How to use LinkedIn as a sales tool [in-depth guide]

How to use LinkedIn as a sales tool [in-depth guide]

LinkedIn Growth Hacks

Table of Contents

LinkedIn has more than 850 million active users in more than 200 countries worldwide, making it the world’s largest professional network.

As such, LinkedIn is a genuine gold mine for blooming businesses aiming to grow, establish their brand and gain recurring customers.

However, you need to know a couple of tips and tricks and have some experience under your belt in order to make the most of all of LinkedIn’s numerous opportunities.

That’s exactly where we step in, as we’ll guide you through all the essential details you’ll need to know to use LinkedIn as a sales tool effectively.

  • Get more warm leads
  • Successfully close new deals
  • Retain users with ease
  • See your MRR and ARR grow


  • LinkedIn has the potential to be the ultimate sales tool when used to its full potential
  • Optimizing your profile is the first step to establishing your brand and gaining trust
  • LinkedIn groups, events, and posts are an excellent source of highly-targeted prospects – but you’ll need a tool to help you scrape them more effectively
  • Remember to personalize each step of your outreach – send hyper-personalized messages and requests, and include stunning visuals for optimal results
  • Warm prospects up before hitting them with a pitch – view and follow their profiles, or engage with their content
  • Building rapport takes time, but will take you farther, so remember to follow up with prospects, check in on them frequently and find ways to show them how they are valuable to you
  • Using a powerful LinkedIn sales solution like Sales Robot can help you really make the most of LinkedIn as a sales tool and get more leads and close more deals

How to use LinkedIn as a sales tool - Best practices

We’ll cover several hip ways to optimize LinkedIn as a sales tool, including:

  • Polishing your LinkedIn profile
  • Prospecting like a pro
  • Mastering outreach and lead generation
  • Making the most of InMail
  • Gaining trust and building rapport

Let’s dive straight in!

#1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile

This is the very first step to using LinkedIn as an effective sales tool.

Your LinkedIn profile is the first thing other members will see, so it’s your one chance to leave a favorable impression.

If you blow it here, you’ll miss an opportunity to spark interest and start gaining trust right off the bat.

Some of the big no-nos to keep in mind when creating a profile are:

  • Not posting a profile picture
  • Posting a profile picture that’s entirely unprofessional (e.g., beach photos, selfies, wild night-out photos of you in all of your drunk glory, etc.)
  • Leaving your “About” section blank. This is basically your introduction to other LinkedIn users. Omitting writing a wholesome summary will cost you many potential prospects and the chance to make a valuable connection

On the other hand, things to definitely include in your LinkedIn profile are:

  • An original and relevant cover image (and no, generic stock photos are not an option)
  • List of skills, relevant certifications, awards, etc.
  • Up-to-date information on your job and previous experience (company you work for, your role, position, etc.)

If you need more details on how to create a rocking LinkedIn profile that will get you tons of connection requests and help you gain prospects’ trust, check out our comprehensive 8-point LinkedIn profile checklist.

#2. Quality > quantity in prospecting

The end results of your sales & outreach depends on your prospecting. That is, on how well thought through and how well-executed it was.

Targeting the right type of users is vital for closing deals since not all LinkedIn members can be equally interested in what you have to offer.

The very first thing you need to do is conduct a thorough ICP research and determine:

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What is their main pain point?
  • What kind of content do they consume the most?
  • How much would they be able or willing to pay for the right kind of solution?

Secondly, you should think about investing in LinkedIn Sales Navigator – LinkedIn’s native prospecting tool.

Sales Navigator will enable you to take prospecting to the next level by:

  • Providing unlimited searches
  • Having various advanced filters for more targeted searches
  • Helping you find similar prospects
  • Offering options for saving leads and searches, etc.

However, Sales Navigator will only get you so far, as it’s not some magic tool that can deliver prospects on a silver platter.

This means you’ll need an extra hand to target your ICPs more specifically and efficiently.

For example, industry-related LinkedIn groups and events, as well as relevant LinkedIn posts are often an excellent source of highly-targeted prospects for your product or service.

Let’s face it though – manually sifting through each group, event, or post to find members, attendees or users who’ve liked or commented on a post is simply not an option. It would take too much time and would limit the number of people you can reach.

A LinkedIn sales automation tool like Sales Robot can significantly leverage your prospecting for optimal results.

Namely, Sales Robot can scrape group members, event attendees, users who follow a hashtag, or users who’ve commented on a particular post and then take any of the following actions you want:

  • Send an automated sequence of messages
  • Send connection requests
  • View or follow their profiles and like their posts, etc.

By hitting up LinkedIn users who’ve already expressed interest in your industry (e.g., a similar product or service, or have a need you can accommodate), you significantly increase your chances of converting those users to satisfied customers.

Grow your LinkedIn network and get more sales. Start a free 14-day trial today.

#3. Personalize your outreach

Personalization is the #1 thing you’ll need in order for your outreach to deliver the results you want to see – that is, a steady stream of new leads, and an ever-growing MRR.

Being generic in your outreach is one of the greatest sins of marketing, especially when you’re dealing with fellow business professionals who are often a much tougher crowd to please.

So, when reaching out, make sure that each message, request and action is custom-tailored to every single prospect.

And how to achieve that?

Well, there are several avenues you can take.

Firstly, make sure your connection requests stand out – mentioning personal details you’ve found on a prospect’s LinkedIn profile can give you an advantage for the future.

Pay attention to stuff like:

  • Job experience, since it shows you’re interested in their professional endeavors
  • Top recommendations, especially when referred by some of the biggest names in a given industry
  • Mutual connections, which are always a good ice-breaker
  • The content they’ve shared or engaged with
  • Volunteering experience, as it shows you’ve taken notice of their philanthropic activity

Sales Robot can help in this respect as well.

Thanks to its latest-generation AI, Sales Robot can draft and send hyper-personalized connection requests. These requests are based precisely on the most relevant data the AI detected and scraped from a prospect’s LinkedIn profile.

Moreover, Sales Robot automatically extracts all the emojis, symbols, and titles from your prospects’ names. That way, they’ll be none the wiser that you’ve used a LinkedIn growth hacking tool to reach out to them.

Should you decide to write your own messages that accompany the connection requests, Sales Robot will help there, too.

The software will automatically calculate the probable response rate of any given message you send.

Thus, you’ll be able to get skyhigh response and acceptance rates with every message or connection request you send through Sales Robot.

On a side note, if you need inspiration for writing killer LinkedIn messages for any and every occasion, check out our 10 winning LinkedIn message templates – they’ll give you a much-needed hand with wowing your leads.

Furthermore, including personalized GIFs and images helps your messages and requests cut through the noise.

Sales Robot’s integration with Hyperise enables you to create stunning visuals that are bound to impress prospects with your creativity, inventiveness and attention that you paid to their personal info.

#4. Use InMail wisely

InMail is a native LinkedIn feature that’s included in its Premium, Sales Navigator, and Recruiter plans.

It’s quite a great tool to have in your arsenal when you use LinkedIn as a sales tool for several reasons:

The downside is that your subscription plan will allot you a miserably small number of InMail messages that you can send per month.

However, if a user has an Open Profile, meaning they’re a Premium user who’s enabled that feature, you can send a free InMail to them.

The concept of free InMail means that the message you send to an Open Profile won’t count as one of the credited InMail included in your subscription plan.

You can recognize premium users by the golden badge next to their name, as shown in the image, below.

This means that you can send as many InMails as you like to Open Profile users despite them not being your first grade connections.

Sales Robot offers options for targeting Open Profile users and sending personalized messages to them, so you can both find them and strike up a chat with them in just one move.

This way, you won’t be wasting time manually checking if a lead has an Open Profile or not.

To do this, you first draft a highly-personalized message, which you can do from scratch or by using some of our ready-made templates.

Afterward, you import the CSV file or a Sales Navigator search URL containing all the leads you’ve targeted.

And finally, you simply click the “Send as InMail instead of Connection Request if it’s free” option, and you’re ready to go.

What’s more, there’s another, maybe even simpler, way of ensuring that Sales Robot sends a free InMail instead of a connection request whenever possible.

When drafting a connection request message, click the plus sign that reads “Add variant”.

After that, all it takes is enabling the “Use Free InMail” option, and Sales Robot will automatically send a free InMail instead of a connection request whenever it comes across an Open Profile among your leads list.

This way, it saves your InMail credit and the number of regular connection requests you can send, at the same time getting your pitch in front of many potential SQLs.

In addition, you can randomize the number of InMails sent daily and enable an option for gradually increasing the number of InMails you send per day.

In this way, Sales Robot mimics normal human behavior to perfection so as not to raise any LinkedIn flags.

And there isn’t a thing you can’t customize: from the maximum daily number of InMail requests to the number by which Sales Robot increases the requests and the frequency thereof.

#5. Don’t be too salesy upfront

No one wants to be sold to, so keep that in mind when using LinkedIn as a sales tool.

Yes, most people on LinkedIn will try to sell something one way or another but the key is not to be overly pushy, obvious, or borderline obnoxious.

Warming prospects up will make them more amenable to chat with you, listen to what you have to offer and ultimately let you convert them.

And the great thing is that you don’t have to go over the top to get a sharp edge over your competition since it’s often the seemingly little things that count the most.

Some of the things you can do to warm up prospective customers include:

  • Viewing their profiles - that’s the very first step in showing interest while staying lowkey and not being obviously salesy
  • Following them - it’s as simple as that, and it will go a long way with prospects
  • Liking or commenting on their posts - engaging with prospects’ content will show that you value what they have to say

You can set up these actions as steps in your campaigns in Sales Robot to make sure your connection requests – and pitches later on – will be received more readily.

Overall, if you nurture your connections you’ll get noticeable results.

#6. Build rapport

Gaining trust and establishing your brand is only possible once you’ve created a meaningful and lasting relationship with your prospects.

Fortunately for everyone who uses LinkedIn as a sales tool, this is nowhere near as tricky as it may sound.

Just remember that you are interacting with actual human beings who, like you, thrive on attention and genuine contact.

Some things you can do here are:

  • Congratulate prospects on significant events like birthdays, promotions, starting a new position or transferring to a new company, etc.
  • Always follow-up with them. In fact, you could even set up elaborate multi-step campaigns to make sure you never miss out on following up with a lead.

For example, Sales Robot’s smart-sequence feature allows you to set up triggers and as many steps as your specific sales process demands.

And once a lead responds, the automation will stop, allowing you to continue the conversation yourself.

  • Make custom-tailored special offers that prospects will find impossible to resist - for example, you could give them birthday discounts, bulk discounts, or any other offer that could appeal to them
  • Share free resources with prospects, as this is a great way to provide them with value and hook them in for more
  • Frequently post content that will establish you as a thought leader or industry expert
  • Give your prospects’ content some love, that is, like, comment and share their posts to show them you value their opinions

All this combined will get you more connections, more responses, and ultimately more sales - before you know it, everyone on LinkedIn will be talking about you.

How to use LinkedIn as a sales tool - The bottom line

LinkedIn is a phenomenal sales tool – when you’re savvy about how to do it, that is.

We’ve shared our top 6 tips and best practices to help you master using LinkedIn as a sales tool in no time.

And if you want to get more leads, sales and a spike in your ARR even faster, Sales Robot can lend you a hand.

Sales Robot is a solution especially tailored for LinkedIn sales.

As such, it can extract all the valuable data you’ll need for building rapport, draft highly-personalized messages and requests, safely work around LinkedIn limits, and much more.

And why take just our word for it?

Sign up for a 14-day free trial and see firsthand what Sales Robot can do for your LinkedIn sales & outreach.

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