Timing Is Everything: Using LinkedIn for Spot-on Sales Outreach

February 12, 2018

LinkedIn Active Status

Timing is everything. The old saying never rings truer than when it comes to reaching out to a sales prospect. With ideal timing – first to respond to a hot lead, for example – a not-so-perfect sales message has a shot. But when the timing isn’t right, even the most well-thought-out, personalized message faces an uphill battle.

Sometimes good timing is just lucky, just as sometimes bad timing is merely an unfortunate circumstance. There's no way to guarantee spot-on timing in every instance, as you know, but with a little know-how, you can hush luck's say in the matter. 

How to Use LinkedIn’s Active Status and PointDrive to Better Time Your Sales Outreach

Is Your Sales Prospect in a Professional Context?

Back when social media became a thing, the newfound ability to see a prospect’s real-time social activity represented yet another way for salespeople to win with social. If a prospect just recently participated in a social interaction, particularly a relevant one, the sales pro could assume the prospect was more willing to engage at that time.

This doesn’t always work, of course. Sometimes the message is auto-scheduled, meaning the prospect is working while their social profile says otherwise. And sometimes the social activity doesn’t match the intent. Just because a prospect responds to an old friend on Twitter doesn’t mean they’re in the mood to talk software. Timing outreach with social activity still works, so long as qualitative analysis and common sense exist.

LinkedIn’s Active Status feature holds several benefits for sales pros, but for the purposes of this post, it can particularly help you be more certain that your timing is right because you can now see who in your network is online and available on LinkedIn. Here’s how:

Next time you look at a connection’s profile page, you will notice a green status dot next to their photo. This means they’re currently online and that now might be the best time to engage them, whether via instant message, InMail, or email.

Now granted, this only works for connections – just one more reason to connect with members of the buying committee at your target accounts when the opportunity arises.

What Happens After You Hit Send?

If you’re like most sales pros, you’re not sure what happens to your message and the content you shared after you hit the send button. You hope the prospect read it. Better yet, you hope they shared it with multiple decision makers.

But when we have no clue what happened, we send vague follow-up messages that only annoy our prospects, even the interested ones who haven’t expressed their interest yet. Think about it, the person who completely disregarded your message gets the exact same follow-up message as the person who read every last word and shared it with three people. This uninformed follow-up has been going on since before email.

There are several ways sales pros can use LinkedIn PointDrive to optimize outreach. Among the biggest benefits are timing and context. PointDrive lets you know whether a recipient opened, consumed, and even shared your content. Using this information, you have a better handle on your prospect’s interest level – your follow-up strategy is an informed one.

And as your content gets forwarded, the insight from PointDrive empowers you to identify other stakeholders in the buying committee. Using this information, you can:

  • Save these prospects as leads in Sales Navigator and monitor their social activity
  • Connect with other buying committee members on LinkedIn, when it makes sense
  • See which content the recipients accessed and consumed so that you have a better idea of where to start your conversations

Wait-and-wonder is a powerless mode for sales pros. By gaining insight into your sales messages, you are better positioned to seamlessly continue the conversation in a manner that respects buyers’ time.

For more ways to sharpen your engagement strategy this year, be sure to check out our Sales Prospecting Toolkit.