How SMEs can leverage LinkedIn to grow their business

LinkedIn is one of the world's largest social network with over 470 million users globally. While most use LinkedIn to manage their professional profile on the web, SMEs have made the most valuable use of the professional network. Today, LinkedIn is considered to be amongst the top platforms for B2B lead generation globally. 

The sales-cycle is usually longer for B2B businesses. This happens because there are multiple decision makers involved in the process of onboarding a new vendor/partner.  The most powerful way for B2B businesses to increase sales while reducing the overall cost of selling is to build powerfully engaged customer communities. Building customer communities provides deeper insights into what customers find valuable. 

The three stages to building an engaged customer community! 

Clearly define who your customer is and search : 

For a software development company the customer is the CIO/ CTO/ CMO/ CEO. Remember, business happens between people. Your customer is another person and hence you must clearly define who it is? 

The second level to defining your customer is his/her geographical location. Now imagine if within seconds you were to discover your customers in the locations/ companies you find most relevant! 

Once you define your customer clearly, use 'LinkedIn Search'. The powerful LinkedIn Search shows results categorized into people, companies and jobs. Choose 'people' from the options and enter the location where you think most of your customers will be. LinkedIn will show the people working in various organisations who are your target audience. 

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