When Microsoft announced the purchase of LinkedIn, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent a letter to his employees explaining the move. As Nadella says, LinkedIn has a fantastic business model centered around connecting professionals. In fact, LinkedIn has more than 433 million users worldwide who use LinkedIn to network, find jobs and reconnect with colleagues.
Social networks are a critical part of marketing, nurturing and sales. Only a small percentage of companies are using them to their fullest potential with targeted engagement. That leaves a big opportunity for you. One that is about to get bigger and more powerful as Microsoft and LinkedIn join forces.
There are a lot of ways that this move is going to disrupt the way we do business. Here are 5 reasons Microsoft purchasing LinkedIn matters to you in marketing and sales:
- Connecting LinkedIn directly to a powerful CRM. As Gene Marks points out in Forbes, one of the biggest game changers to emerge from this is that LinkedIn user data will be available to Microsoft Dynamics CRM users.
- More information about sales prospects. Wall Street Journal’s recent article points out that the move helps sales reps mine useful bits of information from LinkedIn if they’re using Microsoft Dynamics to manage customer relationships.
- Microsoft said so. CEO Nadella spells this out in his letter to employees, saying, “In essence, we can reinvent ways to make professionals more productive while at the same time reinventing selling, marketing and talent management business processes.” With the capabilities of both companies, there is little doubt that they will achieve that.
- More interconnectedness and collaboration. Connecting Microsoft Office directly to LinkedIn is going to drive a new level of interconnectedness and collaboration opportunities. One way, according to the Wall Street Journal is that it will give meeting attendees an opportunity to learn more about one another just from the invitations on their calendars.
- Expert recommendations. Microsoft has long tried to help its users master their projects (remember the little paperclip guy?). Business Insider points to statements from both sides that explain there will be an ability for Microsoft to serve up suggestions for a specialized expert who will be able to help you with your current project. The implications for sales here is that you could easily position yourself to be that recommendation.
LinkedIn is undoubtedly about to become a more dominant force in the professional space. And you want to be well represented professionally in your profile and through your engagement.
If you’re in sales or marketing, your profile should highlight you in your best light, with the professional message you want people to take away about you. Businesses will want to be clear about their value proposition, including your differentiation. As Microsoft harnesses the big data inside LinkedIn, this could mean even more opportunities for your business to be discovered.
If you haven’t spent time polishing up your LinkedIn presence lately – or worse – if you aren’t using LinkedIn at all – now is the time. With all of these potential changes, LinkedIn is going to become an even more essential part of the sales and marketing process – and you need to get ahead of the pack and start standing out. You want your differentiation to be clear and fully represented.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking about exactly how to make your profile stand apart from the pack with a cohesive message that gets results, and give you tips on how to make your profile go to work for you. If you want to strengthen your personal or company LinkedIn message sooner, let me know. We can help.