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LinkedIn is a social network that is predominantly for business professionals and B2B companies. Allowing you to create, essentially, an online resume, LinkedIn is commonly used as a recruitment tool, but that’s not the only way it can help your business, because LinkedIn is also great for B2B marketing and sales.

With a reported user base of 467 million users, there are lots of decision-makers for you to target if you sell in the B2B realm. Unsure of how do go about this?

How to use LinkedIn as a B2B sales tool

Find new prospects

LinkedIn’s search tool, groups, and even your own connections can help you find new prospects on the platform. You can search the network’s users based on their job title, company, industry, location, and more. If you are targeting a specific industry or only want to connect with CEOs of companies, then you can use this tool to find relevant people. You can also try joining groups where you think your target market might be. You can engage with people and connect with them via your shared group.

Study your prospects

By looking through someone’s personal profile on LinkedIn, you can learn a lot about them. Find out where they work and what they do there. Look at what their skills are, what their interests are, what other people say about them through their recommendations, and what groups they are a part of. By also looking into the groups they are a member of, and perhaps even joining them, you can find out even more about them. Pay attention to what kind of content they post and comment on.

Follow up

Whether it’s a customer, a lead, or just someone you met at a networking event, connect with them on LinkedIn so that you can follow up with them and continue to build the relationship. This gives you a better chance of closing the deal or selling to them again if they are an existing customer.

Sales pitch

Through LinkedIn’s messaging and InMail service, you can send other users a direct, private message. You can use this tool to pitch directly to your prospects to try to organize a sales meeting, for example. It’s a good idea to lay some groundwork first, though. Build a relationship with them by sharing their content, commenting on it, or helping them in some way.

Upgrade

You can carry out lots of sales and prospecting activities using a free, basic LinkedIn account. However, upgrading to Premium gives you access to even more tools for successful selling. With a premium account, you can see the full list of who has viewed your profile. You can also send InMail messages to users even if they're not a connection. With the Sales Navigator account plan, which is ideal for salespeople, you can access advanced options when searching LinkedIn’s users.

LinkedIn offers a lot of opportunities for upping your sales game, and upgrading to a premium account gives you even greater access. Have you been successful at earning sales through LinkedIn? Share your experience with us.