Have you ever wondered whether LinkedIn would support your business, especially when it comes to your sales lead generation strategy? Well, if your customer base is predominately B2B, then the simple answer is yes!
We're going to share our top 3 reasons why we love LinkedIn and give you 3 reasons why we think you should be making LinkedIn work harder for your sales pipeline.
LinkedIn - the social media for B2B sales lead generation
LinkedIn is often described as 'Facebook wearing a tie' and that's not far wrong. The reason LinkedIn is so popular is that it gives you the ability to network, not only from the comfort of your office, but by networking with thousands of businesses across the world. With as little as a status update, article share or by joining one of the groups, you'll be able to expand your networking (and with our article on better networking tips, you'll do even better!).
So where did this magical network of over 467 million users come from? LinkedIn was created in 2003 by Reid Hoffman, he put together a team of ex-colleagues from PayPal and SocialNet then six months later, LinkedIn was born. By the tender age of 6, LinkedIn had gone global and had already launched its first international office in London and from there went on to launch the site in Spanish and French. By the time the site ended its first decade it boasted an impressive 225 million members who were joining the site at a rate of 2 per second.
Many of our readers will be actually reading this very article from LinkedIn itself, which might sound a little like preaching to the converted, but, even active members on the LinkedIn scene still don't see the true value in how the business social platform can expand their sales opportunities, not just their network of contacts.
1. 83% of Social Media leads come from LinkedIn
Need we say more? As I trawl through my news feed every morning, I see businesses asking for recommendations for suppliers or services, which is followed by comments from their connections making referrals of their connections. LinkedIn gives you the ability to then make contact with one another, share industry expertise and talk sales!
The great thing about following up a referral through LinkedIn, is that it is clear that the prospect is looking for your service(s) and quite often they will add some of their pain points in their original post, which gives you a little more detail about the service they are looking for, and how your business might align with theirs, before you make that first call.
Not only this, you are now handed a list of all of your competitors who are going to be approaching this prospect too! This will give you an opportunity to scope out their offerings and make sure you are pushing forward your real unique selling points.
Now, you'll know exactly where and how you need to stand out to win the business.
2. LinkedIn drives 64% of all social referrals to corporate websites.
So, if you have a product launch, press release or announcement, you could spend thousands on organising a launch event, and age yourself a few years organising it, hoping to get a good turn-out. Alternatively, you could post it on LinkedIn and instantly drive traffic to your website and your new product.
LinkedIn encourages users to only link with those whom they have mutual connections and business interests with, so each of your status updates are viewed by people who are interested in your company and services.
Similarly, everyone in your list of connections sees your post and that means that they can then refer some of their own connections to you. You might think you're sharing a post with your 500 connections but as soon as one of those likes it and clicks share your exposure could double, maybe even triple!
We see this in action every day. We blog regularly about inbound marketing and leveraging social media for your business and a huge slice of our website traffic comes from LinkedIn. Since most businesses start their sales lead generation efforts at their website, this boost in traffic is really important.
3. 65% of companies acquired a B2B customer through LinkedIn
With a staggering 467 million users worldwide and 2 new users per second, how many can your company convert?
It is well known that the reason rapport building during the sales process is vital, is in building trust between the customer and the service provider. LinkedIn supports this entirely by giving you the opportunity to share your experience, achievements and qualifications with all you connect with.
This is often a great way to start conversations with new connections when you can see that perhaps you both flipped burgers in your younger days!
How about I mention that it is FREE? Setting up your personal profile and prospecting is a free service. However, LinkedIn in do offer additional features, such as their 'Sales Navigator' as part of their premium services.
You can try Sales Navigator for a month as a trial before committing to the monthly subscription. For a sales person looking to connect with decision makers, this tool is vital. It offers a 'lead builder' tool, in which you can add in every possible filter to find the exact prospects you are looking for, including job title, location, business size and revenue level, plus many more.
With tools like this it can really transform your sales approach and success in connecting with decision makers even if you are cold calling.