How to find and engage leads on LinkedIn (for free)

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I am pretty sure, there are barely any sales or SDR professionals who don’t use LinkedIn in their day to day work. I personally find it an invaluable source of information and use it frequently to research my prospects, find leads on LinkedIn or even connect with them (and, if you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you do too).

Considering its importance in sales engagement, Reply has been offering some tools to help you streamline your LinkedIn efforts, including our free email finder tool Name2Email and lead generation service LeadsFinder.

Lately, we’ve been working to add another tool to our product offering that would make it even easier for our clients to find leads on LinkedIn and effectively use it in their sales processes. This brand-new tool – which we are currently giving away for free to support other businesses fighting sales downturnallows you to find prospect emails at scale and level up your outreach with the power of social selling on LinkedIn.

Here’s a short hands-on guide to how it works.

Before We Start

To get started with our new feature, you will need the following tools:

  1. Reply Chrome extension and active Reply account. To create a new Reply account, install our Chrome Extension and sign up following the standard steps. If you already have an active Reply account, make sure to log in to it using the extension once you install it.
  2. Name2Email Chrome extension – it works together with Reply’s Chrome extension and provides an ability to do a free bulk search via LinkedIn, so please, make sure to install it as well.
  3. LinkedIn or Sales Navigator account (In this guide, I will be using Sales Navigator because it offers more capabilities for prospecting. However, it is also possible to rely solely on your free LinkedIn account.)

Once you install all the listed tools, simply login to your Reply account through the Reply extension and open LinkedIn or LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find leads on LinkedIn. 

Important: Make sure that all needed extensions are turned on.

 

Prospecting on LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Once you’re all set, let’s focus on the first step of our LinkedIn prospecting process and start building a list of leads – prospective buyers for your product or service.

The best way to start your prospecting process would be to define your ideal customer profile (ICP) and document its key attributes, e.g. firmographic, demographic, technographic data, etc.

For example, here’s an example of such an ICP used by our SDR team at Reply:

  • Firmographic: companies that are located USA, California, San Francisco Bay Area, which have 50-200 employees, focused on the Computer Software industry.
  • Demographic: within those companies, we want to target SDR Team Leaders, who have been working in a company at least one year
  • Technographic: Although this part isn’t essential, it might help you improve your targeting and increase the success of your sales outreach. So, for example, here at Reply we know that around 30% of our customers use Intercom as their customer messaging platform. So we use that data to more accurate and targeted lists.

Once you have a clear understanding of your ICP, you can use the data about its attributes as criteria to filter your lead search on Sales Navigator.

Once you’ve applied all relevant filters, just click the “Search” button:

It might take a few seconds for LinkedIn to pull the contacts based on your criteria. But after that, you will get hundreds or thousands of potential buyers who are very likely to have a conversation with you or your team about your company’s services or products (of course, if your outreach strategy is designed in a right way – we will get to that later).

Disclaimer: for the next steps, we will use Reply’s employees’ LinkedIn profiles, as we don’t want to use someone’s LinkedIn data in our guides without their permission.

At this point, we are ready to get started with prospecting on Reply’s side.

 

Find Contacts’ Information using Reply tools

First of all, we should fire up 🔥 Reply’s Chrome Extension from the Chrome toolbar:

And that’s it:) Now, let Reply do all the magic 🔮 for you. Here’s a short walk-through:

At this point, Reply will use its own email finding and email validation engine to find prospects’ email addresses for you. In most cases, we will be able to identify 60%-85% percent of email addresses. The success rate depends on the industry, country, company size and some other parameters that can make the email finding process more difficult.

When it’s done, you will be able to see the following screen:

Reply will auto-select all prospects with a valid email address, so you can proceed with the next step and move those prospects to a List and a Sequence of your choice:

To do that simply click “Save to Reply”. That’s it: all the prospects with valid emails will be automatically saved to your Reply account and pushed to a chosen sequence.

Reply will auto-fill and save the following data for all the prospects:

  1. Email Address
  2. First Name
  3. Last Name
  4. Job Title
  5. Company Name
  6. LinkedIn Profile URL
  7. City, State and Country

Now, we are ready to proceed to the next step: create and launch our sequence.

Create and Launch a Sequence

This part may sound easy, but it’s not. Here at Reply, we encourage our customers to use personalization and multichannel approach within their sequences, so let me share a few simple examples that will make your outreach more human (and effective).

Namely, in my experience, the 4 or 5-step sequence with a combination of the following touchpoints typically work best:

  • automated email with personalized Reply Variables
  • social touch on LinkedIn
  • manual email with a personalization snippet
  • automated email with a Vidyard video

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.

Please, note: the 4-step framework I will talk about is just an example of a sequence you can build using Reply. You can add more steps or rearrange them within your sequence as you see fit. However, regardless of the number and order of the steps you decide to use, I strongly recommend sticking to the multichannel approach, including both email and social touches.

Step 1: Automated Email with Variables

Since Reply can save lots of additional data fields for prospects you find via LinkedIn or Sales Navigator, personalized email with variables is a great chance for you to put them to use. 

Here’s an example of the email template which contains personalization variables including {First Name}, {Company} and {Job Title}:

Hi {William},

Daniel from Reply.io here – an outreach and sales acceleration platform for sales teams.

I’m here to tell you about service(https://reply.io) that helps automate communications with existing or potential clients and put sales outreach on autopilot. That means {SalesLab}’s sales team shouldn’t spend a lot of time sending emails and follow-ups, so they can concentrate on closing deals.

Does it make sense for you as {the VP of Sales}?

If so, I’d be happy to set up a call with you to go over Reply in greater detail.

Note: the highlighted phrases within brackets will be automatically tailored to each recipient, based on the data on their profile

This template will help you figure out if the prospect wants to talk or they can refer you to someone else within their company

Step 2: Social Touch on LinkedIn

Since Reply also saves LinkedIn profile URLs for all prospects you found using our Chrome Extensions, we can easily use a multichannel approach and add social touches on LinkedIn as a separate step in our sequence.

To do that, you will need to add a task called “LinkedIn” to your sequence and include a description to specify what exactly you need to do to execute this task:

For example, we mostly use LinkedIn Tasks to send connection requests to prospects at scale, while making them slightly personalized, where possible.

Unlike the automated email step, social touch on LinkedIn requires manual action. Reply will generate a unique task for every prospect in your sequence, so the prospect won’t be pushed to the next step (in our case, step #3) unless you finish this task manually.

To finish the task, you need to:

  • Open Reply Chrome Extension
  • On the first screen – the Live Task View – you will see LinkedIn Tasks among other tasks
  • Open the 1st Linkedin Task, Click “Open LinkedIn” button, send a connection request to your prospect including a personalized message from your Linkedin Task Description field.

Here’s how it works:

Step 3: Manual Email with Personalized Snippet

As the next step in your sequence, add a Manual Email with a personalized snippet.

To add a personalized email step to your sequence, use the Manual Email Task touchpoint. As in case of manual social touch, Reply will generate a specific task for every single prospect in your sequence and won’t proceed to the next step unless you finish that particular task manually.

Once it’s finished, a given prospect will be moved to the next step in the sequence.

When adding a personalized email task, you have to slightly modify your emails for every prospect in a sequence. To do that, spend 1-2 minutes researching their Linkedin profiles, company websites, etc.
Here’s an example of an email I’ve personalized for one of my prospects:

Hi {William},

{I saw on your company’s blog you’ve been sharing some awesome posts on SDR team productivity. Personally, I’m a big fan of new productivity tools.}

I’m reaching out to you because I noticed on your Linkedin profile that you are working at {SalesLab}. Given your role as {the VP of Sales}, I thought you might be interested in trying Reply.

In short, Reply has helped other companies in the {computer software} industry, such as {FreshWorks} and {Volusion}. Our platform accelerated their sales by automating communications with existing or potential clients and putting sales outreach on autopilot

{William}, how does your calendar look for a quick chat?

This kind of email will generate you high open and reply rates, believe me:)

Step 4: Automated Email with Vidyard Video

With our last touchpoint, let’s get even more creative and show prospects that you care about their business and their success. To do that, I suggest using an automated email featuring a personalized video. For example:

{William}

I know you’re very busy as {an SDR leader}, but I’ve been thinking to have a quick chat about bringing Reply to {SalesLab} because I think it could really help your SDR team improve sales outreach efficiency and increase reply rates.

Here is a 30-second video on how we can do that: 

{Just Record a super-short and friendly video and pitch your product}

If 15 minutes of your time isn’t too much to ask, then maybe we could jump on a quick call to discuss this?

To create a personalized video pitch, use Vidyard integration with Reply.

Once you’re done, here’s how the final sequence should look like:

Wrapping up

As you can see, using Reply Chrome extension makes it super-easy to research your prospects on LinkedIn or Sales Navigator and feed your sequence with high-quality contacts that perfectly match your ICPs.

But remember: prospecting is a game of quality and personalization rather than quantity and aggressive 10-step email sequences with no personalization within 2 weeks. 

Spend more time researching your prospects, add value that correlates with their business and currents needs. Make it warm ☀️ and human 🤗!

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