LinkedIn is the perfect social network for professionals -- and sales reps, in particular, have started to see the advantages the social network offers. But sales managers can use LinkedIn in a variety of ways, too, that aren't given quite as much attention.
Whether you're looking to hire the best sales reps for your team, keeping them educated, or helping them generate leads, these are some of the features you should be paying attention to on LinkedIn.
Premium Accounts for Hiring
If you're not a fan of getting swamped by resumes and phone inquiries that come along with traditional job listings, you can start your candidate search on LinkedIn using premium accounts. The Recruiter Lite plan gives sales managers access to the following options.
Use of Advanced Search With Premium Filters
LinkedIn offers a great advanced people search that allows you to search for other LinkedIn users based on keywords in their profile, name, title, company, school, and location. Premium filters allow you to go a step further and find people based on their years of experience, function, company size, and most importantly, whether they are interested in being contacted by a hiring manager.
This can help you cut through the clutter and find people who have the right kind of experience with the right sized companies and industries. Ones that are actually interested in being hired.
See Full Profiles of Those in Your Network
Once you've found a list of potential sales reps to start with, you can learn more about them by looking at their profiles.
LinkedIn profiles can reveal a lot about a potential job candidate. If you're looking for inside sales reps who have a good bit of social media experience, you'll be able to identify them based on their ability to turn their LinkedIn profile into more than just a traditional resume. In particular, you can find out:
If they have applicable job experience and education
If they have their own website, blog, and/or Twitter account
If they create great presentations or SlideShares
If they have a strong network to help with their pipeline or deals
If they are active in groups and organizations
If they have strong recommendations
If they have endorsements for relevant skills.
In addition to demonstrating strong skill sets, endorsements can also help you determine if the candidate has an engaged network that believes in their capabilities.
Send InMails to Anyone
Once you've narrowed down your selection of candidates, you will be able to send them private messages to see if they would be interested in the opportunities on your sales team. You will be able to send up to 25 InMails per month -- any InMails that do not receive a response will be credited back to your account.
The key to a great InMail is personalization. Anyone who is open to being contacted about new job opportunities is likely getting a lot of spammy InMails, as well as legitimate ones. Make yours stand out by addressing the candidate by name, introducing yourself, and noting something specific in their profile. That should help in increasing the response rates from the candidates you want the most.
Premium Accounts for Sales
Premium accounts can be great for your sales reps as well. Encourage them to sign up for the Sales Plus or Sales Executive plans. Similar to the Recruiter Lite plan, the Sales plans allow your reps to use premium LinkedIn features to find potential customers and contact them directly. They can even set up search alerts to be notified when new leads join the network.
In addition to a premium account, encourage your sales reps to join relevant LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn groups will allow them to do the following:
Connect with potential customers in their area or industry to generate leads.
Join in discussions with other inside sales experts to learn the latest strategies, which can be especially helpful for those transitioning from field to inside sales.
Learn more about specific strategies that can help assist them with lead generation.
Sales managers can also get some great insights from joining in discussions with other inside sales managers.
LinkedIn can be the perfect network to use to help manage your sales team, from hiring to boosting results. If you're not encouraging your sales department to use it yet, be sure to start now.
Originally published Jul 23, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017