Prospecting is the starting point of any great sales strategy. Many of the principles in prospecting and lead generation have stayed the same for many years. However, the way we implement them has definitely evolved with time. Primarily, the change has happened because of the rise of digital platforms that create more opportunities to network and prospect with ease. One such platform is the famous social media channel for professionals - LinkedIn.
LinkedIn currently sits as one of the top social media websites in the world with almost 800 million users. While it’s not Facebook or Instagram, it does have its own set of unique value points. The most well-known differentiator is its professional nature, making it the perfect “work social media platform.”
Many businesses and professionals use LinkedIn for work-related purposes, prospecting being one of the more prevalent objectives.
Sales In the 21st Century
Sales prospecting on LinkedIn should be at the top of sales professionals', marketers', and business executives’ minds in the digital age. For people looking at the current business management salary, it is clear that sales is one of the more rewarding business jobs today, with a median salary of around $119,113 on average.
But with that high paycheck comes a high expectation of converting, so sales managers and professionals should always be on the lookout for trends in sales and prospecting. LinkedIn should also be on the radar as more and more companies share case study after case study of success on the platform.
Why LinkedIn Matters for Businesses Today
LinkedIn has over 774 million members on the site to date and over 57 million companies listed. That number is expected to grow exponentially with time as the site seeks to maintain its dominance as the number one professional network in the world. Here are some reasons why LinkedIn matters for businesses in this age of digital sales and prospecting:
- A more professional atmosphere — LinkedIn has to be best known for the culture it has created. Most people now come to LinkedIn for career-related purposes. As people go to Facebook to casually connect and occasionally sell, LinkedIn almost always works the other way around. People are more likely to jump into LinkedIn to sell and even to be sold to. This makes learning how to approach prospects on LinkedIn a big edge for a sales department or company as a whole.
- Lesser clutter — While LinkedIn is big, it’s not so big that a company or brand drowns in the mix. Learning how to find clients on LinkedIn should also be relatively easy with the right training and knowledge. Professionals have access to advanced searches, and the LinkedIn profile is built to give professionals as much knowledge that is necessary when checking to see if a prospect fits their company’s target persona avatar.
- Strong prospecting — Boosting B2B sales on LinkedIn is becoming increasingly successful given that prospecting on LinkedIn has become a defined process. People come to LinkedIn to build professional networks, meaning you are more likely to find someone to market to on LinkedIn than other social sites such as Instagram or Facebook. While that’s not a hard-fast rule, there are many reasons to believe that prospecting on LinkedIn could yield better results when done right.
5 Ways LinkedIn Prospecting Will Change the Future of Business
Content Marketing Institute lists LinkedIn as the most influential B2B platform, followed by Twitter, meaning that the social media platform will be a huge part of business development and sales for the many years to come. Here are five ways that LinkedIn prospecting will change the way businesses operate based on rising trends in B2B marketing and prospecting on LinkedIn.
1. Becoming a B2B Content Platform
Like in any social media platform, content is king on LinkedIn. The site’s newsfeed still puts content up based on an algorithm that marks visibility based on a set of parameters including engagement, connection degree, and other factors, but the content strategy on LinkedIn has changed with time.
While it used to be that text-based content ruled on LinkedIn, posts with video are now 20x more likely to get shared than text-only posts. There has also been a rise in poll usage too. All of this to say, more businesses will start creating content for LinkedIn platforms.
2. Integrations with Lead Gen and CRM tools
A neat aspect of LinkedIn marketing is how many integrations a professional can add to their LinkedIn profile. Such tools will seamlessly connect with LinkedIn to automatically extract information like your prospect's job title, company, certain contact details (based on the user's privacy settings), and much more.
Leadjet is an awesome LinkedIn chrome extension tool that connects your CRM with LinkedIn, eliminating the mundane task of manual data transfer and much more.
3. LinkedIn Advertising and ROI
A large portion of LinkedIn’s monetization comes through its advertising services. A crucial strategy for LinkedIn’s ads capabilities is its in-mail feature which allows a brand or person to send targeted ad messages to people who match a profile for as little as $0.80 per send. The cost of advertising is set at $6.59 per 1,000 impressions.
Not many people are advertising on LinkedIn yet, which makes it a relatively underpriced ad market. Because LinkedIn serves a differentiated market than Facebook and Instagram, people will be using LinkedIn advertising for more business-related purposes like selling SaaS, promoting job openings, looking for consulting clients, and so on.
4. Streamlined Prospecting
Prospecting used to be a high-cost and time-consuming event. In the past, people would network through social events, communities, clubs, and circles. Now social media is becoming that circle and LinkedIn is dead smack in the middle of it all. Moreover, there are now tools such as Leadjet that can help with prospecting in half the time using automation and artificial intelligence, ultimately removing many administrative and repetitive tasks and giving sales-based professionals more leeway to focus on the more important parts of the sales process, such as relationship-building and closing.
5. Network, Network, Network
Learning how to turn LinkedIn connections into clients hinges on a professional or company’s ability to network expansively on the platform. LinkedIn continues to develop features that will make networking easy. The most front-facing edge when networking on LinkedIn is the design of the profile, which makes it easier to scan through leads and see if they fit your target persona.
LinkedIn also continues to develop its search capabilities so professionals can look for other people based on the industry they are part of, where they are located, the level of degree of connections, what school they went to, and so on. Networking on LinkedIn continues to become easier and having a good muscle on the platform could promise a lot of results for businesses and professionals.
LinkedIn Growth for the Years to Come
LinkedIn definitely isn’t where it was a few years ago. Following the acquisition by Microsoft back in 2016, the company and its platform have come a long way, and it's safe to say that the platform will most likely continue its dominance as one of the top professional networking sites in this day and age. With that being said, prospecting and connecting on LinkedIn should prove to be a worthy endeavor for anyone who looks to become a master prospector on the digital front.