LinkedIn’s core proposition remains get found and get recruited. Keep your CV up to date on LinkedIn. Make it look pretty. Recruiters find you. Job offers come. That’s essentially their proposition. If that’s the case, LinkedIn surely is the most up to date database on the planet for accurate contact information about prospects. How do we tap that rich, up to date database to generate great B2B leads through LinkedIn?
Today, we’re going to look at LinkedIn’s lead builder. Along the way, we’ll look at InMails and connections and the pros and cons of each. We’ll look at integrations with Salesforce and we’ll conclude by looking at using the right tool for the right job.
The first question we need to ask is whose contact details do we want. That leads us to look at a couple of things. What problem do you solve and who most has that problem. These are big strategic questions that I’ve talked quite a lot about on the shows.
Once we’re clear on the kind of business and the role within the business that we should be targeting, we need also to look at one other thing. That is the ideal client profile, what does a good prospect look like, how big are they, how fast are they growing, how are they structured, anything else that distinguishes a really good prospect from a not so good prospect for your business. Let’s get really clear first about who we’re targeting.
The second question we have to look at is inbound or outbound. Now, what’s being made of the power of inbound marketing? I’ve blogged on some of these topics recently but this big question is how many of our leads do we want to come inbound and how many of our leads do we want to begin the journey with a contact we will initiate because we’re beginning with the right prospect rather than one that’s perhaps the wrong prospect but it’s showing some activity. That’s a big strategic question.
We begin with a tool called Lead Builder. We’re going to advance. That begins the Lead Builder process. Certainly we can use keywords but I’m quite clear about the roles that I want. Let’s start with seniority on VP, CXOs, managers and let’s get directors as well. I’m opening marketing. Clearly I’m interested here in align.me’s interests. You’ll put your own profiles in. I want them in larger firms for this particular campaign. Let’s go a thousand and above.
I’ve got size. I’ve got the function of the person and I’ve got the seniority level. If I’ll look at those results, I’ve got so many but for this campaign, I only want to target a single geography. Let’s go. I want them somewhere near … I’ll be parochial and go Australia, any results we have for them. That’s a little too broad. I want to now narrow it down by industry as well. Let’s take industries. I’m going to go through all of the industries that I offer and select only those industries that I’m interested in.
This one here, the interface I’m showing here is fairly limited. Let me show you why I normally do it and I’ll do that by bringing up a saved search. Here’s one I prepared earlier moment. I’ve actually added to this one a very large number of industries but not every industry. It’s about one in 10 of the industries that are offered.
Now, I can search for that particular group and here’s my list. I’m down to a much more manageable number. I’ve still got 358 great prospects of the right seniority. Now, I’m already connected with a good number of them but most certainly not connected with all of them. LinkedIn’s going to rank this by the proximity to me. I have the possibility I’m connected to them.
These are also first level connections. Now, we’ve got our first, second level connections. Clearly, these people I’m not connected with but could well be but for one connection. There we have 358 names that meet the profile within the geography, right seniority, right role and right geography.
I’ve got all these great names but what now? Am I going to connect with all of them? They’re strangers. We should be connecting with people that we actually know. Am I going to send them an InMail that is LinkedIn’s version of e-mail? We’re only allowed 15 InMails a month. Frankly again, InMails are relatively cold. LinkedIn is not a great batch and blast, cold calling tool for volume. How actually should I be using all of these great names?
I can use a tool like SalesLoft and I can scrape all of these names or at least 300 a month of these names into my Salesforce.com integration. It sounds like a great idea but again, these names are just cold names. For sure they’ve been researched a little but really, they’ve just been filtered. The sort of filters that I’ve just gone through, you can get with any list building solution. You go to a good list provider and they’ll offer you those same filters. Frankly, what have I really got that I couldn’t get for about a $1.90 from the list vendor?
We need to use the right tool for the right job or horses for courses. I’m going to show you now how I believe we should be using LinkedIn. My core conclusions today is social for social, not for spam. Reach out selectively. Of those targets or those leads that you found, who do you most want to target? When you answer that question, research them carefully, thoroughly and be social. Use search and other inbound methods for your volume.
Next recommendation will be to prioritize new movers. Now, I post a point just a second ago that we should be selectively reaching out. The question invited from that is reaching out to whom? How do I select who’s on, who’s off? I’ll recommend prioritizing new movers. Anybody who’s new to a role wants to make a difference and frankly, they’ve probably been hired to make a difference. The new broom is a great contact. Focus on people who just moved into the role.
Connect with your genuine connections. Only connect with people that you know but the flip of that is connect with everybody you know. If you know them, you should be connected with them on LinkedIn because when they move, you get great alerts from LinkedIn to say that they’ve moved and you can reach out very personally because you know the person, wish them well on the new role and discuss how you can help them get traction in that new role.
Share relevant content as posts on LinkedIn so that all of your connections see you’re making a genuine difference and leading the dialogue or in the topic that you’re an expert in. Respond also to posts of your connections. Keep an eye on your timeline. If any of your connections, remember you’ve only connected with people that you know, but if any of those people offered posts and it’s relevant and in an area that you have expertise, comment even if it’s just to encourage them, congratulate them or maybe offer a point of difference.
Finally, as I’ve already alluded to, track the movements. Anybody that you’ve connected with, build a relationship with, when they move, you should move with them. That’s it. Actually, kind of I’ve got in the habit of late of doing a tool tip and I have got a great tool tip for you now.
This week’s tool tip is LinkedIn. That’s what we’ve just been talking about and it is a great tool not for spamming but for research. The person who you’ve identified and you do want to reach out and make contact with, whether they’re brand new to you or already known to you, you can do some fantastic research. How long have they been in the role? How long were they in their prior role and what was it? Who is their predecessor in this role and how long did they last? Where did they move on to? Who else is in the same company?
All this information can give you great insights to find out some hints, some sense of the presence of the problem that you solve that are in anybody else and that’s what you should be talking about but do your homework first. My tool tip is LinkedIn as a powerful research tool.
As you know, Funnel Plan is a great way to get sales and marketing to agree and capture the objectives, strategy, velocity and tactics that they’re going to use together to earn the right to serve new businesses. Clearly, we’re talking about the very beginning of the buyer’s journey, finding your name. That’s right down here. We already have LinkedIn Lead Builder as a tactic.
Only problem is that the LinkedIn Lead Builder goes nowhere. Anybody reading this Funnel Plan wouldn’t quite know what we’re going to do with LinkedIn Lead Builder, where it sits in the context of other tactics. We also agreed to add LinkedIn as a research tool. We’re going to make some very small changes in the Funnel Plan now.
Let’s go into tactics and the first thing we’re going to do is to add using LinkedIn’s research. We’re going to use LinkedIn to research the likely problem for each … Next thing we’re going to do is to add a connection to that new research tactic that we’re going to make a minor change from the LinkedIn Lead Builder. Firstly, let’s add a connection in. We have LinkedIn Lead Builder to cleanse and dedupe. We’re going to add in another connection and cleanse and dedupe to use LinkedIn to research.
Finally, we’re going to modify a connection because you may remember that there’s a connection going from cleanse and dedupe through to the next stage in the buyer’s journey. We now want to go from the LinkedIn research, to that same tactic. Here we go, we got cleanse and dedupe goes to enjoin the gatekeeper. We now want to go from use LinkedIn to enjoin the gatekeeper, small change. Let’s then toggle over the PDF and how that presents.