LinkedIn is the largest social media platform for professionals and businesspeople. Some of the members are looking for job opportunities, others are trying to grow their network and stay in touch with the latest development in their field of activity. For businesses, LinkedIn is a great place to look for leads, especially for B2B businesses.
Just like any other social media network, LinkedIn now has a separate section for marketing and lead generation: Sales Navigator. Once you upgrade to a Pro account, you get access to the basic version of Sales Navigator, which offers you the opportunity to send direct messages to people outside your network.
How Does LinkedIn Sales Navigator Work?
Just like Facebook™, LinkedIn allows you to refine your audience by various criteria. However, these are mostly professional and business criteria, such as: job title, company name, seniority, etc.
These selection criteria are very useful when you are looking for decision-makers in companies fitting a specific profile. However, before you start sending out messages, here are a few things you must know.
First of all, not all the user profiles you will see accept direct messages from outside their networks. In order to contact others, you will need to send an InMail. Secondly, with the Pro LinkedIn account, you receive credits to send 20 InMails per month.
Thus, you must use your available InMails wisely. Here are some suggestions we prepared for you:
1. Save Every Contacted Lead
LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to create lists in which you can save the leads you have contacted. This is useful from several points of view. Thus, when you perform a new search, you can use the selection criterion “Remove Saved Leads” so that you do not get the same suggestions on two separate searches.
Also, keeping your leads organised in one place helps you track changes they’re making to their profile. Maybe they change the company they are working for. Or maybe they switch to a completely new type of job. Knowing this will help you determine further lead nurturing efforts.
2. Try to Identify Common Business Acquaintances
Next to each lead, you will see how you are connected to them. A 1st degree connection means that you have a common acquaintance. A 2nd degree connection may mean that you’ve worked at the same company (even at different moments in time) or went to the same university).
As far as possible, try to contact leads with whom you have a connection of sorts. This will help you open the conversation and, perhaps, even get a recommendation from the common acquaintance.
3. Go In-Depth with Targeting for High-Value Leads
Just like with Facebook™, the more selection criteria you add, the smaller the list of prospects will be. But if you are looking for high-value leads, you should not be afraid to go as much in-depth as you need.
For instance, you can target companies with +500 employees or operating in specific geographical areas or people with at least 5 years working at the same company and 3 years in the management position you are targeting.
4. Set Alerts for Your Search Criteria
Let’s say that you’ve been searching for logistics managers in the food industry in Australia on LinkedIn Sales Navigator. If you save this search and set an alert, you will receive notifications about new people who got hired as a logistics manager in a food company in Australia. Also, you will be notified when some of the existing people found in the initial search changed their job.
5. Use Your Best Elevator Pitch as an Opening Message
The first message you send a potential lead may be the last one if you cannot capture their attention. According to LinkedIn guidelines, you should keep your direct message under 500 characters. That’s around 2 short paragraphs.
For a keen marketer, that is enough to present a unique selling proposition and make the prospect curious enough to send a reply for more details. Good luck!