We’ve all heard stories of how people are achieving success in using LinkedIn for B2B sales prospecting and acquiring new clients. Some businesses are using LinkedIn so successfully that it has become their primary channel for new business acquisition.
Wondering what makes LinkedIn so effective?
The thing with LinkedIn is that it’s the largest global platform where business professionals hang out and network with each other. This means that the platform has a relevant audience for B2B businesses.
Additionally, it also gives you the ability to craft out either a passive presence (via posts, comments, and Stories) or an active presence (via direct messages and connection requests).
Whatever your style is, you can mix and match your approach to suit your business needs and the interests of your prospects and existing clients.
Given the fact that we are all now comfortable with remote working and communication, our virtual networking skills should be improving every day. Doesn’t this mean that now is the ideal time to harness social media marketing and use it to generate more leads and sales?
LinkedIn can be a great platform to generate brand awareness, nurture closer relationships, develop trust, increase B2B sales, and build thought leadership.
But how does all of this actually happen in practice and what are the best ways to use LinkedIn for B2B sales?
Let’s find out.
Methods to Use LinkedIn for B2B Sales and Marketing
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to use LinkedIn for B2B sales generation.
1. Grow Your LinkedIn Network
Having a large social media network isn’t about status. However, the size of your network impacts the number of prospects you can reach and engage. This will, in turn, affect your potential to drive B2B sales and qualified marketing leads.
When it comes to top-of-the-funnel lead generation: The more visible your LinkedIn profile is, the greater brand awareness you are likely to generate. This, in turn, can power up your B2B lead generation efforts.
And that, eventually, can help you drive more B2B sales using LinkedIn.
It’s all about how many eyes you can get on your content, which is directly proportional to the size of your network on LinkedIn.
How It Works
You write a post and publish it.
LinkedIn, like other social media platforms, has algorithms so it chooses what information shows up in the feed of a person. Your post will initially show up in the feeds of your 1st-degree connections on LinkedIn.
But for driving more B2B sales, you need to ensure that more people on LinkedIn can see your posts.
Wondering how you can increase your content’s reach?
Here’s a clever bit: The more engagement your post gets (likes, comments, clicks), the wider LinkedIn will push it, which will help increase its reach.
This is how viral posts end up being seen across LinkedIn feeds everywhere. And those, in turn, help you drive B2B sales from LinkedIn.
However, for all of this to happen, your content quality needs to be supreme. You can’t expect your posts to go viral when their content is fairly ordinary. You should identify the right set of topics from your industry and create content around them to attract potential clients.
Additionally, your content needs to provide value to your audience and should be grammatically correct too. You can use Chrome extensions of tools like Grammarly to check the grammar of your posts and articles (directly on LinkedIn).
Similarly, if you share your opinion and insights on the posts of your connections via comments, their connections are likely to see them, which will improve your visibility. The model is: If you give a lot of valuable insights and engagement, you will get more of it in return.
The important thing to remember here is: The more engaging your content, the better will be your engagement rate and reach. And this, in turn, is likely to translate to better leads for greater B2B sales. So, make sure you focus on creating good content instead of selling your product/service.
Post regularly as your visibility will increase with every piece of content you share and every comment you add to others’ posts.
It’s also important to post content at the right times to boost your engagement rate and reach.
As LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, it’s a good choice to post content during the weekdays and not on weekends. You should also look at the best time to post your content on the platform during the day. For most companies, it is 7 AM-8 AM and 5 PM-6 PM.
How to Grow Your Network
Along with posting relevant content on your LinkedIn account, it is also important to make sure your network includes the right people. They should belong to your industry or be interested in your products and services.
To build the right network, you need to find and connect with the right contacts. You can leverage Dux-Soup’s LinkedIn automation tool for this task. Over 70,000 people trust it to assist their lead generation efforts on LinkedIn.
All you have to do is come up with a list of target accounts and then start running the tool. It’ll start visiting the LinkedIn profile of each person.
You can do this by heading to LinkedIn search. Once the search results show up, you can have Dux-Soup start visiting and prospecting those accounts.
You can also leverage advanced search options and filter the prospects by their current company, past company, job title, etc. To take it to the next level, you can also use it with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
After you have built a targeted list, you can invite those prospects to become your LinkedIn connections. But here, the messaging is important. When you first contact them, you should send a personalized message to them.
The more personalized your messaging can be, the better. And don’t forget: The sole purpose here is to get your invitation accepted. So, don’t be tempted to add a sales pitch to your connection request.
By finding a common interest, person, or group, you can reach out to people with a personal message and show common ground.
Something as simple as, “I saw your post in xx group and am interested in following your views.” or “I see we share connections in the xx industry. I’d be keen to connect.” can work well. Make the message personal, friendly, and relaxed, but stay true to your tone and style.
Should you want to speed this process up, you can automate your connection requests using Dux-Soup. However, be careful not to lose a touch of personalization. Else, your acceptance rates could suffer.
You can also join LinkedIn Groups and connect with the members of that group. They are likely to be people from the same industry and share the same interests as your company. These people can help you generate B2B sales through LinkedIn marketing in the long run.
However, make sure you vet the LinkedIn Groups well. Larger groups may not have a highly targeted audience. On the other hand, smaller LinkedIn Groups might not be very active, which is why you should check their engagement levels first.
2. Increase Your Company Followers on LinkedIn
So, you’ve got a healthy network and you’re sharing some articles from your blog on your company’s feed. You’re also commenting on the posts of other prospects and sending out some good vibes.
But what’s next?
You need to increase the number of followers on the LinkedIn page of your company.
To increase your brand awareness, it’s good to get your connections to follow your company page on LinkedIn. When they follow your company, they will start to see your content, notifications, products, services, and feedback in their feeds.
Posting content regularly to your company page on this social network will act as a prospect nurturing cycle to subtly keep you in front of your prospects.
And once they are ready to buy, who are they going to consider first?
Your company, of course.
If you’ve built a level of trust in your brand through your content, then they’ll more likely choose to work with you. This will help you increase your B2B sales through LinkedIn marketing.
How to Increase Your Company Followers
This is pretty easy to do with LinkedIn. You just have to send your contacts a message with an invitation to follow your company page on LinkedIn. Try and give them a reason for doing so though.
It may be that you post market updates, guides, tutorials, masterclasses, resources, etc. All of these can attract your target audience and encourage them to follow your company’s LinkedIn profile.
Whatever it is, your company LinkedIn profile will get a greater following if it contains information that is valuable to your network.
Again, you can automate the process of inviting your connections to follow your LinkedIn profile or do it manually, whichever way suits you best.
For example, note how Google has created a powerful LinkedIn company profile with an attractive banner image as well.
Image via LinkedIn
3. Build Winning Outreach Workflows
It’s time to get more active with your B2B sales outreach. Some of you may start to feel a little uneasy when venturing into a new territory, but there’s no need to panic.
When we talk about B2B sales outreach, it’s simply a term used for proactively engaging your connections. So far, you’ve worked to grow your LinkedIn network, but if you don’t do anything with it, it’s not going to take you very far.
So, the next thing that you need to do is to start creating workflows that you can leverage to engage those buyers further. That’s how you’ll be able to leverage LinkedIn for B2B sales and marketing.
For instance, you may like to follow up on a connection acceptance with an immediate thank you and some content that can benefit the prospect.
Workflows for the B2B sales outreach can be as short and simple as 1 or 2 follow-up messages on LinkedIn. If you’re leveraging automation tools like Dux-Soup, these could come in very handy.
However, if you’re going the manual way, you can still send out personalized messages to your prospect to keep the conversation going.
Remember though that the key to success with social media is to be helpful for your connections and add value to their lives and companies.
Don’t be tempted to follow a hard sales approach as you might risk undoing all of your hard work so far.
4. Analyze Conversion Rates and Scale Your LinkedIn Activity
Once you’ve started using workflows and engaging your audience further, it’s important to analyze your conversion rates at every stage.
Only by doing this will you start to improve on your results and build a more successful B2B sales and leads generation machine.
If you’re using Dux-Soup, you can seamlessly calculate your conversion rates at each stage. Alternatively, you can keep track of it manually as well. This will help you track the number of B2B sales you can generate via LinkedIn.
Image via Dux-Soup
A best practice here is to test different messaging and see the impact it has on your LinkedIn conversion rate.
Can we improve the connection acceptance rate on LinkedIn? Which follow-up messages can push the response rate higher?
By testing and analyzing different messages, you’ll be able to figure out what works the best for you.
Once you have optimized your workflows, it simply becomes a case of scaling up your LinkedIn activity. A word of warning here: Don’t overdo it.
Automation tools can be a brilliant solution to improve your workflow strategies, scale your activity, save you time, and increase your LinkedIn B2B sales.
However, don’t get carried away and send too many invites or you’ll risk your account being flagged by LinkedIn for unusual behavior.
5. Leverage LinkedIn Ads
Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn also offers paid advertising options through which you can expand your reach and amplify your B2B sales.
How can this help?
When you launch a paid promotion on LinkedIn for B2B sales, you can select your target audience as well. This makes the ads highly targeted and you’ll be able to reach the exact people who are most likely to buy from you.
One of the other major issues that LinkedIn Ads can help you with is that of lead generation. Typically, you’ll need to get potential customers to click on your ad and direct them to your website for lead generation.
One of the best tips is to use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms to engage potential customers. With them, you can make this process simpler.
The Lead Gen Forms will pre-fill all of the details of your users using their LinkedIn profiles. This saves them the effort of having to fill out long forms and increases their chances of becoming your leads and customers.
Additionally, these forms can generate leads for you even without them leaving the social network. This, too, increases your chances of lead generation for generating B2B sales using LinkedIn.
You can also leverage InMail ad campaigns to reach the inboxes of each prospect and get their attention.
For example, note how giosg leverages LinkedIn Ads to spread their brand awareness and boost B2B sales.
Image via LinkedIn
6. Use Advanced Search
Another helpful tactic to leverage LinkedIn for B2B sales generation is to incorporate advanced search into the mix. The idea here is to get hyper-targeted leads for your B2B business through the search.
How can you go about this?
Once you’ve defined your target audience, your path ahead is pretty simple. You need to use the very same parameters in your advanced search. When you do so, the search results will show you a list of all of those people who are likely to buy from you. Additionally, you can replicate the same in LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
You can then seamlessly get in touch with them on a personal basis manually or by using an automation tool like Dux-Soup.
7. Create Showcase Pages
One of the other ways to use LinkedIn for B2B sales is to create showcase pages. These pages look similar to your company pages but are slightly different.
The reason is that you can leverage these pages to segregate the traffic from your LinkedIn profile to generate B2B sales. However, not everyone can leverage these pages.
You can create a showcase page if you’ve got multiple businesses under your main business. Additionally, it makes sense to create them if each of those businesses has a different target audience.
You should consider creating such showcase pages to build powerful relationships with your customers and audience. Additionally, your marketing messages can be tailored to suit your audience of each showcase page.
The showcase pages can help you expand your reach further on LinkedIn and help you drive even more B2B sales.
For instance, Salesforce has multiple platforms that serve their customers so they’ve created numerous showcase pages that are dedicated to each of their products.
Image via LinkedIn
How can you create showcase pages?
You’ve to start with building your company page on LinkedIn. On that page, click on “Edit” and then on “Create a Showcase Page.” Post that, fill out all of the relevant fields for creating the page.
8. Start LinkedIn Groups
Joining LinkedIn Groups and finding the right set of people for your business is a great way to generate B2B sales. However, that’s not the only way LinkedIn Groups can help you.
You can also create a LinkedIn Group and then build your network from it. The idea here is to become the owner and moderator of the group and get people to join it.
In the process, not only will the group become popular, but numerous people may also start publishing engaging articles in the group. You, too, can share helpful information in the group and increase your reach and B2B sales.
It’s also possible to take your reach and B2B sales to the next level using LinkedIn Groups by adding a link to your website in the group’s description. This can help you drive traffic to your website and generate B2B sales.
For instance, note how Smart Insights has created a group on LinkedIn and added their company page’s link in the group’s description.
Image via LinkedIn
Ready to Leverage LinkedIn for B2B Sales Generation?
When you’re using LinkedIn for B2B sales, you need to have a solid strategy in place. You need to start with lead generation and for that, you will first have to grow your network.
The way ahead is to leverage an automation tool or manually connect with numerous people in your industry. Also, you should increase the number of followers on your company’s LinkedIn profile.
You should create B2B sales outreach workflows and send messages to further engage your leads and convert them into buyers. It’s also critical to analyze the conversion rates at each stage and experiment with various messages to find out which ones work the best for you.
Additionally, you can leverage LinkedIn Ads to amplify the reach of your content and drive B2B sales. You can also use advanced search option on the platform to find the right set of people to get in touch with.
Finally, creating showcase pages and groups can also help you increase your content’s reach and B2B sales on LinkedIn.
Do you have questions about using LinkedIn for B2B sales? Ask them in the comments below.