Congratulations. You've just purchased LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This is a great investment, but are you sure you know how to properly use the tool you've just armed your team with?
You might be surprised to hear many companies are only using this powerful sales tool at half capacity. Internal data we recently uncovered shows in that companies using Sales Navigator, less than 5% of the sales team sends two-thirds of all InMails!
In other words, the majority of sales professionals are not tapping into the full capacity of their $90/month (that's $1080 market price per rep, per year) investment.
There are several reasons why this might be happening—the biggest one being lack of training. A fool with a tool is still a fool, right? With that being said, your team needs to be in the right mindset before they wield the power of Navigator. Below I've explored the top mindset shifts you need within your team to unlock the potential of your new investment.
Your Profile Is Not Your Resume
Stop using it as one!
In many ways I’m not surprised when I see resumes as people’s LinkedIn profiles. After all, it’s how LinkedIn told us to use their platform initially. They wanted us to use the service to display our professional history and accomplishments.
However, something interesting has happened in the last 10 years: buyers have become more digital in nature. That includes you and I. This means that people are, naturally, going to scope you out and make judgments on what they find about you.
A sales person’s resume is something else entirely! Since buyers run from salespeople like the plague, looking like a salesperson on your LinkedIn profile is probably not the smartest thing.
As you can see, a value-driven headline is a great place to start. My position is that we convey our expertise – that we all naturally possess – online. So it’s not necessarily that you’re doing anything new, or saying anything new, it’s just showcasing your existing knowledge online, where buyers are now increasingly likely to look you up and research you.
A social media profile is the foundation of the interaction between buyers and sellers. Buyers’ social media connections with potential solutions providers have risen by 57% in the past several years, and 92% of B2B buyers now use social media to engage with sales industry thought leaders.
Think about your LinkedIn profile as your very own professional website. What does it say about you right now? Are you a “quota crusher”? Have you been on the top of your game for the last 5 years? Did you win the last 3 consecutive President’s Club trips?
These are all fantastic accomplishments and you should be proud of them, but let’s leave them for our paper resumes. Your online profile and presence is now the domain of your buyers and prospects.
Dig Deeper Than Contact Information
LinkedIn has more to do with building relationships than using it as a database.
What’s the power of LinkedIn in your opinion?
In mine, LinkedIn is the world’s professional relationship graph. It not only connects us but does so with enriched data, personalization and collaboration capabilities.
Years ago, Aberdeen found that personalized email results achieve 14% improved click-through rates and 10% improved conversion rates. I can only imagine how these numbers have increased, as buyers are drawn to and impressed by personalization in the age of white noise and spam.
If you're interested in what the content of an impressive email or InMail outreach looks like, take a look at the picture below and accompanying blog post.
The challenge is that most sales professionals aren’t (yet) using LinkedIn effectively in this regard. There are some cases where this is a gap in knowledge (which is then quite easy to fix) but in most cases, the majority haven’t yet been exposed to the raw power of this platform.
In fact, I’ll go one step further. Most sales professionals are using LinkedIn to find prospects, only to subsequently sell them in the same old way they’ve always been using. The power of social selling is utterly destroyed at this point.
Imagine using LinkedIn to build a prospect list to then cold call or cold email. There’s easier ways to do this if you really want; buy a lead list from a broker!
Using LinkedIn to help build relationships is likely the single most powerful way sales professionals today can build their funnel. Period.
Using LinkedIn Like Facebook
In this case, (relevant quantity) is more powerful than quality.
Some may argue that you shouldn’t connect with everyone on LinkedIn; I agree with this. However, being selective with genuine professional connections can eventually harm you in the long-run.
While some opt for smaller networks for personal privacy reasons, the majority of us should be actively trying to grow the size of your networks. It’s not just about quality but quantity, too.
Sales professionals have a 68% greater chance of attaining quota with 500-1000 LinkedIn connections than those with less than 250 connections.
For too long the quality vs quantity debate has been a binary that hasn’t helped us in sales. I encourage you all to create ways to bring people to you online, but also to reach out and make it easier for others to connect with you.
I’m not advocating you blindly requesting to connect with prospects on a mass scale, but I am encouraging you to collaborate and engage with those that may serve a helpful business purpose. Focus your finite energy here.
If you’re not already doing this, your LinkedIn results will soar once you focus here.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Consider optimizing your LinkedIn presence in these 3 areas and you’ll likely experience a massive spike in activity. Not only will you build more relationships and connect to more people, you’ll do so while continuously conveying your expertise.
These are just some of the reasons of the reasons why you owe it to yourself to get a complete LinkedIn strategy makeover. Start small, but start!