B2B Sales on LinkedIn: Take Your Social Selling to the Next Level
There are a lot of strategies and tactics that should be in your skillset as a sales rep.
A key one is using LinkedIn to amp up your B2B sales strategy.
LinkedIn is so much more than a virtual resume or a list of your credentials. It’s a powerhouse built around social networking. So it can come in handy for lead generation, marketing, and personal branding.
Need help with B2B sales on LinkedIn? Let’s take a dive into social selling.
Scroll at your own pace or jump ahead below 👇
- Using LinkedIn for social selling
- 5 tips for B2B sales on LinkedIn
- Do’s and don’ts for selling on LinkedIn
Using LinkedIn for social selling
So, what is social selling?
It’s how sellers connect and build relationships with prospects and future customers. They do this using social media, like LinkedIn.
Thanks to an increase in outbound sales software, social selling has become part of virtual prospecting.
This is where sales teams connect with potential customers without ever meeting them face-to-face.
These strategies help sales teams earn credibility on social media. As well as build relationships, establish a personal brand, and assist in reaching their sales goals.
LinkedIn is an ideal place for social selling. Why? Because its features help salespeople to reach prospects. And build lasting relationships with current customers.
Some notable LinkedIn features that can be used for social selling are:
- LinkedIn InMails: Salespeople can send direct messages to prospects. These messages are an excellent way to introduce yourself. Make sure you stand out from other DMs by sending a voice note instead of a plain-text message.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Ideal for targeting specific people and companies. It also helps you keep track of changes with leads, and engage with prospecting leads.
- LinkedIn Groups: Ideal for outbound sales prospecting. LinkedIn Groups help you research your lead before a cold email hits their inbox.
- Post content: Get your audience engaged by posting consistently.
- Your own profile: Is your LinkedIn profile optimized to perfection? More on that below! ⬇️
5 Tips for B2B sales on LinkedIn
Below are five key strategies and tips for B2B sales and social selling on LinkedIn.
- Optimizing your LinkedIn profile
- Adding prospects to a sales cadence
- Engaging with your audience
- Posting quality content
- Automate your LinkedIn outreach
Let’s go through each.
1. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile
There’s a lot that a sales development representative (SDR) can do to optimize their LinkedIn profile. And it’s important that you put time and effort into perfecting it. Because it will be the first thing that any potential new lead or connection will see, so make it count!
You want to make an excellent first impression 💯
The first step is to have a high-quality, professional headshot as your profile picture. It should be well-lit and in front of a plain background.
The same applies to your background photo or header photo. A lot of people like to showcase where they work here. With the company logo and other branded elements, like a slogan. Don’t skip out on great photos! If your profile has photos, you will get 21x more views than without.
Next, write an engaging headline. Stick to a formula that works, like: Job Title helping X do Y. For example: “Account Executive at [Company Name]. Transforming how tech buyers: discover, research, and buy software”.
Here’s an example 👇
Once that’s done, create an about section. This should explain who you are, where you work, and what problems you solve. You can add any unique selling points that make you stand out. Follow this with your location, achievements, certificates, work, and education history.
The more you add about yourself and the company you work for. The more details you’ll give prospects as they browse your profile.
💡 Need some examples of stellar LinkedIn profiles? Check out Dave Gerhardt, Sangram Vajre, and Amanda Malko.
2. Adding prospects to a sales cadence
Sales reps, remember! Consider how to use LinkedIn when adding prospects to your sales cadence.
And while every sales cadence differs based on the industry and what you’re selling. If you’re targeting a persona that likes to use LinkedIn and is active on the channel. It makes sense to include it in your cadence.
How you use LinkedIn in your sales cadence is up to you. An example?
You notice that a prospect posted an update about their top priorities for the next three months. You can sprinkle these details into a cold email or DM to personalize your message. This will improve your chances of a response.
Here’s how Cognism SDRs use LinkedIn as part of their ultimate B2B prospecting cadence 👇
You can get lots of information about your prospects from their LinkedIn profile.
Some of which can be beneficial in your sales cadence.
David Bentham, Director of Sales Development at Cognism, explains the importance of connecting on LinkedIn:
“The reason for this is once you’ve connected with the prospect, you can get access to their personal information, including their mobile phone number. This makes the later cold calling steps much easier. As everyone works remotely, office direct dials are much less effective.”
3. Engaging with your audience
LinkedIn can also be a great place to engage with your audience. Once you find the prospects you have in your sales funnel on the platform, see what they have to say.
You can start small by liking, celebrating, and supporting their posts. From there, move into the comment section! Give them praise and ask insightful questions. You can even send voice notes to engage with your audience.
David encourages SDRs to use LinkedIn voice notes on the sixth day of their cadence.
“We saw response rates increase 50% after a voice note.”
Don’t forget, engaging with prospects on LinkedIn through your social selling strategy won’t immediately lead to sales. But the more you reach out and see how they respond, you can notice patterns in their behaviors.
Even if an individual isn’t responding to your comments, see what they have to say to other comments. It’s about conducting thorough marketing research to learn more about your prospects. Helping you to enhance your long-term strategy.
If your prospect engages with you on LinkedIn, consider this a success and stick with it! Typically, prospects are unlikely to be reachable across all channels, like email, phone, and on LinkedIn. Using a channel that lands well, makes your sales cadence likely to progress.
Ryan Reisert, former Subject Matter Expert at Cognism says that:
“Once you have an activated channel, this is the one you should choose.”
Connecting and engaging with your prospects will help you build a strong and relevant following in your industry. It will also cement your reputation as a trustworthy source.
4. Posting quality content
Another way to use LinkedIn in your B2B sales approach is to create quality content to post on the platform.
It can be tough to get started. But Morgan Ingram, Director of Sales Execution and Evolution at JB Sales has some advice for you 🎬
Not sure how to get started with social selling? @morganjingram shares some top tips to get started. Its easier than you think. #socialselling #sales #saasales♬ original sound - Kaspr
As a sales rep, you know how important content marketing can be for generating leads. And the same applies to LinkedIn. Sharing content about topics your target audience cares about is a great way to engage them.
Consider content like:
- Industry news
- News happening within your organization
- Insights from your own perspective and experience
- Video content
- Real customer success stories
- Reposted content with your added insights or thoughts
Whatever you decide to post, share a variety of content for the best results. Make sure it’s relevant and engaging.
Here are five initial post ideas to get you started:
- The introductory ‘this is me’ LinkedIn post
- The ‘this is my first post’ post
- The ‘ask a question’ post
- The ‘I tried X and here is what I learned’ post
- The ‘unpopular opinion’ post
5. Automate your LinkedIn outreach
Take advantage of tools like Kaspr, to automate your LinkedIn outreach.
With sales automation, reps can send automatic invitations and messages directly within the dashboard. This helps to create an all-in-one approach to prospecting where data can not only be retrieved from LinkedIn but nurtured too.
When you can send automatic invitations and messages on LinkedIn, it’s easier to scale and measure your cadence.
Do's and don'ts of selling on LinkedIn
As a whole, social media can be hard to navigate, especially when using it for social selling. It can be challenging to build virtual relationships.
Especially when building trust and community is the goal of selling on social media platforms.
So, here are some do’s and don'ts to keep in mind as you approach selling on LinkedIn.
Do's of social selling ✅
- Optimize your profile and turn creator mode on. This will help your audience know you're active on LinkedIn when they get to your profile.
- Be creative and authentic when posting. Share insights with your audience by posting on LinkedIn often.
- Engage with prospects. From liking and commenting on their posts to replying to their comments on yours. LinkedIn is a great way to have casual yet professional conversations.
- Personalize your messages. Try referencing a piece of content you both engaged with or highlighting a hobby or interest you have in common.
Don’ts of social selling 🚫
- Be overly opinionated. LinkedIn isn’t the place to take an opinionated stance against a customer’s beliefs. Commenting and taking a stance on a controversial issue can alienate prospects.
- Be a pushy salesperson. Social selling is about creating an atmosphere of trust, engagement, and personalization. Not constantly pushing your company’s product or service on people you’re engaging with.
- Assume everyone is a prospect. Sending a connection request to anyone who you think may be a good fit for what you’re selling will likely not yield the best results.
As a sales rep, putting in the time and effort to master social selling can go a long way. Remember to have patience. Using social media to help with B2B sales likely won’t result in overnight success.
It’s a long game. But one worth playing!
Here are some final thoughts on how to master B2B sales on LinkedIn:
- Put in the time and effort to make your profile stand out.
- Engage with prospects without being pushy.
- Learn more about prospects to personalize communication efforts.
- Post insightful and engaging content.