by Stefan Repin

Nov 6, 2019 · 3 min read

Social Selling: Generating B2B leads with LinkedIn

We’ll explain how LinkedIn lead generation works: what approaches we’ve tried, what worked and ultimately, what didn’t.  

Let’s start by defining the term “Social Selling:”

Social Selling is the generation of leads through social networking.

We find the target audience, add them to our friends network, they become familiar with our content and (hopefully) interact with it. After a while, we communicate with our audience, carefully bringing up the subject (i.e. the product or service that our client sells).

The most common task is to arrange a call or meeting.

Now, let’s talk more about LinkedIn!

Target audience

Geo

We did Social Selling only for the American and European audiences.

LinkedIn is actively used by the United States, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Industries and positions

Most, if not all, industries and companies are represented on LinkedIn.

It depends on the position, but it should be more or less digital employees. We had a good response from PR and marketing, sales and business development, HR, IT, consultants, and if we talk about startups, then almost any position.

Script

LinkedIn is terribly overloaded. Everyone seems to be selling something on this platform.

It is so overloaded that it can only be compared to the American Instagram or Snapchat.

That’s why coming to LinkedIn with a selling communication is a waste of money and time. It requires a more sophisticated and accurate approach.

              We’ve had these moves:

-We are conducting a positioning study. As an expert, please take a look, your feedback (for marketers) is crucial.

-We are testing a new product. Can you take a few minutes to try it and give feedback? (for IT)

-We are conducting a market survey/research. Do you use something particular in your work?

-We are conducting a market survey/research. Do you have a specific problem with this?

Then we gradually move on to a more detailed discussion on whether our decision is relevant for the company, where the lead works.

It is best to strengthen Social Selling with content work, publish useful posts on your business topic, and come out with more selling communication only to those who interact with your content, interested in it.

Characteristics

In some industries, they treat people from Europe with prejudices, so it makes sense to attract a foreign employee or, in extreme cases, to create a fictional character. Among IT specialists, we did not feel it.

Response rates are higher if a person in the same position writes: a marketing specialist to a marketer, an IT specialist to an IT specialist, a CEO to a CEO. Employees with selling positions don’t get good response rates. Even if you have a salesperson, give him another position.

Tools

LinkedIn motivates you to buy a premium subscription. It’s almost impossible to work without it. There are limited opportunities to search for people, write to them, even just to browse the pages.

There are several premium plans. A sales plan is suitable for Social Selling.

It includes the LinkedIn “Sales Navigator” tool. It is basic, makes it easier to find (gives you more filter options) and tracks the activity of the leads.

Before you enter LinkedIn, think about it:

  1. How is the product/service different from the competitors? This is true for everyone, especially if you enter the U.S. market, which is saturated with B2B solutions.
  2. What value can I give to a potential client right now during the communication process?
  3. Do I have the proper human resources to reach out to a foreign audience?
  4. Is the English-language site ready?
  5. Are the materials ready in English?
  6. Is there an employee with good oral skills who will call the leads?

Think more about Facebook. It’s not as overloaded as LinkedIn.

It is not commonly used to write to people on business issues, in the U.S. and Europe it is a very personal social network, so it is better to write on company pages or in thematic groups.

In our projects, the response to foreign audiences on Facebook is better than on LinkedIn.

It makes sense to write company pages if you do not have enterprise-clients. Enterprise usually responds according to the regulations and is sent to the general mail from which there is no return.

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