For anyone in B2B sales or who is interested in B2B lead generation that hasn’t started using LinkedIn, it’s time to get onboard.
When used right, LinkedIn is a powerful selling tool and represents a goldmine of information. LinkedIn can be used to help you identify new prospects, hone in on important organizational information, stay top of mind with customers and prospects, and attract and nurture inbound leads.
Here are 5 simple tips that can help you harness the power of LinkedIn for B2B lead generation.
1. Prospecting with ‘LinkedIn Companies’
To start, select “Companies” from LinkedIn’s ribbon featured near the top of the page. Once “Companies” has been selected, click on the heading marked “Search Companies”. The page in front of you is where you can make research magic happen. On the right hand side of the page you will find criteria categories, including relationship, location, industry, and company to name a few. These categories will allow you to easily create substantial lists of your ideal target prospects. If you want to start with some warm leads, try selecting only first or second degree connections in combination with your selected search criteria.
2. Mining Company Pages
Whether or not you have a CRM (you should), the best way to start with a prospect is to build out a quick company profile. Fortunately, a lot of important information can be pulled right from their LinkedIn company page. In B2B sales, I often find it helpful to collect the official company name, headquarters location, website URL, company size and their provided ‘about’ section. Of course, the information you deem important will vary, but I find that these elements are great pieces of information that can help you better understand the organization.
3. Recent Updates
An active company page featuring news updates and other shared information might be the key to getting your message heard. Looking for trigger events and relevant posts to discuss can help you quickly get your prospects’ attention and create warmer conversations. If you don’t see anything in their activity history, don’t worry. Simply click the “Follow” button located towards the top of the page to have their latest updates come right to your home stream.
4. Post to Stay Top of Mind
It’s easy enough (though time consuming) to reach out to connections that represent a good fit, but are you helping to nurture relationships and stay top-of-mind with LinkedIn updates? For those of you who have read our Persistence in Selling is a Key Success Factor know that sales requires continuous effort and the need to follow up. Sharing content relevant to your offerings and industry is an easy way to stay top of mind with prospects that you’ve connected with but had not been ready to buy. Soon your updates will offer even more power as LinkedIn continues to roll out its new analytic “Who’s Viewed Your Updates?” allowing you to focus your attention to prospects interested in the information you are sharing. Check out LinkedIn’s blog post for more details.
5. Attracting Inbound Leads
Two sources to attracting inbound leads that stand out on LinkedIn are your profile and LinkedIn groups. If you haven’t done so already, build a better LinkedIn profile to generate more inbound leads. Regularly check LinkedIn’s “Who’s viewed Your Profile” option and be sure to follow up with any potential prospects that might have stumbled across your profile but failed to reach out. In order to take advantage of groups for B2B lead generation, utilize group analytics to determine which groups to join based on your ideal prospect criteria. Look for opportunities to interact within the group and add value in order to attract new connections and generate more inbound leads.
B2B lead generation at times can be a challenge. Make B2B lead generation easier for yourself by putting these 5 simple and effective tips to good use. If you’d like to learn more about using LinkedIn and social media for sales, be sure to read our free whitepaper.