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Prospecting with LinkedIn

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Typically, account executives get their leads by prospecting or through leads generated by marketing efforts. Marketing can send leads to sales through tradeshows, newsletters, website forms, events, and other traditional marketing channels.

More recently, social media has gained wide traction. We’ve read countless articles that prove how social media has moved into the business space and is now more than a set of personal networking tools. For sales and marketing, social media is yet another channel, perhaps the quickest, most relevant and transparent tool out there. For marketers, social media is it. We’ve talked about how marketing can utilize social media and we’ve exchanged several ideas on various social apps to use.

Perhaps the most relevant social platform in the business world is Linkedin. Marketers have already been inundated with ideas on how to use Linkedin to build a platform for their company from which to “broadcast” their message and their clout as industry experts. But Linkedin is perhaps the best social tool for sales reps to directly build their network and sell! For the Linkedin savvy sales rep, his/her 500+ connections mean ample sales opportunities.

And the best part is, account executives don’t need to wait or depend on marketing to benefit from this piece of the social pie. They can go right ahead and prospect using their own network. Sales Managers typically don’t want their reps taking time away from active selling to learn new processes or systems. But Linkedin is now an inherent part of doing business. It’s almost as commonplace as knowing how to use Microsoft Word or Microsoft Outlook. Chances are, your sales reps already come with a fully-packed network of connections. So, why not harness this network?

Dedicating about half an hour every week to looking through your network, tagging them into different buckets (family, friends, or by titles) can help sort through the noise effectively. And titles and companies don’t stay constant. That executive admin you once knew could be a person of influence in another sphere. If your marketing team has already developed whitepapers, presentations, or social discussions that have topic relevance and highlight you and your company as industry leaders, send these once a month to your prospects or your tagged contacts on Linkedin and watch your sales funnel grow!