Every B2B marketer looking to generate leads has explored LinkedIn as a platform. Most organisations we interact with understand that LinkedIn is an important platform for B2B businesses where one can find the right kind of buyers to engage with. While they are keen on leveraging this platform for business development and also put in effort & resources towards developing it, most of them do not get the desired results. In this article, we discuss 5 common mistakes to avoid while doing lead generation via LinkedIn.

Outsourcing your LinkedIn campaign to the marketing team or a digital marketing company

This is the most common approach organisations take when it comes to leveraging LinkedIn as a platform. Marketing teams and digital marketing agencies then propose & set forth on a LinkedIn b2b marketing plan. It is usually a very predictable path that they use for other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. This involves creating a company page, posting content on it, getting people to like and share that content and spending some money on advertisements.

This rarely works for lead generation. If you need to validate this, just check the ‘followers’ that your company page has or check the people who have engaged with your recent posts. More often than not you’ll see existing employees, job seekers, the odd vendor and possibly some recruiters who have engaged with your posts.

Relying on your sales team to generate LinkedIn B2B leads

The other common approach that we see in slightly larger companies is that they often buy some tools (usually Sales Navigator), for their sales team. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator is indeed a powerful tool. However there are 3 problems that arise out of such an arrangement.

Firstly, sales teams are provided little guidance on how to use Sales Navigator. This problem is aggravated by the fact that most sales people in India wouldn’t have used the tool in their previous organisations. The net result is that they use it primarily to find names of decision makers within their target list and revert back to their old ways of prospecting through emails and cold calls.

Secondly, sales teams rarely have the bandwidth to dedicate time & effort in prospecting. With monthly quarterly targets looming over their head, they tend to prioritise those rather than long term prospects. LinkedIn is not a platform for immediate closures and takes consistent effort which very few sales people are able to manage.

Lastly, buyers on LinkedIn are averse to engaging with sales people ( Designations as sales, business development). They immediately sense a sales pitch coming their way and are likely to shut out the conversation early, especially so if the approach is being made by a frontline salesperson.

Relying on LinkedIn company pages for lead generation

Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn company pages are not as powerful. Hopefully LinkedIn is thinking about how to make them more engaging and effective, but as things stand today, they are probably not helping anyone much.

LinkedIn is a social platform for professional networking. People connect with people rather than organisations. Yet we see most companies working tirelessly to build followers and increase likes & shares on their company page. Some even get their existing employees to share, like comment on company posts. The performance of these activities is tracked through vanity metrics like number of posts or even number of likes/shares without understanding what kind of people are engaging with the content.

Hiring, employee engagement or sales? Using LinkedIn for everything

This is a problem unique to LinkedIn. LinkedIn evolved as a social professional networking platform and quickly became popular with recruiters as a hiring tool specially for senior hires. Over time, HR professionals started using it as an engagement platform as well, putting up everything from an annual company event to even birthdays and work anniversaries of employees.

This creates a lot of irrelevant content for buyers following your company. Even in case of individual profiles, people often share posts across the spectrum making it irrelevant for some followers/connections. Unfortunately, the only way out of this is to decide upfront what the objective of your LinkedIn personal or company profile is. If you wish to pursue LinkedIn as a lead generation tool, you’ll have to let go or drastically reduce the other activities on your profile.

Expecting quick results from LinkedIn lead generation

LinkedIn lead generation is a process that takes time in two ways. One, unlike online advertisements, it takes time to build up your profile and connection base with buyers. Secondly, leads that come from LinkedIn are in the initial stages of purchase. Depending on your product & industry, these leads take 20-30% more time then inbound enquiries.

However these leads do tend to be much more valuable with better conversion and higher lifetime values. We’ve written about it in more detail here. If you’re looking for quick closures and buy ready leads, LinkedIn is probably not the right platform for you.

If you find this interesting, do check out our website and youtube channel or hit us up on LinkedIn.  If you feel we can help you with your sales development, please reach out to us here and we’d be happy to share our approach and details of our LinkedIn lead generation services.