LinkedIn lead generation attracts potential prospects by growing interest in and awareness of your business. But generating sales-ready leads from LinkedIn is a slightly different kettle of fish. It involves finding leads with a high likelihood of becoming sales qualified: that is, those who might actually be ready to buy your offering.
When creating sales leads from LinkedIn, you’re essentially looking to find marketing qualified leads (MQLs) that also display decent buying intent signals. While there are many ways to generate leads from Linkedin, it takes different techniques to find quality sales leads, stat. To help, we’ve put together this guide to LinkedIn sales leads that will boost your pipeline this very quarter.
LinkedIn sales lead generation strategies
There are two parts to an effective sales lead strategy:
- Ways to generate sales leads right now
- Processes that will continue generating sales-ready leads in a consistent and scalable way, to benefit your company long term.
Generating sales leads now
Generating sales leads now requires finding ways to capitalize on ‘low-hanging fruit’. This involves re-engaging previous leads, tapping your existing network, or identifying potential leads that are already solution aware.
Essentially, you’re attempting to find users that have already made their way somewhat through the buyer’s journey. These leads require less education as they’re already aware of their pain points and some of the potential solutions that could solve them. They’re actively thinking about implementing a new product within their business. That could be because they’ve already used a competitor, or because their role means they have a good working knowledge of the industry. Either way, it means these leads are the ones most likely to convert in weeks to months, rather than months to years.
The Buyer’s Journey:
Generating sales leads consistently
Unfortunately, you can’t rely on low-hanging fruit forever and still benefit from a sustainable LinkedIn strategy. Instead, you need to find ways to boost the number of leads coming to every stage of your lead generation funnel. Then, you can capitalize on the ones further along their journey and turn these warm leads into sales.
Once you’ve used our short-term strategies to get an initial boost to your pipeline, it’s time to take a step back. You’ll need to come up with a strategy to engage and nurture passive leads in the background until they’re sales-ready. These marketing and social selling tactics will ensure you’re always generating a healthy percentage of sales-ready leads to fill your pipeline.
The Buyer’s Journey:
Generating sales leads in the short-term
Go after the low-hanging fruit first:
Generate LinkedIn sales leads from closed-lost deals or forgotten prospects
The easiest way to generate sales leads from LinkedIn is to reconnect with prospects you’ve previously lost. Using Salesflow integrations, it’s possible to sync lead lists from your CRM to LinkedIn campaigns. This makes it possible to compile lists of users that have been involved in previous deals or engaged positively with your company.
You can either approach these users directly with an outreach campaign, or add them to a LinkedIn Sales Navigator lead list to track job changes, announcements, and company updates. This enables you to approach warmer leads who already know about your company. Any direct outreach message has a higher chance of leading to conversion since you’re able to speak to specific company needs and preferences. Plus, the prospect already knows and somewhat trusts you.
Create sales leads from your existing network
Similar to going after previous leads, this method works because these users are already much closer to being customers. you’re just not currently making the most of them. Doing the following steps can help you reveal their potential as prospects for your company:
- Create a LinkedIn post that directly draws attention to your company’s product or service.
If you’re not already regularly posting on LinkedIn, people in your network might have forgotten what you can offer them. Alternatively, those that weren’t in a buying window before might now be in the market for a new solution.
In your post, remind users of the pain points you can help them address and the services you offer. If people don’t know about you and your company, they can’t buy from you – even if they’re sitting right there in your LinkedIn chat options.
- Look through your list of first-degree connections and identify those that could be relevant leads for your business.
Follow them and their company, then add those that you haven’t checked in with for a while to a lead nurturing campaign.
Automated Salesflow existing network campaigns remove the effort of consistently keeping up with your network – helping to create new leads and move them through the buyer’s journey.
Find sales leads using mutual connections
Finally, look to your existing network for help getting the word out about your company and services. Ask mutual connections you know well to share your posts with their wider audience. Make educational posts referencing your service or product and ask influential connections to share them. And ask for referrals or introductions to mutual connections if they think you’d be a good fit for someone in their network.
For a less direct approach, or if you don’t have a strong enough connection with your LinkedIn network, you can also run connection request campaigns specifically to 2nd-degree LinkedIn members using Salesfow. These campaigns can pull out lists of leads with whom you share a mutual connection, increasing the chances of a warm response and ultimately a conversion.
Then, attract new leads that are sales-ready:
Focus on upcoming events or trigger points
If it’s nearing the end of the quarter, post about time-bound discounts or how your service can help sales reps close those desperately needed last-minute deals. If your product helps increase operational efficiency, lean into the stress and pain of constantly running slow and behind target at crunch times like the holidays. And if you want companies with big budgets who are more likely to be thinking about adding new solutions, focus marketing efforts such as targeted ads on companies that have seen recent growth or funding. You can identify growing companies with Sales Navigator advanced filters. For funding announcements, use data from Crunchbase.
Join and post in groups that are likely to include sales-ready leads.
You need to target solution-aware users that have already educated themselves partly and moved down the lead funnel. To do so, try and find groups with innovative members that are likely to adopt new B2B solutions. These will vary depending on what service you offer, but examples could include groups on topics such as marketing technology, sales efficiency, or operational strategy.
Once you’ve found these groups, you can warm up these leads by posting regular thought leadership content for them to see. Alternatively, you can take these sales leads and add them to a Salesflow Groups and Events campaign to see if any convert into prospects and then pipeline deals.
If you find a group and strategy that works, continue using it to warm up, nurture and convert pools of ideal prospects.
Generate sales leads using LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Savvy use of Sales Navigator advanced filters can help you pin down audiences that are ready to buy. By searching out leads that have posted content with certain keywords or are members of certain groups, you can find leads that are in the market for a solution or with strong enough pain points that they’ll enter further along the buying cycle. See our guide to LinkedIn Sales Navigator to learn more.
Outbound LinkedIn lead generation
Of course, the quickest way to proactively generate sales leads is through direct outreach. See our guides to LinkedIn outreach strategies and outreach templates for the low down on everything you need to know, including best practices for using automation, crafting opening hooks, and choosing a campaign type.
Long-term sales lead generation
Generating sales-ready leads consistently requires some planning and strategic thinking. You should think of it as more of a marketing effort – or of a combined effort between sales and marketing.
Ultimately, it comes down to creating an effective lead nurturing process. You should aim to capture a lead’s initial attention and then slowly and consistently engage them with more of your brand, until they grow in awareness and come to see you as an industry authority. This moves them down the lead funnel so you have a steady stream of sales-ready prospects.
Ways to generate leads in the long term:
Establish a presence on LinkedIn by regularly posting content
The trick to attracting sales-ready leads is in what you post. Aim to educate leads on industry problems using how-to guides and thought leadership. Note trends in your sector and gesture to how the industry is moving towards a need for your product offering.
Keep it educational rather than directly selling, but make it easy for interested users to take the next step. Whether that’s downloading a full report or DM-ing you for guidance, don’t expect leads to come running all at once. However, if you keep up the consistency, you’ll begin to notice a steady trickle of interest once your social posting strategy begins to take off.
Build out your company page and brand
Another way to consistently attract leads is to make sure they can find you. By filling out your individual and company LinkedIn page in full, you increase your chances of appearing in the search results of other LinkedIn users. This is especially true if you include industry-relevant keywords in your headline and summary for users who are actively searching for services.
The trick is to go for broad enough keywords that you attract enough leads, while getting specific enough that the leads you attract will have an interest in your offering. It’s not rocket science and you shouldn’t overthink it: a good exercise is to imagine you’re an executive looking for similar services. What terms might you search for, and what would you be looking to know? Make sure this information is included in succinct terms at the beginning of your profile summary. For more tips and tricks, see our post on optimizing your LinkedIn profile, plus our collection of LinkedIn summary examples.
Getting more specific
Methods for attracting and nurturing leads can sometimes lead to results that are too broad. You might find you end up with lots of leads that aren’t sales qualified or have to spend lots of time manually searching through lead lists to find the most promising prospects.
If this is the case, there are some advanced strategies you can use to generate more sales-ready leads from LinkedIn. These include:
Use your LinkedIn profile as a lead funnel
The chances are, anyone who’s looking at your profile is more than a little bit interested in what you have to offer. By using the featured section of your profile to highlight gated content or a product landing page, you can attract these leads further into the buying process and gain their contact details for future nurturing campaigns. As leads that are clicking through to product information are likely to be investigating solution options, you can be confident your time won’t be wasted reaching out to them.
Learn how to create a lead funnel from your LinkedIn profile with our blog.
Create LinkedIn Events
Creating a LinkedIn event that focuses on topics of interest to users at the comparison stage of the buying funnel can help you identify a list of leads that are problem aware and ready to evaluate solutions.
By adding a call to action to the event – for example, a link to a gated download or to book a demo – you can create a list of interested sales leads with high chances of converting. Alternatively, you can run a Salesflow Groups and Events outreach campaign to all the event attendees, knowing they’re in the right frame of mind to engage with providers.
Target the customers of competitors with LinkedIn ads
Any leads that come from competitor takeout campaigns are more likely to be sales-ready since they’re already using a similar solution. If they’re dissatisfied with elements of their existing product, it’ll be easier to convince them to swap out an existing solution for yours than it would be to engage, educate and convert a lead who knows nothing about your offering.
Using publicly available reviews, testimonials, and case studies, you can create a list of companies that are likely to use a competitor’s solutions. Then, you can run LinkedIn ad campaigns for these businesses focussing on how your solution can uniquely solve their pain points.
There are several different types of LinkedIn ads available. Since your aim is to identify leads at the bottom of the funnel, we’d recommend using ones with a lead generation form. It’ll help you focus your attention on the leads most serious about switching.
Working with leads that aren’t ready
Not all the leads you capture will be ready to buy, and that’s okay. To make a tangible difference to your pipeline, you only need a few leads that are in the market to buy right now. In fact, to keep your number of sales leads consistent and healthy, it’s good to attract leads at other stages of the buying funnel, too.
Just remember to keep engaging with leads that are unresponsive, on the fence, or not yet ready to buy using a lead nurturing strategy. See our guide to LinkedIn lead nurturing to learn how to set up automated systems and move these leads down the funnel. That’ll ensure that when they do enter a buying window, your company is top of mind.
Generate more LinkedIn sales leads
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for generating sales leads. But trying to do everything manually requires a lot of effort – often for little payoff. To maximize your company’s potential and engage more sales-ready leads, you need to consistently follow up with prospects. You also need to regularly reach out to new users who might benefit from your offering.
Using Salesflow’s LinkedIn automation software, companies can upload promising leads into pre-set outreach campaigns for quick and easy prospecting. It’s easy to turn cold leads into warm leads and warm leads into customers using our automated sequences, AI-driven lead management inbox, and detailed campaign analytics.
Try for yourself with a free 7-day platform trial. No credit card is required.