You have probably heard people discussing LinkedIn Sales Navigator, perhaps you have used it yourself. Do you know how to use it to it’s fullest potential as a sales tool? If you don’t, we can assure you that you will by the end of this article.
NOTE: In August, 2019, LinkedIn released a quarterly product update with tighter integration to its Content Curation product, Elevate. We will do more research and let you know what we learn.
What is LinkedIn Sales Navigator?
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a paid sales tool available via LinkedIn, the Business Networking solution used by more than 630 million users globally. These statistics, from Omnicore, further note that more than 303 million of those users are considered active. LinkedIn is your parent’s old Rolodex on steroids.
Sales Navigator enables you to identify prospects for your solutions, to track what is happening in their lives and their businesses, and much more. Whether you are working with specific leads or using account-based selling approaches, this tool will make you much better at your job. While LinkedIn is the Rolodex, Sales Navigator is your Donna Paulsen, the brilliant executive assistant in Suits that knew how to ensure Harvey was always successful. If you don’t understand that reference, you should go out, and binge-watch the series. I’ll wait here until you get back.
Alright, now that you are sufficiently impressed with Donna, you understand that LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the tool you need to do your job successfully.
What are the Key Features?
Donna Paulsen had a list of impressive skills, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator is no different. A full list of features is available on the LinkedIn Sales Navigator pages, but let me share a few of my favorite capabilities with you now:
- Powerful search filters to further refine your prospect lists (individuals and businesses)
- Powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) that provides recommendations for target customers
- Saved searches
- Alerts (job changes, news stories, etc.)
- Tag leads for better segmentation
- CRM Integration
- Integration with Gmail
- It’s own mobile application
- LinkedIn SSI
We will explore each of these features when we dive into Sales Navigator Best Practices later in this article.
What is SSI?
The LinkedIn SSI score
LinkedIn defines the LinkedIn SSI Score (Social Selling Index Score) as “how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships. It is updated daily.”
SSI is scored on a scale from 0 to 100 with 100 being the best. It is made up of four key measures, each of which have a maximum score of 25.
Establish your professional brand.
The quality of your profile, combined with the quality of the information you are sharing. Consider these areas as opportunities for improvement:
- Does LinkedIn consider your profile complete? If not, complete it.
- How many connections do you have? Followers?
- How much content have you published on LinkedIn?
- Is that content being viewed? Shared?
Find the right people.
A measure of how effectively you use the search and research tools within the product. Your ability to have people accept your connection requests at a higher percentage rate factors into this.
Engage with insight.
This metric demonstrates your ability to participate and generate meaningful conversations.
- Participate in conversations by leaving helpful comments.
- Write LinkedIn post and ask others to comment, share, and give you LIKEs.
Measurement of your ability to connect and engage with decision-makers..
B2B sales professionals selling to Enterprise customers should use SSI as a guide. It gives you an indication of how effectively you are building awareness in this significant channel. While I cannot yet recommend a specific target number for your SSI, LinkedIn Sales Navigator indicates that:
“Sales professionals in the Computer Software industry have an average SSI of 34.”
While this feels low to me, I do not have trusted research I can point at to recommend a specific target SSI value.
What is your SSI Score?
If you have access to LinkedIn Sales Navigator you can find your SSI Score here.
Here is an example of the SSI Score.
Linkedin Sales Navigator Best Practices
I spend hours a week inside of LinkedIn Sales Navigator. When you find a tool that meets your needs, you are crazy if you do not take full advantage of it.
My goals are likely similar to yours, although we may state our objectives differently. For me:
- Identify the people talking about LinkedIn and topics related to it.
- I want to read, listen, and learn to as many people as possible.
- I want to take those lessons learned and apply them back here.
- Identify and connect with decision-makers in all industries that may wish to learn more about LinkedIn solutions at some point.
Let me summarize those goals in this way: Finding conversations to participate in; Finding decision-makers who will eventually buy products in my area of interest. That probably sounds similar to what you are trying to accomplish, right?
Here are my best practices for using LinkedIn Sales Navigator effectively.
Use Saved Searches
LinkedIn has a great Advanced Search tool. I find people often fail to leverage it thoroughly, leaving conversations, connections, and money on the table. However, take one look at Advanced Search in Sales Navigator, and you see possibilities not available to you in core LinkedIn.
Here are the filters I use all of the time, in combination, to identify my targets. I primarily focus on using the Advanced Search against Leads for my purposes and will focus here in this guide.
- Function. You can choose the job function your prospects have self-identified as belonging in, such as Sales, Marketing, Finance, etc.
- Seniority Level. Do you want to talk only with CXOs and VPs? Maybe you want to target Managers.
- Title. You can choose the specific job titles you are interested in messaging. All of those Sales Playbooks, filled with messaging for particular personas, are getting used.
- CRM Contacts. You are using a CRM system, right? If you are, you can choose to only search for users that are already in your CRM system (or not in your CRM system).
- Posted Content Keywords. Interested in people talking about particular subjects, such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator?
Here are a few ways I use these specific search capabilities.
- Identifying opportunities to engage with prospects we already know. Are they in our CRM system? Are they talking about us or the competition?
- Identify people to collaborate with based upon content they are sharing.
- Identify potential sales targets. It can be compelling to go straight to the CxO level and focus on people in industries you are targeting.
Consider these options, and you should be able to identify multiple searches you want to run regularly.
Saved searches are the killer feature in Sales Navigator. I have 15 saved searches and wish I could create 15 more. LinkedIn, can you extend this limit?
Why are saved searches so valuable? When you create a saved search, you specify it’s update frequency, set it to daily. The daily update setting means you will get an alert each day for all users that have met the criteria in the last day. How do I leverage this capability?
- I have searches monitoring keyword usage. Every day I get an alert showing me all conversations referencing Sales Navigator taking place on LinkedIn.
- I have saved searches which look for job title changes. If someone in a target company changes into a role I target, I see them in my daily alerts. I use this to either reach out immediately or to save them as a Lead to stalk in a business appropriate fashion later.
- I have saved searches that identify when a CRM system contact joins a target account (account-based selling). Let’s say you have a client who loves your product and is your champion at company X. They leave that company and go to another company. Two years later they join a new company, one you are targeting. Isn’t it nice to have the system point this out for you? You can now pick up the phone and see if they need your solution.
Monitor Leads and Accounts in the news
Sales Navigator gives you the capability to save Leads and Accounts. Always Save all targeted accounts and any key people. Navigator provides a user interface to see all news for saved leads and accounts easily. Use this news as an opportunity to reach out and make connections with these crucial targets.
Yes. There are dozens of other features available to you and, while it is worth exploring them and identifying different approaches, these are the only three I use to meet my goals consistently.
Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator worth it?
If you have goals similar to mine then yes, Sales Navigator will provide you tremendous value. However, is it worth it? Let’s explore pricing for a moment.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Pricing
I know pricing will likely change in time, but I will do my best to keep this up to date as it does so. I ask all of you fellow Collaborators to help, as always. You can find current pricing on the LinkedIn site, as of this moment.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Professional Pricing
Billed as one payment of $779.88 per year.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Team Pricing
Billed as one payment of $1,240.00 per year per license.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Enterprise Pricing
The per-user licensing for Enterprise is not available on the site as of this moment.
So, back to our original question. Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator worth it? In my opinion, absolutely. Spending around $1300 per user for a tool that will generate much more revenue, both directly and indirectly, is a no-brainer.
So, will you be Donna, magically delivering results day in and day out? Or, will you be Louis Litt, always coming up a bit short?
Check out this great video from Gabe Villamizar.