The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Sales Navigator
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The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator has evolved into an indispensable tool for the majority of sales teams. With the strong presence of B2B buyers on LinkedIn, sales teams are now leveraging the platform to optimize their prospecting efforts, moving beyond solely using cold calling and traditional outreach methods. 

As LinkedIn is the largest professional networking program, with 80% of its users participating in their organization’s decision-making process, it’s unsurprising that sales teams are utilizing this platform to find high-quality, likely-to-convert leads that are boosting their conversion rates. 

But how can you leverage the tool for maximum results? We’ve rounded up all the key features and benefits you need to know to form your ultimate guide to LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Jump ahead:

Designed for B2B sales professionals, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a subscription-based service that enables sales professionals to leverage its extensive network to generate leads, and ultimately, close more deals.

With its extensive features, you can enhance your prospecting efforts and reach more leads than the basic LinkedIn platform and other traditional prospecting methods allow you to. You can build your pipelines with the right prospects that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP), and utilize the insights each prospect’s LinkedIn profile holds about them to tailor your outreach. This will enable you to cultivate and nurture strong relationships with high-value prospects. 

Sales professionals are also using the tool to maximize their social selling strategy by leveraging its capabilities to find new leads, discover new engagement opportunities, and build stronger relationships with prospects. 

But with so many sales prospecting tools to choose from, some might question if it’s worth the price.  For those who have doubts, a recent study on the total impact of LinkedIn Sales Navigator found a 312% return on investment over three years and that it paid for itself in less than six months. Furthermore, LinkedIn statistics show that on average, modern sales leaders see 42% larger deals and 15% more pipeline when using Sales Navigator as well as 17% higher win rates when saving leads on the tool.

Key Features of LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Advanced searching tools

To benefit from the features outlined below, the first thing you need to do is filter your searches to match your ICP. 

LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s advanced search filters help you find prospects that specifically fit your target market. You can choose from a range of filters including location, job title, company size, and industry to find exactly who you are looking for. 

Screenshot of LinkedIn Sales Navigator platform advanced searching tool

Source: LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Saved Searches

With the saved searches filter, you can save your search criteria allowing you to go back and run the same searches without having to select your keywords and filters again. For each saved search, you’ll receive weekly email alerts when new individuals or accounts match your saved criteria.

Lead recommendations 

Based on your preferences and search activity, LinkedIn Sales Navigator will auto-generate a list of recommended leads for you, finding you new leads that you might not have found on your own. 

Spotlights feature

The Spotlights feature helps you discover which prospects are more likely to engage with you based on your ICP. For example, the Shared Experiences spotlight shows prospects who attended the same schools or worked at the same companies as you, and the LinkedIn Activity spotlight uncovers prospects who have posted or shared content on LinkedIn in the past 30 days, showing you who is most active on the platform. 

You can use these insights to make your outreach more compelling, for example, by mentioning your common experiences or your insights on their recently published content, increasing the likelihood that you’ll get a response. 

Buyer Intent

The buyer intent feature provides users with insights into the accounts that are showing buyer intent signals. This feature empowers sales professionals to reach out to the right prospects at the right time. 

LinkedIn determines buyer intent based on ranking several factors, including:

  • Company engagement: such as following your company on LinkedIn or company page visits
  • Employee interactions: such as visits to your profile or new connections
  • Ads engagement: such as clicking on an ad or completing a lead generation form

This data will not only help you spot which company accounts are demonstrating high buyer intent, but it will also enable you to identify key individuals within these accounts who are showing intent signals. This makes it easier for you to identify the right decision-maker to target without wasting your time and resources to find them. 

LinkedIn’s buyer intent feature is currently available to Advanced and Advanced Plus users.

Combining LinkedIn’s buyer intent signals with first-party social media intent data will help you push more leads down the sales funnel toward a purchasing decision. This will enable you to uncover which leads are most likely to engage with you, which leads are most interested in your company’s offerings, and ultimately, which leads are most likely to result in closed-won. 

LinkedIn alerts

LinkedIn Alerts help you keep track of your prospects and companies of interest, with notifications about your saved accounts and leads. 

This feature sends you real-time updates and alerts including, career changes, role changes within a company, or any shared content on their profile. You can also receive alerts for buyer intent actions mentioned above, such as if a saved lead views your profile, if a lead accepts your request to connect on LinkedIn, or if a lead views your profile from a saved account.

Outreach and messaging

Another key feature of LinkedIn Sales Navigator we couldn’t miss on our list is LinkedIn InMail.

Perhaps the most well-known feature on the platform, InMail messages allows you to contact any lead you find on LinkedIn Sales Navigator without their contact information.

Research shows that InMails are effective: they are three times more likely to be accepted than a cold call, and six times more likely to be accepted than an email. Some several tips and tricks can help you boost InMail acceptance rates, such as viewing a prospect’s profile before sending them an InMail or having a strong personal presence on LinkedIn.

Social Selling Index

Although this feature has now become available to all LinkedIn users, the Social Selling Index (SSI)  is still a key feature you can access within LinkedIn Sales Navigator. The SSI empowers your social selling efforts, by giving you an indication of how successful your strategy is, or what areas need room for improvement. 

LinkedIn Social Selling Index screenshot showing a score of 80 out of 100

Source: LinkedIn Social Selling Index

Your SSI score is measured by combining data on four key components: 

  1. Your professional brand
  2. Your relationships with prospects on LinkedIn
  3. Your engagement on LinkedIn
  4. Your use of LinkedIn to find prospects

LinkedIn SSI then ranks your overall score out of 100, with each of these four categories ranked out of 25. The higher your score overall, the more effective your social selling efforts are. LinkedIn recommends that industry leaders have an SSI score of 75 or higher to be considered a thought leader. 

Your score will also reveal areas of improvement to maximize your social selling strategy for better results. You can also benchmark your success in your industry to see how you perform in comparison to your peers. 

Key Benefits of LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Reach an expanded network

LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps you leverage the largest B2B networking platform available to reach and discover a wider pool of prospects. 

Its advanced search tools improve your targeting and prospecting abilities, helping you find the right prospects that fit the buyer persona you’re looking for. This leads to more focused and efficient prospecting efforts, saving your time and resources while expanding your network to a wider audience.  

Enhanced lead quality 

The platform’s advanced features, including the spotlights feature and buyer intent feature, help you discover leads that are more likely to convert into customers. Resulting in a pipeline of high-quality leads, and increased chances of personal engagement.

Access to Decision Makers

LinkedIn Sales Navigator provides you with access to decision-makers, allowing you to focus your time and resources on contacting the right person at a target company whose interest in your product can lead to a purchasing decision. By having access to contact these decision-makers directly, you’ll increase the chances of closing deals at a faster rate. 

Personalized outreach

The platform’s insights such as LinkedIn Alerts and the Spotlights feature empower you with the insights you need to tailor your outreach messages with more personal, compelling, and relevant information specific to your lead, resulting in increased response rates.

Nurturing relationships with prospects

For B2B sales, nurturing your prospects plays a pivotal role in guiding them through the sales funnel toward a purchasing decision. LinkedIn Sales Navigator Insights is filled with insights about your prospects that you can leverage to nurture these relationships. 

Harnessing the platform’s real-time updates, which provide valuable information on lead or account activities, such as job promotions or company news, empowers you to initiate and sustain meaningful conversations with your prospects at opportune moments. This will result in strong relationships that can convert to a purchasing decision when the time is right.

Take Your Sales Prospecting Efforts to New Heights With LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a powerful tool to maximize sales prospecting efforts, giving sales professionals a platform to reach the vast and active B2B buying audience on LinkedIn.

The platform’s advanced searching tools, and unmatched insights about prospect online activity, along with its outreach capabilities, empower sales professionals to build a pipeline of new, high-quality leads that fit their target market. The platform also provides sales professionals with the valuable information they need to nurture these leads until they result in closed-won.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an essential part of social selling, helping you expand your network and empowering you with alerts and opportunities to engage with prospects in real time. If you’re interested in learning how you build out and maximize your social selling strategy with LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Oktopost, contact us today.

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