Sales revolves around creating conversations. But, starting a conversation is difficult. Incorporating LinkedIn InMail into an outbound strategy is an excellent way to engage prospects.
LinkedIn is the most extensive professional social media website in the world with over 500 million users worldwide. Due to the vast amount of users, finding contacts and researching leads is easy. In fact, 82% of prospects are reachable through social media.
Understanding how to use InMail as an effective outbound strategy is a challenge. Today we’re sharing a few useful techniques we’ve discovered.
Combine InMail with Other Prospecting Techniques
InMail improves traditional outbound strategies. Phone calls and emails are essential prospecting methods, but InMail adds an extra layer. LinkedIn estimates that contact to meeting ratios increased by 8% when using InMail in conjunction with other contact approaches. That’s a significant increase in efficiency!
Cadences allow you to incorporate InMail messages as a step in your outbound cadence. For example, you can follow up a voicemail with an InMail message. Voicemail usage has declined in recent years. An InMail message following a voicemail adds urgency. Additionally, it puts a face to the name so the prospect can make a visual connection. A familiar face helps develop relationships.
A word to the wise, the InMail inbox is not the setting to close a deal. If a buyer senses a pitch, the relationship can quickly derail. Save the selling for the meeting.
Generic messages are boring. InMail is an opportunity for personalization!
Engaging prospects requires personalization. We’ve done the research to prove it (check it out here)! Relationships rarely begin with a template. Cookie-cutter messages won’t make anyone feel special. Instead, command attention by tailoring messages specifically for the prospect.
LinkedIn profiles offer an opportunity to discover relatable information based on the user profile. Company news and recently shared articles are clues to finding the perfect introduction. Recently shared content creates opportunities for ongoing discussions. Shared interests initiate a conversation on a more personal level. Studies reveal a 46% increase in message response rate when there’s a shared interest, skill, or industry group.
Remember to keep the content you share relevant and provide substance. Spamming a prospect’s inbox with unrelated content deters further engagement. The material should provide value and open room for further discussion. A CTA at the end of each message encourages a conversation. “I’d love to meet for coffee and hear your thoughts,” promotes opportunities for future discussion.
The goal is to start a conversation and build a relationship.
Gatekeepers have an important responsibility. They protect decision-makers from overwhelming calls from prospectors. Getting around a gatekeeper is always a challenge. InMail bypasses the gatekeeper and provides direct access to decision maker’s inbox.
The number of emails exchanged daily around the world is astonishing. Radicati, a market research firm, estimates business emails alone total 124 billion per day. That’s a lot of opportunities for your email to be overlooked. InMail boasts a response rate of 15%, which is 5x higher than email! That means prospects are seeing and engaging more with direct messages than traditional email.
Phone calls are the primary method of contacting a prospect but they aren’t always an efficient way to get a response. On average, it can take 8 follow-up calls to reach a prospect. Even more astounding, LinkedIn reports that InMail delivers a response rate that’s 30x higher than a cold call. That’s valuable time for a seller. Direct messages are an opportunity to contact the decision maker directly and engage immediately.
Gatekeepers aren’t always the roadblock. Sometimes finding an introduction stands in the way.
Referrals are a powerful tool in sales. Statistically, people are 4x more likely to buy a product or service when it’s recommended through a friend (Nielson). InMail makes it easy to find mutual connections and ask for an introduction. When getting a foot in the door is a challenge, sometimes a friend in common can provide an “in.” Friendly introductions create immediate relationships. Relationships initiate the conversation.
Using InMail effectively in an outbound strategy creates a rock solid message. Including it as a step within a cadence incorporates a social touch along the buying journey. Personalization initiates a conversation and nurtures the relationship. Starting a conversation can be difficult. InMail makes it easy to kick things off and bring home the win!
Have you heard? SalesLoft now offers a brand new option to add to your cadences: LinkedIn Sales Navigator steps! Find out more here.