Does prospecting on Linkedin feel like climbing Mount Everest? Like you’re a tiny ant on the ground and you have to ascend 29,029 feet to reach decision-makers? Many sales reps, especially young, inexperienced ones, face a challenge. They feel other prospects are more experienced and knowledgeable and won’t be interested in anything they have to say, so the reps feel defeated before they even begin. 

Before learning how to use LinkedIn for sales prospecting, you’ll need to adjust your mindset and approach. We’ll serve up two game-changing mindset shifts and two approaches that’ll bring you more qualified leads and engagement.

How to use LinkedIn for sales? First, get the right tools—like Sales Navigator.

An Obvious Fix to Reach the Right Prospects

SDRs spend most of their time prospecting—not selling. At least 50% of prospects chased by salespeople are not a good fit, according to 99Firms. Therefore, deciding carefully which prospects to spend your time on will naturally make more room for learning how to increase sales using Linkedin.

Many SDRs carry a “completion is better than quality” mindset into prospecting. Meaning they come in to work, look over the day’s sales quotas and map out how many connections and pitches they need to send to make something happen. If you’re already behind, you may panic, rush the process and take bad leads. Which will only exacerbate an already defeatist mentality.

Your new mindset

Your new mindset puts quality leads over everything. Even if your pipeline is far from full, promise yourself you’ll waste absolutely NO time or resources on unqualified leads. To guarantee quality, approach prospecting with energy management: strategically planning your LinkedIn prospecting so you save your time, energy and money for the right people.

Next up, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of finding quality leads on LinkedIn by using Sales Navigator, a premium service every salesperson should have in their toolbox.

1. Use advanced search filters

LinkedIn’s advanced search filters help you find leads that match your ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer persona (BP) as best as possible.

There are currently 44 filters in LinkedIn search; in addition to the usual filters like company size and revenue, there are hyper-specific ones like:

  • Leads you’ve already contacted
  • Leads mentioned in the news
  • Active leads
  • Recent senior leadership changes

These filters not only help you find your ideal customer, but let you plan who to nurture first based on their account activity or recent changes at their company. 

2. Save your lead searches

If you want to learn how to use Linkedin for sales prospecting, don’t manually fill in filters every time; you’re bound to miss a few and get inconsistent search results. After playing around with advanced search filters and finding a search that brings in qualified leads, save it as a template so it’s ready to go next time. Name it something like “C-level executives in Delaware” and organize it by ICP and BP.

3. Use Lusha’s B2B lead enrichment tool

When learning how to use LinkedIn as a sales tool, many salespeople complain about the unreliability of results. That’s why you should always use a third-party B2B lead enrichment tool to double-check the information on your leads. Lusha Contacts is a multi-browser extension that can pull up a leads’ current contact info and company details without leaving the website. Here you can see if your lead’s info matches our stats and save yourself from wasting precious time prospecting on the wrong accounts. You’ll be able to immediately view a prospects personal email address and cell phone number, as well as a wide range of other data points, such as their workplace location, industry, annual revenue, and much more.

More connections at key accounts is how you use LinkedIn for sales leads.

4. Connect with the whole team

When connecting with decision-makers or low-level management, why not try adding all employees in the department? Take the marketing department, for example; instead of just the VP of Marketing, how about the marketing managers, assistant managers and social media team? It makes sense, as they all share a desire for the company to succeed. 

This is where word-of-mouth marketing and referrals come in. When you have more connections at key accounts, you can nurture them in hopes that they’ll spread the word to higher-ups. If the whole sales team implements this, your organization gets more chances of a referral and spends less energy trying to close a single decision-maker.

5. Build a larger network

Your number of LinkedIn connections is important, but it’s not everything. 

For many users, 500+ connections is a coveted number that guarantees plentiful sales and relationships, but it means nothing if the connections aren’t valuable. If you’ve connected with the right people, you can reach your quota with 250 faster than you can with 1,000.

Focus each day on adding leads who match your ICP and BP, as well as department members who may help you get a referral.

Where can you find more valuable connections?

  • Lead recommendations are suggested based on past searches in Sales Navigator
  • Similar leads are displayed when you save a lead
  • Add 2nd and 3rd-degree connections
  • People in your groups

So, what’s the ideal number anyway? Sales Benchmark Index says salespeople with 5,000+ connections meet their quota 98% of the time! 

6. Save contacts to your CRM

When learning how to use LinkedIn for sales prospecting, you might be shocked to find out that you can’t export your contacts into a CSV or XLS file. Of course, not being able to transfer your leads into your CRM hurts your lead management. You can’t keep track of the exact moment or from which source your leads entered your funnel and nurture them at the right time. 

There are a lot of tools out there to export leads, but Lusha Contacts not only gives you personal info and firmographics, but builds a list and saves leads directly to your CRM—without having to create a separate Excel spreadsheet. You kill two birds with one stone!

Advanced search filters and building your network is how to use LinkedIn for sales leads.

Spy on Your Leads to Engage Them Like No One Else

Engaging with your leads strategically, thoughtfully and respectfully is essential. If you’re active on LinkedIn, you’ll see many professionals posting that they no longer want to connect with:

  • People who don’t leave a connection message
  • Sales reps who send pitches 10 minutes after meeting you
  • Sales reps in general

Your new mindset

If SDRs want to learn how to use LinkedIn for sales prospecting, they have to rid themselves of their seller-centric mindset. This mindset rushes the prospect down the funnel and prioritizes quota over buying experience. Instead, adopt a buyer-first approach that puts the lead first by asking them what their problems are, giving them time to discover your product or service, and selling to them only once they’ve signalled they’re ready. 

In this part, we’ll discuss fueling engagement. It’s all about watching their every move closely, sparking interest at every touchpoint, and getting them intensely interested in your offer.


1. Send personalized messages


Lead your outreach message with certain behaviors. Using alerts, strike at the right time when your lead is active on the site or news developm. Introduce yourself, make your intentions clear, and, most importantly, ask an unexpected question that’s relevant to their behavior. Unexpected questions give prospects an opportunity to relax from typical sales conversations and just shoot the breeze.

Sample questions: 

  • “I saw you commented on X, can you tell me more about…?”

  • “I heard about X at your company; how are you dealing with…?”

2. Create freakishly relevant content 

A secret of how to increase sales on LinkedIn is to save leads and company pages. Sales Navigator lets you do a little spying to see what your leads are liking and commenting on, and even when their company has raised funding or launched a new product. This helps you create sales pitches, LinkedIn Pulse articles, or content for your feed that matches what’s on the top of their minds, fueling much better engagement than irrelevant topics.

You can also get people to interact with your content by tagging names or company pages and asking questions to prompt a discussion.

3. Participate in groups

Find and join groups that your leads are already in or might join. Advanced search filters allow you to search for leads in a certain group. Use your shared interest to start a conversation. Each time you’re in groups, try to add some original content and comments. You’re also allowed to send messages to members of the groups you’re in, so take advantage to build your network.

Sales prospecting is achievable when you…

  • Master Sales Navigator: If you’re not using most features, it’s probably because you don’t know how. To maximize the tool, take LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator online course.
  • Work on your mindset: To approach decision-makers with confidence, practice different role-play exercises with your team members.
  • Use a lead enrichment tool: Lusha Contacts is a tool that complements your LinkedIn sales prospecting by giving you insights on your leads, building your lists and exporting straight to your CRM. The best part of all? It’s free. Download Lusha’s browser extension here.

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