Have you used LinkedIn in the past just to put yourself “out there” and look for new job opportunities? Perhaps you have always used it distractedly and superficially, without understanding the enormous potential of the platform to boost the sale of your products and services. What if we told you that LinkedIn, if used in the right way, can be a very useful tool for companies, especially sales departments, to generate leads, create opportunities and find customers?
In the next few lines, we will try to delve into this issue, attempting to provide a guide aimed at marketers and companies to deal with digital changes together with their sales department and find customers with LinkedIn.
The current situation
We must first start with a fact: the buying process has changed.
In fact, according to a study conducted by DemandGen, 72% of buyers use social media to conduct research before making a purchase. They look for information about the products and about the brand they are interested in.
They check the opinions of other customers.
They ask their connections and your current customers for recommendations.
If you think about it, it is the path you also take whenever you have to make an online purchase.
So what is the point of contact between your company and buyers?
Your strong social media presence.
LinkedIn itself tells us that 81 percent of buyers are more likely to interact with professionals with a strong personal brand. Social selling therefore allows your company’s branding to encourage buyers to go deeper.
Traditional business strategies limit opportunities!
Research shows that salespeople miss opportunities for 3 main reasons:
- lack of essential players
- lack of credibility
- low involvement
What the numbers tell:
- 7 are the key influencers involved in B2B purchase decision on average
- 90% the percentage of decision makers who never respond to a “cold” contact
This leads us to introduce the concept of modern selling, which means:
“leverage information from digital platforms to carry out more targeted activities to identify, learn about, and engage buyers.”
Let us now see how to act in detail and address the challenges of digital to find customers with LinkedIn.
How to cope with digital changes together with your sales department
We have seen that the top 3 reasons why salespeople miss an opportunity are:
- lack of essential players
- lack of credibility
- low involvement
Let’s try to touch on each point trying to find a possible way to find new opportunities through LinkedIn.
Lack of essential players
LinkedIn is a huge database constantly updated by the users themselves, containing the names and roles of every person working in a company.
LinkedIn in Italy
LinkedIn has 14 million users in Italy alone. The possibilities for getting in touch with professionals of interest to your business are therefore almost unlimited.
In the past year alone, the number of users increased by 7.7%: this confirms a positive trend that we will find in the coming year as well.
Integrating LinkedIn into your company’s branding and sales processes can give you extraordinary results.
LinkedIn in the world
If your company’s target audience is global, the opportunities grow even more.
LinkedIn allows you to connect with a potential audience of 663.3 million users.
In a matter of minutes you can decide to start selling in a new country, all without moving from your desk and with negligible cost and time compared to what you would have to go through to open a new country using traditional methods.
The countries that use LinkedIn the most in the world are: United States, Netherlands, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Canada, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, France, Spain, Honk Kong, Israel, Italy, Brazil, and Argentina.
In these countries you can find up to 62% of the adult population on LinkedIn.
Lack of credibility
LinkedIn is a very important showcase for your brand: buyers research online, particularly on social media, before they buy.
Improves the branding of your sales team and the company’s top management. Make their profiles flawless to increase their credibility in the eyes of customers and the confidence they have in themselves.
Increase the engagement of the people your team comes in contact with.
Use LinkedIn to keep in touch with them through chat.
Schedule an editorial plan of content and publish posts relevant to your target customers that explain why your company is right for them.
LinkedIn guide for companies to find new customers
Finding customers with LinkedIn by leveraging its database of millions?
Let’s look at the possibilities that social provides us with to identify our perfect interlocutor in any company.
First open the search bar, the filters vary depending on your profile type: if you have a free profile you will have a few fewer options, but if you use Sales Navigator you will have access to a greater degree of precision for your searches as well as many other benefits.
In the first section of filters you have the option of filter the profiles you are interested in for: keywords, geographic area, school or college attended, last name and first name, degree of connection to your profile (first, second and third level), language of profile, presence or absence in your previous lead searches, the industry in which they work.
“Role and Employment Duration Filters”-this is the second filter section of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. Here you can filter your searches by: seniority level, job function, years in current job position, job title (current or previous), years worked in current company, and years of industry experience.
“Company Filters”: here you can filter your searches by company (searching for one or more companies you are interested in), number of employees, company type, or previous company.
For example, you might decide to search for all the people you have known who work at a particular company, but have now changed to a company with a larger number: this allows you to prepare a personalized message to get in touch with them and start building a direct relationship.
Let us look at some possibilities in the various search fields seen in the previous lines.
Here we can indicate the place where the people we are interested in live: it could even be an area as large as an entire continent, but we recommend that you start working from a specific state so that you can communicate in the language users are accustomed to using.
You might also decide to write to everyone in English, but the result would surely be less.
Below you also have the option of entering a state, region, city or even a ZIP code specifically.
Here they are given in alphabetical order, and as you can well see it is 8 areas just by taking into account those beginning with A-the degree of specificity you can get to is really impressive.
Through this filter you can decide whom to target within a company: keep in mind that owners or CEOs will certainly be harder to reach. But keep one thing in mind: without LinkedIn, how likely would you be to send a message directly to the smartphone of the CEO of the company you are interested in?
Years at the current company
How many years has the person worked in the current company? Do you want to find a person who can make important decisions in the company? Probably those who have been working in the same place for several years have the opportunity to do so, or perhaps you could pitch your service product to a new employee who wants to make a good impression in the company where he or she started by bringing something innovative to the table.
Years in the job position
How many years has your potential contact been in that specific position? It may be that the people you are interested in are those who have recently achieved career advancement-in which case this is the filter for you. You could also contact a senior salesperson to whom you could make a proposal and find a person who is eager to gain experience in a new company.
Again, the ability to filter by function is extremely detailed; LinkedIn offers many categories you can use to locate only the right people for your needs.
Number of employees
Do you want to talk to self-employed workers or large companies that have more than 10,000 employees? No matter, LinkedIn’s search allows you to connect with each of them. The “Number of Employees” filter is crucial for connecting with the right people.
Surely your product or service will be designed for realities of a certain size. You may not be interested in supplying your product to companies that are too small because they do not have budgets to purchase it, or conversely, target only companies with up to 10 employees because currently your product is not mass replicable, but is custom built.
Filter your search only by people who have worked at a particular company, who no longer work there, or who work there and have changed roles within the company.
Type of company
Do you work only with nonprofit companies? Perfect, from here you can decide to see only people who work in such an entity, or you could provide services only to listed companies or even government agencies.
Examples for generating contacts with LinkedIn
This is an example of the result you can get by performing a search with the filters we saw in the previous lines.
We included only two parameters for this research: people who live in Italy and who are involved in purchasing within the company where they work.
We might decide to filter the search further by asking LinkedIn to show us only those who work in companies in a particular industry and in the same company for at least three to four years.
You organize an event and you have as a guest speaker a professor who taught at a particular university for 10 years-you can decide to send an invitation to all the people who graduated in that decade from that university. This way you will be sure to talk to people who know the expert you have decided to work with.
How can we help you?
Explore the mechanics of LinkedIn‘s algorithm to identify digital opportunities to improve your branding or increase sales. Train the sales department to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to increase their results.
Generating contacts with LinkedIn
We can help you identify your target audience on LinkedIn and connect with them.
Expand your network of connections up to 500 per month.
Managing LinkedIn profile or company page
Work with us to improve your company’s online presence through the company page, or the most exposed people on your team.Let’s build together an editorial content plan for your audience and a strategy to strengthen your online presence.