Lead generation is a process game, and in order to generate qualified leads with buyers who are ready to make a purchasing decision, you need to know who you are targeting (of course!), engage with insight and spend your time focused only on buyers that are ‘raising their hands’.
This can require a lot of engagement, especially if you are a small business owner, entrepreneur or sales professional.
The goal is to find ideal buyers that are 2nd degree connections, engage and move them to a 1st-degree connection. To do this, your process might look like this:
1. View their profile to learn something about them and their business
2. Use what you learned and send them a request to connect - sharing why you want to connect.
3. Once they accept, share ideas and insights that address their business challenge, aka, the one you can solve.
Time for engagement
To grow your 1st degree connections you need to learn about 2nd degree connections and if they are a good fit for your business. Then, engage and ask them to become a part of your 1st degree connections. This allows you to create awareness on a broader scale through LinkedIn.
But who has time for all this engagement? If only you could hire an assistant to do all the early engagement for you, and then send you only buyers who are ready to engage.
Well, you may not be able to hire an assistant, but I do have an alternative idea to help you engage with more people, more efficiently and save you a ton of time. So, let me ask you, how do you feel about automating the early part of your engagement strategy?
If the question of automating engagement makes you nervous, I understand. It made me nervous the first time I used it, but lucky for me, someone coached me on how to be smart when using automation tools to engage so that I didn’t get my account locked out or ruin a relationship with a potential buyer.
In our Social Selling Made Simple Workshop we take you through a Social Selling Multi-Engagement strategy so you can confidently engage with potential buyer’s using a cadence that spreads out your engagement, offers value and showcases you as being a leader in your industry versus trying to sell something to anyone.
When you follow the Social Selling Multi-Engagement process you can expect a 25% conversion rate (5 of 20 prospects to accept a call).
The engagement process we teach is completed using Dux-Soup to automate the process and a tagging system so you know exactly who to engage with and when you should engage.
Imagine waking up to a room full of leads every morning that you can actively work on, while you allow Dux-Soup LinkedIn Automation to automate your lead engagement.
The research says it takes at least 7 touches before a new prospect engages and of course that changes depending on your business and the price of your service or offer. But the point is, you need a multi-engagement process so that you're not sending email after email to someone that isn’t interested in buying from you.
If you don't have a process for how, when and how much you are going to engage, then automation isn’t for you. You need to have a plan in place, or you’ll come across to your potential buyers as not really caring.
However, if automation is done correctly, then it can be the most effective, time-saving and affordable virtual assistant you’ve ever hired.
In Part I of this series, How can I generate more qualified leads using LinkedIn, I explain the value of having a process. If you haven’t read that article, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with it.
If you’re still reading, then automation hasn’t scared you and it’s obvious you’re ready to learn how you can use automation to target, engage and grow your business.
But finding time is probably the most difficult part so let’s talk about an automation process you can start using today.
How many connection requests should I send each week?
The first question you need to answer when you're considering automating your engagement is How Much? How much engagement do you need to close an opportunity?
To figure out your number, we’re going to reverse engineer the process of what it would look like if you were to close one opportunity per week. I want you to think about, what financial impact would a closed won deal mean to your business?
Let’s pretend that a closed won deal would generate $1,500 of business for you.
If you sent 20 connection requests per day (100 a week), you should see the following results:
- a 40% acceptance rate for the invitations you sent
- 50% of your new connections will engage, if you are targeting the right contacts
- resulting in 20 prospects you can start engaging with and creating awareness with.
If you close 1 out of 5 calls that would net you $1,500 a week or $6K a month. If you needed to pull in $12K a month, you would need to double your connection requests and follow the exact same process.
These numbers are conversion metrics and they allow you to measure how long it takes to move a prospect from one stage to the next. When you take the time to define your metrics you’ll know exactly where your business is getting stuck and where it is performing well.
Manually sending 100 connection requests per week will probably take you a few hours, but if you were to use Dux-Soup to automate your connection request it would take you about 3-5 minutes. That is a huge tim saving.
As I am writing this blog post, in the background I have Dux-Soup running LinkedIn automation for me.
I can literally watch it view each LinkedIn profile, send a personalized connect request to prospects I would like to engage with and pause between profiles. I can customize my messages and ensure messages are sent to the right people at the right time.
Get your process right and then get Dux-Soup to automate the initial LinkedIn outreach, connection and engagement – and you will up your sales game considerably!
About the Author
Donna McCurley is co-owner of We Make Selling Simple.
We believe small businesses shouldn’t have to feel like they are wearing 100 hats. We provide them with repeatable, automated lead generation processes so they can wake up to a room full of qualified leads each and every day.
In fact, most of our initial conversations start with, “How do I make time for all the prospecting I need to do to grow my business?” And after one week of using Dux-Soup our clients are always surprised by how much of their lead generation activities can be automated once they have a process in place.