Scalable lead generation for LinkedIn

Honestly, I don’t even know if this a hack or just a process I’ve figured out to make life a little easier.

A word of caution…this has the potential to be abused. Before you read this, remember the words of Uncle Ben from the movie Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility.” In other words, don’t be evil and don’t use this hack to spam or annoy people.

Some background first…
My company, Macon Raine, helps B2B companies find new customers with a combination of inbound and outbound marketing. We believe that salespeople should be the biggest brand champions and, therefore, growing their personal, as well as corporate “networks”, should be a priority.

For inbound, we focus on driving traffic to informative, high quality, well-researched, original content. For outbound, we help client sales organizations better target their one-to-one outbound calling efforts by researching prospects, segmenting into small persona groups, finding their contact information and scripting relevant, unique and original follow-up email and highly targeted direct mail communications (think audience groups of 5 or 10 people) while helping their prospects discover the content we’ve created for inbound campaigns.

What we believe…

If you want to make real connections, stop relying on mass messaging – especially if you are in sales. Your communications should create interest and engagement. You can’t sell someone until you earn the right to sell someone. You do that by being useful and nice and polite instead of humping their legs.

Propaganda is verboten.  When we script unique follow-up email communications, these are specific communications written for a single salesperson to communicate with a single prospect. IMPORTANT – I’m not talking about spam – spam is bulk mail. These are 1 to 1 emails, researched and written specifically for the recipient and no one else.

Putting all the pieces together

Creating content, researching prospects, micro-segmenting, crafting custom messages, and connecting one on one is time-consuming. When you combine LinkedIn, Salesforce, FindThatLead and DuxSoup, you can compress this process dramatically.

Using LinkedIn

Connecting with strangers is important to me. I love get-to-know-you meetings and try to always make myself available for coffee with a stranger a few times a month.

LinkedIn is the top of my funnel. I use it to connect with prospects, friends, customers, and influencers. My goal is to add 100 solid new connections every month. Based on past months, I know that if I am making connections and providing value to people in my network, I generally get 2 or 3 conversations with potential customers and I have a 50% close rate on these conversations.

LinkedIn has done a great job of protecting members from people that abuse the network.  While it is possible to connect with people outside of your direct network, LinkedIn protects your 2nd and 3rd level connections with the use of InMails. InMail messages are expensive and their cost forces you to be selective.

According to LinkedIn: “InMail messages are sent directly to another LinkedIn member you’re not connected to. If you have a Basic (free) account, you must upgrade to a Premium account to use InMail. You receive a specific number of InMail credits based on your subscription type.”

With my Professional Plan at $65/month, I can send 15 InMails per month. Because I am always working to expand my network, I’d blow through those 15 in less than a week.  So what do you do?

First, up your traffic

DuxSoup is a Chrome and Firefox plugin that automatically visits hundreds of targeted LinkedIn profiles every day on my behalf. The idea behind DuxSoup is pretty simple – when you visit a profile, chances are good that the object of your attention will visit you back.

When someone visits you back, it creates opportunities to start a dialogue, research the visitor, and potentially craft a meaningful connection. Think of it as catching someone’s eye at a singles bar – but without all the creepy undertones or the gold jewelry.

Before DuxSoup, I’d visit 10 or 15 profiles a day and try to connect with people when I could. This process was time-consuming and hard to fit into a busy day.

With DuxSoup I love how quickly it scales and automates your LinkedIn activities. With DuxSoup, I can search with the same granularity allowed by LinkedIn – by title, keywords, location, University attended, group membership, seniority and more.

By using surgical searches, you can quickly narrow your efforts on connecting with people who would value being connected to you. For example, I could search for CMOs in Chicago who have the keyword CLOUD or SaaS in their profiles, or I could search for mechanical engineers in engineering consulting firms that have used AutoCAD.

The applications are limitless. Looking for a new job and want to connect with hiring managers? Chances are good one of your LinkedIn connections can make a connection for you. Trying to hire a copywriter or a freelance designer? Again, DuxSoup excels at speeding up the search.

As a result of this activity, my visits and connections have soared with a lot less work.

The next step, move your contacts to CRM…

After using DuxSoup for 30 days, I export my LinkedIn connections to a CSV file and prepare them for import into Salesforce.com. When you review your CSV file, you’ll find that many people use personal email accounts for LinkedIn – which does not help you manage and keep your CRM clean – especially for using domain level matching for deduping (I recommend RingLead or CRMFusion for this task, by the way). You will also see that many people have incomplete contact data in their LinkedIn contact information. I’m a CRM data hygiene freak so keeping a clean database is a fetish – as well as another business of mine (CleanMyCRM.com). CRM hygiene matters and improves deliverability dramatically. You can check out a webinar I did with Yes Data and SharpSpring on CRM data hygiene on Vimeo.

Say YES to FindThatLead

Once I import my LinkedIn leads into Salesforce, I perform an initial scrub with FindThatLead – one of the coolest tools around.

Updated 4/26/2018*****Other tools worth consideration

Aeroleads is a prospecting and lead generation software which can be used to find emails and phone number of any business user instantly. With the AeroLeads chrome plugin, you can build your lead list in minutes and can transfer it to Salesforce or any other CRM or marketing software.

Get the idea yet?

Your LinkedIn profile can be your largest source of net new leads, and it doesn’t have to be a time-suck. The trick is figuring out a process for moving your LinkedIn communication into CRM so you can manage your contacts intelligently, maintain proper lead hygiene and add value to your network.

Scale and intelligent targeting are not mutually exclusive.

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