We all know how fundamental to corporate networking with LinkedIn has become.
This applies to all areas of our professional lives, and particularly powerful in getting our sales teams closer to their new prospects, leads and accounts.
LinkedIn has also become another administrative overhead, another task on the long list of things that a sales rep must do in, around and instead of selling. A number of reports recently identifying that sales reps spend 59% of their time *not* selling! (Accenture, Sales Performance)
So at Westbrook we have implemented an automated LinkedIn invitation process that has proved successful, it allows the team to automatically send out LinkedIn invites to appropriate prospects and connect whilst they sleep! I personally have just returned from my summer vacation, and during that time I received daily alerts from LinkedIn to tell me that a new prospect had accepted my LinkedIn request.
This specific requirement was around new leads generated from AppExchange installations, but it could just as easily be from any lead generation source or account assignment process.
“When a new Lead is created with Source “AppExchange” send out a LinkedIn invitation to the prospect client that installed the app.”
“When a Lead is assigned to a sales director, send out a LinkedIn invitation from the sales director to the prospect.”
We use Zapier to deliver on this requirement, Zapier provide a cloud trigger service which provides the glue between around 300 cloud services or apps, (e.g. google Docs, twitter, basecamp, gotomeeting, etc). These apps can be glued together with zaps to make them communicate, many zaps can be built for free, however the more commercial ones such as Salesforce or gotomeeting are classed as “Premium” and need a payment plan. The plans start at $15, which is an insignificant amount for any commercial use.
* I do love Zapier – but it troubles me a little, as it makes it just so easy to setup “new world” integrations, app-to-app or cloud-to-cloud flows. Luckily they haven’t yet disrupted the ERP or Legacy IT system integration world yet!
The integration architecture
The implementation steps
- Get a “Lead-in” process sorted out.
- Set-up Lead assignment rules.
- Fork out for a Zapier account, it starts @ $15 per month, you can afford it!
- Create a new Zapier Zap from Salesforce to LinkedIn for each LinkedIn user you want to generate invites for.
- Trigger the zap on a new lead, filtering by owner.
- Also filter the leads to those with first name, last name and email. LinkedIn requires you to “know” the person in this way to send invites. If your lead-in process doesn’t get you these details, then sort that out!
- Setup the send invite text to send from LinkedIn… “Hi John, you are amazing…”
- Test and activate the Zap.
- Get the team out selling, one more admin task has been removed!
The zap in the Zapier builder