How to Find 10,000 Sales Prospects on LinkedIn in 10 Mins

X-Ray Searching for sales prospects is a genius LinkedIn hack. In fact, we loved it so much we can up with our own version: The 10X-Ray.
LinkedIn Hacks 1000 Prospects

X-Ray Searching for sales prospects is a genius LinkedIn hack, especially for outbound sales development reps (SDRs) that have a limited LinkedIn network themselves. The entire process of prospecting on Linkedin using the X-Ray technique is detailed over on Sales Hacker. 

Here’s the nitty-gritty summary of the tactic: Instead of searching inside of LinkedIn for prospects, you use Google to find the LinkedIn profiles you want using advanced search operators. Using Google search provides an advantage because LinkedIn shows limited profile data to logged in users based on how many degrees of separation away they are. If you have a mutual connection, you will see most of their info, if you are 3 connections away from a profile, you may not even get their name:

no name linkedin profile
There’s no way you are going to guess this email.

Before we go on we want to say that we are BIG Sales Hacker fans. We keep up with their LinkedIn group, and their blog posts and webinars are always filled with great tips and actionable strategies. However, the X-Ray process presented on the Sales Hacker blog doesn’t scale well and is very manual. It’s a great trick for one SDR to know… and keep to themselves.

Here’s our take: At DocSend, we favor a programmatic and scalable approach to outbound sales development. We don’t like the idea of one SDR learning a tactic that provides hundreds of prospects for them while their peers are left twiddling their thumbs.  So we use a technique we came up with called The 10X-Ray to level the playing field for our sales team.

Here’s a technical break down of the basic process:

X-Ray Technique 1.0

Start with a site:linkedin.com/in/ query to isolate public profiles on LinkedIn and add a keyword to clue you into their job role or company name:

Linkedin Xray search
Click this image to see the actual search results in Google.


Example Query combinations that work best with X-Ray

When you want to get more specific, you can combine queries:

site:linkedin.com/in/ AND {company] AND [job title] – ex Marketing AND Salesforce — see example here

The OR operator is going to be your best friend. By combining long lists (like 10 different job titles) — you can get a lot more results and maximize your prospecting, example:

  • VP OR SVP OR EVP OR Director OR Manager OR SalesOps

This is the core concept behind X-Ray prospecting. But there are a few issues:

  • If your SDRs are relying on purple links in Google to let them know if they’ve looked at a prospect before, they are at risk of losing their work. Tons of leads get disqualified using this process, only the decent ones tend to make it into the CRM. If a rep who executes X-Ray prospecting accidentally clears her cache, she’ll lose a lot of covered ground.
  • Your historical prospecting data is not centralized. SDRs can’t see what queries other SDRs have performed.  They could be duplicating work by reviewing the same profiles. If your reps are self-prospecting and using the X-ray technique, they are going to either step on each other’s toes or waste time evaluating prospects that are already in the CRM.
  • It’s slow and manual.

How To Scale the X-Ray Linkedin Sales Prospecting Technique

Enter Link Prospector and Scraper for Chrome

the old prospector

Link Prospector is primarily sold as a marketing tool, but it has a lot of uses for sales prospecting and lead generation. Link Prospector collects information from Google at scale and puts it into CSV form, you can input up to 1000 search queries at a time and can record results for up to the first 1000 result per query. This allows you to collect 100,000 possible leads per report ?

You can sign up for Link Prospector and get a single report for $5.00

Scraper for Chrome is a free plugin that allows you to point and click on information on websites and automatically export the data to a Google sheet — instantly. It’s a little technical, but easy to pick up. There are a lot of great guides on how to use this tool:

Here’s a video of us scraping a list from the Inc 5000

scraping a list of companies with the scrape similar extension.

Now that we have a giant list of companies, let’s find their sales leaders. By combing company names with this query:

  • site:linkedin.com/in/ sales (VP OR SVP OR EVP OR Director OR Manager OR SalesOps OR “sales ops”)

Using the =concatenate function in Google Sheets, you can create hundreds of prospecting queries automagically:

how to use the concatenate function in google sheets

Now it’s time to copy and paste these queries into Link Prospector:

dropping the queries into link prospector

  • Always select “Custom” for report type.
  • For this example, we put the “Depth” at 50, meaning it will scrape the first 50 Google results.

Here’s what you get when the report is over:

link prospector finished report

Select “Export Paths” to get a CSV of the results

how to export to csv from link prospector

Here’s what you get with the CSV

final export from link prospector

Ignore the columns labled TLD and Domain. The column labled LTS measures how many times a prospect came up in your searches. The more times they come up, the more relevant the result tends to be. Because the export is sorted from most to least relevant, it’s imperative to round robin the leads so that all reps get a shot at high quality prospects.

This exact example generated 10,061 cold leads.

10000 leads generated. you are welcome.

If you want to save money, you can have your SDRs figure out prospects’ emails manually. If you plan on doing this regularly, want to move faster, and are ok paying a little extra, you can use a B2B lead gen service like LeadGenius. They can manage gathering and verifying contact info, as well as finding other leads similar to the prospects you provide. This allows our team to focus on tasks that require EQ and critical thinking instead of typing in possible email combinations. If you don’t have the budget for a service like LeadGenius you can farm out the work using UpWork, but you’ll need to QA all the data that comes back.

Once the emails are verified, it’s time to divvy them up to your outbound SDRs and start testing messaging. Happy hunting!

Image credits: jimmy thomasJohn Smith