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How to Use LinkedIn at Various Stages of the Sales Cycle?

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LinkedIn is a social circle where people can hunt for a new job and proactively stay connected with their peers. But it is also beneficial and effective tool throughout the stages of sales cycle. Unfortunately many salespeople don’t realize this.

Many sales rep continue to categorize LinkedIn as a job seeker site. Due to this they generally miss out an important point about LinkedIn, that LinkedIn is a great place for research and prospecting as well as build up connections and relationships. By using LinkedIn, sales people can avoid many pain points of the traditional sales process.

Through various surveys it has been found out that linked can successfully leveraged to:

  • Find various points of entry into an organization
  • Find people who are most likely to be involved in decision making process
  • Establish mutual interests that can form the foundation for conversation and trust
  • Scoop out new prospects who can meet parameter of an ideal customer.

STEPS TO SUCCESS

  • Professional presence should be created

A sales rep should polish his LinkedIn profile to nurture sales cycles. It means the sales rep has to position himself as knowledgeable resource and trusted advisor. The profile should not contain information about all accomplishments that speak out his sales prowess like the revenue he has generated or quotas he has hit. Instead a customer centric profile should be created that basically talks about business value he can deliver to clients.

ACTION STEPS: accomplishments that have helped customers should be highlighted and emphasis should laid on areas such as vertical industry expertise and specialty business knowledge. Embellish profile with multimedia capabilities like SlideShare, videos or links to blog.

  • Connections should be made

The first ideal step when prospecting on LinkedIn is connecting with existing customers. Their profiles can be used identify other potential contacts, both as a bridge to qualified external prospects and for expansion within the account.

ACTION STEPS: advantage of LinkedIn “request introduction” function should be taken, to cause sales rep contacts for an introduction to a potential prospect through LinkedIn. The tools function should be leveraged to explore the kinds of titles and positions.

  • Should be an active participant

During the establishment as a trusted resource, a sales rep’s expertise and an image as helper is also established. Maintaining a complete and an active LinkedIn is not enough. Sales re should participate by answering questions, sharing relevant information, serving up ideas to warm up prospects and commenting.

ACTION STEPS: It is critical to process joining a relevant LinkedIn group. Those groups should be identified that a prospect audience targets. Whitepapers should be posted. Questions should be answered and demonstrate industry knowledge.

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