Keys to B2B selling using LinkedIn!

February 25, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

Business news about B2B services has changed significantly in recent years. With the pandemic, an already existing trend in digitizing the purchasing process has become more acute.

Today, B2B companies have experienced a change in their buying habits. Therefore, it is essential to be present on digital channels to be found by customers, providing them with quality information and standing out from the competition.

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The rise of digital B2B

A study by Gartner states that salespeople are playing an increasingly less relevant role in the buying process due to the availability of quality information through digital channels. B2B buyers spend only 5% to 6% of their time meeting with a sales representative during the supplier comparison process. Therefore, it is critical to have a B2B digital strategy in place for effective invoice forecasting, as 94% of the process is not vendor-dependent.

However, we should not wait for the customer to contact us to solve their last doubts before making the purchase. It is necessary to complement omnichannel attraction marketing strategies with others that approach the potential B2B buyer individually, with empathy and cordiality.

To achieve this, it is essential to master the different platforms and digital tools and develop digital communication skills to differentiate oneself in a market saturated with information. A McKinsey report highlights how "hybrid" sales reps, who interact with customers across multiple channels, are becoming the most effective sales role, generating up to 50% more revenue.

"It is critical to have a B2B digital strategy in place for effective invoice forecasting"

Iñaki Alcaraz

In addition, a change has been observed in the attitude of buyers towards the figure of the seller, which I call the "Amazon buyer", because their behavior when buying for their company resembles the behavior they would have when buying something for themselves on this platform. It can be said that nowadays, the salesperson is no longer the one in charge of selling, but the customer is the one who makes the purchase.

B2B businesses that do not have a solid digital presence may find it challenging to earn recurring revenue in markets where their brand name, products or services, or sales reps are unknown.

To become known, it is essential to implement omnichannel strategies that involve sales reps interacting with customers through social media, posting videos about the benefits of their services, making phone calls to customers, and engaging with them frequently to build trust before sending a personalized offer.

In my experience, the approach to company decision-makers starts with the "Digital Personal Brand" (DPM) of sales reps. This MPD is built through the social networks used, and LinkedIn stands out as the most important due to its large size and high usage worldwide, with approximately 900 million users. Currently, about 9 million company profiles on LinkedIn. Can you imagine the wide range of B2B marketing actions you can carry out?

In the current context, the entrepreneur's reputation transmitted through digital media is essential for developing your company. The best way to communicate this reputation is by example.

Although many business leaders still have the opposite belief, more is needed to be a good professional, to send internal communications or use the intranet to communicate with employees or to believe that the business will automatically flourish due to good work and customer recommendations.

It is now necessary to demonstrate influencing skills in the lives of employees and customers, also through digital media such as LinkedIn. This is important for all managers and business leaders, not just large companies. This is what is known as "digital exemplarity."

Selling B2B on LinkedIn: How to do it successfully?

But often, lack of knowledge or time prevents entrepreneurs and managers of B2B companies from implementing a digital strategy that generates new opportunities regularly. 

Entrepreneurs should prioritize LinkedIn-related tasks in their daily agenda, as this professional networking platform offers them several key benefits to improve their digital presence and grow their business. 

Some of these benefits why entrepreneurs should prioritize LinkedIn would be:

  • Increase their visibility and that of their business: a complete and up-to-date LinkedIn profile will help entrepreneurs increase their digital visibility and reach a wider audience. Of course, a LinkedIn profile that reflects your experience, skills, and accomplishments, along with a professional photo and a detailed description of your knowledge and skills, can generate new business opportunities. But it is not enough; you also need the following point.
  • Enhance your professional reputation: if you post relevant content frequently, which is helpful to your network of contacts while showcasing your experience and expertise. Also, actively participate in relevant groups in your industry. This will encourage receiving positive recommendations and reviews from other professionals to establish yourself as an expert in a given industry.
  • Establish good relationships with other businesses: LinkedIn is a platform designed to connect with other professionals in your industry and join relevant discussion groups. To increase the chances of success, the professional reputation cultivated in the previous point, personalizing connection invitations with topics of interest to connected people, and mastering the filters of LinkedIn's advanced search tool to find potential clients are essential. Having a quality network of contacts on LinkedIn is crucial to building relationships that allow you to do business with other companies.
  • Find new clients: Entrepreneurs can employ their network to build valuable relationships, research people potentially interested in their product or service through one-on-one conversations, and discover new business opportunities, in those conversations. 

However, it is essential to remember that this tactic requires a strategic approach and careful planning. If the goal is to reach a specific audience and generate a significant impact, selecting the content to share, the discussion groups to join, and the people to connect with is essential.

The keys to implementing a good strategy for engaging on LinkedIn can be summarized in three recommendations:

  • A well-built and filled-out profile on LinkedIn is essential to give a good impression of you to others. An excellent professional photo, an original and accurate professional title, and a well-crafted and keyworded excerpt are fundamental elements to stand out on the network and attract the attention of potential clients or professional contacts. It is important to be creative and differentiate yourself from others, showing your skills and achievements differently and attractively. In addition, it is essential to keep your profile updated and active, publishing relevant content and participating in discussion groups and communities related to your field of work.
  • Target audience segmentation must be very clear about your potential client and get to know them as much as possible through the data they can offer you in their LinkedIn profile. By segmenting your target audience with similar characteristics, you can develop more effective marketing strategies, targeting a specific group of potential customers with similar needs and desires. By knowing your target audience better, you can create more effective and personalized communication, which increases the chances of success in your B2B marketing strategy.
  • Be subtle in your posts and cordial in your conversations. "Commercial pressure" is a tactic often perceived negatively by potential customers, as it is based on selling something directly and quickly. However, there are indirect ways of doing business that relies on persuasion and seduction, with strategies to attract customers subtly, making them temporarily forget that they are being sold something. It is important to note that people do not enjoy being pressured to buy something, so it is advisable to avoid this tactic.

In conclusion, the digitization of the B2B buying process has become more acute with the pandemic, and B2B companies need to be present on digital channels to be found by customers, providing them with quality information and standing out from the competition. The B2B digital strategy is crucial to effective turnover forecasting, as 94% of the process is independent of the salesperson.

Master the different platforms and digital tools and develop digital communication skills to differentiate yourself in an information-saturated market and achieve greater sales effectiveness.

Implementing omnichannel strategies and building a "Digital Personal Brand" to build trust and make personalized offers is essential. In summary, having a B2B digital strategy is critical to a predicted turnover in 2023.

About the author: Iñaki Alcaraz is a Founding Partner of AGLV, an international speaker, and an expert in business strategy and new technologies. With more than 20 years of experience in marketing and business strategies, both in start-ups and multinationals in many different sectors. After intensively managing Linkedin profiles of B2B business owners and entrepreneurs for more than five years and maintaining more than 50,000 conversations with potential clients, Iñaki has become one of Spain's main referents regarding B2B sales and brand building via LinkedIn. 

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