LinkedIn now has over 700 million users worldwide. This Microsoft-owned social platform is without a doubt the most effective way for sales teams to connect with buyers and new customers.
LinkedIn has come away from being an ‘online CV.’ Now more people than ever are creating their own content as a way of driving engagement with a wider audience. Within the networks people are aiming to connect with are buyers and potential customers.
As a lead generation platform, it can be used for a lot of good. Or you could end up spamming people and getting nowhere. In this article, we look at how to use LinkedIn for lead generation, especially when combined with the CrankWheel Instant Online Demo solution.
How to use LinkedIn for lead generation?
More people than ever are putting effort into generating content to help them engage with more potential customers and contacts.
Staying quiet, and not publishing anything, isn’t as effective. Especially if you want to get noticed. You can’t do that staying under the radar.
However, as everyone knows who spends time on LinkedIn, there are two ways to create content for this professional social platform. A right way and a wrong way.
Content can end up parodied and mocked for being fake, with several Twitter accounts floating around making fun of the most ridiculous posts seen on LinkedIn. You’ve probably seen examples. Don’t be one of those. It won’t help when it comes to lead generation efforts.
Examples of this include stories of fake conversations with children that happen to answer your prospects pain points, helping hopeless job candidates, paying for people’s coffee or grocery shopping when someone forgets a wallet/purse or means of paying. Content like that doesn’t work. It’s fake, or sounds inauthentic, which is nearly as bad.
Whereas, content that gets the sort of responses people are aiming for:
- Is real. Be authentic on social media;
- Helpful. Add value to your audience;
- Engaging. Show people something new and interesting;
- Visual. Whether a video, or images, visuals are always useful on LinkedIn.
If you don’t have time to create your own content, a marketing team, or external provider can create LinkedIn articles and posts. When it comes to authenticity, even that can be carefully crafted to ensure copy, videos and other materials are aligned with a company’s brand values.
When it comes to publishing posts through individual profiles (which is far more effective than company Pages), sales team members could make quick changes so anything published sounds truly authentic. It’s always a best practice to sound as close as possible online to how you are in the real world. LinkedIn is meant to be an extension and for many people, integral part of their work.
Make the most of LinkedIn for Sales
Beyond publishing great content, there are a few ways you can optimise LinkedIn effectively to make it more useful for sales efforts.
#1: Optimize LinkedIn profiles
As a salesperson, your LinkedIn profile needs to speak to potential customers. It might also be useful, if it’s also partly aligned towards recruiters in the current climate.
In order to make it useful to buyers, it should include the following:
- Explain how you add value in your headline (e.g. I help [company name] customers generate $5 million in savings through outsourced solutions and operational efficiencies)
- Professional bio photos
- Make it easy for people to contact you
- Make good use of keywords
- Provide more details of your experiences (in particular, how you’ve helped similar clients, why you have a good track record)
#2: Get a Sales Navigator subscription
If you aren’t already using this, we recommend it.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a useful sales solution. It’s a subscription product that starts with a 30-day free trial, and $64.99 per month after that. You can send 20 InMail messages per month. Team and Enterprise options are also available. You can cancel any time.
According to LinkedIn, those who use Sales Navigator benefit from:
- 5% Higher Win Rates
- 35% Larger Deal Sizes
- 34% of Opportunities Sourced
- 61% of Revenue Influenced
We have published more articles on this, to help you make the most of it.
#3: Engage with other people’s content
Now you’re publishing content, you need to engage with the content of others, especially potential clients you want to work with.
You can do this while prospecting for leads, and if you’ve already engaged with the content of a prospect then a message isn’t as cold. An online interaction can go a long way towards breaking the ice and using it as a natural way to introduce yourself.
Next, let’s look at the most effective way to convert those inbound leads from LinkedIn.
Use Instant Online Demos for Inbound Leads
Give every lead you engage with on LinkedIn the option, first and foremost of an instant online demo.
With CrankWheel, as one of our glowing reviews points out, a prospect can “join a screenshare with no complicated installs, meeting codes, or other hassles.”
This way, it makes the sales cycle shorter, and therefore ensures sales team members can sell more, making instant demos part of the team culture and processes. Embed it into the KPIs.
Doing a sales call? Think demo or presentation on that same call. If a prospect doesn’t want an online demo, fair enough. Go with what is best for a prospect, but make sure this is offered on every call, thereby increasing the chances of converting more prospects on a single call instead of two or more.
Key Takeaways: How to use LinkedIn
- Optimise your profile
- Publish interesting content and posts
- Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- Engage with other people’s content
- Plug-in Instant Online Demos for inbound leads
And for reference: Now NOT to use LinkedIn
- Poor quality profiles (nothing useful or relevant)
- Not publishing content
- Or publishing fake and inauthentic content
- Spamming people in comments
- Sending generic/spam direct messages.