16 years since its launch, LinkedIn still remains a popular personal networking platform, but it is still highly underestimated as a professional tool for growing your business. LinkedIn has over 500 million users registered, with 40% of the users using the site on a daily basis. Social media networking has become an incredibly useful way of attracting new clients- 80% financial advisors have claimed to use social media for this purpose. The key factor is also that LinkedIn, as a social media platform, has found greater popularity among affluent investors and clients, compared to other platforms like Facebook, which are used primarily for personal purposes, rather than generating business leads.
It has definitely become impossible to ignore LinkedIn as a valuable tool for generating leads for your business. According to Hubspot, using LinkedIn is a good choice for anybody spending 25% of their time in lead generation and prospecting. If that sounds similar to your role, read on to find out just how you can use LinkedIn, specifically, the Sales Navigator.
.What is the Linkedin Sales Navigator?
The LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a premium, professional tool that allows you to generate prospects and connect with them in a more organized fashion. It gives you a boost when it comes to identifying relevant leads, monitoring engagement, and fostering a larger network of clients, all within a limited time frame. If you are looking at using Linkedin for sales, this is a tool you must definitely learn to leverage. It’s the 21st century, and it is definitely time to move on from cold-calling.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Since I started actively using Sales Navigator, I have become incredibly impressed with the value of the platform”- Viveka Von Rosen[/perfectpullquote]
.Sales Navigator 101: 6 steps to exponentially grow your leads
Lead generation is a daunting task, but Sales Navigator can vastly simplify the process of finding, contacting, following-up with, and getting referrals from existing and potential clients.
Let’s face it: you’ve worked really hard to get where you are, and your talents are far better suited for converting actual leads into sales for your company, rather than sitting and manually tracking down each possible contact. Once you learn how to wield this tool with efficacy, that’s exactly what you’ll have the freedom to do: save your time for valuable activities like giving demos!
1. Integrate your contacts and CRM with the tool
Expert tip: The sign-up process for the Sales Navigator is rather simple, but make sure that you take your time to set up your account, and go through each step thoroughly, for there are a lot of useful little tidbits you might miss out on otherwise.
Once you’ve signed up for your LinkedIn Sales Navigator account, you’ll be able to import your leads/target accounts. You’ve already put in the effort to collect all this information: might as well add it to the Sales Navigator, so you can derive better insights.
To import your contacts, all you have to do is go to Settings, and scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on the ‘Import to Sales Navigator’ button.
You can use this to transport the tags and notes you’ve made on your LinkedIn leads as well.
LinkedIn has made it easier for you to integrate your CRM data with the Sales Navigator platform. They’ve partnered with multiple providers, including Microsoft Dynamics, HubSpot, Salesforce and more. Now, instead of tracking your leads and contacts on the CRM and then opening a new tab to include the exact same data into another site, you can just integrate the two (see: we were not kidding when we told you this tool helps you save time).
To integrate your CRM data, go to the Settings tab, and click on the ‘Sync CRM’ button.
2. Using the Lead Builder option effectively
Lead Builder, simply put, is the advanced search option (which might explain its location right next to the search box).
Honestly, the first time you select this option, it can be quite overwhelming. It’s got 22 different filters, but the interface is rather intuitive and sophisticated, so we assure you- you’ll lean in to the task in no time at all.
This tool is especially useful when using LinkedIn for sales leads. You can start filling out the fields one by one, and the results will be updated based on your preference. You can use Boolean filters in the Keywords to narrow down on relevant leads and accounts.
There are certain special metrics you should pay special attention to. Firstly, the TeamLink members filter. This is an extremely useful filter- one that always plays a significant role in any LinkedIn sales navigator review. It’s no secret that a warm introduction is more likely to turn into a successful connection than a cold one, and the TeamLink filter helps you find a way to establish these warm introductions. It will show you only those leads that you have a second degree connection with, so that you have a common person-of-interest, who you can use for introductions or even leverage.
To select the TeamLink filter, go to the ‘Lead Builder’ and once you’ve entered your filters, click on the ‘Show TeamLink members only’ option.
Another valuable way of using these filters to drive your lead generation would be to perform a ‘bluebird search’, or a search of clients of yours who have moved to another organization, and can hence present a new business opportunity. You can find these connects by using the ‘past not current’ filter.
Expert tip: Once you have narrowed it down to the exact demographic you’re looking for, make sure that you Save Search, so you don’t lose out on the results you’ve gotten, and also the exact metrics you used to arrive on this.
3. Update your Sales Preferences
LinkedIn has a fairly sophisticated recommendation mechanism, but if you want to make the best use of it, you have to make sure your Sales Preferences are updated. How do you identify your sales preferences? Simple. Close your eyes and imagine your ideal client profile. This does not have to be a singular entity, it can be a list of shortlisted buyer persona. This will include geography, industry, company size, and function (or the designation/department the person is in).
How would you hypothetically do this? Simple. Go to your profile, where you’ll find the sales navigator tab. Say, you’re looking for clients in the United States to pitch your new healthcare management software to. Since you’re a start-up, you want to focus on smaller healthcare providers first. In such a situation, your sales preferences might look something like this:
4. Getting leads from prospect’s page
A prospect’s page can bear a wealth of information, and leads to other people as well (after all, if you want to find people like your prospect, your best bet would be to look at who they are fraternizing with). There are many ways for you to mine information through this method.
Whenever you find a prospect, look at the ‘People Also Viewed’ section, and see if anything catches your eye. You can also mine leads from the prospects’ profile by checking their connections. If you’ve already filled out your Sales Preferences, you’ll also get a list of lead recommendations based on the metrics you’ve set.
Expert Tip: Whenever you locate a prospect, add a tag to the profile with relevant information (such as where you formed this connection, or what makes this person a valuable lead- like ‘Used to work for HealthCorps, has 11 years of experience, commented on need for healthcare software in ABC convention). This will act as a conversation trigger, and will help you keep track of what makes each prospect unique!
5. Contact your leads in an impactful way
Now you’ve become an expert at identifying leads through the Sales Navigator software. This is where your real work begins: contacting the prospects you’ve identified. Now, LinkedIn has made it much easier for you to get in touch with potential clients in an informative and impactful manner: far more effective than cold calling, for sure. But the basic principles still hold up: you have very little time to make an impact on this person. What do you do?
- Showcase your value as a prospect: You’ve been looking for prospects and analysing their profiles for a while now, but when you are trying to contact your leads, it’s time for you to turn the mirror to yourself: does your profile make you seem like a valuable prospect? A good profile can do half the work for you, so make sure you have a clear and intriguing headline, with a strong value proposition.
- Content Matters: Make sure that you’re using unique content, not rehashing boilerplate messages that everybody has seen a few hundred times. This might be a time consuming venture, but one that will have a higher conversion rate. This applies when sending a connect request or an InMail.
- Leverage open profiles: Sales Navigator allows you to send InMail messages, but depending on the kind of profile you have, the number is capped at 20, 30, or 50 messages. Once you start emailing your prospects you’ll realize this is highly limited! Don’t worry though, there is a workaround. Look for prospects who have Open Profiles (profiles that are open for access, and are not private), and connect with them. This will not count as a part of your mail quota!
- Don’t leave leads hanging: If you’ve sent a connect request, don’t leave the person hanging after they respond! It’s always a good practice to respond with a thank you note for the connect, and request a call to take the matter forward. This is one relationship where you definitely have to take the first step!
- Stay engaged with your prospects: You can do this by following up on your news feed: by seeing what your prospects have been sharing, and taking it forward from there. You can also leverage certain dates (such as quarterly ends, celebratory occasions, etc.) and create messaging around the event specified, as a way of establishing an ongoing relationship: after all the effort you’ve put into tracking down the lead, you definitely don’t want it to turn into a one- time affair!
6. Assess how good you are with the Social Selling Index.
To ensure that you get the best results from Sales Navigator and to understand what pain areas you’ve been facing, you’ll definitely have to monitor and manage each engagement you have on the platform. This is not as difficult as it sounds, thanks to the Social Selling Index tool. Social Selling LinkedIn is a simple tool that tells you how you’ve been using the Sales Navigator.
The Social Selling LinkedIn Index measures your performance on four indicators: your professional branding, whether you’re connecting with the right people, whether you’re engaging with the insights, and how you’re building relationships. You can get a maximum of 25 on each indicator, and the scores are tabulated weekly- so you can even assess how you’ve been performing over a period of time.
Through social selling, LinkedIn shares a lot of insights about how you’re performing in comparison to people in your network and your industry, and makes valuable recommendations on how you can step up your game as well.
Why should you focus on this? Well, according to LinkedIn, the higher your score, the more successful you will be at reaching your sales goals. You definitely don’t want to ignore their recommendations, is what we’re saying!
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Sales Navigator is the 21st century way of generating leads using pattern recognition and smart engagement. It’s a platform that allows you to focus on the quality of your connections, rather than blindly reaching out to hundreds of leads, only to see a couple manifest into actual business. Thanks to the 22 different filters, a great sales preferences matrix, and the ever-so useful Social Selling Index and recommendations, using LinkedIn for sales has become almost imperative for businesses that want to do their work smartly.