The unofficial guide to LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator is a vault filled with valuable information, but it’s locked away until you crack the code. In this ebook, you’ll learn how to reveal Sales Navigator’s treasures with: 1) A basic overview 2) User strategies 3) Tips, tricks and tactics

This guide will teach you:

  • How to target your audience with Sales Navigator

    How LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help you find the right people so you can create personalized outreach and start forging strong relationships.

  • How to use Sales Navigator for your role

    How Sales Reps, Sales Leaders, Sales Enablement, RevOps, and Marketers should be using Sales Nav for their individual roles.

  • How to unlock the full potential of Sales Navigator

    Features, tips, and secrets you might not know about to get the most out of Sales Nav.

This guide will teach you about:

Table of Contents

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Learn how to crack the Sales Navigator code

Since launching in 2003, LinkedIn has grown to more than 850 million members. It’s the largest professional network in the world and a tremendous source of data on people and companies — if you know how to find it.

In 2014, LinkedIn released a tool called Sales Navigator to organize its sea of data into a usable database. Sellers can now more precisely connect to people and companies.

1. A basic overview

2. User strategies

3. Tips, tricks, and tactics

Your prospecting will be more strategic, timely, and personal, and you’ll be 3.5% more attractive to strangers. (It’s a good ebook.) Let’s begin.

Part 1: The basics

A nuts-and-bolts overview of LinkedIn Sales Navigator

We can all agree that accurate data is essential for sales teams for successful prospecting, right? Having access to up-to-date demographics, firmographics, technographic, and intent data can speed up the sales process and make a difference when it comes to opening (and closing!) deals.

And there’s no better way to source this information than from users themselves. This is where Sales Navigator really shines — you can source a lot of this information directly from your prospects.

Let’s look at how LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help you find the right people so you can create personalized outreach and forge strong relationships.

Why not just use regular LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social network, not a research tool, so using it for research can be awkward. But LinkedIn Sales Navigator is designed specifically as a research tool for sellers. Gracefully sift through the wealth of data on LinkedIn and make your prospecting efforts more efficient.

Sales Navigator features like the ones listed here make a big difference.

  • Advanced filters: Make your research more strategic. Sales Navigator provides filters not available on regular ol’ LinkedIn. For example, you can filter by geography, current company, company size, recent growth, position, and more. Also, Sales Navigator extends your reach beyond the three degrees allotted with a basic account. The world is your oyster!
  • More search results per page: A basic LinkedIn account displays up to 10 profiles per page of search results, but Linkedin Sales Navigator increases that number to 25 profiles per page. Fewer pages = greater productivity.
  • Team network effects: Sales Navigator gives visibility into team members’ contacts. You can then utilize your team’s network for warmer introductions to charm your way into accounts. Go, team!
  • Data-driven recommendations: Sales Navigator uses algorithms to suggest prospects based on a user’s actions and profile.

The differences between LinkedIn offerings

LinkedIn basic

What it is: A networking site geared toward personal connections and content.

What it allows you to do:

  • Build a professional profile with your job history, education, and skill sets
  • Search for people, view profiles, and find second-degree connections
  • See a limited number of people in a search result, save a handful of searches, and set up alerts
  • See the last five people who viewed your profile
  • Receive messages from people within and outside your network

Plan details: It’s free to sign up and use.

LinkedIn Premium

What it is: An upgrade for active job hunters and company recruiters looking to connect.

What it allows you to do: Everything within the basic plan, as well as...

  • Find industry-specific insights on jobs and salary
  • Conduct advanced searches that yield more results than a free account
  • See everyone who has viewed your profile
  • Message people outside your network with five InMail credits per month

Plan details: Choose between Premium Career, for job searchers, and Premium Business, for recruiting teams.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

What it is: Designed for sellers and business owners as a powerful prospecting database.

What it allows you to do: Everything within LinkedIn Premium, as well as...

  • Conduct unlimited searches for people and companies, with advanced filters
  • Return the most search results and view the most profiles per search
  • Save searches and get alerts when something changes with a lead or account
  • Receive suggested leads based upon your vertical and audience
  • Message users outside your network without sending a connection request first

Plan details: Choose between Core, Advanced, or Advanced Plus plans to fit your team and needs.

The difference between all of LinkedIn's offerings and plans explained

Part 2: The users

Get the most out of LinkedIn Sales Navigator for your role

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an essential tool for every sales team’s tech stack. Still, it’s versatile enough to be used by your entire go-to-market organization — not just sellers.

Let’s explore how different roles can use Sales Navigator effectively including Sales, Sales Leaders, Sales Enablement, Revenue Operations, and Marketers.

How can sales reps use LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Sales Navigator provides accessible and precise information, simplifies your workflow, and makes outreach easier. Many sales reps use it every day to improve their prospects.

Here are some helpful tips.

  • Filter your searches: Targeted searches yield better results quickly. Be sure to try various combinations!
  • Organize your outreach: Each time you conduct a search in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, save it. You can prospect from this list over time, receive alerts, and keep your outreach tidy.
  • Personalize your messages: Scan a prospect’s profile for tidbits that make an attention-grabbing subject line, a warm introduction, and a compelling reason to continue the conversation. Watch your response rates climb!
  • Use your network: Sales Navigator reveals your coworker’s contacts. This broadens your network, makes for warmer introductions, and opens the door for easier referrals.
  • Take advantage of the algorithm: Sales Navigator has an algorithm that suggests contacts. It pulls from your activity and onboarding information. If you skipped it, then take the questionnaire to reset the algorithm and its suggestions.

How can sales leaders use LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Sales Navigator offers a variety of methods to help you manage a sales team and your strategy. Here’s how you can effectively use the tool.

  • Provide the right tech stack: Acquaint yourself with Sales Navigator to provide the right guidance to your sellers and to discern the best tech stack for your team.
  • Build your network: These days, a good sales leader is also a good thought leader. Sales Navigator helps you find the organizations, people, and events to grow — and showcase — your leadership abilities.
  • Share the right content: Quality content highlights your know-how, which can attract talent and expand your own career opportunities. Sales Navigator grants access to the right people and increases the exposure of your content. It also alerts you every time someone engages your profile or content, creating a perfect opportunity to reach out.
  • Establish strategies and processes: Sales Navigator can organize information and prepare your team for success. Use it to virtually define and canvas sales territories and then assign them to reps. Collate sellers’ performance data to forecast sales and set goals. And build out repeatable processes to organize and improve your whole team’s outreach.

How can sales enablement use LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Sales enablement leaders have an important mission: provide sales teams the resources necessary to grow the business. Equipping their team with the right sales intelligence is a critical part of that job. Sales Navigator is the go-to tool for sales intelligence. Here’s how sales enablement can effectively leverage it.

  • Raise the entire team’s performance: You need more than just your top-performing sellers to hit your targets. If you invest the time to make sellers proficient with Sales Navigator, you improve the whole team’s performance.
  • Pull from purer data: Effective outreach requires insight. Because Sales Navigator pulls data straight from user profiles, you can be confident in its accuracy. Pure data and clear insights motivate sellers to put in consistent effort, follow processes, personalize their outreach, and start better conversations.
  • Work smarter, not just harder: Hold the frenzy, keep the hustle. More efficient workflows eliminate redundant actions and accelerate the pace at which SDRs can forge real connections and book meetings. And a more organized, efficient, and stronger approach to prospecting overall can increase success and morale among your team, preventing burnout and churn.

How can RevOps use LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

A revenue operations team is like a conductor for a band. They lead sales, marketing, and customer success to harmonize efforts and increase revenue. When used as part of a social selling strategy, LinkedIn Sales Navigator can provide RevOps leaders with key insights to yield better outcomes and a higher ROI. Here’s how that works.

  • Increase revenue with clearer insights: Better insights power more dynamic outreach. When outreach is targeted and personalized, sellers create more opportunities and win more deals. You’ll see higher pipeline and revenue numbers, teams more consistently hitting business, and higher acquisition and retention rates.
  • Reach prospects with deeper pockets: There’s a hidden advantage to social selling. Buyers who are active on social media tend to have larger budgets. Sales Navigator can help sellers reach clients with more to spend, resulting in bigger deal sizes — increased by up to 600 percent, according to one study.
  • Improve pipeline health: According to a study from LinkedIn, Sales Navigator influenced 61% of participants’ total company revenue. This gives your funnel (or flywheel) a major boost from sales.
  • Boost your team’s effectiveness: Using Sales Navigator as your single source of truth eliminates confusion and delays that creep up when data is spread across different sources. And its list-building features and automated alerts streamline essential tasks. A smart sales tech stack means a more organized sales approach and a more productive team.

How can marketers use LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Marketing and sales are like brothers who fight: the bond is strong, but context across teams is sparse, and miscommunication abounds. Sales Navigator can improve collaboration between the teams and give marketing a boost. Here’s how sales and marketing can hug and make up.

  • Bridge the visibility gap: A shared tool gives marketing and sales common ground. For example, use the tool’s advanced filters to identify companies that fit the ideal customer profile and then map out territories and accounts together.
  • Find the right audience: A clearly defined target audience makes it easier to tailor and deliver content. Find your audience, thought leaders, or influencers through advanced search filters that match ideal demographics to your campaign.
  • Measure content engagement: Smart Links enable users to share large bundles of content (like a video or pitch deck) through a single trackable link. The sender receives valuable engagement metrics. Another bonus: links can report back to certain CRMs to help you score leads.
  • Track lead activity: LinkedIn Sales Navigator can sync with your CRM, making it a great source of truth. Keep your database clear and organized to see how leads and contacts engage with you throughout the buying process. This ability also helps you set more precise goals.

Part 3: The how-to

Features, tips, and secrets to refine your approach

Whether you’re using LinkedIn Sales Navigator on the regular or just getting started, it helps to have a plan. Use these tips to organize your efforts for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Get ready to crack open that vault! In this section, we’ll provide tips to:

  1. Master three (3) types of searches
  2. Manage your inboxes
  3. Act on alerts
  4. Tap into your network
  5. Use keyboard shortcuts
  6. Leverage your profile
  7. Nail your outreach

Lead searches

If you need to find contacts who could be potential buyers, try these tips to make your lead searches more effective.

  • Use advanced filters: Sales Navigator has dozens of filters. Use them to set your search criteria strategically. Are you looking for specific roles? Someone who recently changed jobs? Works in your territory? Tinker with filters to find the right contacts.
  • Use exclusions: Specifying what you don’t want keeps search results tailored to your mission. Start an “All filters” search and select the “Lead/Accounts” tab to exclude roles, companies, territories, and more.
  • Save your searches: Run a search, save a search. It saves time and prevents you from wading through people you’ve already contacted or people who aren’t relevant. Plus, LinkedIn learns from your activity and suggests profiles based on what you’re looking for. For bonus points: Share your best searches with your teammates.
  • Set up alerts: You can receive daily, weekly, or monthly alerts for profiles in a saved search to follow job changes, hiring activity, and announcements.

Account searches

Working from an ideal customer profile (ICP) or a named account list? Use these tips to find the right accounts, and then find contacts within those accounts.

  • Use the “Company” filters: Search for accounts by industry, headquarters location, revenue, Fortune listings, company or department size, and more. You can even get specific about hiring activity, changes in leadership, and the rate at which the company or team is growing.
  • Go “logo hunting”: Use filters to go after well-known companies with standout brand appeal. The “Number of Followers” filter shows results ranked by the number of followers an organization has on LinkedIn.
  • Follow funding rounds: A recent funding round is a great reason to reach out. If a company has successfully fundraised in the past year, it will show up at the top of a search, with a link to a relevant article.
  • Be sure to save your searches: This way you can skip the steps it takes to create a search. Just reopen a saved search and start prospecting right away. This simple action can save you 15 minutes a day. That adds up!

Boolean searches

More than a fun name, Boolean searches allow you to return the exact set of results you’re looking for.

  • Know your operators: Boolean searches combine keywords with operators such as AND, NOT or OR.

    Use AND to include specifiers that narrow your results
    Use NOT to exclude things you don’t want in the results
    Use OR when you want one type of result or another

    Keep in mind that Boolean operators are case sensitive. They must be in all capital letters to work
  • Get exact with quoted searches: To return results with exact wording, enclose the phrase in straight quotation marks. For example, type “IT manager”. This tip is handy for finding prospects with multi-word titles.
  • Get complex with parenthetical searches: To get even more specific, you can combine terms using a parenthetical search. Say you’re looking for vice presidents, but don’t want to pull up assistant or senior vice presidents. You would type: “vice president NOT (assistant OR senior vice president)”.

How to make alerts actionable

Customize your alerts

Alerts are super useful — and accessible. On your homepage, click “Accounts” above your main feed for a directory of every account you’ve ever saved. Navigate to “Alert types” on the right side. You can tailor alerts to your saved accounts — making it easier to personalize your outreach. If you don’t know where to start, simply explore “Alert Types” for some inspiration.

Save lists of accounts

Yep, this again. Saved lists makes your alerts more effective, too. Receive activity updates on anyone who works at an account you saved. Or follow certain forms of engagement, like when someone at a company views your profile.

Using keyboard shortcuts

Keep new search results separate

Now that you’ve got your advanced search strategies nailed down, make those saved searches even more powerful. When you click on a saved search, you’ll see two columns. One has the name of the saved search. The second column is titled “New results.”

Navigate to the green numbers in that second column — but don’t click. Instead, press CMB + Tab (or CMD + Shift). This will open that link in a new tab.

The payoff for that extra effort? If you click directly on the link, the search results merge into the list of everyone you’ve captured in that search before. Opening those search results in a new tab gives you a clean list of only the new individuals that fit your search criteria — a fresh pool of contacts to engage.

Nail your outreach

Personalize it

Personalized outreach is proven to be more effective. Take a few minutes to review your prospect’s profile, find a point of interest, and do something creative with it. Ask a question about a skill or hobby, explore shared interests, share a relevant insight, or speak directly to their pain points. You can even create a video. Last tip: Don’t overthink it.

Make it relevant

Since your search was strategic, you should be surfacing prospects who can genuinely benefit from your product or service. That makes it easier to connect the personal insight you found to your company’s value proposition. And that’s what makes your solution especially relevant and meaningful to them.

Mind your inboxes

Know how the inboxes work: InMail vs. Inbox

There’s a difference between your InMail inbox — the messaging directly within LinkedIn Sales Navigator — and the inbox in your LinkedIn Standard or Premium account. Those two inboxes do not overlap. So if you’re messaging people from both, you need to make sure you consistently check both inboxes. Otherwise, you could very well miss a message from a prospect.

Prospect from a single account

Our best advice to simplify your inbox management is to keep the purpose of your inboxes separate. We suggest always prospecting from InMail. It’s known to be more effective than contacting prospects from your regular LinkedIn account. And it keeps that inbox dedicated to messages that could lead to opportunities. Save your other inbox — on your Standard or Premium LinkedIn account — for more personal messages with colleagues and friends.

Use your network

Find shared connections

If you’re not connected to a promising prospect, look for a shared connection in your network. With a Sales Navigator Advanced or Advanced Plus account, you also have access to TeamLink, which lets you see your entire team’s connections.

Go ahead and name drop

If you do share a mutual connection, consider dropping their name early in your outreach to establish that connection. You can even ask the mutual connection to make the introduction for you.=

Mine your saved searches

Try this in your saved searches every so often. Run a saved search and browse for new leads that share a connection with someone you know. It’s an easy way to warm up your outreach.

Consider optimizing your profile

Make your profile work for you

If you’re prospecting from LinkedIn, expect that people will check out your LinkedIn profile. Craft a profile that does some of the hard work for you! Use a professional photo, a compelling headline, and work experience details that highlight how you help your buyers achieve their goals.

Keep your profile visible

It can be tempting to toggle your profile visibility to “off” when browsing other people’s profiles. Resist the temptation. If someone you were researching looks at your profile in return, you can use that interaction as a reason to reach out.

Follow up on profile views

Having a public profile allows other people to find you and engage with your posts. Remember that every engagement is a chance to further a conversation. If a prospect looks at your profile, find a personalized way to reach out and start talking.

Now what? Get Prospecting!

At LeadIQ, we believe the best and most effective prospecting is personal. And finding the right people often starts with LinkedIn Sales Navigator. That’s why we built the LeadIQ platform to work seamlessly with the tool.

Learn how LeadIQ works in tandem with LinkedIn Sales Navigator to help you find, capture, and sync prospect data to your CRM and engagement tool, track sales triggers, and compose personalized outreach in seconds — no writing required.

Explore the platform and book a demo with our team.