The sooner you start to think about your sales reps’ LinkedIn profiles as microsites of your company website, the better off you‘ll be. The new generation of elite B2B sales teams has all of their reps engaged in their company’s LinkedIn strategy. Their profiles are perfect customer resumes and they are all posting content and connecting with their buyer personas. This allows them to be top of mind at the point of need with their ideal buyer.
If you’re looking to increase your team’s engagement on LinkedIn, here are 9 ideas to get everyone rowing together.
1. ASSESS CURRENT PROFILES
It shock’s me when sales leaders or business owners give me a blank stare when I ask them to rate their reps' profiles on a 1 to 10 scale. In most cases, they have not looked at what is representing their company. This is why the first step I suggest is to understand your current position by looking at each of your sales rep profiles. Do they properly reflect your branding and messaging? Do they speak to the types of customers you work with, the solutions you provide, and the business outcomes an ideal client could expect?
At my live speaking events on the topic of LinkedIn, I will often tape the profiles of the attendees on the wall, or show them digitally on a virtual call. This forces people to see how rough they look and why they NEED to change!
2. FIX PROFILES
Ensure reps have a proper headshot, banner, and summary that reads like a customer resume and not a job resume. Customers and prospects don’t want to read about how you are the best negotiator and consistently drive the most profit in your deals – do they?
Once reps are more confident that their profiles look good, they will be much more likely to connect with more current and potential customers. Looking good is the key. It’s the same concept as having company over to your home for a visit – you clean up before they come don’t you?
3. PROVIDE GOOD CONTENT
Make it easy for your people to share the content on your company channels by making most of the posts educational and less promotional. People run for the hills when they see obvious sales pitches and product features (in most cases).
In fact, when we manage a company’s social media through the B2B LinkedIn Accelerator we only attribute 20% of the posts to sales-type content – the rest is more intended to position our clients as educators who answer common questions their customers are asking. This is the magic formula for attracting and retaining a social network that will eventually buy from you.
Just a word of caution, some reps simply don’t know how to share a post so coaching may be the gap to close here!
4. SET ACTIVITY GOALS | Weekly Posts and Connections
I’m yet to see a B2B sales organization that included posting or sharing social media as part of their sales activity mix – until COVID19. As soon as people realized the old-school activities were on hold, people started listing to our suggested targets for weekly posts and new connections. Here is the weekly LinkedIn activity mix I suggest for B2B sales reps:
3-5 posts per week that the rep has created or shared from your company page
30 new connections per week with current customers and your ideal buyer persona
Daily inspection of who has viewed your profile
Doing this will grow your network and make sure you are top of mind when the buyers are at a point of need for what you sell.
“LinkedIn is the new Rolodex for the B2B sales professional.”
5. COMPLIMENT STRONG USERS
Most salespeople like praise. That’s why it’s always great to catch reps doing something great like making an impactful post or shooting a selfie video. It supports what you want others to do and encourages the leader to forge on.
Public praise is the best when you want the team to hear the message and show positive examples.
Conversely, sales leaders should review and share the stack rankings of their reps. At each meeting, they should also review who is posting, how often, and who is not engaging. This visual scoreboard tends to increase buying by no less than 30% when reps start to see how they compare with their peers.
6. MAKE IT PART OF THE SALES ACTIVITY MIX
Most sales leaders see social media as an extra - this is old-school thinking! In addition to the use of phones, email, meetings, demos, etc., today’s elite sales leaders have included the activities and levels noted above as mandatory, not optional. If you believe these activities drive results as I do, maybe it’s time to look at your current activity mix to see if it’s time to include social activities on LinkedIn.
“When a sales rep posts or shares content, it usually has 8 to 10 times more reach than corporate channels.”
7. RECRUIT PEOPLE WITH LARGE NETWORKS
Are you asking job candidates how many connections they have on social media? Progressive sales leaders are now adding this to their application and interview process. In an era where remote workers may continue to be the norm, these digital connections will become increasingly important for prospecting and lead generation.
8. INSPECT – INSPECT – INSPECT
Most salespeople only respect that which is inspected. So, make sure whatever you do is measurable and reviewed on a regular basis. Weekly inspection tends to be the most effective method for B2B sales reps. This allows for the unexpected ebbs and flows of a business week and short enough intervals that it keeps the importance of social media top of mind. Monthly comparisons vs previous months can also be a great way to benchmark progress.
9. LEADERS MUST DO IT TOO
You can’t ask your people to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. This is a common gap in too many social strategies. The leader sits still and is disconnected.
Sales teams with active leaders are exponentially more effective because the sales leader is engaged. The sales leader doesn’t need to post the most or appear on videos every week, but if he/she simply shows that “they’re in”, it goes a long way towards removing excuses for reps not toeing the line too.
I tell sales teams that LinkedIn is like a huge Chamber of Commerce meeting where everyone you would ever want to meet with or sell to, is there. You just need to make sure you’re there and you look and act the part.
To me, it’s all about being professional in a digital way. A way that showcases what you do and why you do it so more people think of you the next time they are in the buying window. Need help with your sales team? We’re ready when you are to help you unleash your sales potential using LinkedIn to WIN!
B2B companies had a hard time transitioning to digital-first sales and defaulted to spamming. We fix that! Most companies hire us to update their approach to sales to fill the top of the funnel & increase the pipeline.
Our admissions team will gladly walk you through the benefits of the program and help you decide if the B2B LinkedIn Accelerator is right for your business.