Year 2020 from a business point of view was really unusual. The difficult quarantine period has replaced well-established activities of many companies. Our company decided to perform an experiment. For several years now, there have been disputes among professional salespeople: are “cold calls” still effective? What is their alternative? Can lead generation be considered a good alternative to such calls?
During experiment we have been rising following questions:
- Is it possible to sell to target customers using LinkedIn lead generation?
- What will be the customer feedback? How many customers will want to communicate with us?
- Is it possible to say that LinkedIn message can attract more cold customers (or contacts) attention than cold calls?
- How many potential customers actually view the information we send them?
- Efficiency. How much time we will spend to generate leads, compared with calls? How much will it cost us? What will be the result?
- The amount of actual sales during the experiment.
We consider the beginning of the experiment to be 13/11/2020.
- two LinkedIn accounts;
- real implemented solution’s presentation;
- a clear and specific strategy for working with each lead;
- Preliminary experience in working with generation of lead.
Our target customer:
- recreation centers;
- wellness centers;
- health centers;
- all other centers providing routine medical treatment and health services.
- most personalised notice to each potential customer;
- not to sell anything at the beginning of the conversation;
- receive people permission to send them more information;
- to agree on further actions only after identifying particular interests.
Geography of our potential customers: Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Norway, Finland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia.
Can it be sold to target customers using generation of LinkedIn leads?
The main goal of our experiment was to use the social network of professional contacts as the main tool in sales. In our case, we failed to make any real sales. We certainly know that we will make another experiment by changing attitudes and will inform you about obtained results.
What was the customer feedback? How many potential customers have agreed to be included in the contacts?
Starting this experiment, we have defined exactly what might be customer way.
We send a short text to client at the first message – customer approves the request – we ask client permission to send detailed information about a specific project, which could be of interest to him – the customer confirms – we get feedback about the information – we agree on video conferencing and try to offer specific solutions.
The first text sounded like this:
Hi, client name,
We saw that “EXAMPLE” SANATORIUM is a well-known SPA hotel and sanatorium in CLIENT COUNTRY. We work with one of the largest sanatorium and SPA in Lithuania. We have developed solutions that greatly improved their customer experience during the stay. I believe it could be interesting for you too.
Question about permission to send information:
Hello NAME, thanks for confirming the request.
It’s always a pleasure to talk to business improvement professionals. We have a very interesting business case in our portfolio. I think it will be interesting for you. Can I send you information?
We tried to personalize the messages as much as possible so that the customer did not think that the robot (software) was sending him a message or that it was part of a mass sending.
What results did we get?
Is it possible to say that LinkedIn message can attract more customer attention than the cold call?
Based on our experiment, we can say that it attracts attention. Of course, it all depends on what the first call will be, who will receive it, and so on. Several factors point to the big plus of the first LinkedIn message compared to the first cold call:
- Calling the AMA at the wrong time. The interlocutor will then try to end the conversation as quickly as possible without delving into its essence.
- Bad connection.Then the interlocutor will simply not understand half the information we are telling him.
- Language barrier. Failure to speak a language other than the mother tongue may lead the interlocutor to end the conversation because he or she will not understand the exact purpose of the call.
There are other risks associated with working with LikedIn:
- Difficulty finding the right contact.There are market segments where LinkedIn does not have the right people.It’s just impossible to find your customer.
- The CEO or decision maker has 2-3 people in their contacts.This shows that he is simply not using this platform.
- The customer uses LinkedIn every 3 months.It is likely that after checking and receiving 30-40 invitations, such a person will simply automatically add you to contacts and ignore what you have written to them.
In all other cases, the platform provides only advantages. The platform itself also offers a set of paid tools for organizing sales (e.g., Sales navigator, Premium sales account, etc.).
How many potential customers actually view the information we send them?
According to our statistics, only 6 customers (3.8 %) out of 155 viewed the information forwarded. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine how carefully they read it. In our experiment, none of the 6 potential customers commented on the submitted presentations of the actual implemented solution.
We have noticed a certain trend. The more action a potential customer needs, the less likely he is to take it. It takes a lot of potential contacts to lead at least one of them to real sales by losing a certain percentage of potential customers with each action.
How much time for lead generation, compared with calls? How much will it cost us? What’s the result?
The question about efficiency is very difficult to answer. On the one hand, in the initial phase there were some countries where almost every second person has approved the request to add him to contacts, but on the other hand, not a single client went to a certain sales. All our actions stopped at steps 4-5. The question of why we could not go further requires separate reflections and experiments.
What was the cost of this experiment to us?
This experiment cost us absolutely nothing. We did not buy “Premium” accounts and did not use paid LinkedIn’ tools.
We spent 1 – 2 hours per day searching for and adding contacts.
How much would it cost us to call 155 customers?
Supposing we use VOIP telephony, where the average cost per minute for a particular country can be 0.08 cents per minute. The average phone call during the first call can take up to 1.5 minutes.
We get 0.08 x 1.5 x 155 = 18.60 EUR
Calling 155 customers can take about 2 weeks of active work.
The result of such calls is hard to imagine because we did not conduct such an experiment.
The amount of actual sales during the experiment
At the end of the experiment, the sales amount was 0 EUR.
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