LinkedIn as a sales channel for startups
*LinkedIn Sales for startups is an important part of the “How to set up your Startup B2B Sales Process in 3 weeks” series.
LinkedIn is the social media of the professional world. 766 million people are on LinkedIn. 50% of internet users with a college degree or higher use LinkedIn. 90 Million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 63 million users are decision-making level. 70% of LinkedIn’s users are not from the US. There are 55 new job applications submitted on LinkedIn.
With all that being said it’s a no-brainer that you should use LinkedIn. But how do you do LinkedIn Sales for startups effectively?
Start with your profile
First, you need to think about your LinkedIn B2B sales profile and its components. This is the first thing prospects see when you reach out to them on LinkedIn.
- Make sure you use a professional picture that instills confidence and trust. Small tip – smile 😉
- Write in your headline something different from your title. Use keywords about the problems you solve and businesses you help. For example “I help founders get their 5-10 customers fast”. You can also include some trust-building factors like certifications or awards like “Forbes 30 under 30” 😉
- Your about section should speak in a bit more detail about your prospects’ struggles and provide 1-2 sentences about how you solve them. Like “Founders nowadays are bombarded with information and juggle multiple hats which prevent them from getting results fast. We take over their top-of-the-funnel sales efforts and make sure they reach their ideal customers and focus on closing deals rather than opening them” What our customers say about us? “Out2Bound was able to introduce us to almost anyone in the industry.” and “They deliver on their promises and you can trust their judgment and advice.”
- Your featured section – make sure you link any online media content you’ve been published in and if you haven’t done so do it right away!
- Write blog posts directly on LinkedIn – try to add value to your prospects and provide links to these posts in your communication.
- In your experience section – make sure you attach your company deck detailing your company. Why it exists, what problems it solves, and any other relevant information.
Secondly, you need to think about what kind of actions you can execute on LinkedIn. I’m talking about following your prospects, liking and commenting on their comments and posts (only if relevant) but don’t abuse this! And the main action you can take… drum roll… send an invitation to connect!
What are some DOs and DON’ts when sending an invitation to connect?
- DO always make sure you include a message to your invitation
- DO try to keep it short and relatable. Although Linkedin gives you up to 300 characters in limit your invitation try to make it relevant and relatable. Mention something that is similar between you and them.
- A go-to message would be “I see that you’re in INDUSTRY and so am I would love to connect and exchange ideas”
- DON’T pitch your solution or service. As a general rule, think about Linkedin as a place where professionals can meet and collaborate. Don’t try to make it a conversation about your product or service right away.
- DON’T use too many variables. There are tones of automation out there that claim to provide variables that can enable you to personalize your message but at the end of the day, some people may have their certifications like CFA, MBA, etc. in their last name variable or ltd. and Inc. etc in their company name which will end up looking like. “Hi Mr. Jones CFA, I’d like to know more about Microsoft INC.” It is just too obvious to notice you’re automating and not paying attention.
- DO make sure you follow up! Most of the time even if someone accepts your invitation you may not hear from them. We always advise our customers to reach out with a follow-up message no later than 24 hours after connecting introducing yourself and the typical problems you solve inviting them to share more about themselves and their company.
IMPORTANT: When it comes to LinkedIn Sales for startups, always try to follow up at least 3 times after receiving a connection on LinkedIn and gradually increase the time between follow-ups.
In conclusion – LinkedIn Sales for startups are one of the sales channels that you can utilize extremely well. It can all be organic if done well and presents amazing opportunities.
Read the previous article in our Sales Acceleration Program to learn more about the Do’s and don’ts when writing outbound B2B emails. In the next part, you can understand how to use Cold Calling as a startup prospecting channel.
Boris Georgiev is one of the co-founders of Out2Bound. As such he has worked with over 50 B2B founders helping them realize their go-to-market strategies. In 2018 he was acknowledged by Forbes Bulgaria in the 30 under 30 list. On a daily basis, Boris tracks trends and best practices in B2B Tech sales.