Five Tips to Prepare your Sales Team for Social Selling on LinkedIn

5 Tips

5 TipsThis post originally appeared on LinkedIn on May 9, 2014 and is authored by Greg Hyer.

Sales Managers are getting really excited about the opportunities that Social Selling can bring to the table. But most don’t even know where to start when it comes to rolling out the approach to the team. Below, I have listed five tips to help you prepare your team for social selling on LinkedIn. Think of these tips looking your best when prospecting online. Will it help if you were wearing a suit or a t-shirt and jeans when meeting a new prospects?


1. The LinkedIn Profile Overhaul

Encourage your Sales Team to update their LinkedIn profile to look like an industry professional rather than a job seeker. Work with your marketing team to identify keywords they can use in their profile so when someone searches for that word your team comes up. And don’t just stop overhauling their profile in the experience section by updating their most recent experience. Encourage them to go back through their past experience and see how that content can be made relevant to the industry and customer they will be calling into. Buyers buy more from people with experience and understand the needs of their industry.


2. Join Groups and Contribute

When you join a group, don’t be a spammer. Join in on the conversations already happening. If nothing is happening, start a discussion that has nothing to do with your product. Discussions that are fun to participate in can help you increase your visibility in the group and eventually become a top contributor. For example, if you sell to marketers at software companies, ask the member of the group what’s the funniest TV commercial they have ever seen. Discussions like that are fun to participate in. As participants roll in continue the discussion and eventually invite them to connect.


3. Follow LinkedIn Company Pages of Customers and Prospects

Ok, so LinkedIn company pages may not be the most popular feature of LinkedIn but that may change very soon. So for now, the reason you want to follow company pages of your customers and prospects is so you can engage with the content they share and have quick access to who is on LinkedIn that works for the company. When your customers and prospects share content, read it and if it’s relevant to your network, reshare it. You’ll build your brand and credibility hence making you a person people want to do business with.


4. Share Marketing’s Content

Yes, you do have enough time to share Marketing’s blog posts and white papers. If you don’t think so, read my “Damn Simple Approach to Social Selling” post here on LinkedIn. Work with Marketing to identify content your Team can share on LinkedIn. Make sure you are providing Marketing feedback on what content is engaging by showing them some sort of engagement stats. There are a number of free tools with a small learning curve like Hootsuite, Buffer and that you can use to share and track.


5. Connect Your Team

Make sure everyone on the Sales Team is connected to everyone in the company, especially everyone in Sales, Marketing and the Management team. This is such an easy thing to do. It expands everyone’s network and increases the opportunity for warm introductions via LinkedIn. If you aren’t sure who’s on LinkedIn in your company, start by visiting your Company page.
These are five simple tips you can use to get your Sales team ready for Social Selling. It’s easy to implement and costs nothing more than a little time to complete. Once you’ve gotten this down you can get on to the good stuff and start building stronger relationships with prospects and help them along the buyer’s journey.

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