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We are truly in the digital age, and sales strategies have changed to reflect that.

With over 360 million members, LinkedIn has become the go-to social network for companies when it comes to B2B sales. What used to be considered a site solely for job searching, LinkedIn is putting an end to traditional cold calling sales tactics and providing salespeople with a way to prospect for leads that is both efficient and far-reaching.

The old way of thinking about prospecting is changing, and LinkedIn is leading the way.


Guest Post by Lindsey Boggs, VP of Enterprise Sales and Social Selling at etailinsights.


Before social selling and sites like LinkedIn, sales people were relegated to the “more calls equals more leads equals more sales” model. They had to reach out, either by phone or in person, to a huge number of potential buyers in order to generate leads, leads which may or may not turn into closed sales.

That way of thinking is outdated, and LinkedIn is the major player in teaching sales teams to focus more on the quality, rather than the quantity, of leads. The following are some of the ways that LinkedIn helps you find the right leads to prospect, generates more sales, and makes sales teams successful.

LinkedIn lets you target the ideal customers. About 45% of the people on LinkedIn are in upper management. They are the decision makers. You no longer have to make it past the gatekeepers to get to them; you can connect with them directly via InMail.

LinkedIn allows you to get to know prospects before you reach out. There is plenty of information on a person’s profile, so that when you do call or meet in person, you can make a personal connection easily. Relationships with customers increase sales opportunities. Knowing something about your customers before you meet them makes building rapport quick and easy, thus getting the relationship off on the right foot.

LinkedIn lets you see who is interested. LinkedIn allows you to see who has viewed your profile. This is a perfect opportunity for you reach out to them. Also, when you look at profiles, there are always some who will look at yours in return – another perfect excuse to connect.

LinkedIn members are more likely to do business with connections. Statistics show that 50% of members are more likely to do business with companies that engage with them on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn allows members to see your successes. The recommendation feature on LinkedIn allows others to see that you have satisfied customers, an important factor in building credibility with prospective clients. Ask your happy customers to write recommendations for you!

LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator makes tracking easy. Tracking is an essential tool for sales. If you can’t see what is working, then you won’t know how to optimize your approach. Sales Navigator offers features and reports that make analysis and fine-tuning easy and effective.

LinkedIn keeps relationships fresh. Once you have a satisfied customer, LinkedIn allows you to keep that relationship active. Staying in touch is quick with InMail and it’s worth it – 80% of sales come from repeat clientele.

Remember that closing the sale is still going to take the personal touch.

When it comes down to it, people do business with other people. However, getting to that point can be stream-lined when you have the right tools. LinkedIn lets you and your team focus on quality rather than quantity, and that means more closed sales.

Image Source (Creative Commons): Julien Dumont.


lindsey_boggs

Lindsey Boggs is the VP of Enterprise Sales and Social Selling at etailinsights. She is an experienced salesperson and coach as well as a specialist in using LinkedIn to increase sales.

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