Hey Mr. CEO, Can Your Sales Team Afford to Ignore LinkedIn?

Ignoring something doesn’t make it go away. When it comes to LinkedIn, it also means that you’re missing out on a significant opportunity.

Sales in 2021 is not business as usual. Far from it. In fact, it might just be the opposite. When you miss out on a potential sales channel, your competition will take advantage. They carve out a niche, and you lose out.

Nobody wants that to happen. And that’s exactly why your sales team cannot afford to ignore LinkedIn. Yes, it’s another channel. But, it’s not just another channel. When used correctly, LinkedIn might just become THE channel for you. This is everything you need to know to get started and leverage this opportunity for tangible sales growth.

First Things First: What Is LinkedIn?

The platform is one of the largest social media networks in the world, with almost 600 million users worldwide. That might not quite match up with a giant like Facebook. What makes this channel so relevant, though, is its audience.

The average LinkedIn user is between 30 and 64 years old, college educated, and works in a white collar profession. Does that sound like part of your target audience? It gets better: 61 million users are senior level influencers, and 40 million are decision makers at the C-Suite level. Among Fortune 500 companies, LinkedIn is the single most popular social network.

On a daily basis, these users interact in groups, share status updates, and update their profiles. They post 100,000 long-form posts per week. And of course, they interact with each other, from comments to personal InMail messages that range from professional advice to networking.

The Sales Prospecting Advantages of LinkedIn

1) A Relevant Audience

2) Intuitive Relationship-Building

3) Background Information About Sales Prospects

4) An Opportunity for Thought Leadership

5) Staying Top of Mind for Prospects

How to Get Started in Building Your LinkedIn Sales Presence

Leverage Your Existing Connections

First, they’ll get relevant connections in the people also viewed section on the right of the page. It’s like a built-in lookalike tool, helping you prospect similar customers based on similar factors. Second, your existing customers can help you get acquainted with their network to expand your prospect pool.

Connect and Engage with Prospects

Become an Active Content Publisher

Join Relevant Industry Groups

Use LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator

LinkedIn is a Channel, NOT a Philosophy

At the same time, it’s absolutely crucial at the C-Suite level to not lose sight of one thing: LinkedIn cannot replace your sales team, or their personalized efforts to connect with prospects. Instead, it’s a platform designed to enhance the existing relationship building that your team already does. It offers the tools to make that effort successful, without changing the core philosophy of nurturing marketing leads to prospects and eventual customers.

LinkedIn enhances existing relationships with your leads. It can also unearth new prospects that marketing might not (yet) have found. It cannot, however, take the actual contact between sales professional and potential customer out of the equation. If you don’t have that part down, even your team’s best effort on LinkedIn may not amount to much.

Always remember that LinkedIn doesn’t replace the personal connections with potential customers your audience needs to make. It simply places them in context, adding a digital component to that process to take it into 2019 and beyond.

Make 2021 The Year Your Sales Team Goes All In on LinkedIn

To make that happen, you can’t just dip your toes in the water. Instead, you have to go all in. LinkedIn, especially its more advanced features, offer a comprehensive rethinking of the way you reach out to prospects. It’s very much a strategic approach that should be supported and directed at the CEO level.

Especially if you already know how to use it personally, you can bring that knowledge into the implementation of these processes. With the right support, it might just be the channel you need to pick up lagging sales or bring already existing positive trends to the next level.

That opportunity is waiting for your organization in the form of a social network that just continues to grow. Will you take it? More importantly, will your business know how to take it in a way that actually maximizes your opportunity and minimizes potential complications?

The time to embrace LinkedIn is now. You simply cannot afford to ignore it in a world where it’s become so crucial to business communications.

This article first appeared on Jefflizik.com

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