Do you know how to be effective with LinkedIn?

Navigating LinkedIn for Sales

Most of us are on LinkedIn and view it as the most valuable resource for prospecting and broadcasting your organization and your brand. Your brand showcases what "sets you apart from others and emphasizes your unique skills, experiences, and values that resonate with potential leads." Melonie Dodaro and Brian Galicia state this in their book "Navigating LinkedIn for Sales - The Complete Guide to Social Selling, Sales Navigator and Account-based Marketing."

Have you ever asked yourself whether you truly know how to use LinkedIn and what the opportunities are within the solution? I bet many of you have not, as there are so many other things in our lives we have to deal with. Even today, sitting here in our motor coach at an RV park by the lake In Nashville, Tennessee, I got up at 6:30 AM, had my morning coffee, opened my Surface tablet, and have been on Microsoft Teams since then. And I have so many things to check out and learn. Each of these SaaS solutions is getting new features almost monthly, so it is a challenge to track and keep oneself updated.

I am an immigrant from Europe and have enjoyed the US business life for 25 years, longer than my European career. I learned one thing early on when becoming a young CEO of a local US company. My channel partner at the time, Bob Losey from Source Data Products, Inc. , gave me a "lesson" that has "stuck" in my mind since those days. He said: "Petri, you have to nurture your CRM as the most valuable asset in your business." You might think it is obvious, but it really isn't, and I have seen this when working with many organizations. I took Bob's advice to heart and have since maintained my network and CRM almost religiously. I regard Bob as my mentor as I was pretty "green" in enterprise sales then, having mostly spent my career in product development leadership roles.

So you might ask yourself, what does CRM have to do with LinkedIn? I use LinkedIn Sales Navigator in my research, and some of the connections will end up in my CRM, but only those I regard as leads that I should nurture. I have more than 12.000 contacts in my LinkedIn network, which is heavily aligned with the Microsoft ecosystem as that is where I have worked for the past 20 years. I have been very focused on building my network, where my connections can quickly see my associations and areas of interest. It is all about focusing on and nurturing those relationships. I also protect my network from potential spammers; it is pretty easy to identify how it is only there to spam. Working with a solution like LinkedIn needs to be both strategic and tactical, and this is where the book by Melonie Dodaro and Brian Galicia is a fantastic resource.

The book has three parts: foundations, Strategies, and Execution. It will help you understand why social selling is important and why crafting personas for high-quality lead targeting is important. Mastering social selling is an art in itself, and the book gives advice on LinkedIn etiquette and best practices. Each chapter has a "LinkedIn Pro Tip" and "Action Plans," which I find really useful as they nicely summarize the main points.

The book talks about how to elevate your personal brand, which I have struggled with in my own branding. Should I focus on branding my boutique management consulting company, TELLUS International, which I own, or promote Dr. Petri I. Salonen's brand?

The book gives great advice on which features you might want to consider, such as LinkedIn Newsletters, hosting LinkedIn Live or Audio Events, etc. Did you know they existed? Do you know what is included in the free LinkedIn version versus the more premium? The book provides a view of these as well as the potential benefits.

The book highlights Account-based Marketing, how LinkedIn can help in ABM, and the main factors when building the search criteria for the target profile you are looking for. I have had Sales Navigator for years, and I have to admit I have not used it as much as I should have. Having read the book, I decided to improve its use as it provides so much intelligence to the prospecting.

The execution is about converting leads into profitable sales, revenue activation through relationships, and how to turn Sales Navigator into a revenue engine.

The book is a fantastic resource for exploring whether you are using LinkedIn to the fullest and applying LinkedIn's best practices. It is an easy read, to the point, and focuses on things that matter. I also like how the authors have divided the book into three parts, so if you want to dig into a specific topic, you can do that.

I will use this book as a resource to remind myself every now and then of the areas I should remember. I suggest you do the same.

If you would like to get my book recommendations to your inbox on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, you can subscribe to them here on LinkedIn


Dr. Petri I. Salonen

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