Social media, specifically LinkedIn, is a crucial part of any B2B marketing strategy. An online presence can get you leads that cold calling can’t. But without the right strategy, all the time you spend creating content and writing captions will fall to nothing. What you need to appreciate LinkedIn’s marketing potential is a well-researched LinkedIn selling system. All you need is time, effort, and a true understanding of your audience.
The LinkedIn selling system
Your LinkedIn Selling System refers to the ways you will market your products and services on the platform. Sitting down with your team to brainstorm a detailed strategy can save you from wasting time, effort, and money. But of course, like any other business strategy, there are some things to consider.
It was in the 1990s that the practice of building relationships with customers became popular. Salespeople are no longer in a hurry to close sales. When they found out that hard-selling only decreased the chance of closing a deal, they stopped annoying people with pitches and non-stop calls.
In the digital age, it’s more about investing value. When you take the time to talk to your prospects, you’re building a trust that will bring you closer to a signed contract.
A skeleton to start with
Generally, your LinkedIn selling system should follow a framework that supports engaging and opening a relationship with a client. You can work your strategy around these four steps and customize it depending on your brand and audience.
Step #1: Connecting
Most people think that lead generation is all about blindly connecting with almost everyone outside their LinkedIn connections, but this will only get you marked as spam.
Look for leads who are somehow similar to your current customers and your target market. The best way to guarantee a response is to tap users who already have the potential to be interested in your products and services. Filtering your leads will save you both the time and the effort, considering that LinkedIn has over 600 million users.
Step #2: Engaging
Your LinkedIn network is an excellent avenue to find out more about your leads. You no longer have to engage in a long and expensive phone conversation with no guarantee that you will uncover anything relevant about them.
Before starting that conversation, take a few minutes to visit their profile and look at their interests, job positions, and industries. You’ll find that doing this extra step will help you ask the right questions and later on piece an effective solution.
Additionally, knowing your leads on a personal level can help you curate your content to be more engaging and effective.
Step #3: Recommending
Nothing drives sales more than actual customer feedback. When talking to your leads, it’s helpful to insert in a few scenarios when your current clients had a similar problem. Their success stories are proof that you can offer your recommended solution. Apart from having a customized solution, you can also give your leads the opportunity to talk with your current customers for added credibility.
Step #4: Selling
Once you and your prospect have established that relationship, it will be easier to pitch your sale. The reason behind social selling’s growing popularity is its ability to gain the client’s trust with consistency, and this will then lead to loyal customers.
When it comes to traditional cold calling, there’s no guarantee that the client will sign with your company. They’re simply an addition to your sales list.
A measurable score
LinkedIn offers a helpful metric on your social selling efforts called the Social Selling Index (SSI). The company describes it as a “first-of-its-kind measure of a company’s or individual’s adaptation of the four pillars of selling on LinkedIn, based on a scale of 0 to 100.”
The SSI score measures your LinkedIn page’s performance in four key areas or “pillars”:
- Create a professional brand
- Find the right people
- Engage with insights
- Build strong relationships
Each pillar has a maximum score of 25, based on a person’s “social selling skills and execution.” LinkedIn claims that the higher your score, the more successful you could be at reaching your business goals.
While there isn’t a sure way to measure how well your selling strategy is doing, the SSI score is definitely a quantifiable measure of how effective you’re using your LinkedIn platform. There are still debates on how helpful this really is.
How can I check my SSI score?
You can check out this page to view your SSI score. The higher your score, the better you are at implementing social selling on your LinkedIn account.