stages of your sales funnel: 

  • Prospecting — Delivering relevant content and messaging is essential at this stage
  • Consideration — Help your contact understand how your offering meets their needs
  • Aftersales — Satisfied customers are essential for long-term success, so stay on top of the contact's situation and changing requirements even after the point of sale.

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.

Top-performing individuals are more likely to multithread

Multithreading is 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 close the deal safely. 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 guard against that risk by getting multiple people involved and excited about your deal.

Top-performing sales reps use technology

Some salespeople understand that sales enablement tools like 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 significant dividends in the long run.

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

A sales rep 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. This means you must build your brand on LinkedIn and keep up to speed with any marketing efforts your company makes 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. They are not the right marketers if they don't want that feedback.

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

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 improve the skills mentioned in this article, we can give you a hand. 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.

Explore the LinkedIn training package

Do you want more knowledge on boosting your sales process with LinkedIn? Take a look at these articles.

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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