LinkedIn is the largest and most active B2B social media platform. Let’s go through some different ways you can automate sales prospecting in LinkedIn.
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Why Prospect for B2B Leads in LinkedIn?
Since COVID-19 sent shockwaves through the world economy, professionals have migrated to home offices and have embraced social media as a way to connect remotely.
This has changed the nature of B2B sales prospecting drastically as professionals flooded into the LinkedIn platform.
These are mostly professionals that would have never been on social media, let alone LinkedIn, before the pandemic.
This has nearly doubled engagement rates and created a solid channel to generate warm leads for your business.
In short, LinkedIn has become the premier platform online to find qualified prospects, creating brand awareness, engaging with them/their company, reaching out via direct message, and deliver ads directly in their messages or newsfeed – ultimately closing more sales with a more personal, direct approach.
Ways to Automate LinkedIn Prospecting
This is all well and good, but the truth is: it can be extremely time consuming.
Unless you plan on living in LinkedIn 12 hours per day, scaling a lead generation program is going to be tough.
Obviously, you want to come off genuine and personal, but it also benefits you to scale your approach and fill your profile with your target ideal customers, then mix that with a manual approach.
There’s different levels of automation in LinkedIn, so let’s go over a few different tools and approaches you can take.
These strategies vary from simple to extremely complex, and totally depend on your goals and how much risk you’re willing to take with your automation.
Quick note: Chrome extensions generally are better for single users and need to run in your browser with your computer on. Cloud-based solutions can run in the background and are more scalable for teams (and less maintenance).
Let’s jump into it:
Automate Connection Requests & Profile Views
This is the simplest form of automating LinkedIn lead generation.
It’s more of a brand awareness play that’s best combined with other prospecting channels like email or phone calls.
But, in that context, it has a profound impact on open and reply rates and on brand recognition.
With this method, prospects *feel* like they’ve seen your brand, maybe even like they’ve met you before.
If you’re prospecting in a niche, they’ll see you’re connected with people they know. That means instant credibility.
They will probably check your profile to see if you really get results. This is a huge opportunity for your LinkedIn profile to act as a landing page and invite them in.
I love this method as a quick, painless way to create brand awareness before outreaching via cold email and a phone call subsequently.
Automate Connection Requests & Drip Messaging Sequences After They Connect
Similar to the previous strategy, but with an added layer of complexity and engagement.
While the other strategy simply requests to connect with the prospect with a simple introduction message and views their profile, this strategy continues after the prospect accepts your connection request by sending them a series of drip messages to their inbox.
This can be extremely powerful because, by accepting to connect with you, they’ve assumably seen the value you can provide and are interested in being, well, connected.
Now, you can capitalize on that engagement and interest, by following up with some inquisitive messages seeking to learn more about them, and if maybe they could use the value of your product or service in their business.
It’s worth noting again that in post-COVID B2B social media, engagement rates have skyrocketed and these messages are generally received positively (unless of course they feel like SPAM, which won’t work ANYWHERE).
It has to be relevant, it has to be focused on discovering their pain points, and it has to show that you’re an expert looking to provide value first and foremost.
People love to buy, but hate to be sold to.
Automate Connection Requests, Engage and Schedule Posts, and Send Drip Messages
One of the big advantages of using LinkedIn for B2B sales prospecting is that you build your social network up and your content gets viewed by your audience.
This is something you cannot do effectively with Cold Email or Advertising for example.
This strategy adds a content and engagement element, so your prospects are not only connecting with you, not only getting direct messages from you – but they’re also seeing your though leadership and industry experience via what you post to your LinkedIn profile.
This is another layer to the onion that can greatly improve the chances your prospect will reply to your outreach, and even reach out to you looking for more information!
Using LinkedIn in this deep, multi-faceted way will pay off in the short term, but also the long term. Your posts will get seen by those that “react” and “comment” on them.
This creates a “viral” quality that can snowball over time, creating compound interest in the form of inbound inquiries and referrals.
LinkedIn is the closest thing we have to a perfect B2B social network at the moment of writing this, and it’s possibilities for business opportunities is nearly endless.
Engagement is up, professionals are flocking to it in masses, and the algorithm-powered newsfeed offers ways to engage with B2B professionals that, frankly, have never existed.
The platform has it’s quirks to be sure (thanks Microsoft), but overall it’s a great place to find warm leads that can translate to real bottom line revenue, at scale.
Hopefully these strategies were helpful to you, thanks for your time!
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