If you’re set on mastering technical sales, one online tool you should learn to maximize is LinkedIn. Many technical salespeople, and salespeople in general, use it purely as a research tool. For example, they want to find people who works at a particular company, so they’ll log into LinkedIn and search for people who list that company as their employer. Maybe they’ll go as far as messaging that person or taking note of their email address.
However, the key to maximizing LinkedIn for technical sales people is through building connections to create a small community or network. The focus is to build brand awareness for yourself and your company. Don’t think of it from a sales point of view – not yet, at least – but for brand awareness. But how should you go about it?
1) The best technical sales people take advantage of LinkedIn’s algorithm.
Just like any other social platform, LinkedIn has an algorithm. For technical salespeople, this means if you have 500 connections and you post or share something you want potential customers in your network to see, only a certain percentage of them will see your content. This is LinkedIn’s way of giving its users the best user experience possible. Mastering technical sales means understanding this algorithm.
For argument’s sake, let’s assume that only thirty percent of your network will see what you post or share. This will depend on who is currently logged in, how often they log in, or how they interact with their network. LinkedIn will first show your content to that first group within your network. Depending on how they engage with it, LinkedIn will show it again to a second group. For more people to see the content, it’s best to get engagement as soon as possible. Technical salespeople should keep this in mind when trying to master LinkedIn.
2) There is a LinkedIn hierarchy of engagement for technical sales people.
Remember that sharing is best, commenting is next best, and likes are the lowest in terms of the hierarchy of engagement. The more engagement content has, ideally shares and comments, the more LinkedIn will show it to other people.
Think about this when you are producing and sharing content. Ask your company to create content that demonstrates leadership and expertise in the industry. Imagine the persona you are trying to target and share relevant content.
At the very least, your company should post four to five times a week to get the best engagement possible.
Your company’s LinkedIn page can help significantly increase company visibility. The company’s technical sales people and other employees should devote time to consistently engage and share company content.
LinkedIn sponsored posts is one way to grow your network, but it is expensive. Employees sharing and engaging with content is an organic way of growing the company’s following and creating brand awareness.
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3) Successful technical sales people strategize connections on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has filters that make it easy for technical sales people to find the right network. Mastering technical sales means maximizing all tools you have available. First, you can filter by title, such as “Purchasing”. You can also narrow down the results by location and company name, as needed. When the list of second and third connections comes out, you can start connecting with them.
Don’t think about selling immediately. Instead, focus on brand awareness. Try to connect with a wide range of people – not just decision makers. Target those with influence, such as managers, associates, and employees in junior positions. They may not have the power to make major decisions, but when more people within a company know about your company, this will work in your favor.
Remember that LinkedIn only allows a user to have 5,000 pending unanswered connection requests at a time. If you use up all these requests in a couple of days, there is a chance that LinkedIn will assume you’re spamming people. If that happens, your account will get blocked. It’s a good idea to start slowly, maybe by sending a few hundred requests every few days.
When you have engaged with a connection several times and after a few weeks or couple of months, you can send them a short message to see if they are open to a meeting or call. This is when you can start building a relationship to see if they can become a qualified prospect. Keep the request short and don’t go into many details yet.
4) Mastering technical sales on LinkedIn is all about muscle memory.
The key to mastering technical sales on LinkedIn is to build your muscle memory. Start engaging with others, sharing relevant content, commenting on your company page, building connections, and liking posts. The key is to be consistent and it will start feeling natural. LinkedIn is a great online tool for all technical sales people to research and connect. The sooner you start building your connections and engaging with your network, the sooner you will see your efforts pay off.
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