LinkedIn use is growing rapidly, and the platform has recorded “record levels of engagement” in the last five quarters, and as economic activity begins to pick up again, in a gradual recovery from the pandemic, these utilization rates will only increase as professionals seek new opportunities and brands they want to connect with new talent to meet demand.
But LinkedIn can also be a powerful sales platform, with many key decision makers being very active in the app. In particular, if you are in the B2B business, LinkedIn offers great potential in this regard – but it can also be a challenge in approaching users in the right way and presenting your products and services to the right people in the app.
LinkedIn offers solutions like its Sales Navigator platform to help you do just that, but it costs money and it can be hard to know if it’s worth the investment for your business and what value salespeople can get from the platform in that regard.
So how should salespeople use LinkedIn and should you sign up for a Sales Navigator subscription to optimize your approach?
We recently asked these questions Mitali Pattnaik, Director of Product Management at LinkedIn, to gain her insights to help inform you about your strategies on the platform.
P: LinkedIn sees the number of engagements increasing on the platform, but what are the best ways for vendors to get involved in that activity and reach their target customers?
MP: With a wealth of information at hand, customers research products and solutions long before considering a purchase, and often turn to retailers they trust for guidance on their purchasing decisions, even if the product is outside that retailer’s portfolio.
Therefore, if you find yourself writing an impersonal email or are about to call someone without background information, hang up the phone and consider your approach. To reach today’s customers, you need to put their priorities at the center; get to know them and their challenges; and before you start selling anything, start helping them solve their problems.
Here LinkedIn today really adds tremendous value to vendors. As the largest B2B marketplace, we help millions of buyers and sellers interact with each other in a meaningful way, not only to sell products or services, but also to solve real business problems.
And we know it works, because sales professionals are some of the most active people of our 774+ million members and often turn to us for guidance on how to continue to adapt to this virtual sales environment.
P: It seems that sales professionals could achieve everything they need only if they have a free LinkedIn account – or perhaps investing in Premium – why should they consider investing in Sales Navigator?
MP: LinkedIn is a great way for salespeople to research key accounts and prospects, create personalized contacts, and develop and maintain relationships over time. But as sales organizations strive to better understand their leading accounts and provide greater value, Sales Navigator provides data-based insights to help them make informed decisions.
Powered by the latest information on the world’s largest chart of professionals — information that members and companies regularly exchange and update — the Sales Navigator gives users the ability to target decision makers at the right time. And just today we launched a new Sales Navigator feature, ‘Customer Account Interest’, which determines the total interest of the account in the products or services of the company selling, which will help sales professionals prioritize orders with the greatest intent and contact customers when their reach is most likely to be well received.
As the future of work begins to evolve, LinkedIn and Sales Navigator will become increasingly important for sales organizations. We are in the midst of “big changes”, a moment of unprecedented changes in which employers and employees are rethinking how and why they work.
As this change continues, accurate data will be vital to the success of sales organizations, and we believe that salespeople will increasingly rely on our platform to maintain close relationships with their accounts as customers will embark on new career opportunities more than ever.
P: What are some key tips for resellers looking to use LinkedIn and / or Sales Navigator to interact with customers?
MP: In 2020, we looked at how vendors used the platform to identify the most effective ways to interact with customers, and of all the actions analyzed, we found that the primary determinant of vendor success was a complete LinkedIn profile.
The data suggests that having a full LinkedIn profile could increase a seller’s chances of meeting or exceeding their sales goals by more than 2 times, and could increase InMail acceptance rates by as much as 87%.
I also encourage all sales professionals to take the time to listen and understand customer challenges before discussing the solution, and to use LinkedIn to learn more about their key accounts and trends in the industries they serve.
This advance research is also essential for finding and establishing the first link on LinkedIn. With Sales Navigator, users can see all the connections of their organizations so they can understand how they can connect with a potential customer and collaborate with their colleagues for easier presentation. In addition, key features such as CRM synchronization make Sales Navigator a key part of our customers ’sales package.
P: Personal branding is another key element for salespeople – what are some key tips on how salespeople can improve their personal brands on LinkedIn?
MP: One way retailers can build their brands is to develop and share their own opinions about industry-leading trends.
Ours Global sales situation the data underscores the importance of trust, and 89% of customers describe their sales representatives as “trusted advisors”. To help customers solve problems and extract value from their solutions, salespeople must increasingly prioritize their role as advisors and make an impression in their industry.
As a place to connect buyers and sellers, our platform offers many ways for sales professionals to share their unique perspectives and provoke meaningful conversations.
P: What are some of the key shopping trends you see through LinkedIn?
MP: Virtual sales, which will evolve into hybrid sales as personal engagements return, remain there.
71% of customers say they would like to work half or more time remotely in the future, and 55% of customers said working remotely has made the shopping process easier. As a significant shift from the way salespeople traditionally work with customers, virtual sales requires a new set of skills with adaptability as one of the top skills.
In addition, relationships have never been more important in B2B sales, and basically our platform is connecting with others and increasing your network. Sales Navigator dives even deeper, building on the platform’s extensive ecosystem, to provide people-based data and insights that allow sales organizations to focus on the accounts with the greatest potential so that salespeople can develop and develop customer relationships in range.
Here you can check for the latest updates for LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
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