Longer B2B sales cycles and endless sales-unready leads getting your way to procure high-intent customers?
While marketers are busy creating engagement strategies for leads in the awareness stage, sales teams are after closing deals – causing more chaos.
The solution? Well-aligned teams working together to shorten the otherwise complex sales cycle. That’s where lead nurturing acts as a buffer.
An effective lead nurturing strategy gets B2B marketing and sales teams on the same page, working towards one goal – reinforcing healthy relationships at every stage of the sales funnel.
This article explains the role of lead nurturing in lead generation and how to leverage the place where B2B leads hang out the most – LinkedIn.
Importance of lead nurturing in the B2B lead generation
What’s all the hype about lead nurturing? Here’s a breakdown of its effectiveness on inbound and outbound lead generation:
1. The place of lead nurturing in inbound lead generation
Inbound lead generation involves ‘attracting’ leads to your website using inbound methods like blog posts, paid ads, lead magnets, website content, etc. The goal is to convert them to customers, however, it’s not certain that every ‘attracted’ prospect is converting to a customer.
Prospects could belong to various decision-making stages. A sales funnel can be broken into stages like:
- Top of the funnel – TOFU (awareness stage): In this stage, potential leads may not show interest in your product or service right away because they’re busy understanding their pain points and starting to look for solutions. The best approach to attract them? Do not apply sales tactics. Instead, build a relationship and offer insights about their needs.
- Middle of the funnel – MOFU (consideration stage): MOFU leads are more informed about market solutions for their challenges than TOFU leads. They are looking for more information about solutions. The best approach to attract them? Show them how your solution stands out using educational resources like articles, webinars, podcasts, targeted offers, etc.
- Bottom of the funnel – BOFU (decision stage): BOFU leads are the closest to sealing the deal. The best approach to convert them? Multiply their chances of conversion using free trials, live demos, case studies, etc. Show them where your solution fits into their workflows and helps them reach their goals.
So where does lead nurturing stand?
Lead nurturing can assist prospects in understanding the value of your product or service. It can involve inbound strategies, such as educational resources, email nurturing, remarketing ads, and using potent B2B channels like LinkedIn to engage potential customers.
Picture this: An SDR that make email outreach downloads your eBook ‘Ultimate Guide on How to Generate More Leads in 2023.’, indicating they’re actively seeking out fresh approaches to enhance their lead generation strategies. However, they might not be ready to try Expandi as LinkedIn outreach is not part of their sales process (yet).
This is the perfect time to use your education resources to educate and nurture them down the sales funnel.
Guide them to your article, for example, “10 Reasons Why You Should Engage in LinkedIn Outreach,” using email marketing campaigns. Once they realize LinkedIn outreach’s value, lead them to the second article – “5 Best Tools for LinkedIn Automation,” – which explores the top tools (including Expandi) to automate their LinkedIn outreach. This is your best chance to get them to sign up to Expandi!
Thus, inbound lead generation alongside nurturing builds a healthy connection with leads from the get-go, educates them, and guides them toward purchasing decisions.
2. The place of lead nurturing in Outbound lead generation
Outbound lead generation involves proactively reaching out to clients through cold calling, cold social media messaging, direct mail, email campaigns, and advertising.
What role does lead nurturing play?
Lead nurturing B2B in outbound lead generation entails connecting with prospects using the above methods so that SDRs qualify them as SQLs (sales-qualified leads). However, cold outreach methods can still nurture even a non-qualified lead.
Here are two effective methods for SDRs to nurture leads:
- Expandi’s Smart Sequences – Like email nurturing campaigns, Expandi’s Smart Sequences lets SDRs engage with leads on LinkedIn using personalized and targeted messaging. This way, SDRs can build healthy connections and rapidly move prospects down the sales funnel.
- LinkedIn content strategy – Implement a LinkedIn-specific content strategy so that SDRs can create and share content highlighting their expertise in the field. This approach establishes trust among the target audience and ensures a persuasive lead nurturing campaign.
Now let’s discuss how LinkedIn lead nurturing can become a powerful platform for sales growth.
Why is LinkedIn a significant platform for B2B lead nurturing?
What makes LinkedIn a gold mine for B2B lead nurturing strategies? Here’s what does:
Easy data accessibility
LinkedIn hosts 930 million professionals and 58 million companies across the globe. So there’s a fat chance your prospects regularly access LinkedIn.
The high number of users gives LinkedIn an ocean of data waiting to be explored. For example, the Linkedin Sales Navigator is tailored for sales and marketing teams, enabling them to reach the right decision-makers and access important data.
You can fetch data beyond ordinary professional credentials and well into prospects’ backgrounds, interests, and skills. Further, use this data as the foundation to nurture leads with targeted content and conversations and build a personal connection from the get-go.
Unlike emails or phone conversations, Linkedin makes it easy for you to connect with prospects person-to-person and face-to-face.
Using targeted content and messaging and optimizing your LinkedIn company profiles, building trust among high-intent leads is easier than other communication or social channels.
For example, sharing customer testimonials, case studies, past results, etc., on your page is one of the best ways to nurture confused leads on LinkedIn.
Working with objectives
Measuring success is simpler with LinkedIn. Start by setting lead nurturing objectives.
For instance, increasing awareness around your product by gaining more newsletter sign-ups, increasing engagement on posts, networking on LinkedIn groups, etc. After a fixed period, you can review post engagements, the number of conversions on LinkedIn groups, sign-ups from LinkedIn users, etc., to measure your objective’s success.
Growing lead quality
Would you rather gain 1000 irrelevant followers on your LinkedIn page or receive 100 inquiries from prospects? The quality of leads is more crucial than the quantity of leads. And LinkedIn brings this to fruition.
Use a targeted LinkedIn content strategy and a foolproof interaction plan. Failing to which leads to several missed opportunities in identifying and nurturing top-tier prospects.
Well-planned LinkedIn content and conversations add value to confused prospects and turn them into sales-ready leads.
Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is the total sales and marketing dollars you spend converting a customer. An effective lead nurturing strategy reduces CAC by preventing potential leads from being lost in the TOFU and MOFU stages and converting them in the near future with a smaller budget.
Driving pipeline and revenue
Personalized outreach sequences combined with a solid LinkedIn content plan form a well-fueled pipeline with more incoming leads. The result? Higher ROI and revenue as LinkedIn is way more cost-effective than other nurturing channels.
Also, using LinkedIn automation tools like Expandi can only add to your lead nurturing efforts and make the whole process a breeze.
Best Tactics for B2B Lead Nurturing on LinkedIn
You’re now confident about using LinkedIn to nurture leads. But how do you apply it in real-time? We have ten best LinkedIn B2B lead nurturing best practices you can employ right away:
1. Add the “Nurturing” tag to conversations to ensure potential leads will not be lost
Let’s face it. When dealing with hundreds of prospects across platforms, potential leads can slip out of the sales team’s fingers.
And not to mention the lack of control over organizing LinkedIn conversations. Connection requests, LinkedIn sponsored alerts, job alerts, news digests, InMails, etc., take up most of your inbox space. You end up scrolling through such unnecessary posts in an attempt to find sales-worthy messages.
That’s when a LinkedIn nurturing enabler like Expandi saves the day.
Expandi’s Inbox serves as the middle ground to view LinkedIn outreach messages you’ve sent through Expandi as part of your lead nurturing campaign.
You can add several filters (for read-unread messages, lead roles, etc.) and apply tags to easily identify and fetch contacts and messages from the inbox.
To avoid losing potential leads, you can create a new tag called ‘Nurturing’ for MQL conversations and assign it to your nurturing or follow-up campaigns.
To filter MQLs and create a custom tag inside the Expandi inbox:
- Filter based on conversation status, such as ‘Replied,’ ‘Awaiting reply,’ etc.
- Click the pencil icon (Edit tags) to open a Tag Management window.
- Click on the Create button and enter the new tag’s name. In our case – ‘Nurturing.’
- Apply the tag to the filtered list or nurturing campaign by selecting them and clicking Apply tag.
- Optionally, you can filter leads based on created tags and click on Assign selected to campaign.
There you have it! A list of potential leads you can pursue without worrying about mismanagement.
2. Optimize your LinkedIn profile for your ICP
Updating a LinkedIn profile can be overwhelming at first. From the cover picture to credentials, LinkedIn is quite demanding.
But if you plan to nurture and convert leads, your LinkedIn profile should stand out from the crowd, show authority, and convince your target audience to take the next big step.
We have the perfect tips to optimize your Linkedin profile for your ICP:
- A cover photo is the first thing profile visitors notice. So include your company’s unique selling proposition, outstanding features and benefits, testimonials, pictures of yourself or the team, and results you’ve brought for other clients.
- A strong headline with words your ICPs recognize and can’t help but visit your company’s profile or website to learn more. Focus on benefits and outcomes. For example, Expandi’s LinkedIn profile headline is ‘Creating the next generation of LinkedIn outreach experts using world class software and strategies.’
- Add a LinkedIn ‘About’ section describing your company’s accomplishments and how you can help your target ICP. Target ICP pain points, testimonials, USP, and a CTA (to book a sales call.)
- For personal profiles, add skills and certifications, and collect endorsements from past clients to build credibility.
3. Schedule your follow-up LinkedIn message to the MQLs in 2.5 months
Following up with MQLs at specific times ensures your offerings are always on their mind.
So how can you schedule and keep track of LinkedIn message follow-ups without losing your sanity? Expandi’s got you:
- Go to your Expandi Inbox. Select the MQLs you want to follow up using filters or tags.
- Type the follow-up message and next to the Send button, select and click on Snooze conversation from the drop-down.
- Select the date and time until it should be snoozed – ideally in 2.5 months, and click Schedule.
4. Build a smart lead nurturing sequence with engagement actions between messages
Being outwardly salesy with every interaction annoys leads. A strong connection and long-lasting customer relationships are built on a solid foundation of friendliness.
And there’s no better B2B lead nurturing platform than LinkedIn to establish this.
For example, in-between messages and meetings, you can react to their posts, comment on their achievements, visit their LinkedIn profiles, endorse skills, share their posts, etc.
What if you could do this on auto-pilot?
Expandi’s Smart Sequences lets you build automated lead nurturing sequences to boost lead networking and engagement. Also, adding engaging actions between follow-ups can boost your reply rate by over 30%.
For example, you can automatically:
- visit the lead’s profile,
- like this most relevant post,
- and only then send them a LinkedIn connection request.
- If they reply but do not convert, you can set up follow-ups via LinkedIn message, InMail or emails.
Meanwhile, you can interact with the lead’s posts, follow their Linkedin profiles to stay on top of their minds.
5. Set up message campaigns for your 1st-degree audience
The 1st-degree audience is the ones who are already connected with you on LinkedIn. You can send them introduction messages, highlight commonalities, appreciate their insights, etc.
Nurturing your 1st-degree LinkedIn connections is likely to bring you closer to converting them since they are mostly past the awareness stage.
Outreaching 1st-degree connections on LinkedIn is made easy with Expandi’s Messenger Campaign.
To set up a message campaign:
- On your Expandi account, click on Campaign and select Add Campaign.
- Click on Messenger to choose the campaign type.
- Create a name. For example, ‘Nurture 1st-degree connections’.
- Expandi lets you create messages using premade templates, or you can also create your own message.
- Add one or more messages (add follow-up messages for your nurturing campaign). Select the time delay between every message and click on Apply.
6. Use LinkedIn polls to identify the best way to nurture leads
There’s no better way to ask for lead preferences than your leads.
How, you ask?
LinkedIn polls can help! But not regular polls. Create interesting polls just for your ICP and targeted MQLs.
Here are some tips and examples to smash polls:
- Use storytelling to capture your audience’s attention. For example, add context to your poll’s description by highlighting the intention behind the poll.
- Find your ideal customer’s pain points with a poll. Create a poll with your ICP’s common pain points and ask them to comment on a point you may have missed. For example, ‘What problems do you face while publishing your website content?’
- Reply to comments – they are most probably your potential leads. The trick? Move comment discussions to messages and nurture leads.
- The best part? Nurture potential leads who’ve voted in your LinkedIn poll using Expandi. It lets you scrape the lead’s personal details, such as how they’ve voted, commented or reacted (using emojis) to your post. Next, simply filter them based on the options they voted for using Expandi. And use this information for your various lead nurturing and outreach strategies.
7. Provide valuable and educational content
Imagine promotional emails and messages flooding your phone all day long! That’s exactly how your potential leads feel when you’re not offering them anything of value – for free.
Valuable and educational content gives your leads a reason to stay connected with you on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the perfect place to share resources with knowledgeable audiences. Create in-depth, relevant LinkedIn posts for your ICP, and send hyper-personalized messages with links to useful sources.
For example, say your ICP is a Product Marketing Manager. Research their common pain points and areas of interest. Suppose it’s about product positioning (also something your solution leans on). Create a LinkedIn content strategy to publish regular posts on this specific topic.
Pro tip: Use AI tools like ChatGPT to create LinkedIn posts quickly. For the above example, you could use the prompt – ‘Create an engaging LinkedIn post within 200 words for a Product Marketing Manager looking for the latest tips in excelling product positioning.’
8. Share informative articles, whitepapers, and case studies
LinkedIn is not limited to short posts. You can create and publish long-form articles and whitepapers and feature them on your page.
Long-form and thought leadership articles best show authority over a topic or a domain. Also, share case studies and success stories of your past clients. They help add credibility to your claims and nurture potential leads in the consideration stage.
9 . Create engaging videos to showcase products or services and leverage LinkedIn’s native video and live-streaming features
Unless you live under a rock, you might know how videos have taken over the internet. Videos are all over social media, and LinkedIn should be no exception.
LinkedIn lets you upload existing videos or create them on the platform itself. Native videos auto-play on the LinkedIn feed and are likely to grab viewers’ attention. Nurture leads on LinkedIn by creating native videos around topics they find useful, solve a challenge, or promote your products or services.
LinkedIn Live is another brilliant feature letting you live stream to your profile followers. Use this feature to attract leads by soft launching new products, upgrades, or services.
10. Host live Q&A sessions and webinars using LinkedIn Events
Want to host 1000+ prospects at once and build connections? LinkedIn Events is the answer you’re looking for.
Q&A sessions for closed groups or webinars on trending domain topics are some ideas you can use to nurture MQLs on LinkedIn.
Hosting an event on LinkedIn is easy. Create an event, share it using the InMail feature as part of your outreach campaign, and distribute the invite across other marketing mediums for more reach.
LinkedIn is a lucrative platform for nurturing leads; there’s no denying this. However, most sales and marketing teams’ nurturing efforts take a backseat due to a lack of approach to tapping into LinkedIn’s full potential.
We hope this article opens up new channels for you to nurture and convert leads smartly.
Want to put your lead nurturing campaign on a fast track? Expandi can help improve your LinkedIn game!