Master social selling on LinkedIn: the ultimate action plan for B2B brands

You keep hearing about people driving sales using LinkedIn. How do they do this? Here’s the ultimate action plan so you can achieve this too!

If you’re a Founder or work in Sales, you’ve heard it before: LinkedIn is a great prospecting platform. You can use it to connect with potential clients and grow your business. But with 875 million members on the platform, it’s overwhelming. Who should you connect with? And how can you close deals using LinkedIn?  

A strong social selling strategy is the answer to your questions. It will provide you with focus and enable you to have more meaningful conversations with potential clients. Leading you to better understand your target audience and close sales.

To get you started on your social selling journey, we’ve put together a five-step action plan that includes everything from optimising your LinkedIn profile to nurturing connections and measuring your success. By the end, you’ll know how to effectively use LinkedIn to social sell and the steps you can take today to get started.

What is social selling?

Social selling means using social media to generate leads and feed your sales funnel.

However, it’s not a pushy sales tactic. Sales Representatives shouldn’t send hundreds of connection requests and Calendly invites. Instead, social selling is the art of building and leveraging relationships. So, Sales Reps use their personal LinkedIn profiles to connect with people, build relationships and nurture leads.

And it’s not just a buzzword either. Social selling is a powerful sales technique. And 78% of social sellers outsell their peers who don’t use social media in their sales processes.

Who benefits from using social selling?

Anyone involved in sales and marketing can benefit from social selling on LinkedIn. Because at the end of the day, social selling increases your brand visibility and improves customer engagement. All while generating high-quality leads.

However, social selling can be particularly effective for small and medium-sized B2B brands. Why? Because it enables smaller teams to reach a wide audience and build relationships with potential customers.

Social selling is also valuable if you’re a B2B company with a complex or high-priced offering. Using LinkedIn, you can connect with multiple decision-makers within the same company. Once connected, you can interact with them in a personal manner.

Social selling can be beneficial for businesses in the following industries:

  • Software and technology companies.
  • Professional services firms (such as consulting, legal, accounting, etc.).
  • Marketing and advertising agencies.
  • Manufacturing companies.
  • Healthcare providers.

How to sell on LinkedIn

The key to selling on LinkedIn is not selling. Instead, it’s about building relationships and establishing yourself as an expert.

And although that may sound like an intimidating goal, it doesn’t have to be. We’ve broken down this objective into five bite-sized steps. Small steps mean you can get started today and celebrate more wins along the way.

1. Optimise your LinkedIn profile for B2B sales

Before reaching out to B2B leads left, right, and centre, it’s essential that your LinkedIn profile is in tip-top shape. Why? Because this builds truth and credibility.

Leads will look at your profile and judge if they want to do business with you. So don’t ruin great messaging and positive interactions with an empty, outdated or mistake-filled profile.

  • Profile photo – As this is the first element people’s eyes gravitate towards, ensure you have a professional image that conveys trustworthiness.
  • Background image – As you’re a company representative reaching out to new people, a background photo of your company logo or achievements is an easy way to build credibility.
  • LinkedIn headline – Your headline should be more than just your job title. Write a catchy headline that conveys the value you offer. For example, our Account Executive’s headline is “Helping companies generate high-quality leads for their sales teams ?”.
  • Summary – If your tagline describes what you do, your summary should represent why you do it and why people can trust you. It’s basically your elevator pitch. Address your customer’s biggest pain points and how you and your company solve this challenge.
  • Work history, skills and endorsements – Having these sections filled in gives you more credibility. Showing the companies you’ve worked for, and your skills backed by colleague endorsements help prospects feel like they are in great hands when they choose to buy from you.

2. Build your LinkedIn network

Armed with a top-notch LinkedIn profile, it’s time to build your LinkedIn network by connecting with potential customers. People who match your buyer’s persona. Doing this ensures you are engaging and nurturing the right people.

You can do this in two ways: manually or using Leadinfo and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

How to manually build your LinkedIn network

Use LinkedIn’s search feature to find and connect with your ideal client. Search for potential clients based on industry, job title, location, current company, profile language and more.

But don’t simply hit the “connect” button for hundreds of people in the search overview. Instead, check out people’s profiles. Take the time to briefly review each profile and confirm that they match your buyer’s persona. And then send a personalised connection request.

That last step is crucial. A personalised connection request helps you stand out from a sea of requests. And it provides context as to why someone should add you to their network.

The note doesn’t have to be detailed. In fact, you’re limited to 300 characters, so keep it brief. And if you’re feeling stuck, here are some prompts you can use to tailor your message:

  • You’re both in similar industries or fields of work.
  • You have mutual connections or are in the same groups (if applicable).
  • They recently engaged with your content or a post you found interesting.
  • Mention an experience on their profile that caught your attention.

Check out our 10 free LinkedIn InMail templates for more inspiration.

It’s also worth noting that LinkedIn has a weekly limit of 100 connections. Therefore, building your network will take some time.

How to build your LinkedIn network using Leadinfo and LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Consider investing in LinkedIn Sales Navigator if you frequently use LinkedIn for prospecting. Sales Reps that use LinkedIn Sales Navigator can run specific searches, create a pipeline of leads and connect with decision-makers.

And if you’re using Leadinfo, you have a wealth of connections at your fingertips. How? Leadinfo enables you to identify your B2B website visitors. Download the company data of your website visitors and upload this information to Sales Navigator. And watch as the tool provides an overview of company and employee profiles. All of which are leads.

Meaning that instead of searching for target companies one by one, you can bulk upload lead company information. Saving you time and effort.

Use this overview to send personalised connection requests to your target audience. And reach out to decision-makers at companies who have visited your website. Thus purposefully growing your network with leads which you can immediately nurture.

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3. Engage with your network

Once you connect with leads on LinkedIn, stay top of mind and nurture prospects by keeping the conversation going. Don’t strive to close a deal immediately. Instead, participate in discussions. The goal? To position you and your company as an expert in your field.

Engage with your new connections by commenting on their posts or posts they engaged with. And don’t just say something banal such as, “I agree with your point,” or “great post”. Rather, add value to the conversation by saying why you agree or disagree. Or sharing a link to an article which relates to the topic. This shows interest in what leads have to say and increases your visibility.

Also, join relevant groups and contribute there too. You’ll be able to meet like-minded professionals while further building your credibility as an expert.

If you want to take your efforts up a notch, start posting on LinkedIn. Pick three to five topics you want to be known for. Think about what format would work best for you and create a consistent posting calendar. For example, share articles, industry news, tips and tricks or address customer pain points. Doing so will further establish your credibility and prove you’re a thought leader in a specific field.

Ultimately, the more you interact with leads on LinkedIn, the more you go from being a stranger to a friend. And it’s a lot easier to convince someone you know to buy something from you.

4. Use LinkedIn InMail to message potential customers

Once you’ve exchanged comments and chatted with a lead a few times, reach out to them via LinkedIn InMail.

Kickstart the conversation by thanking them for their insightful comment and asking a follow-up question. This question should aim to further get to know and understand a lead. And then keep the conversation going. Continue to ask questions and get to know this person.

As you carry on chatting, you’ll reach a point when you are familiar with this person. You’ll understand their troubles well enough to offer them a specific solution (i.e. your product or service).

When doing so, address their pain points or frustrations and exactly how your offering can help them. If you offer a free trial or demo, mention that to further entice a prospect to convert.

5. Measure your social selling success

As with any strategy, monitoring and tracking your results is essential. Like that, you can make adjustments and optimisations as needed.

Here are a few examples of KPIs worth tracking:

  • The number of new connections.
  • The number of InMail responses.
  • The conversion rate of leads.
  • The number of sales closed.
  • Amount from closed sales.
  • LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)
  • Impressions, reach and engagement on your own LinkedIn posts.

No need to track 50 different metrics. Pick the KPIs that make the most sense for you and that you can easily monitor.

Start social selling on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is supposed to be a networking site, which is why it’s the perfect place to start social selling.

And it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. But social selling does require planning and strategic decision-making.

But armed with a strong LinkedIn profile, tactics to grow your network and knowledge about nurturing leads via content and InMail, you can get started today.

Get ready to transform connections into leads and, ultimately, paying customers.



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