Build a B2B Sales Process on LinkedIn in 7 Steps

A blackboard with a lightbulb in the centre and 6 circles for brainstorming a B2B sales process on LinkedIn

Scale your business with an efficient LinkedIn sales process

It’s not secret to sales professionals and small business owners alike that selling takes a lot of effort.

And without a well-thought out sales process on LinkedIn, a lot of your efforts could be going to waste.

That’s why we’re here to teach you about B2B sales and how you can create a sales process on LinkedIn.

What is B2B sales?

B2B sales, or business to business sales, is the process of selling a product or service to other businesses, such as security software or consulting services. Unlike a lot of consumer sales, in B2B sales, you often deal with multiple decision makers over a lengthy period of time to close a deal. 

Often when selling a product or service to businesses, you need to guide the potential client through multiple selling stages, known as a sales funnel. The sales funnel is usually broken into four stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Conversion
  4. Loyalty

When building your sales process, you need to create strategies that address consumer needs at all stages of the funnel.

B2B selling tactics

There’s different approaches you can take to B2B sales—and you can and should implement more than one if you can.

Some B2B selling tactics include:

  • Social selling with LinkedIn. One of the most effective approaches, you can search for and message prospective clients right from LinkedIn.
  • Referral marketing. Encourage existing or past clients to recommend your product or service. Referrals will have trust in you to start, making them easier to win as clients.
  • Networking. Showing up to professional events in your area can be a great way to spread awareness about your business, meet with potential clients, and even learn about problems they face to inform your business.

The only option on this list you can commit to anytime, anywhere, is selling on LinkedIn. So we’re going to show you how to build a LinkedIn sales strategy to help build your business.

7-step B2B sales process on LinkedIn

  1. Identify your target audience
  2. Create a strong online presence
  3. Start prospecting
  4. Begin outreach
  5. Continue messaging
  6. Close the deal
  7. Retain clients

Identify your target audience

Before you create a LinkedIn sales process, you need to understand who you’re selling to. This will help you customize your messaging to your audience, so you’re more likely to convert clients.

For most businesses, there are two main profiles you’ll want to consider that will inform your sales efforts: ideal client profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas.

An ICP is the ideal client for your business. This is a client you are best-positioned to help, based on factors like industry, budget, niche experience etc. 

Buyer personas are descriptions of the individuals you’ll be selling to at any given company.

In other words, your ICP describes the company you’re selling to, while your buyer personas describe the employee or founders you’ll be interacting with.

Create a strong online presence

Once you’ve established who you’re selling to, you can create or update your online presence to position yourself as a solution to your future clients’ problems.

Since you’re going to be selling with LinkedIn, that’s likely the first page your clients will see. 

Make sure your personal and (if applicable) company LinkedIn profile is fully filled out with a clear headline, relevant “about” section, a professional photo and banner, and your experience. You can also add a portfolio on LinkedIn to showcase previous work you’ve done near the top of your profile.

You’ll also want a website that reflects similar messaging to the “about” section in your LinkedIn profile, along with images that are consistent with your profile. I.e. if you have a logo anywhere on your personal or company LinkedIn, include the same logo on your website. Any color scheme you picked for one digital channel should be applied to the others.

Amy Volas is a great example of leveraging your banner space effectively, while using a professiona—but fun—profile photo to stand out. Her headline clearly outlines what she does, and her website matches the colours and messaging from her profile to help build her brand.

Start prospecting 

Prospecting is the first part of your B2B sales process on LinkedIn. By reaching out to new clients, you build awareness around your product in the context of a solution to those potential clients’ problems.

Prospecting involves sending LinkedIn connection requests to prospective clients, along with a personalized connection message.

As you may already know, searching for clients and connecting with them can be a very manual and time-consuming process.

Leveraging Sales Navigator Personas can help you sort through millions of LinkedIn users to identify prospects using the buyer personas we mentioned above. Sales Navigator will bring up prospects that match your ICPs—and even let you customize specific messages for different personas.

Begin outreach

You’ve done your homework on your audience, set up your profiles, and sorted through LinkedIn for people you want to connect with. Now it’s time to start sending out Linkedin connection messages.

You may have heard that one of the most important parts of outreach messages is personalization. While that can initially sound time consuming, it doesn’t have to be.

Have you ever received an email from a website with a personalized shopping recommendation, based on a previous purchase? 

Those emails are examples of automated personalization, and you can apply similar principles to your outreach.

In your case, you can leverage AI for LinkedIn to identify groups of people who share a similar problem (rather than a similar purchase history), and send them a message recommending your business as a solution to their problem. 

Nurture your leads

Your LinkedIn request message isn’t going to be enough to land a sale. Once you’ve connected with a lead, they’re now in the consideration phase. You’ll need to start selling them on your product—while also verifying they’re a viable fit. 

These stages your LinkedIn sales process require more messages.

You may need to send reminders to follow up, as well as respond to potential questions or objections.

If you’ve been selling for a while, you probably already know your most common questions and objections. To save yourself time, you can pre-draft responses to those common replies (as well as a few follow-up messages to nudge people who don’t respond or drop off at some point). 

To save even more time, you can enlist help from AI for LinkedIn to help you evaluate the likelihood a client will convert based on their response and send out your drafted responses to common questions or objections.

Close the deal

To land the client, you’ll need to move prospects from LinkedIn to a call. There are two main types of calls in the sales process:

Discovery call: A discovery call is essentially your customer wanting to learn more about your product. They’re in the consideration stage of the sales funnel at this point. Here you want to really listen to their problems and objections, and find ways to respond that demonstrate how you and your business can help. 

In some cases, you may also realize a client isn’t a good fit—use this call as a two-way street and make sure the lead is a good candidate for your product or service. You want to focus youe efforts on qualified leads. These are leads that are likely to convert and benefit from what you’re offering.

Sales call: All of the steps above lead up to this call. Unsurprisingly, this is when you want to seal the deal. That said, you may need to deal with some final objections or questions.

Retain clients

Retention is an incredibly important (yet often forgotten) part of building a B2B sales process.

Once you land a client, you need to continue to provide great service, request feedback and respond to client concerns promptly.

It’s much easier to retain clients than it is to find new ones—and loyal clients are likely to refer you to other clients (also an easier sale than prospecting on your own). 

Use small business retention strategies to ensure all of your sales efforts don’t go to waste.

Making your LinkedIn sales process efficient

Whether you’re a sales professional by trade, or a financial advisor, marketer, coach, or consultant looking for clients, you need to build a strong sales process on LinkedIn to build your client list.

But the early stages of the sales funnel can feel like an entire week’s work if you do it all manually—leaving little time for calls and other work.

Enlisting help from LinkedIn AI can free up more time in your week for all of your other tasks.