Sales Relationships – how to use LinkedIn to help you close deals

Wurlwind Social Selling - Sales Relationships

Congratulations if you’re reading this because you have a real live sales opportunity.

You may be wondering how you can use LinkedIn to improve your sales conversions and win rate.

If you’re responsible for winning sales – as a quota carrying sales leader, a business owner or in another sales role, there are several ways you can use LinkedIn to support your sales efforts and increase your success.

LinkedIn and Social Selling is not just about prospecting and lead generation. For larger more complex sales it’s a valuable resource to use during sales campaigns.

Quick start tips

Pick your best prospect, one that you’re currently bidding or proposing to, and apply the tips and steps below to increase your probability of winning and to develop effective Social Selling habits.

  • Connect with your main contacts in your prospect, if you haven’t already done so.
  • See who you are both connected with – your shared contacts – and identify someone who could give you insight into what’s going on.
  • Write down 5 actions you’ll take that will build those relationships – Like, Share, Comment, Connect, Talk to… etc.

Now repeat for your second best prospect, then the third, and fourth. I’m sure you’ll be getting quicker at this by now, and building a positive habit.

LinkedIn Tips for developing sales relationships and winning sales

1. Qualify the opportunity

Use LinkedIn as one of your research sources to find out more about the company and the prime contact. If it’s an enquiry that’s come in via your website, a phone call or even from a lead nurture sequence, LinkedIn can be a good source of information.

  • From their LinkedIn Company Page, does the company meet your criteria, based on size, sector, location, and any other criteria you may use?
  • From the LinkedIn Profile of the person contacting you, are they in a role that you typically deal with, as decision-maker or as recommender?
  • How closely connected are you to the person contacting you, and again LinkedIn can identify who you have as shared connections.

With this information you’re much better prepared for that initial phone call, and you can show that you have done your homework, or ask for missing information on the call.

2. Who else is likely to be involved in the decision?

If there are typically several people involved in deciding to purchase what you offer then some additional research will put you in a stronger position.

  • From the employees listed on the Company Page, can you identify the people with the job titles you’d expect to be involved in the decision.
  • Can you identify shared connections with any of them, and identify someone (a trusted third party) who could provide insight about the business.
  • Have those key people shared Articles and Status Updates on LinkedIn that would give you a chance to reach out and maybe connect with them?

Quickly identifying and making contact with the right people will provide a firm foundation for your sales campaign

3. Keeping in touch during the campaign and after the proposal

Some purchases can take a long time to close, and keeping in touch with key people can be tricky, without seeming to chase the deal.

  • Share relevant articles, either from your company like case studies or from reliable third parties, via LinkedIn Message to individuals
  • Share news and articles to groups of buyers as a LinkedIn Email/Message Broadcast to a small TAG group of people.
  • Comment on Status Updates and Articles posted by decision-makers on LinkedIn

Building relationships, becoming a trusted advisor and guiding prospects through the buying process is a route to sales success. This will happen through many channels including face to face meetings, phone calls, emails and other activities. LinkedIn can be a great source of insight and also an additional communications channel to use.

And if you’ve established your personal brand at a senior level you may well be able to gain access to the project sponsor early on, and steal a march on your competitors if they only have access at a junior level.

Download our Pocket Guide to Social Selling

If you haven’t already done so get a copy of our guide, which covers more LinkedIn Tips and introduces the Social Selling Matrix.