Talking to people from different industries means you hear a variety of perspectives on the common challenges that we all face. At the heart of it is how can we all be more successful at running our respective businesses.
I was talking to a company that sells cloud-based solutions at a trade show recently. We were comparing notes on what marketing tactics were working and not working.
Naturally I mentioned that more and more people are switching to LinkedIn for lead generation and at this point I was asked an interesting question: ‘What defines your success on LinkedIn?’
8 ways to measure success
It got me thinking about LinkedIn metrics and what people actually measure compared to what they should be measuring. On the way home from the conference, I came across an useful looking article on Forbes.com that looked at the following 8 ways to measure your success on LinkedIn:
1. Who has viewed your profile
2. Search appearances
3. Who viewed your post
4. Social actions: Likes, shares, comments
5. Number of connections
6. Number of followers
7. People also viewed
8. Number of endorsements
Just a quick note on # 8 before we go any further, here’s a neat trick to improve your endorsements, contributed by Dux-Soup super user Zeb Pirkey.
Spot what is missing
The Forbes article contains some great advice for individuals looking to grow their brand. But for me, it doesn’t go far enough for growth hackers, as there is a glaring omission.
Can you spot it?
It’s a lack of any measurements related to sales and business development which are pretty much the most important outcomes that growth hackers might be looking for when running lead generation campaigns on LinkedIn. It is a sales channel after all.
However, an optimal measurement strategy should focus on both specific LinkedIn metrics and other metrics which are more directly related to sales. By tracking KPIs in these two areas, you will have better data to support future decision making.
The typical lead generation process covers 4 main areas as outlined in the diagram below:
The filtering in Sales Navigator helps with the Discovery phase. But where LinkedIn automation solutions come into their own is in the Connect and Engage stages. Measuring the following metrics will give you a snapshot of effectiveness:
- Number of new connections made – many campaigns start with increasing the number of connections that you have. This is important as you can only start building the relationship and dialogue once the connection is made.
- Number of new connection messages sent out – this highlights how many people you are targeting, for some campaigns, this will be niche 100-200 contacts, but for high volume use cases, we could be talked many hundreds or even thousands (link to Safesmart case study)
- Number of messages sent/Number of inbound messages received – your primary focus is to generate an inbound response – this could be to say thanks for connecting, a response to a piece of social proof, or acceptance of an invite to an event. Pound Social use Dux-Soup Turbo to process inbound responses and allocate the appropriate resource for a follow up. (link to Pound Social CS)
- How many one to one sales phone/skype calls per week – this metric will show you how many opportunities are moving down the sales funnel. It might be best measured as a percentage of your total target audience if you are running a niche campaign (link to Unomaly case study)
- Number of appointments per campaign is an extension of #6. For companies that are focused on generating leads for a sales team, this metric will show how productive you are at filling the sales diary.
- Number of closed deals – this is essential to track in order to determine if you are getting ROI from your lead generation efforts.
As I mentioned above, to give a well-rounded view on how well your lead generation is performing, it is worth looking too at some broader measures of your lead generation that includes, sales, costs and ROI:
Cost per lead vs revenue per lead
Many people will track their campaigns using cost per lead or cost per sale. This is a useful way of seeing how much each lead or sale is costing you to generate. It helps to estimate how much marketing dollars you should be putting into a campaign in order to ensure a positive return.
But really, you should also be looking at revenue per lead. This is particularly useful when you want to work out how best to route and manage the follow up for your leads. For example, if you are generating leads for an enterprise cloud-based solution, you might decide to allocate those leads from campaigns which show the highest revenue per lead to your best salespeople.
By segmenting your leads according to individual team members, you can start to make smarter decisions about the efficiency of your sales team.
Let’s take an example. If your top salesperson is consistently hitting and exceeding her sales target then you might think you have a stellar performer. In many cases, your top salesperson will also be the one getting the hottest leads.
However, if you analyse the sales generated per lead per salesperson, you might find that who you thought was your top performing salesperson is actually delivering a lower revenue per lead than other members of the team.
This might be an indicator that some leads are being wasted and that you are missing out on potential sales. This could be down to any number of reasons but in my experience, it might be an indicator that the sales person does not have the capacity to manage all of the leads they are given.
So, armed with the revenue per lead per sales person data, you can look at how you are routing leads to sales – stage 4 in our process outlined above.
Keep your eyes on the prize
In conclusion, you need to draw a balance between tracking metrics that are specific to LinkedIn and those that result from what happens to those leads once they have been allocated to a salesperson.
In order to get the most out of your investment of time and money on LinkedIn lead generation, keep your eyes on the prize and look at what sales are generated by all of your different campaigns.
The analysis might surprise you. For example, it could be that non-LinkedIn lead generation, such as re-marketing via Facebook or Google Adwords is going to be more effective.
However, many companies and individuals should test a range of different marketing tactics that incorporates LinkedIn lead generation alongside more traditional marketing techniques. The key is to get the blend right, rather than focus on any one channel exclusively.
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