How to Actually Generate Quality b2b Leads on LinkedIn – An Advanced Guide For Founders and Data-Driven Sales Teams

By: Jack Reamer |
 March 31, 2022 |

You are probably here because you’re tired and frustrated by reaching out to prospects on Linkedin who either: 

  • Don’t reply to your messages
  • Or who are just a bad fit, and you don’t exactly know how to target the right prospects.  

Obviously, you want more sales and this comes from generating quality b2b leads. 

You need to target prospects who actually want what you’re selling, who have the budget for what you’re selling, and who are ready to purchase. 

The spray and pray method just doesn’t work. 

In this article we will discuss some advanced methods for b2b lead generation; such as how to build an ultra-targeted list of prospects for Linkedin; but also explore some simple changes that could make a big difference to your lead generation strategy.

(It could be as easy as updating your Linkedin profile.)

By applying the following tips and tricks from Linkedin lead generation experts, you will definitely generate more quality b2b leads in no time at all.

(But, if you would like some more advice for your specific business, schedule a free 15-minute strategy call with Salesbread, or partner up with us for 20+quality leads per month.

But before you begin with any Linkedin outreach check your profile first and your network.

In the next few paragraphs, we will discuss why your profile and your Linkedin network are important for generating quality leads as founders and sales teams

Think of your Linkedin profile and your network as the foundation of your success. 

If these steps have just been glossed over, and don’t optimize your profile, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Here is why:

If you are in the B2B space, checking out your LinkedIn profile is probably one of the first things your prospects will do. 

If your profile is unprofessional or reads like a resume, and isn’t a “sales page”, it’s not going to impress your target audience

In fact, a poor profile might reflect badly on your company name, and even affect your invite acceptance rate. 

The same goes for a Linkedin brand page. 

But interestingly enough, personal Linkedin pages create more engagement than a brand page, therefore spending time on your own Linkedin profile is well worth the effort for future lead generation.  

According to Top Dog Social Media: LinkedIn company pages are entirely passive and don’t allow you to increase engagement if it is low on your page. Personal profiles, on the other hand, give you endless opportunities to find and interact with targeted prospects, drastically increasing engagement, if you’re willing to put in the time.”

So spend some time creating a professional Linkedin profile. After all, first impressions can be lasting ones. 

At Salesbread we even did some A/B testing and just tweaked one small thing on a client’s Linkedin page and, from this one small change, it doubled our client’s acceptance rate.

(It was as simple as changing their title heading on their profile.)

Think about it… What’s the first thing people see when you send them a connection request?

They may see your: 

  • Profile photo 
  • Name
  • Your header or title (This is important to get right)
  • Who your other connections are 
  • And also a personalized connection message, if they have written one. 

Below is an example of some connection requests I have received this past week.

(Notice none of them have personalized outreach messages, which is extremely important for sales outreach.) 

There are some that I would like to check out and accept into my network, and others not so much. 

For example, one request doesn’t even have a photo of the person reaching out to me. This, in turn, makes me less inclined to actually accept their connection. 

Also, some photos look more professional than others. Have a look below and think about who you would rather connect with based on their profile photos and write-up.

Random selfies are definitely not the way to go if you would like a professional Linkedin page. 

Especially if you are targeting decision-makers and founders at companies. 

Sometimes “titles” work really well. 

For example, if you are the CEO or founder of a company, that title already pulls a lot of weight when you’re reaching out to prospects. The only way that you can make that better is by adding if you work for a well-known company. 

Remember Linkedin is all about building connections with people and sometimes just tweaking your title slightly could get you better results.

You want to be able to resonate with the prospects that you’re reaching out to. 

Have a look at the excellent Linkedin profile below:

Nathaniel Bibby has a great Linkedin profile.

He often changes his profile photo, but it’s important to note that the photo is always professional but also feels relatable. 

The banner in the background has also been used to create some social proof.

It mentions marketing awards that they have won, and the picture looks like his sales team

Use the above space to gain credibility.

Think about it, if someone had to take a glance at your Linkedin profile, they would know exactly what you could do for them. 

So you can get creative, and use Linkedin to your advantage. It doesn’t have to be a boring resume-type page. 

Rather try to create a story with your page of who you are, what inspires you, how you got started and how you can help people with their pain points. 

Also, have a look at your about section.

Do you have strong CTAs?

You can see above, Nathaniel Bibby shares his website and tells the reader to get in touch. 

Here is what Linkedin advises for your profile:

Choose the right photo

Choose the right profile photo, preferably one that is a close-up. Your face should take up 60% of the photo. They also advise you to wear what you would wear to work and smile with your eyes.

Add a background image

Add a background photo, as we discussed earlier. This background photo can be a complementary visual element that shows the reader what matters to you. It can also help your profile stand out from the crowd. 

Let your heading be more than a job title

Make your headline more than just a job title. “Use the headline field to say a bit more about how you see your role, why you do what you do, and what makes you tick.” 

Share your story

Use your summary to create a story, instead of it just being a resume. The about section is a personal piece of your own content marketing. Tell people your story and why you feel specific skills are important to you. 

 Stay away from buzzwords

Apparently, the most used buzzwords on Linkedin are “passionate, specialized, certified, expert, creative and innovative.”

These words are often overused; so try to think out of the box and describe yourself differently from everyone else on the platform.

If you would like some more info on how to create a killer Linkedin profile listen to this podcast:

Next, build a profitable network of Linkedin connections

Initially, you may be tempted to just add everyone who asks for a connection request to your network, but this might not always be profitable. 

If you are looking for high-quality leads try to connect with those who might bring in b2b business

But if you are starting from 0, follow these tips to grow your network.

1. Start small

If you don’t have many connections in your network, try to connect with friends, family members, colleagues, and ex-colleagues first.

(We will discuss later why having a network is important for generating qualified leads on Linkedin.

Hint: At Salesbread we reach out to those in your second-degree network. So the bigger your network the better.)

Next, you can connect with those who are in the same city as you, and with those who have the same job title as you do.

Granted, these people might not lead to sales, but if you can get your first 100 connections under your belt that’s great. It’s the first step to growing a profitable network.

2. Go after low-hanging fruit BUT with those you want to sell to

Once you have grown your network, start connecting with people you would like to sell to.

For example, if you have developed a saas program for realtors, try connecting with high-earning realtors or agencies. 

Connect with the right people in the right market, because after all, it’s not going to help if you connect with 1000 prospects, who are all the wrong fit for your lead gen campaigns.

Grow your professional network with b2b sales in mind.

So we suggest joining industry-specific Linkedin groups that make sense for you to be part of. 

It’s pretty easy to get a high acceptance rate if you say something like:

 “Hey Susan, I saw you from the digital marketing community here on Linkedin, it seems like we have some overlap and we already know some of the same people here.” (Hint: Using your second-degree network.)

Another point to consider is going after all kinds of job titles as long as they are in the industry that you would like to sell to.

Start conversations with these people and engage with them.

Comment and their posts, as this will help you sell later on.

3. Make your dream connections

Hopefully, by now after following the above strategy, you should have about 500 or so first-degree connections, now you need to target people that you would like to sell to later.

If you try to sell to people while you try to connect with them, they are typically going to shut you down. 


Because no one wants to get pitched to. 

Next, build a list of the accounts on Linkedin that you want to do business with. Hopefully, there are a couple of thousands of them.

Then, you look at the second-degree connections at those companies that you already have and start segmenting them by the right keywords, demographics, and job titles

So now everyone who accepts your message sees that you already have some shared connections, and these people are your dream connections because they’re people you would like to do business with. 

At this stage, it’s also ok to start pruning your network and disconnecting from those who aren’t the right fit for your growth. 

It’s better to have a network of industry-specific people who can help you create a profitable and helpful network; whether it’s influencers that you would like to engage with or b2b companies that you would like to sell to. 

This will help you increase your conversion rates later on. 


Because you have set the foundations for generating quality leads on Linkedin. 

So if you are a founder or a b2b marketer looking for leads on Linkedin, these foundations have to be in place.

If they aren’t, go back, fix your profile, and build connections with people to whom you would like to sell to. 

Now once these first steps have been put in place, you need to build a super targeted list of accounts of prospects that you would like to reach out to. 

We will show you how below:

Build an ultra-targeted list of prospects for Linkedin outreach 

This is one of the biggest problems when it comes to generating quality leads on Linkedin. 

Most other lead generation agencies build very basic lists. 

For example, you might say that you are looking to generate leads in the healthcare space and your target audience is CEOs.

Some other lead gen agencies will build a list of all healthcare services and just reach out to CEOs. 

This is a problem.

You might end up with a list of thousands of prospects, but because the list isn’t targeted, most people on that list won’t agree to a meeting. 

At Salesbread we obsess about building ultra-targeted lists. 

Our job is to analyze your current BUYING customers. 

And we do this by using 34 business attributes and “signals” so that we can detect “Buying Patterns” and uncover your “Look-A-Like” customers that, based on data, will need what you are selling.

Below is a sample of how we do it. (You can watch the full video here: but feel free to read about how we do it. ) 

We create a spreadsheet of your current buying customers. We then add in certain categories such as Company, website, industry, size, location, funding, and job title

We then create a data dashboard that helps us to visualize patterns between current buying customers.

As you can see we have: funded, yes or no ratio, some stats on funding, and the industries chart helps you visualize where most of your buying customers are coming from. 

For example, in the above chart, you can see that more than half of the buyers come from the computer software industry, information technology, and internet spaces.

We are then going to filter this information once again on our spreadsheet…

And we filtered by:

  • Internet
  • Information technology
  • Computer software services

Any time you make edits to these filters the dashboard will change.

See how we have filtered the information below: 

The data becomes slightly clearer now.

Notice how the funding chart changed quite dramatically from the initial chart.

This tells us that we will most probably find more buying customers in these top 3 industries if they are funded. Because more than 70% of customers who have purchased are funded companies. 

We will now isolate only funded companies on our list.

See below:


We can now go back to the dashboard and see what has changed. 

Look at the company size. 

After filtering, we can now see that the sweet spot is companies that have a size of 51 – 500 employees.

We can even see that the overwhelming majority of these companies are based in the United States. 

 You can even see the job titles of people who are purchasing your product or service:

This data gives us an idea of who would be the right people to target. 

So because of this data we know we need to target companies in the computer software space, internet and information technology, that are funded, who have between 51 and 500 employees… AND to reach out to CEOs, founders, CSOs, and co-founders in the United States.

This is how we start building our segments and figure out exactly who to target. 

We then use certain tools to narrow our list down even more. 

If you want quality leads you have to use the right prospecting tools. A surgeon isn’t going to operate on a person using a bread knife. He will skillfully use a scalpel. 

In the same way, you can’t hope to build a list by using cheap data providers. 

At Salesbread we spend thousands of dollars a month on tools such as:

  • Zoominfo
  • Crunchbase
  • Linkedin Sales Navigator
  • Bombora

These tools allow us to get the freshest data, by using advanced filters.

So if you are choosing an outbound agency to partner up with, find out what other tools they use for finding high-quality leads.

If they don’t make use of various tools and don’t go off Linkedin to find ideal prospects, it should be a RED FLAG for you. 

And if you would like to use Linkedin to generate leads, research these prospecting tools and invest in them. It will definitely up your game by optimizing your prospect lists. 

If you target the right customers, it will lead to successful Linkedin lead generation campaigns

(For more info on how we build lists read this article: 

Also note that if you partner up with us, we spend about a week refining your target audience before we even begin with a Linkedin outreach campaign. And this is why we are able to generate 1 qualified lead/booked meeting a day for our clients. 

So now once you have refined your list and you know who you are going to target, it’s time to research prospects and write your copy.

Research your prospects and write personalized messages

If you want high reply rates during Linkedin outreach, you are going to have to personalize your outreach messages. 

This is more than just using the prospect’s first name and then sending the same message out to everyone via an automation tool. 

You actually have to research each prospect on your list and tailor-make a message just for them. 

Yes, this does take time and this is why at Salesbread we actually have a personalization expert who does just this.

This expert will research prospects and write copy that will appeal specifically to them. 

We personalize our connection requests and our follow-up messages.

Here are some examples of connection requests we have written in the past:

1. Hi (Name), I’m looking to expand my network with fellow business owners and professionals. I would love to learn about what you do and see if there’s any way we can support each other. Cheers! 

2. Hi (Name)  I’m looking to connect with like-minded professionals specifically who are on the revenue-generating side of things.  Let’s connect!

3. Hey (Name)  Came across your profile and saw you work in real estate. I’m reaching out to connect with other like-minded people. Would be happy to make your acquaintance. Have a good day!

4. Hi (Name) LinkedIn showed me your profile multiple times now, so I checked what you do.  I really like your work and as we are both in the creative industry – I thought I’ll reach out. It’s always great to be connected with like-minded individuals, isn’t it? (Your Name)

We use something called the CCQ method when writing personalized messages for Linkedin. 

This means that we look at a prospect’s Linkedin profile and try to find something that we can use; such as a compliment, a commonality or even ask them a question. 

If you don’t use personalization people shut down when they see your messages. Why? Because they are bombarded daily with spam, and messages that are all very similar.

They are used to receiving sales messages on Linkedin, so they basically ignore everything that seems the same.

By using ultra-personalized messages, you will get higher reply rates. 

Don’t sell in your outreach messages

Another factor that many marketing teams don’t take into account is the need to sell in their outreach messages. People might use all of the above tips but then spoil the “relationship” with a sales pitch. 

Here’s an example:

I received this message immediately after connecting with the person below.

This didn’t really impress me.

And I never replied. 


Because all they actually wanted to do was sell their product or service. 

But if they perhaps sent one or 2 follow-ups and made conversation, I might have been willing to listen to them later on. 

At Salesbread all we do is start conversations. We never sell in our messages but only mention what we do for context. 

The only time we ever pitch a sale is when we are on a call. 

Here is an example of what you could say instead of pitching a sale:

I have a few questions about your role at XYZ and the strategy you use. (Just for background our company drives engagement with social media marketing and seo.) Would love to hop on a call with you, how does next week sound?” 

People are often scared to ask for a meeting but you shouldn’t be.

We usually do this in our first follow-up message.

This sets the stage for a sales meeting and lets the new lead know what we would like from them. If they really aren’t interested, or it isn’t a good fit, they usually tell us.  

Here are some replies that we have received from prospects by using this method:

I’d absolutely love to connect! Monday is pretty open for me ☺️

Hi ###, thanks for the message and connecting! Have you worked on #### projects in the past?

Hey – Thank you for your interest. Next Monday before 11:30 am I have some time to chat. If you want to send me an email invite I am at s#####

I do have a good deal of production capacity right here, and a big piece of my job is marketing our team through various forms of media. I say this because we seem to have similar job descriptions. I just don’t want to lead you on.

That said, I am always open to exploring possibilities.


Hey, let’s reconnect early in the new year. I am OOO for the remainder of 2021. Thanks for reaching out!

Hey. Email is fine. jc####

I’m out of the office the rest of the week, and ### is closed all next week, so responses may be a little slow. Thanks for your patience!

Try out content marketing and Linkedin Ads 

Content marketing on Linkedin could also work to generate leads. Just note inbound marketing can take slightly longer to generate leads, compared to outbound methods (like outreach.)

But if you have the time and budget give content marketing and Linkedin advertising a go. 

According to Bluehost, Linkedin provides various tools for businesses to promote themselves.

You could post videos, Linkedin stories, and “Live”, you can even showcase certain pages. 

Videos are a great way to create awareness for your company, as videos on Linkedin receive 24 times more engagement.

Content marketing is also a great way for employees to get involved. Studies from Linkedin show that employees drive 30% of the engagement that companies see.

When your employees post blogs or videos about your company, it creates a virtual source of traffic to your company page on Linkedin. 

The more prospects see your brand, the greater the chances of them reaching out to you.

If you can position yourself as a thought leader in the Linkedin world, people will most likely come to you for advice. 

This video from Hootsuite is quite helpful when it comes to what you should share on Linkedin when it comes to content marketing

If you would like to try out content marketing on Linkedin, remember it’s about engagement. 

  • Share personal stories
  • Reach out to people who have reached certain milestones
  • Share helpful articles from your website
  • Comment on other posts 
  • Share regularly and be consistent with your marketing campaigns
  • You could share case studies too and relevant content for your audience. 

Creating social proof via content marketing is a great way to get new leads for your business. 

What about Linkedin ads?

Linkedin offers various options for advertising. 

You could make use of:

  • Sponsored content

“Sponsored Content, also known as native ads, show up in your audiences’ LinkedIn feed, regardless of whether they’re scrolling on mobile or their desktop. LinkedIn labels these ads as “promoted” to distinguish them from regular content.”

  • Sponsored messaging

“Sponsored Messaging (previously known as Sponsored InMail) lets you directly advertise to LinkedIn members in their inbox.”

  • Text Ads

“Text Ads show up along the top and right-hand side of LinkedIn’s desktop feed and are a good option if you’re looking to build strong leads with a professional demographic.”

  • Dynamic Ads

“Dynamic Ads run on the right rail of LinkedIn and speak to audiences directly through personalization.”

  • Awareness Ads

These ads get your brand on the tip of people’s tongues, start with an awareness ad. These ads help get audiences talking about your products, services, and brand. Through these impression-based campaigns, you can also gain more followers, increase views, and spark greater engagement.”

(Please note this information comes from if you would like more detailed information on Linkedin advertising this is an excellent resource. )

There are actually many many more ways that you can advertise on Linkedin. 

 You can even choose the format that you would prefer during your Linkedin marketing

And set the budget and schedule that you prefer. 

No one ever said that generating quality b2b leads would be easy…

And this is the truth.

It takes a lot of time and effort to generate quality b2b leads on Linkedin. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix, and this is one of the reasons why Salesbread guarantees 1 qualified lead per day for our clients because we put in the work. 

We value our client’s time and the money that they invest in lead gen.

Therefore we go the extra mile for our clients, by building ultra-targeted lists, writing personalized messages, and teaching them to run their own campaigns once they decide to move the process in-house. 

If you would like 1 guaranteed b2b lead per day or your money back, with pricing less than hiring a full-time sales rep, get in touch with us today. 

(Or if you aren’t yet ready to hire a lead generation agency, schedule a free 15-minute consultation/marketing strategy call. Or read some of our testimonials here. )