Use LinkedIn as a Powerful Inbound Lead Generation Tool with ClearSlide
Before we begin to talk about LinkedIn, let’s talk about lead generation. In marketing, lead generation is the capturing of a potential buyer’s information often in exchange for content. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, newsletters or prospecting lists for sales leads. In general, marketing has always owned lead generation to do a first pass at qualifying them, then passing them to sales to work.
The sales team traditionally did not have a role in the inbound efforts, but things are changing. As sales professionals are positioning themselves as thought leaders and subject matter experts, they are now in a better position to capture their own leads right from LinkedIn.
I want to be really clear: just because someone connects with you on LinkedIn does not make them a lead–it makes them a contact. They are not a lead until they raise their hand and show interest. That being said, it is your job to attract, teach and engage those contacts. First you have to get them to read your content; then you have to pique their interest by offering free and valuable information that’ll get them to think differently about their current situation, company or industry; and finally you should engage them to want more by downloading your offer.
To begin, you’ll need a great piece of content that your visitors can find worth “buying” in exchange for their contact information. Yes, buying. This content is not free, it is in exchange for their name, email, phone number or any other field you require them to complete. (The less you ask, the more leads you will get. If you ask for too much, they may abandon the landing page 1/2 way through registration). Types of content that people tend to opt in for include:
- eBooks designed to be read on a phone or computer, typically in a .pdf form. A successful ebook should have 7+ pages and include graphics and actionable steps. Each page should be able to be read as a stand alone point. DOWNLOAD 13 eBook Templates.
- Pre-recorded, on-demand webinars that have real value for your visitors. This is not a pitch video or description of your product or services; it is educational and provides real value to the viewer. HERE are examples of webinars that we ran live, but are now on-demand for lead capture.
- Infographics are another way to share insights with your audience. Many people enjoy learning through visuals and tend to share updates with images more and because of this, a good infographic can go viral. HERE is a site where you can begin building infographics right away.
Next, determine where you’re going to host your content. Using a Sales Engagement Platform such as ClearSlide allows you to host content with a simple-to-use lead capture form that provides access to the content in exchange for their lead information.
ClearSlide is the leading SaaS-based Sales Engagement Platform that improves customer communications (phone, email, face-to-face) by providing real-time visibility and analytics for sales and marketing leaders. As a result, customers achieve higher seller productivity, increased sales management effectiveness and stronger customer-facing messaging. Among the platform’s many features it lets users share content and sales materials via custom links.
This is one of the primary tools I use and below are 5 ways to generate inbound leads via LinkedIn using ClearSlide lead forms:
- In your LinkedIn summary, provide a ClearSlide link to a high-level overview of your product or service (include a lead form to gather your prospects’ information)
- Add ClearSlide links to relevant content, case studies, press-releases or white papers in the Projects and Publications sections of your profile.
- Include a ClearSlide link to your LinkedIn welcome note for example:
- “Thank you for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I am not sure if you are using LinkedIn for sales, but if you are, I want to share with you some of our LinkedIn messaging templates that can have a big impact on your business development efforts. http://sslink.co/PeopleLinxLinkedInTemplates – Brynne”
- Share a Link to new content (i.e. webinars, infographics, etc.) in your LinkedIn newsfeed, and ask some of your connections to like and share it. It might even go viral.
- Include your ClearSlide link in a call-to-action at the bottom of your LinkedIn Pulse blog posts. This is an ideal time to get your already interested readers to opt-in and get even more content from you.
BONUS: Tweet the ClearSlide link out every few days with #hashtags that are relevant to your content.
Using LinkedIn as a lead generation tool is a powerful way for sales professionals to develop their own inbound leads.
Try this approach with LinkedIn and ClearSlide through this free 30 day trial of ClearSlide. See the other digital selling transformations you can make to your sales process with ClearSide.
About PeopleLinx and ClearSlide
PeopleLinx, the leader in Guided Social Selling, and ClearSlide announced a partnership in April, 2016. ClearSlide integrates with the PeopleLinx product to create a new omni‐channel guided selling capability for customers. Using its selling recommendation engine to create personalized campaigns, PeopleLinx can now link directly to ClearSlide content and actions, such as presentations and case studies, email templates, videos, and other rich media. Sellers receive real‐time notifications when ClearSlide content is opened and engaged with, providing powerful insights into which clients are responding and where they are showing interest. This unique ClearSlide customer engagement data allows sellers to prioritize their time and focus only on the most engaged opportunities.
Brynne Tillman is PeopleLinx’s Chief Learning Officer and frequent contributor on social selling best practices.