LinkedIn first developed its reputation as a social networking site for professionals. However, today LinkedIn has expanded its reach and is offering a whole host of other services for businesses and individuals alike, including one of its newest — the LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
What Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator?
The Sales Navigator from LinkedIn was released as a platform for prospecting and "social selling." At a basic level, this means that salespeople can use the it to connect with other members of the site and, in turn, discover qualified leads. Navigator, according to experts, could eventually become an essential tool for anyone who wants to succeed at selling online.
"I see this as the ultimate account management tool. I know I need to mirror my CRM information with LinkedIn activity. I ensure that every potential buyer and client is tagged as an Account an Lead. From there, I can track news, triggers event alerts and engagement opportunities with these Leads. The biggest value that Navigator offers me is time savings. With one dashboard, I’m on top of my accounts."
-Jamie Shanks, Speaker & Social Selling Expert
In an interview with Tech Crunch, LinkedIn's group product manager Sachin Rekhi explained that there are four main steps to social selling: establishing a presence on social networks, finding the right people, engaging with those people, and building trust. The aim of LinkedIn's Sales Navigator is to do just that by connecting people who might want to buy a product or service (decision makers) with those who sell it. These connections happen via recommendations, mutual connections, and relevant news stories, all provided by Sales Navigator.
The cost of LinkedIn's new platform varies from options for individual sales professional to corporate plans that work for multiple users.
Why It's a Valuable Tool
The numbers behind LinkedIn's application have already proven it's precious value. According to Rekhi, LinkedIn's social selling index is showing that salespeople who utilize Sales Navigator are 51 percent more likely to hit their sales quotas compared to people who don't. Additionally, Sales Navigator is compatible with several CRM systems already in use by many companies (i.e. Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, etc) which makes it simple for users to integrate it into their existing processes. In that way, it becomes a convenient, complementary product to help boost sales.
3 Steps to Get Started
Koka Sexton, social selling expert, has said that LinkedIn's Sales Navigator is the only application "on the market that can deliver a solid social selling experience based on connecting buyers and sellers to build relationships." If you're interested in using LinkedIn's Sales Navigator, here are some basic steps to get started.
1. Get Sales Navigator
2. Set Up Your Sales Preferences
Once you've signed up for Sales Navigator, set up your sales preferences, including what level of employee you want to connect with as well as what industries and locations. This will help you stay engaged with existing contacts and find new ones.
3. Explore and Connect
Once you've set up your preferences, it's time to start exploring with Sales Navigator. Check out the Lead Builder link, which lets you create targeted lead lists, search LinkedIn for anyone who meets your sales criteria, and save connections you discover for contacting later. You can also reach out and contact these connections personally, via a limited 25 InMails per month.