The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic uprooted non-essential workers from their office environment and planted them at home. Our collective day to day shifted from in-person to online conversations – and contextually, this was a challenge.
This was a major adjustment for people that never had blurred boundaries between their work and family life. Additionally, companies also had to scramble to ensure their tech was up to date and their systems secured. This digital transformation pushed organizations that were years behind into the now and forced them to look at blatant inefficiencies and overhead expenses.
This new norm of remote work has reshaped business. Conversations moved from face-to-face in a conference room and into the digital space. Sales professionals have faced a new challenge. Instead of having the opportunity to close deals in-person and network, almost 100% of interactions now occur online.
One accessible and sustainable way for sales professionals to foster new relationships and nurture existing ones is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social media platform designed for professionals to connect with like-minded individuals, companies, and interest groups and create opportunities for them to present themselves as thought-leaders in their niche.
LinkedIn Search Bar
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful professional search engines. Where else can you quickly find out about people’s roles, passion projects, and what they engage with?
Using Booleans will help you to perform targeted searches by combining words and phrases and using the three main operators “AND,” “OR,” “NOT” to obtain more accurate results.
If you are looking to be part of your customers’ online conversations, consider the following example. Let’s say your customer is Microsoft, and you want to jump into a conversation around the topic of cloud migration. You can enter in the search bar: Microsoft AND “Cloud Migration.” Make sure you are also using the filters to find posts from your customer, choose “Posts” and write “Microsoft” in the “Author Company” filter.
Try it out yourself!
Sales Navigator for Online Conversations
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a paid add-on for serious users on the platform. It’s an excellent B2B tool for sales professionals to efficiently expand their network and connect with decision-makers in less time.
Using their advanced filtering capabilities, the user can enter a query that’ll populate with suggested contacts. They can send the request right away or save these potential leads to monitor their LinkedIn activities and figure out if they’re truly a good fit.
Instead of scrolling or habitually visiting profiles, this activity tracker tool allows you to see if your potentials are speaking to the pain points your company aims to solve. This insider scoop makes the early interactions more fruitful and more likely to develop a professional relationship.
Hashtags make your content more visible and discoverable, as well as they are a good resource to find content that has been grouped into a specific topic. Think of them as a link back to an idea that’s searchable and ties back to your brand’s different aspects. Keep in mind, less is more with hashtags on platforms like LinkedIn.
If you’re unsure about what hashtags to use, search in the search bar and see which topics in your niche are pulling the most volume. You can even go through high-volume hashtags and give likes and comments to people interested in your business’s key functions.
These actions will help you to jump into deeper online conversations with people and, of course, help to grow your network.
Social Listening Tools
Social listening allows you to easily keep an eye on what people are saying in the digital space about your brand, product or service, industry, and the competition. These platforms can provide you with authentic and valuable insights into the areas you need to take action.
Tools like Sprout Social can help you track and analyze conversations around a topic to understand the real-time sentiment, industry trends, and identifying thought leaders. Monitor conscientiously and use this information to start authentic conversations and boost engagement.
The Future of Digital Transformation
Digital transformation moves interactions to the virtual space, but we can’t ignore the personal touch when building relationships with our stakeholders. Pick the right channels and tools, but make sure not to over-communicate to the point of making people feel annoyed or overwhelmed. Leveraging these digital platforms will allow you to have meaningful conversations and build strong and sustainable relationships.
Social Selling plays a fundamental role in the new way of doing business and communicating with the client. Would you like to discover more about how to scale and implement a social selling strategy for your team accordingly? Sign up for our next Social Selling for Managers with Sarah Loessner – Digital Business Consultant at Tricycle Europe, on April 8 at 16:30 CET.