One of the most common questions I get from sales executives is
My quick answer is “Yes, if an appreciable amount of your salespeople’s time is spent hunting for new business.” That’s because LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a powerful sales prospecting tool.
Before moving onto the longer answer, let’s get a few things straight.
Sales Navigator is not simply an upgraded version of the free LinkedIn service like LinkedIn Business or LinkedIn Business Premium. It’s a completely different software product, in the same way LinkedIn Recruiter is specifically tailored to the needs of HR professionals. So you actually get a lot more than a few “up-sized” LinkedIn features.
There are two versions of Sales Navigator you need to consider:
- The individual version which can be purchased by any member via a simple in-app upgrade.
- An enterprise version which involves a contract for a set number of seats. The enterprise version also includes a management dashboard similar to what sales managers are used to from their CRM systems. It also enables a powerful feature called TeamLink which gives users greater network visibility beyond their own network by letting them into the networks of co-workers using Sales Navigator.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are the three features I really like about Sales Navigator and how you can use them to boost sales:
- Listen to Peoples’ and Companies’ Signals – Think of it as LinkedIn’s version of Google Alerts. You simply save the People and Companies that you want to track and LinkedIn displays their LinkedIn activity and web mentions in the Sales Navigator Home Page. It’s like having a personal sales research assistant working 24 x 7 for you.
- Extra Advanced Search Filters – All premium (paid) versions of LinkedIn included extra search filters like Company Size, Function, and Groups. Sales Navigator has even more. The ones I find most valuable don’t even show in the Lead Builder screen. They are applied on the search results screen:
“Changed job in the last 90 days” – Trying to unseat an incumbent supplier or convince a company to try something new? There’s no better opportunity than when a new leader takes over. This is high value trigger event for most sellers. And system tracks job changes better than LinkedIn?
“Posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days” – Just because you and I live on LinkedIn doesn’t mean every decision maker does. So why not target the ones who are? The ones who are likely to see an InMail and post info that could provide the insights you need to get their attention. This filter shows you those people.
- Sales Navigator Chrome Extension for Gmail – We all live in our email Inbox, and Gmail is one of the most popular platforms. Now there is a Chrome extension that shows LinkedIn information along side email messages. If you’re connected to the sender, you can easily access their contact information. (see image). If you’re not, you can invite them into your network. In either case, LinkedIn provides some “Icebreaker” opportunities based on commonalities like Connections and Groups.
Do you have questions about your company’s considered social selling investments? Since I am an independent consultant, I’ll give you the straight scoop that you’re unlikely to get from a vendor rep who is selling a single product.