Here’s How LinkedIn Can Become Your Inbound Sales Machine

April 9, 2018

White Clock

Inbound is in.

HubSpot hosts an annual event by that name, and in 2017 it drew more than 20,000 attendees to Boston. You would be hard-pressed to find a marketing department anywhere that doesn’t rely on inbound tactics to some extent, and many businesses focus on these acquisition principles almost exclusively.

It’s only logical at a time where consumers and companies have taken so much of the buying process into their own hands. Inbound represents a shift from push to pull; a methodology designed to turn your brand into a destination that magnetically attracts potential customers along the journey to purchase.  

As sales and marketing departments become more strategically aligned, building out an infrastructure for inbound success is a crucial priority. This is a subject covered in our new eBook on LinkedIn targeting, and today we thought we’d dig a little deeper into the fundamentals of effective inbound sales on the platform.

Why is Inbound So Important?

HubSpot defines inbound marketing as “attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer's buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.”

In many ways, this reflects the principles of social selling, a practice that is very much inbound in nature. Sellers are experiencing tremendous success through this approach, which enables them to cut down on time and rejection with prospecting.

In marketing, inbound tactics are proven to deliver far better ROI than outbound ones, mostly because of the significantly lower costs. With inbound marketing, you’re not buying huge prospect lists, or sending out mass email blasts. Instead, it’s about laying the groundwork for being discovered by interested parties and generating buyer-initiated conversations.

Sales can absolutely adopt this mindset, and teams everywhere are already doing so. On LinkedIn, there are three activities in particular conducive to creating, and capitalizing upon, inbound interest.

Boosting Inbound Sales Success on LinkedIn

If you’re fairly active on LinkedIn, and orienting your presence on the platform toward the people you wish to engage, then you’re likely to gain some level of inbound traction naturally. Professionals in your niche may come across your profile because they sought out keywords and content relevant to their jobs, or because of mutual connections.

Here’s how you can be sure you’re making the most of these opportunities.

Present Yourself as a Helpful and Knowledgeable Authority

We like to put it this way: When you think about prospective buyers exploring LinkedIn, what would make them say “I’m glad I found this profile!” when stumbling across yours? Your profile shouldn’t simply look like a résumé or barebones professional snapshot. For social sellers, it should serve as a valuable resource hub that features unique stories, insights, and ideas relevant to your customers.

There are several places you can add these dimensions. For instance:

Headline: It’ll automatically populate with your current job title, but you can customize it. Get specific. Try to make it compelling and attention-grabbing for the specific type of members you’d like to reach.

Summary: You’ve got 2,000 characters to work with here. We don’t necessarily recommend using them all, but the space provides ample flexibility to frame yourself as an advocate and trusted advisor.

Experience: Don’t just rattle off your previous jobs as if you’re trying to sell yourself to an employer. List details about your work experiences that help make you great at what you do now, and a valuable partner in the buying experience.

Track Who’s Viewing Your Profile

Even if someone views your profile and enjoys it, they won’t always try to interact or connect. This is why the ability to see who’s viewed your profile — plus the added insights available to LinkedIn Premium and Sales Navigator users — are quite beneficial. You can keep tabs on members who are checking you out, and when it makes sense, reach out with a personalized connection request or message (or at least make a note that they’ve showed some level of interest).

Use Activity as a Timing Trigger

As every seller knows, timing is everything. When it comes to prospecting, it’s not only about “who” but “when.” Engage at the wrong time, when someone is busy with other things, and your outreach can easily slip off their radar. Then you’re already treading the line of coming off as pesky if you try again later.

LinkedIn feeds update in real-time. If you’re following people and vigilantly keeping an eye on your feed, you can pinpoint moments when they’re active on the platform and — in all likelihood — more open to taking a call or responding to a message.

A Sustainable Inbound Process

Think about ways you can apply the three actions above cohesively. If you build out your profile, track and segment members who view it, and then reach out at times when they’re active on the platform, you’ve got a strong recipe for conversations that will move on to the next step. And really, once you’ve established this routine, you don’t have to do all that much work to make it happen.

That’s inbound sales in a nutshell.

Want to make sure you’re doing all you can to load the funnel with qualified leads? Download Read This If You Want to Target the Right Prospects on LinkedIn.