The best sales leaders I know come with an arsenal of tools, best practices, and trade secrets. LinkedIn has become an essential first step in business development.

Used well, LinkedIn serves as your advance team, telling your sales story before people even meet you. Each section of your profile—from the headline to the graphics to the Experience section and more—offers an opportunity to showcase your strengths and your services and solutions. It is literally a 24/7, customized promotion, and it’s free.

Here’s how the top sales leaders are using their profiles to maximize the LinkedIn opportunity:

  • Incorporate relevant keywords into your headline so people immediately know they are in the right place. Use the 220 characters to tell prospects about the problems you solve and who you solve them for.
  • After you have a sharp and welcoming profile photo, focus on the header graphic (the image at the top of your profile, behind your photo). Feature your product or customers in a way that tells your story. Or, highlight your expertise with a photo of yourself speaking at an event or interacting at an exhibition booth.
  • In your About section, write directly to prospects and describe the problem you solve and how you solve it. Share stories of success, spotlighting customers and their results. This is also a great space to build trust by talking about what matters to you and what motivates you (and your team).
  • In the Featured section, link to recent articles about your solution and your company. Keep it current with case studies, videos, slide decks, and podcasts.
  • As you describe each of your jobs in the Experience section, dive into the details of your services and solutions. Don’t just post a job description here—use the space to highlight accomplishments and the experience and what you learned as you worked your way up the ladder.
  • And always embed keywords throughout your profile, so you rank higher in searches and are more findable.
Business Development checklist

What does an excellent profile of a CRO or VP of Sales look like?


Lani Phillips’s profile is a spectacular example of a leader with a powerful vision. Her profile and header graphic present a powerful backdrop for her comprehensive headline. Her About section speaks to her work experience and current role as a VP of sales with Microsoft and highlights industry accomplishments and personal philosophy. Her Featured and Experience sections work in tandem to further drive her aforementioned points, and her listed Publications, Honors, and Awards are a testament to her success.

Sherlaender Phillips VP of Sales Microsoft

John Scott’s profile documents his steady and consistent rise to become a VP of sales at IBM, demonstrating how to showcase growth from role to role. He goes into great detail in his About section, which is cleverly broken into categories that mention particular accomplishments. John thoughtfully curates articles in his Featured section to illuminate recent company news, and he solidifies his position as a knowledgeable leader with his impressive list of Licenses & Certifications.

John Scott VP of Sales IBM

Want to talk about making LinkedIn work for you?