Collecting your sales leads using LinkedIn, Google Spreadsheets and Trello

Collecting your sales leads using LinkedIn, Google Spreadsheets and Trello

Why LinkedIn -> Trello?

When you're starting freelancing or any kind of business to business sales you need to get list of potential clients aka sales leads. The identification of the sales lead is referred to as lead generation. Easiest way to start lead generation is to collect companies from your personal network (ex-colleagues, friends etc. who trust you).

LinkedIn has become de facto for business networks. If you have a basic account it might be frustrating process to go through all the connections and check where people are currently working.

What we try achieve in this blog post is getting list of companies to your Trello board where it is easy to organize to different categories.

Example LinkedIn export in Trello

If you not familiar with Trello then check their web-site.

Exporting data from the LinkedIn

To export data you can use this direct link or follow steps below to access the Export functionality.

When you're logged in to the LinkedIn. You should see following navigation bar.

LinkedIn navigation bar showing Connections

Click Connections and in the section called Connections, click on the rightmost icon.

Connections section in the LinkedIn settings

On the right side of the page there is an Advanced Settings. Click "Export LinkedIn Connections".

Advanced settings in the LinkedId page

Now you're ready to export data. Click export and download the file.

Advanced settings in the LinkedId page

Getting unique companies using Google Spreadsheet

Create new Google Sheets. If you haven't done this before then check following resource Create and rename documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Once you have created empty Google Spreadsheet you can import data. Click menu item File -> Open or use shortcut Ctrl + o. Select Upload and drag and drop exported file.

Google Spreadsheet Open dialog

You should now see columns like Title, First Name, Middle Name etc. If you scroll to the right there is a column Company.

Contacts exported from LinkedIn to Google Spreadsheet

Add new column on the right side by clicking small arrow on the Company column and selecting Insert 1 right. Click on the first cell of the new column and write =UNIQUE(AD:AD). In my case AD refers to the Company column, but you need verify what is it in your case.

Add new column to the right side of the column and get unique rows

Now we have list of unique companies. Copy all companies to the clipboard.

Add new column to the right side of the column and get unique rows

Creating Trello cards

This is the easy part. After you have created new Trello board, list (for the sales leads) and first card you need to paste company list to the card.

Importing companies to the Trello card

Trello cards created, what's next?

You can create your own system to categorize companies.

It can be formal such as:
Leads, Contacted, Offer sent, Offer accepted ..

to informal:
Leads, Nah.., if nothing else is available, Super-interesting

Let me know if you have problems or if you have had success managing your sales leads.