October 2, 2022
0 min read
Not So Obvious: Things to Know About LinkedIn Lead Generation
by Kristina Haidai
Thing to Know About LinkedIn Lead Generation

In a world where you can basically scream about your product for everyone to hear, it’s a shame your perfect customers don’t hear you through the information noise. One of the great solutions to make them hear and even see you is to come closer and let the customer know you’re right here, holding the solutions to all their problems in front of them. 

How can you do it? By launching a LinkedIn lead generation campaign. 

And how can you do that? By reading our guide on do’s and don’ts of LinkedIn lead generation

What you need to understand about LinkedIn Lead Generation

While everyone who associates themselves with B2B is probably familiar with the term, 68% of B2B businesses continue to struggle with lead generation. 

Why? Because they perceive it as a one-time operation to land qualified leads. In its turn, lead generation is a complex and multi-stage process that requires careful consideration of the prospect pool, creating a tailored outreach experience for your clients, and actually following up on the leads you are generating. 

There are countless ways to start a lead gen campaign, but we choose LinkedIn as the optimal source for creating a result-oriented and easily manageable campaign. Why? 

  • It is a social network that unites decision-makers 

Nearly every second LinkedIn user out of an 830-million-people user base is a decision-maker, which means that every time you approach someone, there is a 50% chance they have a say in their company. 

  • The network is business-oriented 

While scrolling LinkedIn feed to check out  relatable memes and connections’ updates, the network users are still aware of the fact that this is a business-infused environment where they gain knowledge, share experience, and secure long-term partnerships. Unlike other social networks used for outbound marketing such as Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn reminds its users of a professional community the platform is in the first place. 

  •  High conversion rates

According to the network itself, the average conversion rate of LinkedIn lead generation forms is about 13%. For comparison, conversion rates on a landing page tend to vary somewhere between 2-5%. Implying a considerably higher level of lead generation quality, LinkedIn is the top B2B platform choice for many businesses. 

  • Convenience 

Think of the criteria that help you target the right audience with your product: company headcount, region, job title, industry, and other factors related to your ideal customer profile. Guess what? LinkedIn has everything you need, as these sections should be filled out by each company and personal profile. 

Instead of nickel-and-diming your marketing campaign with costly data collection, you have all the information in one place. 

  • Lead generation automation tools

LinkedIn is well aware of its popularity among marketers because how can you not notice that 94% of B2B marketers use it for content distribution? That’s why it’s no surprise that the network already meets you halfway and provides you with additional tools to scale your sales. Yeah, we’re talking about LinkedIn Sales Navigator, but we’ll talk about it a bit later. 

Besides native LinkedIn tools, there are literally hundreds of software apps that allow you to extract prospects’ profile data and email from LinkedIn directly to a CRM. Do we need to tell more? 

Things to Know About LinkedIn Lead Generation

So, now that we know that LinkedIn lead gen is worth a shot, let’s figure out whether your business is up for the challenge.

Before you think of launching a campaign…

Think about an honest answer to these questions. 

Do you know who you are before you decide whom you want to reach? 

Before launching a lead generation campaign, you need to make sure you have something to offer. Think of your brand and its positioning in the market. Do you have a recognizable brand? What makes your service different from the others? How easy is it for prospects to get to know you once you reach out? 

We don’t want to summon an existential crisis here. This aspect is critical for your campaign, as, without a valid brand-building model and a unique selling proposition, you won’t be any different from another hundred connection requests in the decision-maker’s inbox.  

Lead generation is tricky and effort-consuming. So, think of it as an endeavor you should be well prepped for. Define what sets you apart from the competition and deliver this message to the TA. Thinking that you can figure it out as you go is not productive, and, honestly, not very customer-oriented. 

Does your company continuously work on brand building? 

The first thing people are doing to get to know something or someone better is googling. What will the prospect learn about your team once they google the company name? As long as they don’t see proper entries with a link to your website, your public reviews, and social media, there is no deal. 

Before jumping on a lead generation campaign, think of what free tools you’ve already used to boost your brand presence online. If you need a little help, check out our article about what inbound channels you should optimize in the first place. 

Do you have what it takes to follow up on the lead and close the deal? 

Once you start outreaching, lack of a decent follow-through might cost you your reputation. If you want to gradually increase your sales volume, it’s best to consider more far-reaching marketing approaches, as launching a lead generation campaign means that during several months, your team should be able to pick up the MQLs as soon as the opportunity presents itself, handing the leads over to the sales department. 

But even if there’s nothing wrong with your capacity, do you have a proper follow-up model in place? Approaching a client requires a bit more creativity than changing the prospect’s name in the “Have you had a chance to read my previous message?” text. To keep someone interested in your brand, you need to come up with a follow-up strategy. Otherwise, the chances of the lead gen success fall dramatically.  

Think about your answers. If at least one of them wasn’t a definitive “yes,” you might want to reconsider your marketing preferences, for the time being, focusing on the internal processes that will make your team ready for the lead generation sprint. Or, at least, consult a lead generation professional to see whether someone can help address the problem. 

If the answers were positive, preparation for the launch will be the next stage. 

Before you actually launch a campaign…

Follow this checklist and make sure everything is in place.

You’ve defined your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Target Audience 

It might look obvious, but many companies tend to overlook this step, following the false assumption that targeting as many prospects as possible will lead to a higher lead volume. It will, but what sense will it have for your team? 

To gain maximum value, you will need to think of a particular market segment that might respond well to your offer. This segment will be your target audience. 

Suppose you want to provide software solutions for a business, you will need to target the industries you can actually work with, approaching LinkedIn users who are decision-makers for implementing your line of products within the industry. Typically, it will be CTOs or Engineers. 

This short list of questions can help you with defining your ICP: 

  1. What industry is your ideal client in?
  2. What is your ICP’s headcount? 
  3. Where is your ICP located? 
  4. What is your ICP’s annual revenue? 
  5. What’s your ICP’s business model?

For example, your ICP can be a FinTech/IoT/eCommerce company with 51-200 employees, located in the US & Canada, with annual revenue of $1M+. 

But to launch a successful lead generation campaign, you might wanna dig a bit deeper, focusing on the specific characteristics of your buyers. To define the customer persona, think of: 

  • The decision-makers within the industry. What are the job description & responsibilities of the person you should approach? 
  • The pain points of the potential buyers. What problems do your clients face within their line of work?
  • The outcomes your buyers expect. What results are they seeking, and where do you stand in terms of providing these outcomes? 
  •   The value of communicating with you. How can you help the prospect deal with their challenges and get closer to their professional objectives? 

At the end of the day, it’s not the persona or ICP that matters most. It’s the combination of both, which makes the customer believe the communication is about them. And speaking of personalization… 

You can learn more info about ICP with our two-part guide: the intro to ICP & what to do next?  

You’ve verified your target audience and divided your target market into tangible segments

Personalization is key. Without it, you won’t be able to unlock any of your prospects’ inboxes. Instead of smushing together all the industries and job titles you’ll be approaching, divide them by company type, role within the organization, and pain points. 

In fact, the latter is more important than any other general information you can get from the lead list. What do your buyers care about deeply? Chances are, the answer will not be your business or how your proposition is “unique” and “revolutionary.” It’s the success and growth of their company.  

So don’t try to use your company name and job role to initiate conversation. Make it about the customer. For instance, if your business works in the field of cybersecurity and security intelligence, don’t lead with how you’re the leading security provider in the buyer’s TA. Spark a dialogue by the industry observation and ask the prospect to share their POV or experience. 

By putting a bit more effort into preparation, you put yourself way ahead of the competition, overshadowing dozens and dozens of “I came across your profile”, and “I’m impressed by what you do at {Company Name}”. Clients are tired of it, and you might be too. So why not make it more attention-grabbing? 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working on your messaging: 

  • Think your first sentence through. When weaseling into someone’s busy inbox, the beginning of your message is all that matters. So instead of dwelling on your expertise and interests, try making the first sentence about the prospects, or a problem they face.
  • Keep your writing short and clear. The assumption that people will perceive you as more experienced and professional because you use fancy words is far from correct. In fact, use simple language and communicate with a person on a human level. Marketers suggest writing your messages and emails in a manner a 5th grader would understand. 
  • Focus on the outcome. Most LinkedIn messages are long and dull simply because companies keep rambling about the features of their product and how they provide a certain solution. But why should anyone care? Tell the lead where you can take them. If they are interested enough in the destination, you’ll figure out the journey together. 
  • Don’t confuse your prospect. In many cases, the conversation gets lost simply because your buyers don’t know what’s expected of them. And they’re just too busy to solve this puzzle. Keep your questions and CTAs clear and straightforward. 
  • Think mobile first. When you create a message, make sure it doesn’t look long and intimidating in a mobile version of the messenger. Chances are, your prospects will open the text on their phone, and we can’t guarantee they’ll scroll to see your offer or CTA. 
  • Map out your messaging sequence. For the strategy to work better, think about the goal you pursue with every message. For example, if your first message comes along with a connection request, you shouldn’t push the sales offer in it. It’s simply not what you want to achieve at the very first stage. 

Pro tip: The generally accepted outbound messaging sequence is Invitation – Qualification Message – Offer – After Offer Follow-Up. Each of the stages pursues the objective of engaging with the prospect to start a conversation, deciding whether the prospect is a right fit, or offering the opportunity to continue your conversation in a more conventional sales manner (be it a sales call or an invitation to try out a demo). 

  • Don’t spill everything out at once. Closing a deal (unfortunately) resembles a marathon more than a sprint. So instead of giving away all the information about the product, develop a messaging strategy that sparks a dialogue. Throw in bits of information just enough to intrigue the prospect, and make sure they get hooked to go on with the journey. Here’s a good piece to tell you more about why deals don’t close in the inbox. 

In such a way, you’ll know what problem solution you should be catering to each of them, channeling some of the recommendations through your profile. Moving on to the next point…

Your LinkedIn profile is optimized and engaging  

For your lead generation campaign to yield results, you should pay attention to your LinkedIn profile and how it comes across to your prospect. Does your page have no signs of life since when you were looking for a new job back in 2013? Then your profile is a deal breaker no matter how good a message you send to the client. 

Your LinkedIn profile is optimized and engaging

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you optimize your profile: 

  • Choose a good profile picture. The ones where you’re having a night out with friends or holding a fish in your hand don’t count. It’s not that you’re not allowed to have a good time, it’s just that LinkedIn likes pictures where you can see the face up close. 
  • Update your background picture. If your company has a banner template with a logo and some light visuals, you’re good to go. If not, try to choose something that will grasp the prospect’s attention and tell something about you. Sharing a nice visual that showcases some beneficial metrics and achievements of your team can be a good attention grabber. For example, if you’re the CEO of a software company that developed a mobile app with several millions of active users, there’s no shame in a bit of bragging.
  • Create a catchy headline. This sentence below your profile picture should be a concise description of what you do and who you are. Feel free to come up with a unique tagline and add some keywords your prospects or colleagues can find you by. If you struggle to come up with something extravagant, keep in mind this simple formula: your current job title + industry you’re working in or with + a short description of the issue your business resolves. Name-dropping also works well here. Have you worked in managerial positions at some pig-player enterprises? Let the prospects know it!
  • Add a compelling summary. Forget about writing the number of years you work in the field and cliche phrases like “dedicated and experienced professional.” Your summary is your place to shine. Tell a story that will make your prospects see you as human prior they see a person trying to sell their product. 
  • Don’t hesitate to throw a bit of storytelling into your Experience section. Leave the plain list of responsibilities for the recruiters. Instead, tell what you did well for the company you’re working in, and share some of the team’s most impressive wins. 
  • Build your network with relevant connections and thought leaders. The more engaging you are with your audience, the more you are likely to be recognized by one of your prospects later on. 
  • Share updates with the network. While slow and steady might win the race, slow and quiet won’t get you far. Post updates regularly and interact with the content of others to establish your personal brand before the outreach. 

A small pro tip: To check whether your current profile is enough to launch a lead generation campaign, check out your social selling index (SSI) with the help of this free LinkedIn tool

You’ve developed message scripts for the target segments 

Previously on “LinkedIn Lead Generation Guide,” we were talking about how market segmentation went a long way in learning the right approach to your prospects. 

To secure even better results with personalization, you need to take all the knowledge you have about daily work, interests, and challenges faced by your TA, and customize several messages, preparing yourself for different scenarios. 

Think of the pain points common among the prospects and try to deliver the message that shows you care about resolving them for the buyer. 

Going back to our cybersecurity company example, let’s imagine that their primary target is SMEs struggling with adopting in-house cybersecurity solutions. What potential pain points might they have? 

  • Unprecedentedly high risk of cyberattacks (nearly 50% of small businesses are the targets of a cyberattack) 
  • The cost of cybersecurity solutions
  • The lack of technical continuity

Now that you know the prospect’s pain points, combine it with our suggestion to keep the messaging strategy simple enough for a 5th-grader to understand what’s going on. 

Instead of wondering about the statistics of cyberattacks in the market, our imaginary prospect will think of something more trivial and widespread, like “How do I keep my byver safe?: 

With this information in mind, we can put down something like: 

While automation goes a long way, make sure you gather as much information as possible about your prospects to develop several types of messages you send out to the prospect list. 

Pro tip: make sure to add an engaging call to action in a message, encouraging your prospect to start a conversation. Don’t make the CTA too aggressive, though. The chances of your prospect jumping on a call with you after the invitation request are, to put it mildly, quite low. So be prepared to initiate a genuine conversation about one’s experience to find out what you can offer. 

You’ve developed a content outline for your profile 

To get to your client, you need to think about what information they find valuable. Ideally, you might need to gather data from your sales team and find out what topics resonate with your buyers, and develop a content strategy based on that. 

You’ve developed a content outline for your profile

If you don’t have the opportunity to collect empirical data, just research the topics and questions popular with your target audience, and educate your prospect on the ways to address them (you might even throw your product in the mix). 

Your content strategy should be ideally built upon the combination of professional knowledge and personal insights. Develop a mock-up strategy to keep the updates consistent. For example, you can break it down into: 

  •  A personal update about your professional journey. Is there any achievement you’d like to share or reflect on? Have you learned something new lately? 
  • An open-value update about the industry. Share some important news from your industry, add personal comments, and call for further discussion. 
  • A small FAQ update. Think of the questions that naturally pop up in your clients’ minds and answer them in detail. Your prospects will feel heard and involved in a two-sided conversation about the product. 
  • Don’t forget about visuals. Relatable memes (low-key one of the important parts of your strategy, because you communicate with humans who will never refuse a quick giggle), infographics, video excerpts from your public speaking events, and even a motivational GIF that gets you through the day are worth sharing with the audience to increase engagement. 
  • A sneak peek into your past business endeavors and the lessons you’ve learned. 

Create a content plan for your account, taking into account: 

  • The posting frequency
  • Topics to uncover
  • The approximate sequence of posts. 

Honestly, your content strategy is your place to experiment and interact with the audience. Take some time to test different types of updates and analyze the data like engagement and reach rates to see what performs best with your prospects. 

There are some online tips on how to write content that resonates with the TA, so feel free to explore the options and professional tricks. 

It’s hard to find out what type of content is a go-to strategy for your LinkedIn profile. But we know for sure that LinkedIn loves content creators, so it’s worth trying to be in the network’s good books.  

You’ve created your prospect pool and identified the list of users for outreach 

Surprisingly so, when it comes to lead generation, we can’t forget about the actual leads you need to generate. Once you know your ICP and TA, use LinkedIn filters to find the potential clients and save them in the form of a Sales Navigator’s lists of leads or your personal CRM. 

Some of the tools to help you with the lead collection are: 

This is the tool developed specifically for the purpose of bringing sales teams closer to the clients. By using an extensive filter search, you’ll be able to find prospects that match your ICP criteria and contain specific keywords on their profile information. Once you choose a potentially good prospect, you save them to the list and export the list to a CRM or Excel sheet later. 

Lusha is a platform that helps you easily export email and phone numbers from a person’s LinkedIn profile and save the data to a specific prospect list. 

This platform helps you find the companies that match your ICP and the decision-makers within the companies. With this information, you’ll be able to find your prospects on LinkedIn and save them to the lead lists.

Once you mark as “done” everything on the checklist, it’s time for the most exciting and terrifying part: the launch. 

When you launch a campaign… 

You should follow the next steps to keep the campaign up and running

Build and update CRM 

Lead generation is all about the relationship with your customer. Needless to say, having an Excel sheet with the contact information about the prospects is not the quintessence of a buyer-supplier relationship. To make the leads count, constantly update your CRM with all the information your team may find useful. Status, pain points, communication channels… when it comes to approaching your lead, no information is redundant. 

Secure constant engagement with the prospects

Once you launch a lead gen campaign, there is no way back. You should engage with the prospects on a daily basis, closely monitoring their updates, the communication level, and the general feedback of the prospects. 

The more you learn about the prospect’s company and role, the easier it will be for you to customize the offer that differentiates you from the never-ending flow of “Hey, just came across your profile” texts. 

Customize your follow-up 

While automation is a good way to push the campaign at the very beginning, the more engaged and interested leads you get, the more personalized your approach should be. When you see that your scripts are not suitable for the actual conversation going, don’t be afraid to make the lead qualification process a bit longer. 

Every B2B buyer is different, even if they have certain things in common. 

Pro tip: In case you start noticing that your prospects ask similar questions, add a custom follow-up message to the initial script for you to find it quickly. 

Test different industries and message templates 

If your lead generation doesn’t bring the results you expect it to, it doesn’t mean the campaign itself isn’t working. It might be a sign that this particular segment of B2B buyers is not interested in what you have to offer at the moment. 

Don’t be afraid to approach different industries and company types to see what types of prospects resonate the best with your product, and build your strategy around them. 

A good way to experiment with approaching your leads is to conduct A/B testing, an approach that encourages you to test two variables and see what performs best. If you want to learn more about this method, check out this instruction.

Approach leads who interact with your content

When LinkedIn users interact with your content or profile page in any way, they become “warm” leads, as you already have a conversation opener. Don’t forget to monitor people interested in your insights. Chances are, they are somehow related to your target industry, and maybe even have a decision-making role. It’s a LinkedIn thing, remember? 

After you’ve launched a campaign… 

Don’t celebrate right away. Instead, make sure you follow through with the campaign. These reflection questions might help:

Have you got through to all the leads you collected throughout the campaign?  

And we’re not talking only about the “hot” ones. At the end of the campaign, you have the potential to get back to your prospects and follow up on them, making sure that the ones who showed buying intent are not left with no attention from your sales team. 

Sure, we’re aware of the eternal beef between marketing and sales when it comes to follow-up. But getting through to them doesn’t mean they all are going to buy from you. The goal is to show that you care about every single client you approach. 

Who knows where the prospect’s mind will be a few months from now? Maybe, the prospect can even sign you up for a better deal when joining a new company!

Have you actually followed through with the deals? 

Onboarding new clients is always exciting but it can take a toll on your sales team. Make sure that your team has the capability to pick up the leads after the campaign and offer some help, if necessary. At the end of the day, it’s your business reputation we’re talking about. 

Do you get back to your CRM from time to time to check in on your database? 

The hosts from “Real Estate Roller Coaster” once said that when talking about lead generation, no lead is a bad lead, and we can’t argue with that. We mean, of course, there are prospects who just don’t match your expectations, or you simply don’t share a similar vibe. 

But should it be the reason for deleting them from your CRM? Not really. Since you already have some information about them, checking in won’t do you extra harm. 

As an additional bonus, you may find the lead you almost closed during the campaign but needed some time to consider. And now might be the time.  

So, the campaign is done. But how do you measure the performance? 

One of the most widespread ways to track lead generation performance is tracking Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLSs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). Generally, these terms signify the two stages of a sales funnel.  

While MQL signifies a lead that showed any type of engagement with your marketing offer, an SQL is a lead that showed enough interest to “deserve” the warranted attention of your sales team. 

Even if technically appropriate, this method somehow misaligns with the business objectives. 

What are the metrics you might want to pay attention to instead of pursuing the MQL/SQL model? 

Number of Qualified Opportunities

Rather than differentiating between sales and marketing leads and complicating your buyer’s journey through the sales funnel, find your Qualified Opportunities, or prospects qualified by your sales team because they fall into the ICP criteria.

Lead Volume 

Lead volume is the total number of leads generated during the campaign regardless of the qualification stage for any of them. Easy to track and not very demonstrative for the campaign, this metric helps with future success calculations and conversion rates.  

Lead Conversion Rate

Arguably the most important information you can get about your lead gen campaign, the conversion rates help you define the success ratio as compared to the overall lead volume you outreached:

Lead Conversion Rate = (Number of Generated Leads / Total Lead Volume) x 100% 

Customer Acquisition Cost 

Are you wondering how much it cost you to acquire a client? Divide the budget spent on the campaign by the number of total deals closed, and you’ll have the answer.

Customer Lifetime Value 

By measuring CLV, you can find out exactly how much money the clients bring you over the whole cycle of your relationship. To calculate it, you multiply your customers’ average purchase value, average purchase frequency, and average customer lifespan. In the long run, this metric will show you the overall need for your business to acquire new customers. If the price is much higher, then why don’t cash in on the customer retention strategies? 

Ultimately, all these metrics help you define the profitability and success of your lead generation campaign. But remember that some of these numbers should mean more to you. If the end goal of your campaign is to generate revenue, you shouldn’t spend time focusing on the total number of leads you outreached during the campaign. 


So, what do we learn from that? Lead generation is hard. LinkedIn lead generation is…also hard. But the effort is nothing but rewarding. 

But when it comes to LinkedIn, the journey becomes a bit easier simply because the platform offers a series of tools to help businesses connect with clients on a more personal and customer-oriented level. 

Respect.Studio team, recognized by DesignRush as a Top B2B Marketing Agency, spent much time studying LinkedIn inside and out, so you’d have a bit of clarity on whether LinkedIn Lead Generation is worth it and whether your team is ready.

If you want to learn about some actual cases and what results you can get from LinkedIn lead gen, you can read about how a thoroughly planned campaign boosted sales growth for a UX/UI design agency.

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