FAO the sales team: LinkedIn lead generation and relationship management
As a sales professional, you’ll undoubtedly be connected to your immediate network on LinkedIn, and that’s great! It’s a cool social network for professionals…but you’re missing out if that’s all you’re using it for. Ever generated a lead on LinkedIn for example?
It’s is not enough to simply fill out your company’s details, briefly highlight your merits, then sit back and expect leads to come flooding in.
If you’re struggling to get to grips with how LinkedIn should be used to generate sales leads and improve industry relationships. To get started, consider these 5 things:
1. FIRST IMPRESSION
First impressions count just as much online as in person. Think about it: your profile photo, description and headline are the first things that people who aren’t connected with you will see. Would you get involved with somebody if you didn’t know what they looked like or were about?
“But I don’t care about my profile, especially not my photo.” – You might not care about your pic, but it’s important for a prospect that they connect with a professional product and services consultant. As for your description
2. GET RECOMMENDED
Even more important than proving your professionalism, is demonstrating that you’re someone worth doing business with, who delivers results. How to do it? Make use of the contacts you already have a well-established relationship with. If they’re on LinkedIn, ask them to recommend you on a project you worked on, or a role you were or still are in. This boosts your credibility, trustworthiness and, ultimately, lead generation.
Top Tip: Ask direct questions like: “Did I fulfill your expectations?”, “would you recommend me to a future employer?” and “how was I to work with?” – the optimum number is around 15 recommendations.
3. TARGET PERSONAS
Why should you consider LinkedIn for lead generation though? Is it really any better than your CRM database? As a living, breathing database of contacts, LinkedIn lets you search by keying in specific locations, industry sectors or companies you are looking for, you can identify active users within your relevant target market. Seek out contacts that are connected 2 steps and even 3 steps away from you,
Remember that LinkedIn is a social network not an advert. Everyone likes a good stalk of another person’s page but don’t be passive – instead involve yourself in what’s going on around you. If someone has checked out your page it won’t hurt to be friendly and fire off a message to get the relationship started. Equally get yourself out there by posting useful and insightful content, which both asks and answers the right questions. In Tracepoint’s own experience, one person posting and interacting once a day for a month, boosted site social traffic by 84%, and contributed three qualified leads via social media.
Top Tip: Your LinkedIn mantra should be write how you’d speak and check in twice a week.
5. USE YOUR OWN DATA
Now that you’ve polished your profile, secured some recommendations, identified some key buyer personas and engaged with your network. By now you’ll hopefully have a healthy number of contacts populating your LinkedIn little black book. But the job is not yet done. A useful way to harness the combined power of these connections is to segment your contacts by tagging them in to categories if you have a basic account or if you are a premium member, in you can separate LinkedIn contacts in to folders with Profile Organizer. This can be via their job title, industry, or position in the sales funnel. You could even divide them up by the events you met them through or hobbies you have in common.
Through this process you can send targeted messages to your segmented lists, answering a business need with a smart piece of content ‘thought would be useful’ or a new event ‘that will open them up to a variety of enabling software/solutions’. Think of LinkedIn list segmentation and messages as another string to your bow of B2B sales lead generation tactics.
Discover how to boost sales leads using LinkedIn and other mediums by downloading Tracepoint’s B2B ebook: Lead generation lessons from 4,000 businesses.
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As a sales or marketing professional, if you’re not currently generating leads using LinkedIn, but would like more tips, register here for a free webinar (15:00 21 November 2013) add ‘free download’ in the comment pane to get an exclusive ‘profile perfecting worksheet download’ direct to your inbox ahead of the class.