LinkedIn Prospecting

LinkedIn is the Best Sales Funnel Tool – Use it throughout the Entire Sales Process

The process itself can be broken down into many steps, all defined differently by the sales professional, the products or services they sell and the company’s expectations. Here is a basic sales process list and how LinkedIn makes makes the funnel run smoothly!

  1. Prospecting – Prospecting has a very wide range of definitions, but on every level, LinkedIn has a key role. The most powerful and proprietary feature of LinkedIn is the accessible database. It is a salesperson’s dream to identify who in their network knows their prospect. Through Company Search, Advanced Searches and searching a specific connection’s connections, LinkedIn is a hotbed for referrals and introductions. In addition, through LinkedIn’s publishing platform, everyone has the ability to not just post engaging content but to share it with key decision makers through group messages. There isn’t an easier more effective way to get on your prospects radar as a thought leader in their professional world and the subject matter expert that they respect and will ultimately buy from.
  2. Pre-call planning – We all know that learning as much about our prospect before meeting them can help give us an edge. LinkedIn for research changes the playing field. Get the full background of not only on your prospect, but on many of the other decision makers and influencers prior to your meeting. In addition, learn what the company’s initiatives are, what they are sharing and talking about from both the personal and company page activities. In addition, you can quickly research their industry and competitors and compile insights based on what is happening right now in their world. BONUS: When you are on your prospects profile, look on the right hand side a list of people similar to your prospect as well as “people also viewed”…this is a great way to find others in their company as well as their competitors quickly. Similar intelligence is available on the company page as well.
  3. Needs assessment – this typically happened solely in the meeting by asking a predetermined checklist of questions we need answers to in order to make the sale. With LinkedIn, we can learn so much about what they have and need prior to our first connection. In fact, with a quick advanced search choosing people who used to work in your prospect’s company, you can find former co-workers and decision makers, reach out to them and get the inside scoop. This is a key area that will help start a meeting and the sales process with an powerful edge.
  4. Presentation – part of a sales pitch is puffing our chests, telling our prospect all the great things we have done and can do for them. By leveraging our recommendations and client case studies in our LinkedIn profiles, it is our clients that are speaking for us, and that adds credibility we couldn’t offer on our own.
  5. Overcoming objections – If we prepare well in the pre-call planning stage, we’ve connected with the past employees we will uncover past challenges so we will know many of the objections they have before we ever hear them. The intel can be astonishing, and you can be armed and ready with an effective objection handling moment. You can even handle the objection before they ever get to say it!
  6. Closing the deal – Often, when we come in from a referral, closing the deal is so much easier than a cold call. They may not even shop your products or services if you came highly recommended.
  7. Tracking the Process – If you have a CRM, that should be your primary tracking tool, but if you don’t have a CRM, this tip is for you. Use LinkedIn’s Tagging feature to track where you are in the sales process with each prospect. CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TAGS
  8. Getting Referrals – Now a happy client, get some referrals. Identify who they know that you want to meet and as for introductions. Yep, LinkedIn rocks!

Are you a sales professional who needs to leverage LinkedIn more effectively? Let’s set up a time to talk, a makeover and personal plan may be the key to growing your business in 2015! Here is a link to my calendar and a link to my partner’s pick one and schedule a time that best works for you. We are looking forward to a successful 2015!