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Using LinkedIn for Sales – Strategies That Work in 2020

13 min

When it comes down to it, the number one metric you should be looking at from your LinkedIn marketing efforts is sales.

Looking at how much revenue you’re generating from each marketing channel gives you a much more objective way of identifying your most effective marketing tactic.

And the same applies to LinkedIn.

You could have the greatest personal LinkedIn brand, high engagement, your posts going viral every time you write an article…

But if they’re not contributing to your bottom line – then what’s the point?

There are a few ways to generate leads from LinkedIn. Such as focusing on LinkedIn ads, content creation and personal branding, LinkedIn outreach, and growth-hacks.

In this guide, I’ll focus on the latter. I’ll show you 5 proven LinkedIn strategies you can start using to generate sales in 2020. They are as follows:

  1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Engaging with the right target audience.
  3. Join and get involved in LinkedIn groups.
  4. Reach out to your prospects
  5. Use LinkedIn Automation to Boost Your Sales

By the end of this guide, you’ll know how to generate leads on autopilot while you’re sleeping.

Ready to get started?

Here’s what you need to know:

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

SO, before you so much as make a sale or start adding your prospects as LinkedIn connections, the first thing you need to do is optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Why’s that?

Well, imagine you get a LinkedIn connection from someone you don’t know.

The first thing you’d do is click on their profile and try to understand who they are and why they’re adding you, right?

And if their LinkedIn tagline is so enticing you have to click on their profile, you find their summary addresses all of your exact pain points and problems head on, and their work experience alleviates any doubt you had – well, the product is selling itself at that point!

How amazing would that be?

Someone clicks on your profile, and you present your brand so well, they’re ready to book a call straight away.

Here’s a profile that’s been optimized for positive first impressions and for people to send a request:

Live profile and rest of the sections here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/demi-van-vendeloo/ Say 👋 and request the LinkedIn outreach strategies guide while you’re there!

On LinkedIn, first impressions are everything. So, here’s how to turn your profile into your very own, personal landing page.

Let’s start from the top.

Background image

Most people put up a stock image here. I say that’s boring and you can do better.

You don’t have to be a top-notch graphic designer either. You just need to display your logo, value, and solution (ideally all three).

Above example does just that. Simply by having that banner image, you’ll have people requesting the aforementioned LinkedIn growth hack when they add you. And yes, this can lead to sales (it actually has).

The ideal LinkedIn background banner size is 1584×396 pixels in resolution – make sure nothing is cut off when previewing your image.

PS – if you’re not a designer, you can get a decent banner from Fiverr for as low as 5€. Really don’t need anything fancy here. Simply by having a custom banner, you’re already above everyone else!

Profile photo

Keep things simple, and classy.

Yes, people are going to be using your profile photo to decide if they can trust you. There’s nothing you can do about that.

So, pick a profile photo that best represents your industry. Make sure it’s high-quality, well-lit, and of course, professional.

What’s the number one rule of sales?

That’s right, creating trust

Try to look credible and like you know what you’re doing (because you do!).

boost-your-outreach

Tagline

So subtle, yet, so important.

Arguably one of the most important LinkedIn profile components if you want to make an impression and get people to click on your profile.

If you want a higher conversion rate and more people to accept your requests, you need to describe the outcome of your services. 

Here, you’ll want to convert your offerings into a certain outcome (solution).

Here’s a classic formula you can use if we’re talking sales:

Who + Effect + How.

Who – Your target audience.

Effect – The outcome, as in, what people get from working with you.

How – How you achieve those results.

Now, let’s look at the above tagline with that in mind:

“Up to 10X more Social Selling leads 🚀 | Guaranteed success with “The Top 3 LinkedIn Outreach Strategies” Guide ♟”

Who – people interested in LinkedIn outreach and social selling (growth-hackers/marketers).

Effect – 10x more social selling leads.

How – “Top 3 LinkedIn outreach strategies guide” (encourages people to request guide). 

To recap: that tagline will get people to click on the profile, the banner will get them an idea of what they should expect at a glance, and then, the profile and summary will build trust.

Looking for more info on how to polish your summary and other LinkedIn sections to build trust and make sales?

Check out our full guide on steps you should take before launching a LinkedIn campaign here.

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Engaging With the Right Target Audience

So, once your profile is ready to go, you’ll need to make sure you’re engaging with the right audience.

Because, after all, you could have the most optimized LinkedIn profile, but it won’t matter if you’re trying to sell to the wrong target audience.

In other words: having the right target audience can make or break your LinkedIn social selling campaigns.

At this stage, you should have a good idea of who your buyer persona is. Ideally, you should also know things like:

 

  • Which influencers and content creators they follow.
  • What kind of posts they engage with the most.
  • What are their paint points and how you can solve them.

 

You should also keep in mind the difference between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree LinkedIn connections. Which is as follows:

 

  • 1st Degree Connection – People you’re already connected with. 
  • 2nd Degree Connection – People who are connected with your 1st degree connections. You have some mutual connections and you’ll want to 2nd degree connections in most cases.
  • 3rd Degree Connection – People who are connected to your 2nd degree connections.

Once you have a few keywords associated with this info, you can run a search on LinkedIn and use their filters to make the most of your social selling targeting.

Let’s say we want to target growth-hackers and marketers

I’d use a filter like the following:

 

  • Connections – 2nd degree.
  • Locations – My city (to start with).
  • Industries – Marketing & Advertising. 
  • Profile language – English (or your local language if you’re looking to do business locally and possibly even meet them).
  • Services – Growth Marketing, Marketing, Digital Marketing.

 

Apply that filter, and here’s what we get:

307 results (leads) to start with, not bad!

Now, it’s important to note that I would NOT recommend connecting and jumping into selling mode straight away. 

People on LinkedIn hate being sold to immediately. Trust me, they get a ton of connection requests each day.

Instead, I’d approach them with a message like this one:

“Hey {first_name}, 

Saw you’re based in the same city as me and that you also work with online marketing and growth-hacking. 

Love it, seems we have a growth mindset in common. 

I write a lot of content on LinkedIn marketing and growth-hacking. 

Would love to connect. 

Stefan”

OR, you could take a totally different approach here and:

  • Comment on their content first, then send a connection request so that you could follow them and stay updated.
  • Start writing articles they might enjoy and let them know about the value they’d be getting from connecting with you.
  • Mention how and where you found their profile (e.g. from Twitter, from their article or podcast which went viral recently, etc.). 

Pro tip: Use personalization in your LinkedIn request and mention something specific, and in most cases, they’ll be glad to connect.

Always keep this in mind when working on social selling or just connecting with your prospects:

WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)

In other words, why should they care about you. 

What makes you special that they’d want to connect?

Think of the value you can offer. Start there.

Note: LinkedIn Sales Navigator is another highly underrated way to find your sales leads. Check out our guide on LinkedIn Sales Navigator growth hack to see if it’s worth it and when should you invest in the $64.99 per month price tag.

But what if you could instead search in a place for your prospects? A place where they naturally hang out in anyway, posting content for the world to see, and getting out there to meet and connect with people?

Content retargeting

Want to quickly find a long list of your sales prospects, based on mutual interests?

Easy! Start looking at viral posts with high engagement (comments/likes).

As an example, we once ran a content retargeting LinkedIn campaign targeting people who engaged with this post:

Based on the post, we know the people who engaged with it are marketers and growth-hackers (our target audience).

And now, we have a simple conversation starter right there for the connection request. 

Something like:

“Hi {first_name}, 

Saw you also liked the amazing LinkedIn Growth Hack post by Ugljesa from Lemtalk. 

I guess we have growth in common. 

Love it! 

Let’s connect, 

Stefan”

Now, you could go through the comment section and re-use that template one by one. It would be extremely time-consuming to reach out to 678 comments manually, but if the prospects are relevant, it’s going to be worth it, right?

Well, you COULD do that. Or, you could just scrape the post, and automatically reach out to everyone who engaged with it.

So, you get the best of both worlds – warm leads and time saved having to contact them manually.

And yes, we did exactly that and gained a ~72% acceptance rate.

Check out our content retargeting growth hack to see the step by step of that and you can use LinkedIn automation to target your ideal audience, based on what they like.

Another highly underrated way to look for your sales prospects is in LinkedIn groups.

Here’s what you need to know:

boost-your-outreach

Join and Get Involved in LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups get a bad reputation.

Because people post a lot of content that’s too sales-y and don’t put in the time to engage with the community.

People throw in a link to their article or job ad and run away.

But guess what?

This gives you a great opportunity to stand out and establish yourself as an authority expert within the group.

Obviously, this will be more time-consuming, as you have to actually create original and valuable content.

LinkedIn groups allow you to reach a targeted audience of industry professionals and establish authentic relationships with these people.

It’s NOT just a place for businesses to blast advertisements and the sooner you start leveraging these groups, the better your payoff will be in terms of warm leads and closing sales.

If you want to search for a LinkedIn group by a name or keyword:

Select Groups from the dropdown list

  1. Enter in your keywords. If you need to narrow down your searches, you can do this with the filters on the left side of the search results page.

For example, for social selling:

Note: This is not always the case, but sometimes, the more people are in a group, some lower quality content might slip through. And it can be hard for you to have your voice be heard among the group. So, aim for a mix of high-quality content and an active community based around your niche.

Sometimes, simply having your LinkedIn groups and interests listed at the end of your profile be a good social signal to your prospects of what you’re interested in.

And that brings us to our next point: the community.

In LinkedIn groups, you’ll usually find fellow authority experts and influencers. 

So, once you join a group, you should start:

  • Creating and posting content.
  • Connecting with relevant people.
  • Engaging prospects and potential sales leads.

Creating content

This part is pretty simple.

Simply shift through the group, see what questions people are asking, what kind of content they resonate with most, and create content based around their real pain points.

Keep in mind that some LinkedIn groups don’t allow for promotional content.

Though, this simply means you can’t just post a link to your latest blog post and run away.

Take the time to list out the main points and insights gained in your article, share that, and make sure you answer any questions in the comments.

As this is not promotional, and you’re just providing value, most groups will allow this.

And if someone asks where they can read more, you can post a link to your blog only AFTER that. Remember, the aim here is to provide value first.

By positioning yourself as an authority expert, people will naturally want to connect with you. 

And once they visit your profile to do so, which should be highly optimized at this point, they’ll see what you’re all about and how you can help them.

Pro tip: If you want to encourage conversions, you can even include a link in your summary to your calendar where they can book a sales demo. 

Connecting with prospects

Once you’re in a LinkedIn group, you gain access to a list of all the members in it.

From here, you can search for keywords and see everyone in that group related to that keyword.

Engaging leads

Once you gain access to the above list, you can:

Send a LinkedIn connection request, saying something like:

“Hey {first_name},

Saw we’re both in the same group (group name).

Really enjoyed your insights from your latest post. Especially your point on (mention something specific from thor post).

Would love to connect so I could follow more of your content outside the group too.

Cheers,

Stefan”

Or, here’s another highly underrated LinkedIn group hack.

You can message them directly.

Not a lot of people know about this, but if you’re in with a mutual LinkedIn group as someone else, you can just send them a private message directly.

Even if they’re a 2nd or 3rd degree connection.

Reach Out To Your Prospects

So, we finally made it to one of the most important sales tactics: the outreach.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer here as your approach to sales and outreach will be different from mine.

But here are a few sales tactics that have worked for us you can use to reach decision-makers and make sure your lead generation isn’t going to waste.

Find their email

Sometimes, it might be better to take things outside LinkedIn.

This can be as simple as going to your sales prospect’s LinkedIn profile, clicking contact info, and grabbing their publicly listed email.

With this info, you can email your pitch to them directly and be sure they’re going to read it.

This is also ideal for reaching decision-makers.

So, if you already have your target audience in mind, you can:

  1. Go to their LinkedIn company page.
  2. Filter by relevant job title (e.g. “CEO”, “Marketing Manager”).
  3. Grab their email, and explain why your offer is relevant.

Note: Not everyone will have their email listed on their profile like that. In that case, you can use FindThatLead (lead generation tool) to find verified emails associated with domain names. Check out our LinkedIn outreach message strategy to see how we used LinkedIn automation and gained a 70% acceptance rate and 50% reply rate to the follow-ups.

Go omnichannel

This sales tactic is another favorite of ours. Basically, you connect with your leads on LinkedIn as well as send them a personal email.

It might seem a bit complicated, but it can be incredibly powerful as far as outreach is concerned. The last time we ran this campaign, we achieved a 80.2% acceptance rate on LinkedIn.

And a 70% email open rate with our email campaign.

Here’s how the campaign works:

  1. Create a perfect offer you know your target market will enjoy (see ours below) and make a post on LinkedIn telling people to comment if they want to receive access.
  2. Endorse the post via Lempod to increase its views, reach, and comments.
  3. Run a connector campaign on Expandi to connect with everyone who commented.
  4. Create two email outreach campaigns via Lemlist (one with PDF of your offer, and one follow-up 1 day later once they’ve clicked on the PDF).
  5. Use Zapier to connect the above tools (Expandi and Lemlist) together.

Sounds complicated?

It’s actually easier than you might think.

You just have to perfect your offer and come up with some original templates that will work for you.

Check out our offer, exact templates we used, and a more detailed explanation of the above steps here: The Ultimate Omni Channel Growth Hack with Hyper Personalization.

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Use LinkedIn Automation to Boost Your Sales

Finally, we saved the best for the last.

Until now, most of the LinkedIn lead generation and sales tactics we’ve been featuring have been somewhat time-consuming.

You have to shift through your prospects’ profile, find their information, use personalization to customize your messages, and more.

And sure, while they might appreciate the effort you put in writing your connection request, this approach isn’t exactly scalable.

Instead, you can use LinkedIn automation growth-hacks.

What does that mean, exactly?

Well, essentially, by using a tool like Expandi you can automatically insert a list of leads into the tool, and have it automatically reach out to them.

So, remember the LinkedIn group strategy we mentioned above?

Using LinkedIn automation, you could automatically send a connection request to the relevant people there AND still use personalization in your messages. 

This saves a LOT of time connecting with everyone manually, while you could be working on more important things. And if done right, your LinkedIn social selling campaign will be running in the background – generating you leads on autopilot.

The best part?

Once you get the hang of it, there are a lot of different growth-hacks and outreach campaigns you can use to gain more demos.

For example, we ran a campaign once to scrape Facebook groups (also works with LinkedIn groups mentioned above) and to reach out to them automatically. 

Because of the nature of the group, I already knew what they were interested in and what their pain points were, and I made sure to mention these in my outreach and sales messages.

Here’s a quick rundown of the process:

  1. Find Facebook groups where your target audience is.
  2. Scrape the names of the people in the group and find their LinkedIn profiles automatically using Phantombuster.

Create a LinkedIn campaign in Expandi that reaches out to them automatically and follows-up on its own as well.

This takes up to 1 hour (at most, with research) and writing your outreach messages.

Or, you could just copy our templates instead. Check out the full guide to see how we generated 40+ demos per week on autopilot with no ad spend here.

In other words, that’s 42 booked demos:

  • On autopilot.
  • No ad spend.
  • Full of warm leads.
  • Synced to CRM to keep track of everything.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

We’ve tried many different LinkedIn outreach and social selling tactics. A lot of which we turn into case studies and share on our blog where we give away our insights, tactics, and exact templates.

Now, if you’re not sure where to start, check out our Top 3 LinkedIn Outreach Strategies for our favorite methods. 

If you want to understand more ideas and get better information about Expandi, please click here.

Conclusion

You made it!

Hope you found this guide useful.

All the sales tactics and strategies we cover are ones that we’ve tried ourselves. And we’re alway giving away our insights and case studies – based on what worked.

Now, if you’re ready to start generating sales and leads on autopilot, you should be much more ready to get out there and start engaging with your sales leads.

As a final tip though, here’s what I’d recommend:

Add me on Facebook and let me know that you’d like to start generating 10x more leads with the world’s safest LinkedIn automation tool.

I’ll be more than glad to grant you a free 7-day Expandi trialno questions asked.

This way, you’ll be able to try out the above growth-hack and our outreach strategies on your own, without any expenses.

Speaking of, here are a few other LinkedIn social selling tactics you could look into:

top3 LinkedIn outreach Strategies (1)

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