LinkedIn is the leading networking tool in sales today. With over 360 million members the platform is changing the way that we do prospecting and work to exceed sales goals. No matter what your product is, LinkedIn has become the most effective and efficient way to reach your desired market. That is why it is so important for you to make sure that your sales team knows how to get all it can from LinkedIn. But at times it may feel like you have gotten all there is to get on LinkedIn. Fortunately, that isn’t the case.  As an effective sales leader you are always looking for new ways to find leads – here are seven that you can share with your team right now.

Utilize LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn’s groups can be a great place to find prospects. Look at large groups that are active and have the type of member that you would typically prospect. Don’t try to engage right away, that may be seen as you just making a sales pitch. According to a post by Neale Martin at Sales For Life, “The key to prospecting on LinkedIn groups, is to prove you are a subject matter expert, so other group members perceive you as a trusted advisor (not a stone-age salesperson trying to make a buck).” So, don’t pitch, but do engage. Post content, comment on other’s content, and otherwise get involved in conversations. When you receive attention, use it to see if the interested people might make great new prospects for you – but do so outside of the group setting.

Pay Attention to the Sidebar

LinkedIn offers a lot of information about your connections – including people who are just like them! Next time you have the profile of one of your best prospects up on LinkedIn, take a look at the “People Also Viewed” box on the sidebar. The box will show people who are similar to your first-rate prospect. This often overlooked feature, called “The Hidden Gem in the Sidebar” in a post on PersistIQ Sales blog, may provide you with many valuable prospects.

Look at Endorsements

Another way to utilize the great prospects you already have is to look at their Skills section. In that section, you can see the connections who have endorsed them for their skills. It’s pretty likely that you will find people there to prospect – who might just be like the winning prospect you started with.

Read LinkedIn’s Pulse

You can use Pulse to find new prospects, as well. You probably already read articles and posts that your current prospects, and people like them, find interesting. If you expand the comments on a Pulse article, you can click on the “likes” and find a whole group of people who you can prospect.

Use the Alumni Search

The best way to reach out to a brand new prospect is to make a personal connection by bringing up something that you have in common or a mutual interest. It’s a way to instantly build rapport. So, why not take a look at people with whom you already have a built-in conversation starter – your shared alma mater. You can easily do an alumni search to find prospects who attended the same school that you did.

Take Advantage of Job Changes

One of the most active features of LinkedIn is its notification of connections who have started a new job or position. Take advantage when these notifications pop-up! A new job or role within a company may give your connections more decision-making authority, and they may be open to hearing about your product.

Check Out Your Competitors

Reaching out to people who you know are customers of one of your competitors can be more fruitful than someone new to your product. LinkedIn makes it easy to search other people’s networks – including those who work for your company’s competitors. It’s pretty likely that at least some of their connections are their own customers or prospects. Their network will allow you to pitch your products to prospects that you know already have a need for them.

There is a lot of information on LinkedIn that can be turned into lists of leads. Get to know all of the fields and searches and you will undoubtedly uncover some viable prospects. Be sure that everything you do on LinkedIn – connections, InMails, other types of contact – gets entered into your CRM for tracking and marketing, and turn those prospects into closed deals and exceed your team’s sales goals.

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Jami Deloe