How to use LinkedIn Effectively for Sales Prospecting

Recent statistics show that LinkedIn has over 260 million monthly users. 44% of users on this social media platform take home more than US$75 000 a year. Given this increased financial muscle, it makes sense for companies to use LinkedIn as a lead-generation tool to stimulate their organisation’s sales.

LinkedIn is an especially valuable tool for you to use to generate leads (or prospect for sales) if you’re in the business-to-business (B2B) space because a total of 61 million people on this platform are senior-level influencers.  40 million people can make buying-related decisions for their company.

Here are five effective ways of using LinkedIn as part of the lead generation strategy for your business.

Join Groups of Your Target Audience

LinkedIn groups are places where like-minded people gather online to share challenges, solutions and best practices. Thus, LinkedIn groups are an ideal place for you to share your knowledge and expertise.

Find groups of people who fit the description of your target audience and join them. Contribute to discussions and show that you are an expert in your field. However, what’s very important is not make any overt sales pitches here. 

Groups are a place for people to get to know each other and exchange details. To liken this to a real-world scenario: a LinkedIn group is like a networking cocktail party - you don’t go to one of these events to sell your wares. You go there to pick up contacts. If you make an impression on them, they’ll contact you when they need what you’re selling.

Master Using Search Filters

The power of LinkedIn lies in how specifically you’re able to target potential customers, because it encourages people to complete their profiles with as much information as possible. For example, the company that they work for, the job that they currently hold and their education level.

This information is valuable to a sales team because it allows them to pinpoint their target market precisely and be quite successful with this. For example, if a company sells payroll software, and their target market consists of HR and Financial Managers the sales team will be able to search for people who fit this description and deliver their sales pitch to them.

Pay Attention to the “People Also Viewed” Column

This column on a person’s LinkedIn profile shows the profiles which other people who viewed. This is valuable information for you as the people on this list will probably have similar traits to the person who you’re prospecting. By taking this list into account, you’ll likely get to see other people who have similar profiles to your prospect and will increase your base of leads who you can target.

Optimise Your Profile

The top section of your LinkedIn profile is valuable real estate,as it is the first thing that people who you reach out to will see. They will decide to read further based on the information that they glean from these few lines.

You need to make sure that your headline encapsulates your value proposition and what people will get from doing business with you. The more that you work on this, the more likely it is that you’ll attract the right type of prospects.

Use InMail

When you connect with people, you only have a limited amount of space to introduce yourself. You may even need an introduction from other people to connect with your prospect.

However, with InMail you can send lengthier messages to people you want to target, without the need to be introduced to them. The only drawback is that to do this is you’ll need a premium account. This has a certain number of credits for InMail messages. The good news is that this type of communication with prospects is incredibly effective, so it’s worth the money that it costs.

LinkedIn is a fantastic source of sales prospects. If you want to take your experience on this platform to the next level, think about getting a premium account. However, to start with, you can prospect for sales quite successfully with a free version.