How to Effectively Use LinkedIn for Sales

While all social media tools can (and should) be leveraged for lead generation, you might want to make LinkedIn your top priority for B2B engagement (pre-sale and post-sale, as eMarketer points out).


  • Use Your Current LinkedIn Connections to Find Leads
    • It’s as simple as it sounds. Politely ask your current connections for an introduction to your target customer. Criteria for Success explains this strategy in more detail and provides a free ebook on generating sales through LinkedIn.
  • Sales Navigator
    • Like the previous strategy, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator uses people you are already connected with to help you find relevant prospects. It simplifies the job, though, by suggesting opportunities for you. Check out a review of this tool by Forbes.
  • Groups
    • Where do your potential clients hang out? Participate in a group, or create your own. “Like” posts from prospective buyers, comment on posts, and start discussions. Yesler suggests making this a routine; each day, spend a certain amount of time engaging with LinkedIn groups.
  • Postings
    • Post interesting, relevant content. Determine based on follower engagement whether you’re posting too frequently or not often enough. And follow this guide to learn what not to post! The right post can bring comments from potential customers, which could give you the perfect opportunity to respond and lead them to your website.
  • Call to action
    • Entrepreneur encourages you to include a call to action in your summary section, telling people exactly what you want them to do (e.g. a phone call, an email or just a visit to your site to sign up on the mailing list).

Preparing for Engagement

  • Research your customer!
    • It’s critical to learn about your customer before contacting them, and LinkedIn makes this quite easy to do. When marketing tells you about a lead, research the potential client and find commonalities you may have with them as a way to engage conversation.
    • Smart Bug Media advises, “Bring sales and marketing together and create a list of your top 25-50 best customers and look them up on LinkedIn. Determine what groups they are involved in, what companies they follow and what kinds of information they post to their profile.”
  • Reaching Out
    • It is very easy to get an email address because contact information is displayed on a user’s profile, making it one of the best networks to utilize. ViralSweep claims it’s best to add someone as a connection on LinkedIn and, once they accept your request, you can message them through LinkedIn and ask them permission to shoot them an email.
    • However, opinions on how to best reach out differ. A Hubspot blog post advises against messaging on LinkedIn and instead encourages you to send the prospect an email. As this Hubspot blogger claims, “Everyone’s sending LinkedIn messages.”
      • What to do, then? Experiment both with LinkedIn’s messaging feature and with email, and determine what is most effective for you.

LinkedIn has evolved a great deal over the past few years and will continue to, so be sure to stay up to date on new features.

By Kylie West