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min read
July 8, 2024

How to Improve LinkedIn Reply Rates

Parthi Loganathan
CEO of Letterdrop, former Product Manager on Google Search

Being "left on read" by prospects is a fate familiar to all BDRs.

Sales leaders know that successful outbound comes from surfacing an urgent problem at the right time.

Beyond urgency and the problem, there's a third component — who is the message from? Do I trust them?

Solving that problem will help your sellers beat quota.

Why the Old Model of Hiring More SDRs and AEs No Longer Works?

For the past decade, we've solved the problem of hitting quota by increasing inputs. Hire more SDRs, more AEs, send more emails, LinkedIn DMs, and cold calls.

But the problem is that you're still spraying and praying, and making up for low funnel metrics through volume.

This is a very expensive way to build pipeline, and isn't a viable strategy in 2024 when every company is thinking hard about profitability and capital efficiency when it comes to growth.

Your CFO is not going to be happy when you come around asking for more headcount.

This is the new approach to GTM. Nicholas Chan speaks about how this playbook resulted in mass layoffs on the sales teams at companies like Convictional and Vidyard.

Instead of just more activity, think about how to make your existing sellers more efficient at connecting with prospects. Here's a guide on how to automate research for prospecting from the team at Clay.

But how do you actually make sure that message gets read and trusted?

Turn Your Existing Sellers Into People Prospects Want to Buy From

Don't Pitch Slap

Simply connect with your target prospects. This doesn't make an ask of them and is more likely to be accepted.

Don't use inMail. It's a waste of time. You probably don't read 70% of your inbox!

We've all learned to not accept connection requests from sellers because we know we're going to be hit with a pitch slap in our DMs.

With AI, you can automate research on an account and craft a great message, but your sellers won't be able to connect with a prospect and send them a LinkedIn DM if your buyer won't accept their invitation.

They need to become a person worth connecting with first.

Our founding BDR, Ryan Patel, has a very successful outbound sequence that follows on from this connection (and after he's already built a credible LinkedIn presence — more on that below.)

"My LinkedIn presence has been playing a huge role in helping me beat my quota.

Two weeks ago I booked a meeting in less than a minute because they saw I was 'Ryan from Letterdrop' and said, 'I've seen you on LinkedIn. I love the stuff you put out.'

Our ICP sees me as a peer because I'm putting out helpful and relevant content."

— Ryan Patel, Founding BDR at Letterdrop

Why Social Selling?

If you're not sold on the concept:

  • Ryan had a record week of 8 outbound meetings booked after his LinkedIn presence accelerated his reply rate from 5-21.6% in less than 3 months
  • Oliver Johnson, BDR at ServiceBell, jumped from a LinkedIn reply rate of 10% to 64% in a month
  • Refine Labs drove $14M ARR in net new revenue and $50MM in pipeline in two years from LinkedIn 
  • It costs 1/20th of an average month of LinkedIn ad spend to turn your team into social sellers
  • 90% of B2B buyers are more likely to engage with thought leaders
  • 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchase decisions

So, how do you become a social seller so compelling that your reply rates improve?

We have an official guide to selling on LinkedIn as well as a full strategic LinkedIn playbook, but here's the TL;DR.

1. Turn Your LinkedIn Profile Into a Sales Page

Mark Jung, founder of Authority and LinkedIn growth expert, explains what a good profile should look like in the below video.

The TL;DR is:

  1. Craft a clear, benefit-focused headline.
  2. Create an emotional hook addressing the main problem you solve.
  3. Spotlight expertise with 1-2 key offerings — don't write too much here.
  4. Clarify value proposition with bullet points and stats.
  5. Avoid jargon and clichés.
  6. Incorporate social proof where you can.
  7. Use visual cues for readability.
  8. Keep your tone conversational and informative.

Here's my account as an example.

My LinkedIn account is a sales page
My LinkedIn account is a sales page

2. Warm Up the Account Through Authentic Engagement

Part of building trust involves participating in the community you're trying to sell to.

  1. Like and comment on their postsno AI-generated comments. Folks can see right through that, and it will hurt your credibility
  2. Send them helpful content and messages based on questions they're asking publicly. Don't waste their time with a pitch
  3. Send them a personalized LinkedIn video or voice note (less than one minute) if you believe you can genuinely help them with something

An example of meaningful engagement with ICPs on social
An example of meaningful engagement with ICPs on social

You need to give folks something valuable before you can think of pitching or making an ask. Only pitch if it makes sense.

How to Know If An Account is Ready for a Demo

Before you make an ask about a demo, you're probably looking out for signals and sales triggers that indicate that the account is warm and "in your orbit."

De-anonymization software like Clearbit, 6Sense, and Letterdrop can be of use to you at this stage.

Letterdrop can show you which accounts are engaging with what content, when.

It can also recommend which content to share with them next.

Letterdrop shows you which accounts are engaging with your content, when
Letterdrop shows you which accounts are engaging with your content, when

3. Follow the OPPS Framework

When you're finally able to make that ask for a demo, you want to follow the OPPS framework:

  1. Observation: Build credibility by making a specific observation about their business — this level of personalization dramatically increases chances of getting a response.
    1. Example: "Noticed you're using X technology, often indicating Y goal. Is this the case?"
  2. Process: Prioritize listening and understanding the person's current processes to identify areas where your solution can add value without pitching.
  3. Problem: Highlight potential issues faced by by the prospect, mentioning how you talk to lots of people facing the same problem.
    1. Example: "Typically, strategies like yours face X difficulties — I've seen it with a company like Y. Are you experiencing this?"
  4. Solution: Introduce the possibility of chatting further only after identifying agreed-upon problems.
    1. Example: "I've got some other ideas for when it comes to solving X — want to set up a meeting so we can chat about it further?"
    2. Example: "Maybe you could show me how you tackled this?"

Setting up a social selling regimen can take a lot of lift on your part. We can help you automate social selling, from drafting posts to completely automating engagement.

Here's a demonstration.

You Can Automatically Create Content from Discovery Calls

The Letterdrop AI is able to identify good questions for social content based on discovery calls. This saves you the need to brainstorm and write content yourself.

Letterdrop can aggregate call data to answer questions
Letterdrop can aggregate call data to answer questions

You're also able to

  • automatically generate LinkedIn posts from call themes and questions
  • know which content to pass along depending on what happened during the call, as Letterdrop sends an email with suggestions
  • track engagement on your content for sales triggers and signals

Become a Trusted Peer to Drive More Replies

The age of dark social is here. New wave companies like Refine Labs, Lavender, and even Letterdrop are actively driving pipeline and revenue by leveraging LinkedIn as an acquisition channel.

Think about how you can be of value to your ICP before making an ask.

We can help you find who is ready for you to reach out to — try it today.

Know which accounts are engaging with posts

Forget the guesswork. Know who's ready for you to reach out to automatically

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