One of the most powerful tools in terms of business-to-business lead generation is a social network that Microsoft paid more than $26 billion to acquire in 2016. Nearly five years after Microsoft closed the deal on LinkedIn, the technology giant continues to exercise a hands-off policy towards the world’s most popular and useful social network for business professionals. To say that the acquisition has paid off for both companies would be an understatement; as of early 2021, the network counted more than 660 million users in about 200 countries, and the levels of daily activity are on par with larger social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
LinkedIn is still a great place to find a job and make business connections, but its functionality extends far beyond being a job board with social media features. For business owners who operate in the B2B segment, LinkedIn is one of the best places to generate interest for their products and services. According to statistics compiled by Sprout Social in March 2020, nearly 45% of B2B companies on LinkedIn signed up new clients by virtue of being active on the network. When compared to more popular social networks such as Facebook, the B2B leads generated on LinkedIn are 300% more numerous and efficient. This should not be surprising because the LinkedIn user base is made up almost exclusively of business professionals, which means that many of them are company managers and decision makers; what is surprising is that many B2B company owners are not aware of just how easy it can be to generate solid leads from LinkedIn.
The first step in using LinkedIn to generate leads is to make sure that the company principals have updated profiles. If this is not the case, you can take a look at this LinkedIn example so that you have a good idea of how a profile should be created. The second step is to link individual profiles to the company. All profiles should be optimized and up-to-date before moving on to the next step of searching for prospects.
LinkedIn has improved its internal search function with an “omnibar” similar to the one you use in web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox. If your company is dedicated to selling and delivering office supplies, for example, you can start your search with “office managers” and then apply relevant filters such as geographical location. With this raw list of leads, you will want to evaluate prospects that are actively employed; plus you will also check to see if there are connections with your company or staff members so that you can solicit their business right off the bat. As for everyone else on the list, you can send them connection requests.
Out of 100 requests sent, you should not expect more than 20 successful connections. Out of those new connections, perhaps a handful will convert to sales, but such success rates are better than similar lead generation efforts outside of LinkedIn. When coupled with marketing strategies such as content marketing and promotions, LinkedIn lead generation could be what your business needs in 2021.