Microsoft has made a powerful play in entering into the social space with the purchase of LinkedIn on Monday for over $26 billion. There’s a lot of buzz at PeopleLinx this week over the news and while we’re all probably wondering what this means for the future of social selling, I thought I’d share some of our thoughts on this historical acquisition.

LinkedIn, More Than Just Another Social Network

It’s important to understand that LinkedIn is more than just another social network. It’s a database of professionals, 450+ million strong, housing loads of information that can empower your business. Microsoft understands this and the possibilities it holds for the future of B2B enterprise. Firms who have been slow to embrace social as part of their workflow will have to adapt.

Enterprise Sales Will Change

More specifically, sales organizations will have to adapt. Powerful integrations between LinkedIn and various Microsoft products will have the potential to change the enterprise sales process and drive social selling. To name a few possible game-changers: Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Outlook mail and calendar, and even Cortana can all play a huge role when coupled with LinkedIn. Whether you’re in your CRM, checking your email, or talking to your virtual assistant, you’ll be fed vital information about a prospect, like where he/she worked in the past or your shared connections, right before your meeting that’s on your calendar. But what do you do with this information? What are the best practices? How do you ensure that the best practices will be implemented?

New Mindsets and Behaviors Are Needed

Even with all of the powerful integrations to come into play with this acquisition, true social selling is about new mindsets and behaviors, reinforced over time and integrated into daily habits. That requires training. But sales training is a challenge, especially in large organizations. Scattered teams and old habits make it difficult to get everyone to adopt new programs. There’s a better way. With the right blend of technology and guided best practices, salespeople learn the right behaviors over time and start to see real business results, thus making it second-nature to embrace new technologies.

Carpe diem. Get started today on unlocking LinkedIn for sales through training and individualized guidance. Learn how guided selling can transform your organization by requesting a free demo.