Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Introducing the LinkedIn Sales Navigator

August 29, 2014

If you’ve been struggling with using LinkedIn for sales, this new standalone solution may help.

LinkedIn has always been considered the serious, professional social network. With its emphasis on work histories and easy networking, it’s the go-to site for learning about a potential employee or employer, scoping out a competitor, or tracking down key contacts at a prospective buyer’s company.

Individuals’ updates tend to focus on business issues and news of the day. There’s a dearth of Look where I went on vacation and Isn’t this cat falling off a ledge funny? kinds of posts.

But how does a salesperson find leads on LinkedIn? Inviting people to join your network, asking connections for introductions to other connections, and building relationships on the site can all be effective activities, but they only go so far.

Built for You

So now when you log into LinkedIn and click on the Business Services link, then Sales Solutions, you’re introduced to a new, enhanced version of the site designed for sales professionals: the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. LinkedIn says its mission is to help sales professionals “…focus on the right people and companies, stay informed of key updates, and build trust with prospects and customers.”

 

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I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with this tool yet so I can’t give it a thumbs up or down. But I wanted to tell you a bit about it so you can determine whether it’s a good fit for you.

Be There

LinkedIn shares some interesting numbers that came out of a couple of recent studies.

  • The average buying decision now involves 5.4 people.
  • B2B buyers use social media during evaluation: 75 percent use it to be more informed on vendors.
  • Buyers want to trust their vendor: 76 percent prefer a vendor recommended by their network.

If these numbers are representative of the business community as a whole, you can see the necessity for not only having a presence on social media, but also for being as connected as possible to the key people and companies in your industry.

The Nuts and Bolts

How does LinkedIn Navigator help you focus, stay informed, and build trust? By offering a set of sales-centric tools that include:

Customized lead management. Imports and syncs accounts and leads from Salesforce. Suggests potential leads and supports custom searches to help find prospects.

Networking and communications. Feeds you real-time insight on your accounts and leads. Provides full access to contact profiles and activity for your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd levels. Out-of-network access to profiles of 300 million+ LinkedIn members. Allows InMail messages to contacts outside your network, and shows you who’s viewed your profile in the last 90 days.

Some of these tools have data limitations, and not all are available at every price level. You’ll pay $59.99/month for Sales Navigator Basic, $79.99/month for Sales Navigator Professional, and $129.99/month for Sales Navigator Team.

Considering that there’s a 30-day free trial available (credit card required), I think it’s worth checking out.

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