However, in the LinkedIn and Social Selling world there are many new innovations, and tools and apps coming out, claiming to help us be more productive and to achieve better results.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by technology, to feel that sometimes it’s difficult to live with technology, but also it’s more difficult to live without it too.
As people go deeper into LinkedIn, and want more results from it, it becomes fairly clear that sales productivity could drop dramatically unless something is done about it.
And for some people this risks becoming a show-stopper, for them and for their sales team, and a reason to stick with ‘tried and tested’ sales methods.
So let me try to help you make some sense of the apps and technology side of LinkedIn and Social Selling.
Quick start tips
As we move beyond the basic use of LinkedIn for Sales there are some specific activities and tools that I’ve found to be very helpful:
- For frequently used phrases and passages, like invite sends and accepts – a Text Expander such as Phrase Express.
- For scheduling Updates into LinkedIn linking to blog articles and landing pages – a scheduler such as included in Hootsuite
- For building prospect lists and contact records (and many other activities) – a Social CRM such as Nimble with its Browser Widget
The associated issue with multiple tools is where is the data, and how do you manage it – but that’s a topic for another article.
Tips for useful Apps and Tools to use with LinkedIn
1. LinkedIn Related Apps and Tools for Personal Brand
The foundation of personal branding and attracting enquiries is creating and sharing great content that educates your prospects.
- Schedule Updates that link to Evergreen content on your website using Hootsuite, Buffer or similar.
- Create Engaging Images and Infographics using Powerpoint – with templates like these from Hubspot
- Create lead generating presentations using Powerpoint and upload to your profile, or publish to Slideshare and use that URL
- Record a Video using your smartphone, upload it to YouTube and add it as Media to your profile or include it in an Article
The tools for this are free and relatively easy to use. The real value is in the content and the message, and there are tips about educational content here.
2. LinkedIn Related Apps and Tools for Social Prospecting
Finding, reaching and connecting or messaging new contacts is the heart of social prospecting, and there are tools to help you here.
This is also where LinkedIn Sales Navigator fits in, providing more functionality to help LinkedIn power users to find prospects, build out company profiles and manage some sales activity.
- Tools that do the leg-work to build profiles of contacts ‘auto-magically’ – like Nimble CRM
- Tools that ‘visit’ peoples profiles on your behalf – like Autopilot and Dux Soup and eLink
- Tools that send messages via LinkedIn on your behalf – again like Autopilot and Dux Soup and eLink.
Automation can be very beneficial when done appropriately. But be very careful it doesn’t run away from you, with dramatic consequences.
3. Sales Tools that support effective full cycle Social Selling
Now you’ve used LinkedIn to get visitors to ‘invite’ people to your sales landing pages, or built a list of contacts, what next? How can you nurture them?
- Email messages within LinkedIn – this has been possible within LinkedIn, or there are third party programmes that do this through LinkedIn.
- Email Marketing Automation – once you have the email address, and permission, you can continue the sales journey using email marketing, and tracking, and automation with packages such as InTouchCRM
- A CRM to support your sales relationship building that incorporates multi-touch, multi-channel and multi-media communication, where Nimble CRM offers great capability at low cost
- Additional Content – a website running on WordPress or equivalent is pretty essential as a repository for your valuable educational content especially when using a Sales Add-on such as OptimizePress
- Analytics to monitor and measure activity and campaigns – such as Google Analytics
There are more sophisticated systems for larger companies, such as Hubspot, Infusionsoft, Sitecore and many more.
Download our Pocket Guide to Social Selling
If you haven’t already done so get a copy of our guide, which covers more LinkedIn Tips and introduces the Social Selling Matrix.