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Ray Makela

By: Ray Makela on November 3rd, 2014

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How To Use LinkedIn For Sales Prospecting

Sales Process | Call Planning


I often discuss the value of LinkedIn as a way of mapping and researching new areas of the account, and I continue to hear a common theme from many of our participants: 

“I connect with people when I think of it, but I really should do more,” or

yeah, I connect but then I’m not sure how to use this resource in my account management program.

I conducted a quick survey of my LinkedIn connections within a few target accounts. My research suggested that the average contact within a sample account had about 350 connections.

By connecting with one of these contacts, you now become part of their extended network and can use your rapport building skills to get one connection closer to your ultimate prospect.

What’s even more intriguing is that the largest grouping of connections that the Decision Makers had were contacts within their current company (20-40% in my small sample size, depending on size of account and how long they have been there).

So, assuming 20% of a prospect’s connections are within their current company – that means that each new connection nets you 70+ second-level connections within the account.

The value of LinkedIn is in the Second Level Connection. These are connections that you can now “see,” and potentially access through a phone call, email or LinkedIn message.

These new contacts may become your coach, decision maker or influencer on your next deal.

When you’re mapping an account trying to understand who the players are, what their level of influence is and who might be able to give us an introduction, you can no longer afford to overlook LinkedIn account management as a strategic tool for your program.


Sales Training Research Report by Sales Readiness Group

About Ray Makela

Ray Makela is the General Manager of the Sales Readiness Group, A Part of SBI. He oversees all client engagements as well as serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation, and sales training workshops. Ray has over 20 years of management, consulting, and sales experience and writes frequently on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams.