An SDR Guide to LinkedIn Sales Navigator

An SDR Guide to LinkedIn Sales Navigator

For B2B engagement, networking, and lead prospecting, LinkedIn is the social media platform to use. Many businesses, key decision makers, and industry leaders use LinkedIn, meaning a lot of your potential leads are likely already on the platform.

But prospecting on LinkedIn can take some time and effort, so how do you streamline the whole process for your SDR team? With LinkedIn’s very own lead generation tool – LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

If you’re not familiar with it, haven’t used the tool too much, or think there’s more you can learn about using it, you’ll be happy to know we’ll be discussing some important LinkedIn Sales Navigator tips in this article which you and your SDR team can use to improve your prospecting efforts.

But before we get to that, let’s take a brief look at the Sales Navigator itself. If you’re already aware of what it is, feel free to skip to the next section.

What Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a sales tool built by LinkedIn that’s meant to make it easier for individuals, sales teams, and organizations to build and nurture customer relationships, and boost their network. The end goal is to help users increase their sales and leads to boost profits.

While LinkedIn is free to use, LinkedIn Sales Navigator isn’t. To take advantage of it, you’ll have to choose one of the following subscriptions:

  • Professional – $79.99/month ($64.99 if you get the annual plan);
  • Team- $129.99/month ($99.99 if you get the annual plan);
  • Enterprise – customizable (must be discussed with LinkedIn).

You can test it out for free for 30 days first to see how it works for you. Just keep in mind that you won’t be eligible for a free trial if you’ve already taken one in the past year.

Is the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Worth It?

Overall, here are the main benefits of LinkedIn Sales Navigator most people who used the tool agree to be true:

  • Relevant, automated lead search results and suggestions;
  • The ability to put together a news feed of leads’ activities, so that you can comment on their posts directly;
  • InMail helps you contact leads even if you’re not connected to them on LinkedIn;
  • The tool lets you see who has viewed your profile in the past 90 days;
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers you relevant real-time updates (like when a lead changes their job).

How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator Effectively

According to our extensive research, here are the main LinkedIn Sales Navigator best practices you should be integrating into your lead prospecting and engagement strategy to get results:

1. Integrate Your CRM with LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Having to open 2-3 tabs (or more) to track down leads while doing prospecting work and other activities in the CRM can cost your SDRs valuable time – not to mention the whole process is slower if you use computers and laptops with not enough RAM to accommodate multiple browser tabs running at the same time.

Integrating your CRM with LinkedIn Sales Navigator will help you get rid of downtime like that, leaving more time for prospecting. At the moment, LinkedIn’s SNAP system (the integration platform) is already partnered with some of the most popular CRMs out there: Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, Yesware, Groove – just to name a few examples. And LinkedIn plans on adding more partners to the list in the near future.

The integrations are seamless, and your SDR team won’t need any extra time or training to get used to them. But please remember that the CRM integration is only available for the Team and Enterprise subscription plans.

2. Use the TeamLink Filter & Save TeamLink Searches

The TeamLink filter lets you look up leads that both meet your search criteria and share an acquaintance with you. Why is that important? Well, LinkedIn itself already told us back in 2014. According to their data, you’re 5 times more likely to receive positive engagement from a lead if you have a mutual connection with them (especially if the outreach is made through said connection).

Plus, the TeamLink filter will use your sales team’s network and your first-degree contacts to get you instant results. And you can also have your SDRs check the TeamLink section on a business account page. Doing that will showcase which employees of an organization are connected to members of your team’s network. You can then ask the mutual connections for an introduction with other leads.

Also, any search results you get on TeamLink that you don’t have a connection with yet should be saved. Just because you don’t have a mutual connection now doesn’t mean you might not have one tomorrow or the next week/month. Your own contacts and SDRs form new connection quite often, after all.

Basically, you just need to let your SDRs know that they should hit “Save Search” whenever they come across a lead with no mutual connections in TeamLink. This way, whenever a mutual connection pops up with the lead in question, your team will be immediately notified. It’s definitely much quicker than just running the same manual searches every few days.

Just keep in mind that TeamLink is only available with the Team or Enterprise subscriptions.

3. Narrow Down Your Leads with the Sales Navigator’s Advanced Filters

The LinkedIn Sales Navigator has many advanced filters your SDR team can use to find potential, relevant leads. Here are just a few examples of filters you can use to find leads:

  • Years spent in their current position
  • Years spent at their current company
  • Their seniority level
  • The type of company they own or work at (private, public, or nonprofit)
  • Leads that were already viewed, saved, or contacted
  • The location of the lead’s headquarters
  • Years of experience

Here is the whole list of all the advanced filters you can use if you’re interested.

So, make sure you let everyone in your SDR team know about the Sales Navigator’s advanced filters, and make them a part of your LinkedIn prospecting process (and training, when necessary).

4. On a Budget? Target Leads with “Open Profiles”

While InMail messages are useful since they let you contact leads without needing any contact information or an introduction, it’s very easy to run out of them if you plan on engaging with over 50 leads per month since that’s the total number of InMail messages you get with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Enterprise plan. And if you’re short on money and only opt for the cheapest subscription (Professional), you only get 20 InMail messages per month.

The best way to get around that obstacle is to look for leads that have an Open Profile. Messaging them won’t count to your InMail quota, letting an SDR continue continue their prospecting efforts even once the InMail messages have been depleted. Regarding how to recognize the Open Profiles, they usually have a symbol (a circle made out of smaller, differently colored circles) next to their LinkedIn Premium logo (the gold “in” symbol).

And here’s something else to consider – most LinkedIn users who have an Open Profile are usually open to being contacted, making it easier to start a conversation with them. That’s the whole point of the Open Profile feature, after all.

5. Use the “Interested In” Filter for Better Engagement

You’re likely to see more positive responses and better engagement if you approach leads who are actively looking for the kind of services and products you provide since they’ll actually feel like you’re adding value to their lives.

That’s exactly what the “Interested In” filter was built for – to help you find leads who are looking for your help. Getting contacted won’t feel random for them since they expect it, and it will be simple for you to quickly volunteer your team’s expertise, or for your SDRs to get them in touch with the right person in your company.

To find the right leads, just have your SDR team type in the relevant keywords and choose the appropriate “Interested In” filter. For example, if you are an authority figure in your field, and your SDRs are looking for “marketing managers” or “sales directors,” you would be using the “Interested In: Industry Experts” filter.

6. Streamline the Process with Tags

The number of decision makers involved in B2B purchases has increased nowadays compared to the previous years. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, the average number of people involved in B2B purchases today is around 6.8.

What does that have to do with LinkedIn Sales Navigator? Well, it’s likely that any attempt to reach out to leads using this tool will involve having to keep track of multiple people (the leads in question, the mutual connections you have with them, key decision makers, etc.). What’s more, you’ll also have to take note of smaller, but very important details like what the lead’s objectives and priorities are, what specific role they fulfil at a company and for how long, and what things they’ve said on LinkedIn that can be used to better engage with them.

That’s what the Sales Navigator’s Tags help with – leads can easily be tagged according to their role, and you or members of your SDR team can quickly leave relevant notes concerning them, making it much easier to keep track of everyone.

For example, you could use LinkedIn Sales Navigator Tags to leave notes for your SDR team (and have them to the same for AEs, and so on) about leads, like “He/She’s only been fulfilling this role for 2 years” or “He/She commented in a group discussion they were interested in changing payment processors.”

Lastly, one great thing about Tags is that you can actually customize them so that they match your business’ sales process and the terminology your SDR team uses to make things simpler for them.

7. Use the “Shared Experiences” Filter for More Relevant Messages

Using the “Shared Experiences” filter will improve your odds of finding relevant leads in LinkedIn’s database. Basically, the filter will look up prospects who have at least one thing in common with you. It can be anything from having worked at the same company in the past, volunteered at the same nonprofit organization, graduated from the same school, college, or university, or just living or having lived in the same city.

All of that might sound like minor information, but it’s something you and your SDRs can use to craft more engaging and personalized messages when reaching out to leads. Someone would be likelier to respond positively if they know they have something in common with you since the approach doesn’t feel as random and out of the blue.

Should You Only Rely on LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Prospecting?

As useful and advanced as the Sales Navigator LinkedIn tool is, you shouldn’t use only this sales tool as your means of prospecting. Instead, you should use it alongside (and even combine it with) other successful prospecting methods, like:

  • Content marketing
  • Cold calling
  • Email marketing
  • Webinars and seminars
  • Social media marketing
  • Conferences and events
  • Referrals

You’re more likely to prospect successfully since you’re diversifying your strategies and not relying on just one. Plus, by using LinkedIn Sales Navigator together with methods like that, you’ll be effectively streamlining the prospecting process for your whole SDR team and yourself. How so? Well, let’s say you meet a lead at a networking event, and you share LinkedIn details. Once that’s done, you can immediately have your SDR team use the LinkedIn lead builder tool to gather more relevant information on said lead (past experience, past education, goals, mutual connections, etc.), and start putting together an engagement strategy based on that.

Bottom line – LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a very powerful sales tool, especially when used in tandem with other proven prospecting techniques.

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