It’s often been said that sales is a numbers game. If that is so, you can certainly run up big numbers on LinkedIn. LinkedIn claims to have 830 million members in 200+ countries and territories. 830 million ought to be enough customers for anyone, but do you really want to sift through them one by one? That’s where LinkedIn automation tools come in handy.
Let’s explore how LinkedIn automation tools can fill your sales pipeline.
What Is LinkedIn Automation?
We are talking about automating the mundane, repetitive tasks you perform every day in your sales prospecting on LinkedIn. These are third-party tools – not built-in features of LinkedIn itself. Accordingly, you need to compare the feature set and benefits of a variety of competing automation tools.
Essential Automation Tool Features to Grow Your Sphere
Think about the task you perform manually and repeatedly on LinkedIn. These are the tasks you need to have automated.
The first step, obviously, is inviting people in your 2nd and 3rd degree of relationship to connect with you and grow your sphere through automatic connection requests. The automation tool should furthermore detect when these prospects reply and even handle the first few replies, helping to warm these prospects up and start meaningful conversations with you. At that point, you, the human, take over at what you do best: relationship building.
However, you want to refine this invitation campaign. Rather than just attempting to connect to everybody, you want to target decision-makers matching your criteria. You want to boost your brand through targeting rather than becoming some kind of generalist. The automation tool must therefore support LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator add-on module, which is where the rich search criteria are supported to narrow down on your ideal client. Criteria such as location, years of experience, and executive-level within a company will help with this targeting.
You can reach out beyond your 3rd-degree connections when open LinkedIn profiles allow you to send them a message. Free InMails can be sent to this group, and then of course these people add to your 2nd and 3rd-degree sphere, jumping beyond the reach of your current audience.
Essential Automation Tool Features to Engage Your Audience
As your audience of 1st degree LinkedIn connections grows, you now need features to engage and converse with them. An automated drip campaign of personalized messages will help to keep these 1st-degree connections on the top of your mind. Nobody knows your business better than you, so this sequence of drip campaign messages must be customizable. When you have a special announcement to make, a mass message can be sent to these connections.
Essential Automation Tool Features to Integrate Your Marketing
There is a world of marketing tools outside of LinkedIn. You will want your new sales prospects to be transferred automatically to your CRM (customer relationship manager) via industry-standard Zapier. If your target system does not support Zapier, export to a file should be supported.
Many prospects ignore their LinkedIn InMail inbox, so you would like to also follow up with them by regular email – a piece of data that can be extracted from their LinkedIn profiles. The internal invitation campaign can be augmented and amplified by a parallel email campaign.
More Help Beyond Automation Tools
Even with all this automation support, do you still lack the time to perform sales prospecting in LinkedIn? Then the vendor out to provide a done-for-you program where the outreach and warming up of prospects is fully handled for you.
Does the tool vendor understand your industry? For example, IT companies and consultants face a crowded marketplace and sales and marketing will not usually be the top skills of the founders of these companies. Can these business owners turn to the LinkedIn automation tool vendor for IT consulting sales and marketing advice?
LinkedIn Automation Tool Tips
There are some pitfalls you need to watch out for in LinkedIn automation:
- If the automated activity appears too spammy and overly frequent, LinkedIn is going to restrict your account
- You’ll want to avoid setup fees, hidden fees, and long term contracts with a new vendor you are unfamiliar with
- Discounts should be offered, if your organization will need multiple accounts
- If messages are not personalized, you will experience a very low response rate
- You’ll want a modern browser-based tool that is also a cloud-based automation tool.
LinkedIn Automation on a Budget
Maybe you can’t afford right now to step up to the Sales Navigator subscription level on LinkedIn. You’ll want an affordable automation tool that also works with the basic level of LinkedIn. That tool should help you build the most targeted boolean search string for the basic LinkedIn search feature.
The automation tool you choose should offer an inexpensive trial, a basic, affordable level as you learn and scale-up, and not lock you into an expensive long-term commitment. There should be a quick payback in new customer activity versus the cost of the tool.
LinkedProspect Hits the Highlights
Well, lucky you! LinkedProspect stands out among LinkedIn automation tools, supporting all of these essential features we discussed. LinkedProspect is available at Basic, Standard, or Fully Managed Campaign levels.
LinkedProspect has been in business for over seven years. Their customers have seen incredible results in building their businesses on LinkedIn. Their core values and product vision creates a virtuous cycle of successful clients, happy employees, and software that is a delight to use.