On July 31st, LinkedIn launched its brand new, standalone product to help sales professionals unleash the proven power of social selling. The product, named LinkedIn Sales Navigator is boasted by the company as being a “significant refresh to our existing solution that empowers sales professionals to establish and grow relationships with customers and prospects.”
Sales Navigator is built for specifically for sales people, and is based on LinkedIn’s definition of the four crucial steps of social selling: Building a presence, finding the right people (at the right time), engaging with these people in a meaningful way, and building trust.
Here are some of the main features that LinkedIn has included in Sales Navigator:
The lead builder tool allows you to build custom lead lists and recommends leads to connect with based on past activity and searches. As you use the product, you will receive more targeted recommendations for prospects. You can also save leads for follow ups and nurturing through the sales funnel. If you’re looking for more lead generation tips, here are 5 other ways you can generate leads using LinkedIn.
News Mentions of Key Contacts
If you heard about LinkedIn acquiring Newsle in July, then you may have seen this coming. Essentially this tool will show you real time news and sales triggers about key contacts in your network. This allows you to be effortlessly “in the know” when it comes to your prospects and have the right information about them at the right time.
Premium Search Filters
Much like the search that is already provided to Premium Account Holders with the regular LinkedIn, you can search for prospects based on a variety of parameters like geographical location, company size, seniority level, etc. You can save and name these searches as well so that you can easily get back to your list
This feature allows you to build alerts and customize the notification preferences. For example if you build a filtered search for a specific seniority level in your sales territory, you can choose to receive emails on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis when there is a new contact that meets the search criteria.
This feature allows sales professionals to use their team members to expand their reach and get in front of prospects through a warm introduction. By including your team members in your network, TeamLink unlocks a vast number of reachable contacts and allow you to focus on the best prospects.
3rd Degree Connection Capabilities
Instead of only being able to see a 3rd degree contact’s first name and last initial, you will be able to see their profile details now, including their work history.
Sales Navigator will be able to integrate fully with your SalesForce.com account as well as Microsoft Dynamics (although reports say the Dynamics integration is relatively limited).
So what does Sales Navigator include that LinkedIn’s existing solution doesn’t already provide the everyday B2B salesperson? The answer, a couple valuable tools and integrations but overall, not a whole lot. The TeamLink and Lead Management tools are intriguing tools for sales people who are part of larger teams, but with a $79.99 per seat per month price tag for the professional account and $49.99 for basic, it’s unclear if Sales Navigator is really worth it for the small business sales person. By no means do you need Sales Navigator to get started with social selling, and you can actually find a lot of real value by just using your basic LinkedIn account and other social networks like Twitter.
What do you think about the new Sales Navigator rollout from LinkedIn? Are you thinking about trying it, or do you think it’s a waste of money? For more tips on using social media for sales, and other marketing tactics, sign up for the VA Partners Newsletter.