guy_with_iphoneMany sales executives understand the importance of getting their teams to use LinkedIn for connecting with prospects and customers. However, many of them lack a line of sight into what their reps are actually doing on LinkedIn.

Sales leaders need to take a hard look at how their sales reps are portraying themselves on social networks. Remember buyers are doing more and more of their vendor research digitally.

If your salespeople aren’t using social platforms to engage key stakeholders during the sales process, they’re missing an opportunity to connect.

As a sales leader, you need to create better insight into what in particular your sales team is doing on LinkedIn. Here are three reasons why social insight is important, along with some quick action items sales leaders can take to enable their teams.

1. Your buyers are researching your solution and your reps on social.

Eighty-four percent of CEOs/vice presidents use social to make purchasing decisions. They’re using LinkedIn to research your company, your solutions, and what connections they may have with specific account executives. When they search for salespeople at your company, what will they find?

Sales Leader Action Items:

  • Encourage your sales reps to optimize their profiles by using keywords and value statements in their headlines and summary pages.
  • Work with your digital team to organize collateral that demonstrates the value of the solutions they sell. Salespeople can share this content on their profiles for prospects that stumble upon their personal pages.
  • Make it easy for your salespeople to use LinkedIn. Provide technology tools that allow them to easily update and maintain engaging, value-based profiles.

2. A LinkedIn profile may be the first experience a buyer has with your company.

Nearly 70% of the buying process is now completed digitally. Your buyers are not only searching social sites for personal connections to your company, they’re also looking for solutions to their business problems. Before they even reach out via email or phone, they’re educating themselves about possible vendors with digital content. When they search for information, what are they able to find out about your company?

If your salespeople are sharing the right pieces of information, LinkedIn will be a useful content channel that drives prospects to your solutions.

Sales Leader Action Items:

  • Reach out to your digital marketing team and determine what content would be most useful for your sales team to post.
  • Develop a process that enables your salespeople to easily share the content your digital content team is already producing. Your sales team won’t assume the burden of creating content — they can simply help spread the word.

3) Your Sales Managers are Spending a lot of Time on LinkedIn.

A study by the Sales Management Association found that sales managers spend an average of six hours a week on LinkedIn. The same respondents believed they needed better training from their organization on social.

Sales Leader Action Items:

  • Your teams want guidance on how to use LinkedIn to its maximum potential. Give them consumable training to make the most of their time spent on this important network.
  • Consider implementing a technology platform that streamlines social prospecting efforts.

With today’s increasingly connected buyer, your sales team’s social media use makes your company relevant. Remember, conversations and engagement are happening on social media — whether you are part of them or not. Don’t get left behind.