LinkedIn is a powerful tool for B2B marketers and sales professionals. As sellers embrace digital platforms, they see significant improvements in their sales outcomes.

The data is compelling: “Sellers who embrace digital sell more, close more deals, and tend to close deals at a higher value. The data keeps stacking up,” says Leadtail co-founder Karri Carlson.

Consider the success stories of top-performing B2B sellers who have harnessed the power of LinkedIn. These sellers have more than half of their customer interactions online, with digital tools driving significant revenue.

“High-performing B2B sellers generate more than half of their revenue from digital sources—42% from digital alone and 70% combined offline and online.”

This shift towards digital is not just a trend but a necessity for scaling efforts and focusing on real engagement opportunities. Their success is a testament to the potential of LinkedIn for B2B social selling.

However, despite the benefits, many professionals need help fully leveraging LinkedIn.

The reasons vary: change is hard, sellers and their managers prioritize traditional selling methods, and there is often uncertainty about optimizing LinkedIn profiles and using advanced tools like CRM and Sales Navigator.

Overcoming these challenges requires a structured approach, which Karri outlines in three key strategies.

Establishing an Effective Presence on LinkedIn

An effective LinkedIn presence begins with a well-optimized profile. This involves optimizing your profile information and aligning it with your professional brand and strategy.

“What are you there to accomplish, and how will you go about it?” Karri asks. A clear objective and strategy are essential.

Karri highlights the example of Tristar, an industrials company with a robust LinkedIn presence. Their company page showcases their brand effectively through various types of content, from job posts to product information and team activities.

For instance, they share job posts with a blurb about why someone should join the company, linking it to their forward-looking tagline, “shaping the future of power.”

When they share product information, they use technical terms relevant to their industry, signaling that they are part of the professional community.

Their posts about team activities and company culture, such as photos from sales kickoffs and National Plaid Shirt Day, show a more personal side, helping to build trust and engagement.

Engaging in Ways Others Value

One common challenge is knowing what to post. Many professionals understand the importance of being active on LinkedIn but struggle with content creation.

“Many people know they should be on LinkedIn and post more, but they don’t know what to post. Helping them understand how to engage with others on the platform and gain value from those engagements can overcome this hurdle.” For instance, you can share industry news, insights, and success stories or even ask thought-provoking questions to spark discussions.

Interacting with others’ content—liking, commenting, and sharing—can significantly boost visibility and engagement.

Karri emphasizes, “Engaging others on LinkedIn doesn’t always require original posts.” She gives the example of a founder of a non-alcoholic beverage company who generated a lot of engagement by posting a provocative comment about the value of non-alcoholic beverages, sparking a lively discussion. Such provocative or evocative posts can draw attention and foster engagement.

Building a Professional Brand and Demonstrating Expertise

Karri’s third strategy focuses on building a professional brand and demonstrating expertise.

“Artists don’t do market research. If you’re part of the industry and community, your insights are valuable. You don’t need a lot of data to know what to do because you’re aware of the audience’s concerns and challenges.”

Sharing personal stories that resonate with your audience is a powerful way to demonstrate expertise.

For example, one professional shared his experience opening a bakery, which eventually failed. This honest account provided valuable lessons and connected with others on a personal level.

“Another effective strategy is sharing personal stories that demonstrate expertise and resonate with your audience.”

A Team Effort

Creating an effective LinkedIn presence is not the responsibility of one person alone. It’s a team effort, and each member’s contribution is crucial.

“Creating an effective LinkedIn presence is a team effort, primarily driven by marketing for the company’s page, but also involving operations for sophisticated sales processes.” 

Individual profiles are just as important as the company page. A strong company page paired with weak individual profiles creates a disconnect and questions credibility.

“For individual profiles, it’s crucial to present a professional image that aligns with the company’s brand. Profiles should clearly state who you are, what you do, and how you can help potential connections.” 

Every role in this team effort is vital, and each member’s contributions can significantly impact the overall success of the social selling initiative.

LinkedIn offers tremendous potential for B2B social selling success. Individuals and companies can effectively leverage LinkedIn to drive business success by optimizing profiles, engaging meaningfully, and showcasing expertise. 

As Karri aptly puts it, “Digital tools, especially LinkedIn, allow scaling efforts and honing in on real engagement opportunities.”

The benefits of embracing LinkedIn are clear, and a structured approach will help you overcome common obstacles.

Whether you are just starting or looking to enhance your current strategy, focusing on these critical areas can significantly impact your LinkedIn success.

Remember, these hurdles are manageable, and with the right approach, you can navigate them successfully.

Ready to dive into social selling? Let’s chat!