Not all social networks are created equal. Understanding the types of content you’ll find and the reasons audiences use each platform is key to your marketing and sales efforts. For example, I use Facebook to connect with friends and family, Instagram to follow influencers, and LinkedIn to connect with my professional network and to follow industry news.
In our agency, where business-to-business (B2B) marketing is king, we’ve seen a huge interest in LinkedIn. The world’s most powerful professional networking platform is becoming one of the most valuable tools for identifying and nurturing potential sales leads. In December, the company reported 610 million users, with 41.5% using the platform to build relationships with potential customers. With the specific, targeted B2B audience that’s active on LinkedIn, those are sales leads your team can’t afford to miss.
On LinkedIn, your sales team can demonstrate their unique expertise and reach people outside of their existing network. And because it’s a tool that people are already using, your team can meet customers where they’re comfortable. The platform is a perfect tool to help identify and nurture potential sales leads.
Yet the most valuable tool in the business is worth nothing if your sales team isn’t using it — you need them to believe in it too.
Here are a few tips to help get your sales team on board:
• Explain why it’s important. We’ve already done this one for you: 610 million users, the world’s most powerful professional networking platform, and countless opportunities to reach new leads.
• Share internal success stories. If someone else in your company successfully used LinkedIn to nurture a relationship, turn it into a mini case study. Give real-life instances of how this platform can provide real value.
• Clarify that it doesn’t take up much time. It’s easy to think that implementing new practices or joining a new social channel will throw a wrench into a carefully crafted daily routine. But being active on LinkedIn only takes 10 minutes a day, two to three times per week. This activity can include anything from engaging in groups and sharing content to following hashtags.
• Provide easy-to-follow guidelines. Sometimes users feel the pressure to write original, witty or thought-provoking posts for everything they share. This isn’t necessary. Take the pressure off your sales team and give them some simple steps to composing effective posts. Even better, send them your company’s newsletter and blog articles for them to share with their connections.
• Clue them in to your company’s overarching LinkedIn strategy. If your sales team knows what kind of content you’re posting on the company LinkedIn page, they have more power to share and create their own supporting messaging.
• Host a LinkedIn sales team training workshop. You can accomplish all of the above — while also providing added value to your sales team — by setting aside time for LinkedIn training. Bring in an external resource that can provide insider expertise as well as tools to help your team enhance their existing LinkedIn presence.
We’ve hosted a few of these LinkedIn training sessions with our clients — going over everything from best practices for connecting with other users to what types of industry-specific content to share.
If you’re interested in booking a LinkedIn training session with one of our in-house experts, let us know by sending a comment through the form on this page!