Score More Sales Leads on LinkedIn with this 7-Step Formula
September 4, 2019
Connecting with business decision makers is the name of the game in sales. That’s why successful sales pros make LinkedIn their home base. Half of all B2B buyers consult LinkedIn when making purchase decisions. And when they’re in decision-making mode, they’re open to interactions with sales professionals on LinkedIn. Here’s a seven-step formula you can put into play to effectively engage these buyers.
1. Find Decision Makers and Those Who Influence Them
It’s essential to set your sights on the true decision makers so you don’t waste precious prospecting time. By cross-referencing your ideal customer profile and most recent big deals, you can visualize the most promising buyers. Using Sales Navigator, you can search to find strong matches on LinkedIn.
While that’s a solid start, it won’t suffice to only focus on the main decision maker in a consensus-driven world. You need to identify the other key players in each account. With advanced search in LinkedIn, you get a sense of an account’s organizational structure and other likely stakeholders. Sales Navigator will even show you related leads, pointing you to others in the account who might be influential in driving your deal forward.
2. Save Leads in LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Save your leads in Sales Navigator to stay in the know on what they’re thinking about and doing. Sales Navigator will show you job changes, shares, new mentions and more – all of which helps you efficiently keep tabs on the entire buying committee. These timely updates can serve as triggers that inform the what and when of your outreach.
3. Follow Leads on LinkedIn
To complement your saved list in Sales Navigator, follow your top sales prospects on LinkedIn. This allows you to keep an eye on their activities, including posts that interest them and groups they’ve joined. That way, you’ll have an understanding of their challenges, motivations, and goals before your first conversation.
4. Work Your Network to Find a Referral Path
Busy, information-overloaded buyers rely on existing relationships to streamline their purchase research. Connect with a buyer’s peers and influencers provides you with a better chance of ultimately interacting with those prospects.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator can highlight connections between your teammates and colleagues and these decision makers. You might even find a path to a prospect through others in your LinkedIn network, like a college classmate or former colleague.
5. Begin Engaging With Potential Buyers on LinkedIn
Once you’ve been introduced to someone on the buying committee, reach out with a thoughtfully crafted message that shows you’ve done your homework and understand what matters most to them. By studying what the decision maker and influencers are sharing and discussing on LinkedIn – along with related company news and job posts – you can build a mini dossier on your target account. Offer relevant, thought-provoking insights to encourage a response and ongoing conversation.
6. Identify and Share Content, Information, and Ideas
At every turn, you want to lead with value when engaging decision makers. Look for opportunities to share relevant content and information that aligns with the account’s top priorities, whether directly with decision makers or indirectly through posts to your LinkedIn account. Steadily do this and you’ll be viewed as a welcomed resource rather than just another sales rep.
7. Build a Relationship of Trust Across the Target Account
Your goal is to establish yourself as a trusted advisor with your target account. It’s an approach that will set you apart and give decision makers and influencers a reason to stay engaged with you throughout their buying process.
The ultimate way to prove your value in this role is by offering suggestions and guidance even when it won’t lead to a sale for you – right away. Focus on being helpful and selfless, and that trust you’ve built will go a long way when the account is ready to buy.
Engaging key decision makers and their influencers is not a once-and-done exercise. For the best results, apply these seven steps to every account, and continually repeat the formula to stay engaged with existing accounts and to drive add-on business.
For a more comprehensive breakdown of this step-by-step formula, check out our guide, Read Me If You Want to Effectively Engage Key Decision Makers on LinkedIn.