By: Ryan O’Hara

Several years ago, when I first started prospecting, I remember I used to live off LinkedIn. If you work in prospecting, an account executive, or even if you are just doing account management, it’s very hard to be a sales rep these days and not go on LinkedIn. I hear a lot of sales reps ask me, “Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator Worth it?” and I thought today we’d deep dive into some of the cool things you can do with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and why it’s definitely worth investing in for your sales team.

What is LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Just a quick refresher for those that don’t know. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a premium version of LinkedIn designed to help sales reps with gaining insight into their prospects. In my opinion, while you can do a lot with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, but LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s biggest differentiator in the market is using it as a research tool for prospecting.

Most profiles on LinkedIn are coming right from your prospect’s mouth. This means the data quality is pretty accurate for research considering it’s not just deducing conclusions about your prospect with indirect hints. A lot of other research tools out there make conclusions about your prospect, like what vendors they use, what relationships they have, what’s their personality like, etc.

No need to do the Sherlock Holmes song and dance. Read what your actual prospects actually describe their jobs publicly.

When you’re trying to build a relationship with a prospect, the way they write their profiles, job descriptions, and the relationships they have can be a reliable way to understand them more.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows reps to not on to get more advanced features, but build an isolated news feed of their prospects and target accounts to stay in the know about their targets.

What’s the difference between LinkedIn Basic and LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Advanced Filtering

LinkedIn Sales Navigator opens up profile search to more premium information. On a basic LinkedIn account these are your options for advanced filtering:

LinkedIn Basic

LinkedIn Basic accounts now have very limited filtering.

With LinkedIn Sales Navigator on your account, not only will you see search results of people you aren’t within 3 degrees of, you can also filter your search results to be even more granular.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Filter Options

Just some of the filter options on LinkedIn Sales Navigator

One of the most underrated functions is this capability to do searches based on these filters. Just using your imagination, you can think of all kinds of ways to find new prospects. I really like using the “Posted content keywords” and “Function” filters to narrow down search results based on titles.

If you are an Account Based Selling sales team who sells things like seats, where the number of team members impacts your pricing, I recommend searching your target account first. When you get to your target account’s page, not only will Sales Navigator give you info on the account, you can actually click the “View All” button to search for all their employees on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Sales Nav Screenshot

Find your account, then search through all their employees on LinkedIn with LinkedIn Sales Nav. The account page will show you recent news, suggested prospects within that company, and more.

Once you get into the “View All” screen, you can then turn on filters and find the best contact from within a specific department.

Filtering the function to be only people who work in “Sales” helped me find the best contacts to prospect at Infor thanks to LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

See more search results per page.

One of the most noticeable features with LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the amount of profiles you can see per page.

On a basic LinkedIn account, you can only see 10 profiles per page of search results:

You can only see 10 search results per page on a basic LinkedIn Account

 

On a Linkedin Sales Navigator Account, you can see 25 profiles per page, making it easier for you find the right prospect without going through many page results.

 

Dig through your customer’s and partner’s connections.

Referrals are one of the best ways to bring in more customers.  If you have a close relationship with a customer or partner, they give can find the best chance to get a response. Here’s an example of how you can do it:

Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to prospect your customers/partners connections.

Imagine writing a prospecting email, or making a phone call, and telling a story about a customer that person happens to know? The results are magical, and your prospects will eat it up. LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be a great way to find those common connections.

Use Rapportive Again via the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Gmail Extension

Do you may remember using a Chrome Extension called Rapportive that was acquired by LinkedIn a few years ago? Rapportive would match up LinkedIn profiles with emails as you composed emails to your prospects.  You may have been looking alternatives to Rapportive since it doesn’t work anymore. The good news is, the technology is now part of LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s Gmail Extension. All LI Sales Nav accounts have access to their Gmail Extension.

The New LinkedIn Sales Navigator Gmail Extension

The New LinkedIn Sales Navigator Gmail Extension

Discover new accounts and leads using LinkedIn Sales Navigator

One of the newer features of LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the capability to find new accounts to prospect. At LeadIQ for example. we like ideally going after companies that have at least double digit sales reps working on a team, and it’s usually easier to get them to adopt our technology if they use Google Apps.

Here’s how you can do a search based on department headcount and technographic data inside LinkedIn Sales Navigator:

Finding new accounts in LinkedIn Sales Navigator is super easy.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator will also recommend leads and accounts for your sales team to go after, based on your searches and prospect’s you’ve added, under the “Discover” tab.

So why should I buy LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Well I know I spouted off a bunch of features, but I think the real magic behind LinkedIn Sales Navigator is getting your reps out there online. The best sales reps know how to be social, like and comment on things their prospects are interacting with, and build relationships with their prospects. Having these premium features will make it easier for your reps to research prospects, and understand their accounts better. Get your reps entrenched in your space.

Bonus: How do I link up my Salesforce with LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

While you can do some cool stuff to link up your CRM with LinkedIn Sales Nav, one of the missing pieces is being to match up the profiles you look at with existing data in Salesforce. This is why we built LeadIQ, to get more reps living on their LinkedIn Sales Navigator and pushing prospects with full contact information into Salesforce without having to exit the tab you’re browsing for prospects on.

Linking up LeadIQ with Salesforce will make it super easy to see existing Salesforce activity as you browse LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. If a prospect on LinkedIn doesn’t exist inside Salesforce, just add them in one click.

 

 

 

 

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Ryan O'Hara

Ryan O'Hara has been an early employee at several startups helping them with marketing and prospecting tactics, including Dyn who was acquired by Oracle for $600+ million in 2016. He's had prospecting campaigns featured in Fortune, Mashable, and TheNextWeb. Ryan specializes in branding, business development, prospecting, and coaching people on how to make good digital first impressions. He also mentors two accelerators, The Iron Yard and The Alpha Loft, and hosts The Prospecting Podcast.