If you find prospecting hard. You are not alone.
In fact, nearly half of the sales reps surveyed thought prospecting to be the most challenging part of the entire sales process.
For starters, you need to fill the pipeline with as many quality prospects as possible while trying to move different prospects through different stages of the funnel with highly personalized touches. And there’s a quota to meet.
There are many moving parts so if someone ventured into it sans the proper tools and knowledge, they’d catch themselves in a tight spot.
If you are scrambling day in and day out to find, connect, engage and close prospects, consider adding LinkedIn Sales Navigator to your toolkit.
According to Linkedin, when sales reps use the platform on an average they gain:
- +17% higher win rates when saving leads to Sales Navigator
- +42% larger deal sizes when using Sales Navigator to connect with decision-makers
- +15% more pipeline when using Sales Navigator to find customers
In this guide, we will take a closer look at why LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a better prospecting tool and how you can use it in your sales process for maximum productivity.
Why is Linkedin Sales Navigator better for Prospecting?
a. It’s authentic
Linkedin Sales Navigator is a social selling tool designed by and for Linkedin. Hence it works well with the platform offering you a seamless experience. While using Sales Navigator you don’t have to worry about the source, quality or legitimacy of your contacts, you know it comes from Linkedin’s network and you know you can trust it.
By using LSN, you are always in compliance with Linkedin’s policies and never run the risk of getting your account kicked out of the platform.
b. Provides you rich lead data
Linkedin has over 774 million members and 57 million registered companies. Of those using Linkedin frequently, 40% access it on a daily basis clocking up over 1 billion interactions every single month.
You see where this is going? Linkedin is a goldmine of prospect data. And Sales Navigator taps into this data to provide rich lead data helping you make better prospecting decisions.
c. Easy access to lead’s information
Sales Navigator gives you easy access to real-time alerts on leads’ Linkedin activities, job changes in the last 3 months, updates on their company, and sends you notifications when they view your profile.
So you can better recognise opportunities, connect and build relationships with your leads with more confidence.
d. Extends your reach
Sales Navigator not only helps you fetch prospects using advanced search capabilities, it also helps you reach out to more approachable prospects through your network of teams, colleagues and connections. This is probably one of the most important benefits that you will gain by using Linkedin Sales Navigator.
Using Sales Navigator effectively in your prospecting process
Step 1: Building your contact list
Building a list of quality leads lay the foundation for any successful sales prospecting. List building typically involves the following steps: Searching for prospects, screening and selecting the prospects that match with your Ideal Customer Profile, and categorizing them under different lists. Because sales reps have to sift through reams of unrelated data, list building usually takes a lot of time and effort.
However, with Advanced Search and Lists features in the Linkedin Sales Navigator you can get these tasks done super quick.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to perform Advanced Search and build Lists on Sales Navigator:
- Log in to Sales Navigator
- Once you are in the Home Page, click the ‘Advanced’ drop-down button within the Search Bar.
- A drop down menu appears with two options: Search by Lead, Search by Account (company). Choose the one you need.
- Based on your choice, a screen pops up featuring an array of 30+ filters corresponding to your selection. Eg: If you selected ‘Search by Lead’, filters related to people would appear.
- You can toggle on ‘Apply your Sales Preference’, if you want to apply sales preferences. If you haven’t set your sales preferences yet, go to Setting → Sales Preference.
- Check out these cool filters under ‘Sales Preferences’: Keywords, TeamLink Connection (*only on Team and Enterprise plans), Leads with shared experience/commonalities, Leads following your company, Leads with recent job change, Relationships, Company type, Fortune.
- Once you’re done with all the adjustments and are happy with the number of results, (top right of the screen) click ‘Search’.
- You should now see a ‘search results’ page with all the contacts listed on the right side of your screen and filters to the left – incase you want to tweak again.
If you feel the contacts will be a good fit, you can save them, add tags to differentiate them or put them in a list. Read on to know how you can perform these.
a) Saved Searches
The purpose of the Saved Searches is to make Sales Navigator remember the searches you made with particulate filters. Sales Navigator updates the list as and when profiles match that particular search. Visit these Saved Searches whenever you want to check for new entries.
- In order to save your search, select the contacts while you are in the search results page. Then, click ‘Save Searches’ in the tab just below the search bar.
- A pop-up window appears, prompting you to give a name to the search you are saving. Give a name – if needed set Alerts (Daily, weekly, monthly, never) – and click the green tick mark. And your search will be saved.
- To check your saved searches, click ‘Saved Searches’ located right next to the search bar. It will take you to a window with a list of searches you have already saved.
- Simply select the contacts you want, and click ‘Save to list’ above the contacts sections.
- A pop-up window appears, prompting you to give a name to the list. Give a name and click ‘Create and Save’. And you are done.
- To access the lists, head over to the navigation bar on top of the screen and click Lists. It displays three options: My network, Lead Lists, Account Lists. Choose the one you want.
- Based on your selection, it will either take you to the Lead Lists or Account Lists page where you can find the lists you have saved. Click on a list to get more detail on the same.
Lists are great for organizing and keeping track of leads/accounts, and taking notes directly within a list. You can also share your lists with your teammates for collaboration (available only for Team and Enterprise users)
Auto-Sync your contacts to CRM
Sales Navigator currently offers seamless integrations with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamic CRM. In order to sync your CRM with Sales Navigator, you need to first install the ‘CRM Sync’ feature to your CRM. Head over to these pages (Salesforce), (Microsoft) for instructions on installation.
Once you are done with your setup, Salesforce starts automatically syncing your leads and accounts that are affiliated to every individual in the CRM. Additionally, you can enable the CRM sync to write-back select data from Sales Navigator to your CRM. This streamlines your workflow and allows you to focus more on actual selling.
Step 2: Researching the prospect
After pre-qualifying and building your list of contacts, the next step is to track and research these leads/accounts to understand their business, challenges and requirements in-depth, and find the right opportunity to present your pitch.
Sales Navigator helps you track your contacts effortlessly by dishing out relevant real-time updates and insights on the leads and accounts you’ve saved – on List, Tag and Saved Search.
To check out these updates, go to the Sales Navigator Home page. There, in the ‘Alerts’ feed you will be able to see short notifications on what’s happening with your leads/accounts, who’s changed their job recently, who’s mentioned in the news, who’s trending and so on.
If you filter alerts by clicking on the ‘All Alerts’ dropdown menu in the top-left corner of the Alerts feed. It will show you this lists:
Choose the type of Alert you want to receive and you’re good to go.
- You can prioritize leads and accounts insights/alerts by bookmarking alerts in the alerts feed. Then, view the alerts by clicking the Bookmark tab at the top of your Alerts feed.
- If you want to view all news and insights related to a particular lead or account, just go to their individual profiles/pages and click the News & Insights tab, right below the profile details.
Take notes and be in the know
While you are tracking the activities of your leads and account, you can use the Notes feature to capture your thoughts and interpretations or store relevant information and tasks on your leads page. For example, you can note down ‘I have sent a connection request to X lead’
Leverage Team Network
One of the coolest features in Sales Navigator is TeamLink. It’s function is simple: Lets you know who in your team (must be a Sales Nav user) is connected to the leads and accounts you’re looking to prospect. Once you know these details, you can ask your teammate with the mutual connection to refer you to the contact.
Note: TeamLink feature is available only on Team and Enterprise editions.
Step 3: Engaging with the prospect
Timely, personalized engagement with prospects is key to building great relationships, and closing more deals fast. Linkedin understands this very well and provides you two powerful features for engagement. InMail and Smart Links.
InMail, as you might already know, is a private messaging feature that allows you to send direct messages to anyone on Linkedin without the need to connect. With InMail, you can add subject lines and attachments and even copy your message directly to CRM with the ‘Copy to CRM’ option.
But the real power of InMail lies in its ability to suggest you Icebreakers. Icebreakers are snippets of information about your prospects that you can use to kick start a conversation with them. For example, if you and your prospect are both members of a Linkedin group or went to the same school, Icebreakers suggest you add that in your conversation.
This way, you can have a relevant, highly personalized conversation and come across as a genuine salesperson to your prospects meaning to add value to their lives.
On Sales Navigator, you can send InMails from:
a. The prospect’s profile page and clicking the Message button.
b. Lead /Account Search results page by clicking the three dots next to the Save button, and choosing the Message option.
c. Messages page by clicking the compose icon. To access the Messages page, click the Messages icon in the navigation bar.
Sales Navigator puts restrictions on how many InMails a user can send to their prospects. Depending on what plan you are in, you either get 20 (Pro), 30 (Team), 50 (Enterprise) InMail credits every month.
But don’t worry, as your prospects reply to your InMails, you will get your credits back.
Smart Links is a nifty feature that helps you save your pitch decks, product catalogs, and more on Sales Navigator and send them off as links to your prospects from any channel.
Not only that, Smart Link tracks how your recipients are engaging with your content in real-time. So you can determine interest, identify other stakeholders in the decision-making process, and personalize your follow-ups accordingly.
Here’s how you can create Smart Links with Sales Navigator:
- In the Sales Navigator Home Page, head to the navigation bar and click ‘Smart Links’
- This will take you to the ‘Smart Links’ page. Now, click the ‘+ New Smart Link’ button.
- A pop-up screen appears, asking you to give a name and Add files. Enter the name and click Add-files.
- Choose the files you want to save from your computer. (You can add as many files as you want)
- Once your files are uploaded, click Create Smart Link. Your new file gets listed in the Smart Links page.
- To copy the link, hover the move pointer over the new file. It reveals two options: Analytics, Copy link.
- Click ‘Copy link’. And use it as you please.
Note: Smart Links is available only for Team and Enterprise users.
4. Features and Plans.
Linkedin Sales Navigator has three different plans. Professional, Teams, and Enterprise. Each plan comes with an array of features set at a specific price. Let’s take a look at the key features offered in each of these plans:
Sales Navigator is a natural choice for those looking for a tool to find, engage and build relationships with relevant prospects on Linkedin. Its Advanced Search, Team Link, Saved Search, and InMail features are game-changers for B2B companies looking to speed up and scale their prospecting game.
Yes, there are dozens of cheaper alternatives to Linkedin Sales Navigator, but the reliability and safety it offers far outweigh its price.