With more and more B2B companies moving online to sell their products and services, social media has become critical to the success of their sales teams. B2B companies are constantly exploring new tools and technologies to boost sales, and finding interesting ways to engage with customers. One of these newer tools is LinkedIn social selling.
Many B2B companies use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to find prospects and build their authority in a specific industry; however, they often overlook the potential of LinkedIn for getting new business.
LinkedIn is no longer just a place to showcase your skills and talents. Many sales leaders are using it to achieve and exceed their yearly sales targets.
According to a report by the Aberdeen Group, sales teams that use social selling help their B2B companies grow their revenue by 16% every year. But what is LinkedIn social selling and how can it benefit your B2B company?
What Is LinkedIn Social Selling?
LinkedIn social selling is simply using it to find prospects, engage them and build relationships to drive sales. As LinkedIn is a professional network, it’s highly suitable for:
- Building the visibility of your B2B brand
- Enhancing the quality of leads
- Reducing the time it takes to convert a lead to a customer
For example, you may find a prospect on Monday, connect with them on the same day, communicate with them on Tuesday, plan a demo for Thursday and close the lead by Friday. That’s LinkedIn social selling, in short.
Per LinkedIn data:
- Sales teams that use LinkedIn social selling are 51% more likely to meet and exceed their sales quota than sales teams that use other social media platforms for social selling.
- Sales teams that use LinkedIn social selling are 3X more likely to cover their yearly sales quota than other sales teams.
- Directors who make the most of LinkedIn social selling become VP 1.6X faster.
- LinkedIn social selling is responsible for generating 50% of revenue for 14 top industries including computer and network security, healthcare and financial services. (That's impressive, right?)
Top 6 LinkedIn Social Selling Tips
If not done properly, LinkedIn social selling can do more harm to your B2B brand than good. It’s critical to remember that you’re targeting a professional audience. Therefore, here are some useful tips and basics you should know before you begin exploring LinkedIn to drive more sales for your B2B company.
1. Invest Time in Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile should leave your leads or prospects impressed after they view it. Ensure your profile comprises the following:
- A current, professional profile photo.
- A catchy headline. For example: Sr. Sales Manager: Helping Clients Go Digital.
- A brief summary explaining how you and your B2B brand can help clients. For example: As a senior account manager at XYZ Food, I work with hotels and restaurants to provide them with healthier food and beverage solutions. I'm a foodie, but I only love healthy food. Connect with me to switch to healthier food and beverage options for your customers.
- A quick overview of your previous roles. Remember, you want to sell your B2B products and services to clients, not your experience to recruiters.
2. Publish a Post Daily; Ensure You Follow the 80-20 Rule
To build your reputation as a subject matter expert in your industry and provide your connections with engaging and informative content, publish at least one post daily.
Also, try to follow the 80-20 rule:
- 80% of the content you post must be informative and not related to your products and services.
- 20% of the content you post can be product or service updates, new product announcements, and so on.
3. Plan Your Social Selling Routine in Advance
Your social selling efforts can go waste if you do not lead with a solid plan. Therefore, before you begin your social selling routine every day, create a quick plan of action.
For example, you may want to spend 15 minutes on checking queries and responses in your LinkedIn inbox from prospects, 10 minutes on creating and publishing a post, 5 minutes on responding to comments on your previous posts, and so on.
4. Make Your Brand the Center of Your Conversations With Prospects
Always remember that you’re connecting to leads and prospects for your B2B brand and not yourself. Therefore, ensure you keep your brand’s tone in mind when communicating with them for a consistent brand experience from the beginning.
5. Engage With the Right Target Audience
Research suggests that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives are influenced by social media when making purchasing decisions. Therefore, social selling can be extremely helpful in finding buyers on social media. Moreover, with LinkedIn’s audience targeting tools, you can conveniently find the right audience for your B2B company.
6. Use LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index to Measure the Performance of Your Efforts
With LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI), you can quantify the value of your social selling efforts. SSI measures your brand’s social selling performance on a scale of 0 to 100 based on LinkedIn’s four pillars of social selling:
- Creating a professional brand
- Focusing on the right target audience
- Engaging with insights
- Building trusted relationships with leads and prospects
Research shows that sales professionals with a strong SSI have 45% more sales opportunities.
If you need help developing a LinkedIn Social Selling Plan, please reach out!