By Ellie Howard on Jul 21, 2020 2:52:07 PM
LinkedIn is a highly effective tool to add volume to your marketing or sales funnel. From top of the funnel prospecting to creating conversion opportunities, a focused LinkedIn strategy will help you to connect, educate, and convert potential prospects into customers or clients.
Engaging or nurturing your prospects on LinkedIn is often perceived as friendlier and more casual than email and, done correctly, can offer your prospects a one-stop-shop for learning more about you and your product.
Any combination of the below tried-and-true best practices for growing your sales funnel on LinkedIn will up your social prospecting game so you can create and close more deals.
When it comes to prospecting, LinkedIn is a great place to target your ideal customer. With 610 million professional users, you can find, connect, and contact exactly the prospects you’d like to engage with.
While you can rely on your existing contacts to build 2nd and 3rd level connections on LinkedIn, Sales Navigator, LinkedIn’s paid prospecting tool, allows you to extend the size of your network. Sales Navigator can connect with your CRM, will allow you to search for prospects with targeted filters, and even makes recommendations based on your ideal customer profile.
According to LinkedIn, having a mutual connection with a prospect increases your chances of scheduling a meeting. Sales Navigator makes this easier with the TeamLink button, which highlights prospects that you have a second-degree connection with.
Once your prospects are a part of your network, you can focus on authentic engagement; ‘authentic’ being the key word here. Your prospects don’t want a series of self-promotional posts, comments or canned responses. So what should you talk about on LinkedIn? It’s simple, according to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner : “authentically communicate what you are most passionate about, what inspires you, and what you’ve learned or experienced that others can benefit from.” Regardless if you’re sending direct messages or sharing your most recent read, use your real voice, bring attention to what you think is valuable, and personalize your message.
Prospecting with LinkedIn is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you’ve connected with your audience on the channel, they can continue to move through your sales funnel.
Awareness & Thought Leadership
Don’t worry; Thought Leadership doesn’t mean writing a thousand blog posts every week. Reposting industry news, peer-written articles, and even commenting on the posts and conversations that your potential prospects are having can increase your credibility. Over time, your audience will begin to think of you as an industry expert and a resource for common problems they experience in their day-to-day.
This is where ongoing, multi-channel thought leadership comes in. Experts agree that posting on LinkedIn daily is the best way to build an audience. A social media scheduling tool can help to support your team in delivering consistent content.
By offering education, rather than exclusively pushing a sale, your prospects will learn more about you without feeling pressure to buy. This dynamic helps to build trust and rapport while also prompting your audience to think strategically about their obstacles and opportunities. Once a need arises, they’ll know exactly where to go and who to speak with.
In addition to the educational content and thought leadership you’ve been sharing, you can offer tools and strategies to solve the many barriers your prospects may be facing. By sharing case studies, guidebooks, and free tools that you or your marketing team have created, you open the door for prospects to learn more and move further down the funnel.
This is a great opportunity to capture prospect information. Aim to continue the conversation by offering resources with forms. Once a prospect has completed a form, you can strategically connect with your audience via other channels, nurture them with more targeted content, or retarget them with ads on LinkedIn or other advertising networks.
If you’re looking for a way to connect and grow your prospecting audience and you don’t have a consistent lead nurturing program, you are quite literally filling a bucket with a hole in the bottom.
Your prospects will all fall at different points of their purchasing journey. Just because a fresh lead from your LinkedIn prospecting doesn’t convert right away doesn’t mean they won’t; the greatest ROI can come from prospects that don’t convert immediately. Nurturing is key.
To nurture effectively, it is vital that you diversify your approach. Lead generation strategies work best while incorporating multiple channels and touch points. From automated email campaigns and direct messages, to thought leadership and organic engagement, a varied prospect journey for your LinkedIn Connections will keep you top of mind.
While some of your prospects may not be purchase-ready quite yet, they can continue to qualify themselves through consuming strategic content deployed by your team. By offering consistent value, objections tend to clear as needs and budgets shift.
Create an Opportunity
Your prospect now should have an awareness of who you are, what you offer, and how you can be of service to them. While you may have peaked their interest and they may be comfortable receiving resources and information from you, the goal is to move them into Closed Won Deals. After a reasonable amount of engagement, it is time to ABP - Always Be Prompting your prospect to schedule a sales meeting. This can come through a LinkedIn message or as a CTA in your other content.
Moving prospects to the next step via LinkedIn may come more easily than through other channels. Because prospects can put a face with a name, confirm your credibility, and even feel a sense of connection based on your nurturing, prospects are more likely to convert. They know a real person is on the other end of the account and are more open to an introductory call.
Check out our 2020 Ultimate Guide to ICPs and Buyer Personas to get started creating LinkedIn audiences that will convert into more meetings, and more deals.
If you want to know more about how Sapper gets qualified meetings by consistently staying in front of our prospects you can schedule a meeting here.