LinkedIn For Sales: an action plan for salespeople

Anna Bratton

Posted by Anna Bratton

 

LinkedIn just might be one of the most powerful sales tools ever invented – for identifying opportunities, researching prospects and engaging people early.

Our recent article, Ten Tips for using LinkedIn for sales prospecting gives an overview of the ways our salespeople are using LinkedIn today.

This piece is kind of a companion to that: a quick Action Plan for any salesperson hoping to get the most from the platform. It includes seven things to get you started; five things to do every day; and five things do before every meeting or sales call:

Action plan – how to become a LinkedIn ninja

7 things to get you started

  • 1. Complete your profile to 100% and add a good quality professional picture –also, use the description attached to your current employer to deliver a basic sales pitch for the company.
  • 2. Solicit previous customers for recommendations – focus on quality over quantity. Aim for those customers who have clout in the industries you focus on. Where possible, guide them on the areas you’d like recommendations on.
  • 3. Join the key groups in your sector and get a daily digest of new activity – then, once you’ve listened for a while, look to see how you can join the conversation with helpful comments and links (but no overt selling).
  • 4. Follow companies on your prospect list so you get regular updates – pay particular attention to joiners, leavers and company announcements.
  • 5. Connect to as many people as you can – contacts breed contacts. Make use of LinkedIn’s ‘people you may know’ feature. And always send a contact request within 24 hours of meeting anyone new.
  • 6. Connect LinkedIn to your Twitter feed (if you have one – if not, get one) and make sure you show a link to your company website.
  • 7. Check your contacts’ contacts for other people you can connect to – do this religiously for all new connections.

5 things to do every day

Once you’re set up and ready to go, here are five things you should do every day over your morning coffee:

  • 1. Check your updates – particularly for your contacts’ profile changes and new connections.
  • 2. Check your groups’ digests – look for new members and for opportunities to engage constructively.
  • 3. Reach out with connection requests to anyone you’ve met in the last 24 hours.
  • 4. Look at who’s visited your profile – visit them back and request a connection from anyone who looks interesting.
  • 5. Check your saved searches when the reports come in for new opportunities.

5 things to do before every meeting or sales call

Got a meeting? About to pick up the phone to a prospect? Here are five things you should do first:

  • 1. Check your prospect’s profile for changes and status updates.
  • 2. See who else they’ve recently connected to.
  • 3. Check their groups for any new comment from them (or any trending issues).
  • 4. See if they’ve listed any new events (either coming up or already attended).
  • 5. Review any shared connections you have with them.

Don’t forgot to check out our Spring’12 video to see how you can easily integrate LinkedIn into your sales process.

 
 
Anna Bratton

Anna Bratton

Strategic Accounts Business Development Executive, EMEA

Anna Bratton is a proactive and solutions orientated IT professional who has a passion for working with collaborative technologies and understanding how they can be leveraged effectively for strategic business. Anna joined salesforce.com 2 years ago and is currently working in a business development role for Strategic Accounts across Life Sciences, CPG, Retail and Travel & Transport sectors within the EMEA marketplace.

On Twitter: @annabratton     On LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/annabrattonsfdc

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