What is the proper first step for B2B-companies sales teams to be a bit more relevant online? The key to online relations is to be relevant to the people that you want to provide answers and guidance for.
I have seen numerous examples of when B2B-companies get in a hurry and want to boost sales initiatives and salespeople that fail. Most of these initiatives involve a new implementation of a sales methodology that usually is just an implementation of a new CRM-system.
Do not make everything so complicated! You should have a systematic approach, but it starts with a shift of mindset and delivering small changes with significant effects. Manageable and accountable.
I recommend to all B2B-companies that the first step should be to educate and support salespeople to make LinkedIn a natural part of how they do business.
How does your sales team use LinkedIn?
Do your sales reps take advantage of the main benefits of using LinkedIn?
Do you build knowledge and share experiences of using LinkedIn?
Do they follow a proven process that has worked as best practice?
First steps on LinkedIn
Below I have created a list with suggestions of what the first steps on LinkedIn can include. Use it as the basis to get started to tailor something adapted to your sales teams online activities. Remember that this is intended for your target groups and their needs and challenges. So be relevant!
It can be uncomfortable to start sharing things, so if you feel a bit apprehensive—begin with sharing a link to a relevant industry-related article along with a line of your commentary. If someone comments on your posting, respond.
If you see something relevant or engaging in your feed that you can provide additional value to, then comment and add a few lines of your insight.
Sign up to an industry-related group. Follow ongoing discussions and contribute where appropriate. If you find an article that adds value to the continuing discussions, share that link as well, along with your input.
Send connection invitations when appropriate, but do not add people you have not met. Look for people that you know or have met and get in touch with them. And if you recently attend an event and get a few business cards, connect with them through LinkedIn and add a message to your invitation to connect. You shall always try to connect with everyone that you meet in person offline and online.
But please, do not use this as your main sales approach. You shall purely look to build your professional network and relationships with people who you can provide value to.
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Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about what and how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B. Asks a lot of questions, and knows what to do with the answers.