How to Leverage LinkedIn to Advance Your Career in Sales Enablement
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Whether you’re looking to break into the sales enablement field or take your career to the next level, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals. But with over 373,000 people on LinkedIn listing sales enablement in their profiles, how can you break through the noise and showcase yourself as an enablement expert?
Ensuring you have a strong profile, building your network of enablement peers, and actively posting and commenting will help you stand out from the crowd. This allows you to build a unique professional brand and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field of enablement.
Plus, it’s just good business etiquette.
“Because of the cross-functional nature of the work, that ability to work with all types of people…and do it in a very effective way — having a warmth and a charm and a graciousness – comes in handy for a lot of these folks that are going to be in front of a room at some point, commanding that room,” said Sharon Little, senior director of GTM enablement at Amplitude.
By leveraging the tips below and spending just a few minutes a day, you’ll quickly be on your way to boosting your visibility as an enablement expert that people are excited to work with.
How to Create a LinkedIn Profile
Your profile is one of the most important tools in your LinkedIn toolbelt. LinkedIn provides a wide variety of profile elements to showcase your expertise, experience, and passions. Make sure your profile feels robust and complete, using as many elements as are relevant to your experience. The must-have elements of every LinkedIn profile are: Headline, About, Featured, Background, Endorsements & Recommendations, and Accomplishments.
Headline and About
The headline is what people will see when searching for you or hovering over your picture on LinkedIn. This should be impactful and focused on the current goals you are trying to achieve. If you’re looking for a new role, it should showcase the impact you’ve driven in past roles and key accomplishments.
Include keywords that are relevant to sales enablement to help you appear in more searches. Using action verbs such as ‘Impacting’, ‘Helping’, ‘Generating’, or ‘Driving’ will lend toward demonstrating value you’ve provided in the past and continue to strive for in your current role. You can also highlight 1-2 key accomplishments or awards you’ve earned. Keep in mind that this should be a brief summary, so aim to keep this under 120 characters.
A few great examples:
- Christopher Kingman’s LinkedIn headline says: Enablement Trailblazer | Founding Member at Sales Enablement Soc. | International Strategy and Enablement @ TransUnion
- Devon McDermott from Persado uses: VP of Enablement | Engineering scalable employee effectiveness for client facing workforces
- Glenn Clark of Smartsheet has: Enablement Leader that builds exceptional delivery teams & develops scalable learning programs that impact sales.
The About section is your opportunity to add color and highlight what matters most to you in a more narrative format. Typically, this section should be kept short, with the sweet spot being between 2-5 paragraphs. Focus on explaining not only who you are and a few of the key highlights of your career, but also the resources you can provide to organizations looking to hire you. Make use of formatting and bullets to be concise.
This section comes immediately after your About and before your Background section. This is where you should highlight your best work examples. Think blog posts you’ve authored, times you’ve been a guest on a podcast, or videos of speaking engagements. Again, conciseness is key. Stick to no more than your five greatest hits, remembering that only three fit on screen when viewing on a desktop.
Here, it’s important to think beyond a simple copy/paste of your resume. While you want to make sure your work experience is complete and accurate, the descriptions of your roles should not focus on job descriptions or buzzwords. Instead, focus on showing how you added value in that role and what you accomplished for the business.
Each job you list also has the opportunity to highlight your portfolio of work and your licenses and certifications earned. Utilize the media functionality in each job to showcase your work, awards, bylines, and other accomplishments. If you are new in a role, consider showcasing information about the company, like videos from your company’s YouTube page.
Endorsements & Recommendations
In this section, quality is the priority. According to Daniel Disney, founder and owner of The Daily Sales, endorsements on skills can often ring hollow, as they can come from people that have not actually worked closely with you at some point.
“For a lot of us, the people that endorse you have never met you in your life and they know nothing about you, and most people know that,” said Disney. “People don’t look at this and go ‘he’s got 99+ endorsements on social selling so I’m going to buy from him.’ It doesn’t quite work like that.”
That being said, if this section is completely blank, that also causes skepticism, so focus on striking a healthy balance between quantity and quality. If you are early in your career, consider taking the Skills tests to showcase competencies.
At any point in your career, it is wise to ask for recommendations from a select few colleagues you respect. If you give them specific skills or traits to touch on in their recommendations, you are more likely to receive rich, valuable recommendations. Just be sure to return the favor and recommend colleagues you genuinely would be proud to refer for roles and would be interested in working with again.
Especially if you are looking for a new role, leverage this section to list all courses and certifications applicable to the sales enablement function – such as your Sales Enablement PRO certification. If you have published works, list those here as well.
This is also a great section for compelling projects that don’t fit neatly in a specific role. Perhaps you’ve done side projects or are early in your career and have some academic projects you are proud of. This is where those would live.
Now that your profile is in top-notch shape, you’re ready to make sure it’s visible to the world. Take a few moments to check the following settings:
- Show recruiters you are open to job opportunities, if applicable
- Set preferences for profile visibility both on and off LinkedIn. You can find this setting by clicking on ‘Me’ in the top right corner of the LinkedIn navigation bar. To ensure you are fully visible, select ‘Settings & Privacy’ under Account in the drop-down menu. A new tab will open. Scroll down to ‘Profile visibility off LinkedIn’ and click ‘Yes’.
- On the ‘Settings & Privacy’ page you can also manage who can discover your profile from your email address or phone number as well as other visibility settings.
Make sure all of these settings are as open as you feel comfortable with to ensure maximum accessibility of your profile.
Building Your Network
If you are new to the field of enablement, you may not have many contacts yet. LinkedIn can be a great place to start building your network, especially while so many events are being held virtually. Begin by following experts in the industry – not connecting with them. If you’re unsure of who to follow, consider the experts who have contributed to content here on Sales Enablement PRO.
Once you’ve followed several folks (5-10 is a good starting point), watch for new posts from them. Comment on their updates and share content with your network that you find relevant and interesting. As with all online networking, be sure to keep these engagements natural. If you wouldn’t interact with them that way at a cocktail party or conference, pause before you post. Basically, make sure you’re not coming off as creepy and commenting on everything an individual person posts. The golden rule: only comment on posts you genuinely are interested in or where you have value to add.
At all levels of your career, connect with other members you know or have done work with. A strong way to filter your LinkedIn connections is to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I feel positive about my relationship with this person?
- If someone asked me for an introduction, would I feel comfortable reaching out to this person?
- If they asked me for help, would I be excited to help them?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you may want to pass on that connection or consider what you can do to change that answer to a yes. For example, maybe you need to get to know the person better through a virtual coffee chat or happy hour.
One of the best ways to elevate your presence on LinkedIn is to consistently post new content on your feed. Share content from sales enablement resources you love, the industry your organization is in, as well as a healthy balance of personal content.
Make sure that the content you are sharing always contains a value-add from your perspective and expertise. For example, include your opinion on the article or an insight you found helpful from the content. That bit of personal commentary helps to humanize you. While you should always keep it work-appropriate, sharing family photos, travel, or other hobbies helps people relate and connect with you.
If you’re unsure how much to share, start with 1-3 pieces of new content every week and increase as you get comfortable with the process. As an easy way to start, if you find this useful, hit the LinkedIn share button at the top left of this article.
Next, make sure you are interacting with the posts from your peers. React to posts with the ‘like’, ‘celebrate’, ‘insightful’ and ‘curious’ buttons as appropriate, and comment with value-adding questions or insights you learned from their content. This type of engagement helps you to build credibility among your peers and helps others gain more reach for their content.
Lastly, share posts from other people on LinkedIn, such as peers or industry experts. When you share, it tells the LinkedIn algorithm that you find value in such content, thus helping to increase its reach.
Overall, knowing how to properly leverage your LinkedIn account has cascading benefits. While it is a proven tool for finding your next role, it also helps you increase your personal brand and broaden your professional network.
Beyond the personal benefits, it also helps you deliver more value for your organization in your current role in enablement. As social selling becomes more and more ubiquitous in a more digital world, it’s critical for your sales teams to fully understand the LinkedIn platform and what drives meaningful connections. With expertise in how to harness the full potential of LinkedIn, you can not only elevate yourself, but also your role as a sales enablement professional.