Launched in August 2014, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator makes use of the social platform’s richly populated database of business profiles to identify the ideal prospective customer. Users can connect with their prospects, engage with them through messages, get instant insights and monitor the success of their efforts online—all within the program’s parameters.
Capturing and Engaging Prospects
One of the challenges constantly facing sales people is finding the right person to approach with a sales pitch. Even after identifying the most likely prospective buyer, modern gatekeeping methods make contacting them prohibitive. Sales Navigator allows users to discover “hidden” decision makers at large accounts, and engage with them based on their activity. As a fellow member of LinkedIn, you are able to see where their interests lie, what they’ve done in the past, and who their contacts are. This enables you to build data on them, and if you’re using a robust predictive analytics program you’ll be able to identify precisely what the best marketing approach would be.
Sales Navigator has extremely helpful tools and features:
· Getting leads all in one place
At the outset, the program enables users to import leads and target companies or accounts. They can synchronize with Salesforce, if the company uses it, and choose a range of territories and job functions to target. Based on these choices, Sales Navigator will offer recommendations for potential prospects. The user can review and save these for contact at the right time.
· Sophisticated search filters
Initially Sales Navigator used a Boolean search option, but the Lead Builder’s 22 advanced search filters now include predictive search. This enables you to select from a list of similar titles and then narrow your results and save the search. You can view members who follow your company, active users who posted in the past 30 days and those who are on the move and updating their profiles. Refine the results by keyword or demographic data, and identify whether you are remotely connected with any of the prospects in a way that could give you an edge.
· Engagement through personal messaging
Once you have identified strong leads, the system enables you to send a personal communication to them. If a prospect is already a first level connection of yours, you can send a direct message to their profile. For second and third-level connections, you can either use the opportunity to ask a mutual contact for an introduction, send a free message if they display the Open Link logo, or use one of the 30 InMail messages you get each month with a Navigator membership.
· Availability on mobile
If your sales people spend long hours away from their desks, the mobile app available for both iOS and Android offers real-time updates about any leads and accounts that are saved. This means users can quickly connect with prospects when any activity shows up, such as publishing a new blog posts or being mentioned in a press release. Instant connectivity also makes it possible to enter information directly after a meeting, rather waiting until they are back in office.
Options for lead generation using Sales Navigator include tagging prospects to keep track of them. Statistics show 5.4 people are involved in every B2B purchasing decision, and each has a different role to play. As the dynamics change, update the tags so you know at a glance what the situation is. The program also has an “Interested In” option to help you identify what topics are likely to get each prospect’s attention.
Once a sales team has identified target prospects and used intelligence to determine their point in the buying cycle, converting them into leads requires considering the approach carefully. At this point it’s worth reviewing the individual profiles of the prospects, to see what else they have going on in their lives that could be useful.
In account-based marketing this is particularly important, because the number of people involved can make it challenging to approach them all in the same fashion. For the purpose of securing a large account, however, it’s worth spending the extra time to discover the chief decision maker is a member of a football club, and starting the direct message with a comment about the latest mainstream game. Few approaches have the same potential to build immediate rapport with a prospect.
With it’s account-based marketing (ABM) focus the program is especially useful for B2B. Given that it runs on a huge, reputable networking site and costs a minimal amount after the first free month, it’s the ideal prospecting tool. Anything that allows sales people to focus more of their time on higher value activities like performing demos and closing deals has got to be worth a look. And when you do, you’ll discover there’s little to dislike about it.