10 Incredibly Useful Strategies for Social Selling on LinkedIn

By
Weflow
·
August 25, 2022

Creating strong, good-quality relationships within your client base is essential for every business, both in the online and offline world. As much as we want to be logical and smart creatures, as humans, we are still primarily emotion-driven and will oftentimes choose a particular brand or a company depending on how we feel about it. 

So when we start talking about selling on LinkedIn, things are not so much different. In the constantly changing world of sales, just calling or emailing your contacts out of the blue is no longer feasible nor effective. You need to build a relationship first. 

In this article, we will take a look at the process of social selling on LinkedIn and how your business can benefit from it. 

Let’s dive in! 

Why is LinkedIn the most relevant place for social selling today?

The answer is quite simple, honestly. If you had a lemonade stand, you wouldn’t place it in the middle of an empty street; you would most likely go for a busy park with loads and loads of thirsty people. 

And LinkedIn is just that — the biggest online park for businesses and professionals of the 21st century.

 

The above numbers are growing each day and LinkedIn is currently one of the top five most visited social networks worldwide. 

It's also incredibly targeted: people on this platform are there specifically to network professionally with others in their industry or niche/topic area — making them more likely to buy from a professional like yourself!

Another important element that makes LinkedIn such an attractive place for businesses and professionals alike is the focus on engagement and activity. The site has been designed around networking, which means that users will expect not only to see your profile but to be actively engaged with you in some way. 

The way the platform is created makes it very easy for sales professionals to qualify prospects through different frameworks such as GPCT or MEDDIC. Finding the right people is crucial for every successful sales process and later on, you will see how you can do that on LinkedIn. 

Now that we've established why LinkedIn is worth focusing on, let's talk about how exactly you can use this platform to its full potential as a sales professional. 

10 Steps to Social Selling on LinkedIn

There are four main pillars to social selling which can be applied to any other social media and even your personal website. 

You can start selling with your personal profile or the company’s profile but either way, it needs to look professional and trustworthy. But how do we do that? 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Read on to see how you can complete all four tenets and become a master of social selling on LinkedIn. 

Or if you’re too busy you can download our 10 Steps to social selling on LinkedIn here and set yourself for success in no time!

1. Create a professional profile 

This step is crucial and it includes polishing your LinkedIn headline, summary, profile picture, and job description. According to LinkedIn themselves, a successful profile feels approachable and friendly but at the same time, is not afraid to show off their accomplishments and experience. 

Take a look at this profile that LinkedIn set as a prime example of what they see as successful. 

Image Source: LinkedIn

In this profile you can see all the important elements: 

  1. Professional headshot for the LinkedIn profile picture;
  2. Descriptive and unique headline;
  3. Engaging LinkedIn summary section. 

One thing we would like to add is to make your summary or “About you” section a bit shorter than that — one or two paragraphs are enough. Sales prospects would rarely have the time to read your entire life story. 

When creating your seller profile, list your skills and achievements (including podcasts you've done) in bullet points which will be easy to skim through and will not take extra time from your potential lead. 


Pro tip: Take your achievement list one step further and position them as quantifiable achievements. For example, don’t just say you close deals, say you generated $500,000+ ARR for your company in just 8 months. 

2. Use the customized search options 

LinkedIn’s customized search filters provide many options for finding the right prospects. 

For example, if you’re using the BANT qualifying network, these search options will help you to easily locate purchase decision-makers and people in director positions. If you’re selling something aimed towards content writers, for example, you can find them in no time. 

You can expand your research depending on your needs and filter prospects easily. 

3. Create efficiency with saved searches

Once you have a specific set of applied filters, you can save that set and go back to it whenever it’s needed. This option is great when you’re updating your list of prospects or you just want to change a single filter such as the location, position in the company, etc. 

After that, you can set an email alert and LinkedIn will send you emails at a frequency chosen by you. 

4. Don’t neglect the "People Also Viewed" sidebar

Once you find a suitable prospect, go to their profile and turn your eyes to the right where you will see more suggestions for prospects. 

These are the profiles of people that are either in the same field, position, company, or just profiles other professionals have looked at after looking at your initial prospect’s profile. 

5. Take note of your client’s LinkedIn connections 

Pay close attention to the activity of your leads and the people that react and engage with them. Chances are that they would have the potential of becoming prospects, as well. 

This is very important when looking for leads because a lot of times, people only follow others without connecting with them on LinkedIn. And since there is not an option where you can see which are the followers of other LinkedIn users, this is the best way of finding them. 

6. Use the LinkedIn Sales Navigator

This is a special feature available only for sales professionals. It provides you with the following features: 

  • Advanced Lead and Company Search — Choose from the multiple filters LinkedIn provides with this tool and find the most relevant prospects for your business. 
  • Lead Recommendations — Easily find new prospects with this targeted recommendation tool and improve your sales conversations. 
  • CRM Integration — Connect the tool with your Customer Relationship Manager and instantly add prospects and accounts to your sales lists. 

7. Publish on LinkedIn Pulse

In case you’re not familiar, LinkedIn Pulse is the publishing platform of the website. 

Ensure your social selling success by regularly writing and publishing relevant content on the platform. A carefully thought-out marketing strategy is essential for any sales professional so here is why you should engage in creating company content: 

  • To build relationships and find more sales opportunities
  • To connect with your target audience and potential buyers
  • To improve your LinkedIn presence by sharing relevant insights; 
  • To increase brand visibility by providing your audience with valuable content ; 

8. Join LinkedIn groups 

Currently, there are more than 2 million active groups on LinkedIn and that number is constantly growing. Groups are an amazing way to find prospects, reach out to them and build your LinkedIn network. 

In those LinkedIn groups, social sellers also have the opportunity to filter the members by their occupation, location, and other relevant factors. 

9. Research your LinkedIn prospect

By now, our social selling tips should have helped you create a lengthy list of potential leads. The next step is researching those prospects to make sure you will be prepared once you finally connect with the client, whether it’s via email or a sales call. 

On their LinkedIn profile you can see the following information: 

  • Interests — This is where you can see all the businesses, pages, influencers, and companies your prospect follows. The interests section will help you find topics on which you can connect with the person and build rapport. 
  • Highlights — This section will show overlapping information such as mutual connections, interests, and previous employers. Use this if you need a good ice-breaker. 
  • Activity and articles Here you can check out your future lead’s content and engagement chronologically. This includes not only articles and posts, but also comments, likes, and shares. 

10. Personalize your connection request 

So far, everything has been concentrated on finding the right people but at some point, you need to start selling. 

Everything starts with a connection request and the good news is that you can customize connection requests and add a personal message along. 

Head over to their profile and under their profile picture, you can select Connect and Add a note when the pop-up appears. 

Sometimes, you may need to click on More to find the Connect option.

Naturally, prospects will pay more attention to invitations with messages rather than the empty connection requests. 

How to measure your LinkedIn efforts with the Social Selling Index Score 

By now you’re probably wondering “How do I measure the success of my social selling efforts?” 

Well, LinkedIn has you covered here as well! There is a special metric called the LinkedIn Social Selling Index score which was introduced in 2014 by LinkedIn themselves.

The Social Selling Index calculates your success based on how good you are at: 

  • Establishing your professional brand; 
  • Finding the right people;
  • Engaging with insights; 
  • Building relationships. 

The maximum score is 100 but the majority of sales professionals strive for a more realistic score of around 70. This is how it looks: 

Image source: Espirian

This feature comes with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator we mentioned earlier and it’s activated from the “Social Selling” tab in your settings. Once enabled, LinkedIn will give an immediate reading for your current status — as well as suggestions or what it might take to boost your level higher. 

For example, someone who is "Apprentice" might need to do things like adding more endorsements, connecting with people in their network more often, or getting recommendations from colleagues.

Want the TLDR? Download our free LinkedIn Social Selling cheatsheet here!

Tools can help you with LinkedIn social selling

The best way to get the most out of LinkedIn is by using third-party tools which can help provide more ideas on how you can improve your own strategy. 

This can help sales professionals optimize their time, monitor their efforts, and keep all the information in check and close by. 

There are several different types of tools one might use but there are three very popular ones in particular: outreach tools, social scheduling tools, and Customer Relationship Management software (CRM).

The latter is a must in every ambitious business. CRM’s allow you to manage your pipelines inside one place after forwarding the prospects from LinkedIn. A very effective CRM is SalesForce which you can easily connect with all the other tools, as well as Chrome extensions. Such extensions are Leadjet, Shield, and Wiza that all help connect your LinkedIn analytics and prospects with Salesforce.

When it comes to LinkedIn outreach, you need to find tools that will help you find the right people, research them, and automate the process, without losing the chance to add a personal touch. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the natural way to go but there is more that you can do. 

For example, Zopto offers a very easy way to generate leads and automate your outreach. You just have to filter your prospects with the Sales Navigator or LinkedIn Premium and you’re ready to start building your outreach campaign with emails, connection invites, and sequential messaging. All this can be easily connected with your CRM so you can track your efforts even more efficiently. Other outreach automation tools include LinkedIn Helper, We-Connect, and SalesFlow. 

Another important part of social selling on LinkedIn is regular interaction and content creation. To ease that process, you can use social scheduling tools such as SocialPilot, Postcron, Drum Up, and Sprout Social. Their useful features include content marketing scheduling and calendars, audience targeting, post recommendations, customized posts, and images. 

All these tools allow you to integrate social selling into the rest of your workflow in order to get more out of LinkedIn, as well as all the other networks which might play an essential role in closing deals such as Twitter or Facebook. 

And if you’re looking for a tool that combines multiple features, then sign up for Weflow today! Weflow's Salesforce productivity platform helps AEs save time, structure their day & close more deals. AEs can manage their Salesforce pipeline, take notes & organize their todos.

The Bottom Line

Social selling on LinkedIn opens so many opportunities for sales professionals in all industries. The business world is constantly changing and one of the main shifts that happened is the fact that potential clients and prospects are extremely overwhelmed with choice.

Sales tactics that used to give great results in the last century, such as the mass send approach and pushy cold calls, are now irrelevant. People crave genuine connections even when it’s related to business and sales. 

So the best thing you can do for your business is to start paying close attention to your prospects and use every available tool and channel available online to help.