Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tips 11-20 for Sales Managers on LinkedIn Impact!

Thanks to my good friend Kurt Shaver for posting the Top ten tips for Sales Managers regarding leveraging LinkedIn for sales success .  I couldn't help but publish another ten tips (11-20) for Sales Managers to motivate and stimulate Account Managers (salespeople) to utilize the "gold" that is inside of LinkedIn.  Below, please find my tips 11-20 on how Sales Managers can leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve their team's sales results.
  • 11 - Updating LinkedIn is about scheduling time.  Salespeople are busy.  There are a thousand things to do:  prospecting, proposals, demos, dealing with issues, project managing, troubleshooting problems, and on, and on, and on.  Unfortunately, few of these topics trump developing your online presence, garnering recommendations and creating a way for you to be found on the internet.  LinkedIn provides this opportunity.  Short of creating your own website, domain and social networking presence, LinkedIn is the #1 way of promoting yourself and using the tools to create a difference between you and your competitors.  With this said, every salesperson must create time in their busy life to "put in the effort" of advancing their online presence.  For me, this means posting activity 3x/day, blogging every day, and responding to LinkedIn InMails.  Today, right now, schedule time in your calendar to work on LinkedIn.  Get 3 new connections.  Post three activities.  Ask for one recommendation.  Invest in yourself!
  • 12 - Are you a long-term strategist or a short-term tactical salesperson?  LinkedIn can help with both!  If your priority is creating a long-term presence on the social-web, your responsibility is to work on your profile, recommendations, groups, certifications, education, etc.  This goes a long-way in terms of presenting yourself to a potential customer.  If, on the other hand, your priority is to get appointments and make an impact in 30-60 days, you've got a different situation on your hands.  In this case, your job is to connect with as many connections in an account as possible, and push for warm introductions through InMail or Introductions in LinkedIn.  This can happen quickly.
  • 13 - Salespeople Need to Help Each Other.  Individually, we can all work on our LinkedIn profiles and use our instincts for success.  Together, however (as a team), we can leverage each other's progress and succeed together as a bigger part of a whole.  Sections of our profiles can be leveraged between team-members.  We can share positive experiences together.  As a team, we gain significant advantages over independent work.  
  • 14 - Group Time succeeds more than Independent Time.  To make #13 work even harder for you, schedule group time in which team members can share ideas and success stories with each other.  There are two ideas here:  1) Set a team goal for the week, and then share successes via collaboration meetings as a whole.  2) Setup individual criteria and work the "competitive angle" with members of the team.  Create a contest.  Establish a benchmark.  Reward success.  Encourage constructive criticism.
  • 15 - Recommendations Rule.  While LinkedIn offers the more liberal "endorsements," nothing substitutes for a real recommendation.  Recommendations require effort on the part of the recommender, and it is this factor which provides the real power of the recommendation.  A real effort should be made of every salesperson to obtain real recommendations that relate to specific roles they have played in both the current job and previous roles.
  • 16 - "It's the small things that make or break the deal." This is a direct quote from my father 15 years ago.  My dad was a life insurance agent for 50 years.  In all the sales advice he gave me, this is the one item that has always "stuck" with me.  Whether it's in a conversation with a customer, or a proposal, or in your LinkedIn profile - it's always the little things that matter.  Create awards, comment on your education, publish honors and awards, use every character you can in every job description and Summary statement.  The more verbose, the better.  This is about being found.  The more words and key phrases that are used, the more likely you'll be found on LinkedIn.
  • 17 - Connections Are Everything.  Don't have 500+ connections yet?  That is your first priority!  Use the "People You May Know" feature to scour every few days.  Don't connect with just anyone.  Follow the LinkedIn guidelines and only connect with people you really know.  Instead of clicking the "Connect" button, choose the button that looks like a track-pad, which let's you customize the message.  Connect with customers, business leaders, C-level roles and more.  Of course your should connect with all of your employee associates, but that's not the sales advantage of LinkedIn.  Connect with customers and search to find their roles.
  • 18 - Create Saved Searches.  Invest 45 minutes to manually enter all of your prospects and existing customers into the search criteria.  Save this search.  LinkedIn will automatically notify you once a week as to new people who met the criteria search.  This way, you'll see new members who have associated with these companies.  Are you a territory rep?  Do the same thing, but instead of listing customers, use a geography or zip code.
  • 19 - Use every freakin' InMail you have!  InMails are like gold.  They are guaranteed.  They roll-over month-to-month and are like a bat-phone to your most valued customer contacts.  To do this properly, I'd suggest the following scheduled use:  1) Send at least FIVE InMails every week -without fail.  These should be to your customers or prospects (or serious networking folks).  Schedule it in your calendar so you don't miss a week.  2)  For every InMail you get back, start communicating via regular email.  This way, you can re-use your valuable InMails for people that will not use regular email.  3)  Try to go OVER your limit.  By taking this philosophy, you'll never leave a valuable InMail wasted.
  • 20 - Use Mobile LinkedIn.  It doesn't matter whether you have an iPhone or an Android.  Using LinkedIn Mobile allows you to stay one step ahead of your regular process of checking up on what's happening.  Statistics show that people are more likely to check LinkedIn Mobile than regular web-based Linked-In.  You step out for a break, or are waiting for an event and you are on your Smartphone.  Chances are, you are very likely to check LinkedIn.  Post items, accept invitations and use your time wisely.
Happy Selling everyone.

2 comments:

  1. The teacher becomes the student. I learned a lot from this post by my client, Adam Petrovsky - a professional, hands-on sales manager. No. 11 is my favorite. Blocking time to learn new skills is the hard Discipline part that holds most people back from realizing the full potential of LinkedIn.

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  2. Very good written article. It will be supportive to anyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts. Endorsements for LinkedIn

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