Using LinkedIn for Social Selling


Social Selling on LinkedInPeople have differing views as to what social selling is and what it can offer. These range from pie in the sky through to the holy grail which will mean you never have to talk to a prospect again. The truth, as you might imagine, falls between these two extremes … exactly where will depend on your own outlook and attitude to the application of LinkedIn as a sales and business development tool.

Firstly, let’s be clear about one thing – Social selling with LinkedIn is not about to replace the fundamentals of the sales process that you are already engaging in and using. You still need to talk to people … you need to demonstrate value … you need to answer their questions and respond to their concerns … you still ultimately need to sell.

However, how that selling process works has changed … the reason for this is that the buying process has changed and we have to respond to that. According to the IDC, 75% of buyers use Social Media to research vendors and the CEB reports that 57% of the buying journey is done before a sales rep even gets involved. There is therefore huge importance in making information available and adding value.

Social Selling and Business Development with LinkedIn

As part of the social selling process in the session, we look at a number of elements which are pertinent to the sales and marketing process. These will relate to areas including:

  • Personal and company branding via personal profiles
  • Identifying new opportunities and approach methodologies
  • Account management opportunities to develop relationships
  • Industry and skills based LinkedIn groups to develop awareness
  • Company search to identify stakeholders in target organisations
  • Best practice methods to enhance team usage and cooperation

We spend time ensuring that the key concepts are understood (because it will influence sales activities and which routes on LinkedIn are most applicable) and the foundation blocks are in place – this will primarily consist of ensuring the team’s Personal profiles are in place and are “selling” in the right way for you.

The remainder of the session would then build on all of that and go into more depth on the search / prospect targeting and acquisition elements that we will have touched on in the first section. We also look in depth at the marketing options open and available to us at key phases in the Social selling process from general awareness to Persona driven marketing to keeping “front of mind” as the process progresses.

A small selection of the clients we have run in-house LinkedIn training for include:

in-house clients

Course Content

The content that we cover on the Social Selling and Business development elements are as follows:

1. Setting the Social Selling scene
• LinkedIn as part of the Sales & Marketing process
• Some LinkedIn numbers and a few key concepts
• Looking at LinkedIn as part of the Social Selling process
• A look around some key areas of the site

2. LinkedIn Settings: controlling your activity
• Make yourself really visible to your prospects
• Customise your use of LinkedIn
• Control your accessibility to suit your business aims
• Cut out “noise” on LinkedIn and control your email load

3. Building a customer centric Personal profile
• Ensure your Personal profile is marketing you 24/7
• Attract search engines & your prospects
• Stand out and integrate your other activity
• Getting your (and your company’s) branding and sales working in tandem
• Use Rich Media options to deliver your sales and marketing messages

4. Developing your Network
• Connect to your contacts and make your network visible to you
• Develop a Connection strategy which delivers
• Find key hubs in your target markets
• Integrate your other marketing touchpoints

5. Targeting and Engaging with Prospects
• Build a Prospect list which delivers
• Target new prospects by industry, geography, company
• Tap into your connections to create referral opportunities
• Identify key stakeholders in target organisations easily & quickly
• Successful ways to connect and engage with potential opportunities
• Tagging and using the CRM functionality

6. Raising your Profile & Push Marketing Opportunities
• Market to your LinkedIn connections
• Create awareness and sales interest
• Help develop key relationships
• Tap into the direct marketing opportunities

7. Using Groups
• Find target groups: using the “built in” market segmentation
• Identify and connect with prospects
• Participating successfully: become the “go to” person in your area
• Using groups for other reasons
• Build groups of fans to develop further

8. Integrate & Best Practice
• Find out how to integrate LinkedIn with your other sales & marketing activities
• Coordinate your activity and that of your colleagues
• Best practice from a personal, team and company perspective
• Key points to remember