11 Tips for Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator to Improve Your Prospecting

Author's avatar Sales May 6, 2021 14 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    Your sales reps have a lot on their plate.

    What if there was something out there that they could use that would make finding prospects and potential leads just a little easier? Well, now you can, all thanks to LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

    It can be hard to know if LinkedIn Sales Navigator is worth the money and if your sales reps will find it useful enough within their prospecting strategy. Thankfully, we’re here to answer the tough questions surrounding LinkedIn Sales Navigator, including how to use it, and the 11 best ways to improve your prospecting with it.

    Need to know something specific about Sales Navigator? Jump ahead to:

    Let’s dive in!

    LinkedIn Marketing Dashboard Template by Databox

    What is LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

    LinkedIn has always had free and paid (or premium) versions of their social media platform. Recruiters, job seekers, and professionals have been able to pay for an exclusive list of features not available in the free version. Now, sales reps can also pay for LinkedIn Sales Navigator if they want to discover leads and more effectively manage their pipeline.

    Essentially, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a sales management tool unique to the social media platform that was created to assist sales reps utilize the extensive network of people that LinkedIn has to offer to (hopefully) land more deals.

    It utilizes a powerful set of search capabilities, improved visibility into extended networks, and personalized algorithms to help sales reps across all types of organizations reach the right decision-maker so that they can close more deals.

    LinkedIn Sales Navigator has three pricing tiers, Professional, Team, and Enterprise, so businesses can choose the features they believe will give them the biggest bang for their buck.


    How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator

    Once you sign up for LinkedIn Sales Navigator and choose the tier that is best suited for your needs, you may be unsure how to use it. Below is a list of some of the most used features along with an explanation of what they do and how to use them.

    • Advanced search: Users of LinkedIn Sales Navigator can click through over 20 advanced search filters to pinpoint specific potential leads. Filters include searching by keywords, geographical location, title, company size, and more.
    • LinkedIn InMail: This is LinkedIn’s version of email or sending a direct message. Users within LinkedIn Sales Navigator can see a gold “in” icon next to the name of people’s profiles, which signifies who they have already reached out to within the system.
    • Job change alerts: Users can filter their potential list of leads by those who have recently started a new job or have received a title change. This is often used as a way to start a conversation or break the ice.
    • LinkedIn Groups: LinkedIn Sales Navigator makes it easy to search for specific LinkedIn users in certain groups, which makes it easier to connect and see if someone could be interested in your product or service. 

    LinkedIn Sales Navigator Tips: 11 Ways to Improve Your Prospecting on LinkedIn

    Now that you know more about LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and how to use some of its most popular features, let’s take a look into how to use it to improve your prospecting strategy. 

    If you’re interested in learning more about a specific tip, jump ahead to:

    1. Create unique pitches

    Starting things off for how to make the most of LinkedIn Sales Navigator is to utilize the features as a way to send potential leads a unique and customized pitch.

    For this, Mindi Rosser at Mindi Rosser Marketing LLC suggests, “I believe that Sales Navigator is the best-kept secret for B2B prospecting — can be used in a way that is authentic, not just scraping emails off the web. I like to search for accounts or leads in Sales Navigator and begin creating specific target lists for reaching out to them.

    The key in using Sales Navigator is not to assume that everyone that appears in a search is a perfect fit. You’ll still need to individually look at each person/account to determine ‘yes’ or ‘no’ before reaching out to someone.

    And, whatever you do, don’t blast a generic message to everyone. Take the time to tailor the messages you send as much as possible. Doing your homework upfront protects your personal brand, keeps you out of LinkedIn jail, and ensures you get off to the right start with potential prospects.”

    Another expert who utilizes the search function to gather a ton of information before creating the perfect message to prospects is Jonathan Aufray at GrowthHackers

    Aufray explains, “The most effective way to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for prospecting is by hyper-targeting your research. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator search engine is very powerful and you can find the roles, countries and cities, company name and size, years of experience, and much more from your prospects.

    Leverage this and gather as much information as you can about your prospects. Why? Because thanks to this, you will be able to craft a message that is hyper-personalized and, therefore, your reply rate will be much higher than bland outreach.”

    2. Utilize keywords

    Another way to make the most out of LinkedIn Sales Navigator is to get creative with the keywords you’re searching for. 

    Abraham Rahmanizadeh at Leafwell Botanicals explains further, saying, “ LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a useful way for us to locate the LinkedIn profiles of our target audiences. With the ability to filter a search with keywords, specific phrases, and categories such as geographical location and job title, we can narrow down a particular group of LinkedIn members who we feel might be interested in our LinkedIn messages, promotional emails, or introductory emails. This helps us cast a net that is wide enough, but not too wide when prospecting.

    Specifically in our case, we aim to identify LinkedIn profiles of people with keywords and other characteristics which indicate potential interest in consuming our CBD products. For instance, many times we will search more locally and we will input keywords such as “CBD” in case we come across a profile of a CBD enthusiast or advocate. Other times, typing in keywords such as “stress” or “anxiety” can give us an idea of those who may support healing remedies such as CBD.

    The great thing about Sales Navigator with its search filters is that there is such a myriad of possibilities as to how to find great prospects.”


    3. Avoid job titles

    While some LinkedIn Sales Navigator fans may say to try searching for specific job titles, Anthony Chen at PaidSearch.Pro recommends trying a different approach.  

    “When doing prospecting within our small-medium business niche in our industry, we see better response rates by excluding the sales and marketing under functions and focusing on seniority levels.  Another tip is to avoid job titles, they are subjective because every user presents their title differently,” explains Chen.

    4. Make the most of personal branding

    Another way to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator is to focus on and incorporate your own personal branding as a way to sell yourself and the product or service. 

    To do this, Catriona Jasica at Top Vouchers Code recommends, “If you want to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator effectively, the first step is to focus on your personal branding. Engage in discussions and ask thoughtful questions. Join LinkedIn groups and try to build trust with your audience. Always remember to sell the solution first and the product second. This is the most effective way to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for prospecting.”

    5. Take advantage of Sales Spotlights

    A feature that is unique to LinkedIn Sales Navigator is Sales Spotlight. Avinash Chandra at BrandLoom suggests that sales reps use it to narrow the search to find potential leads. 

    “Sales Spotlights appear at the top of your search results page after you run a search and highlight prospects who are more likely to engage with you. For example, you might see 68 people that have changed jobs in the last 90 days, or that 100 people follow your company on LinkedIn. Simply click on one of the spotlight boxes, and a list of those leads will appear. These will be the lowest hanging fruit for your sales reps,” shares Chandra.

    6. Maintain relationships

    When you’re able to utilize LinkedIn Sales Navigator to learn more about your target audience, it helps sales reps in all industries build and maintain relationships with their customers. 

    Explaining this tip further is Natasha Rei at Explainerd, who states, “LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps us narrow down our target audience with advanced filters. From the result, we’ll get sales leads recommendations that we can approach right away. Moreover, LinkedIn sales navigator lets us track updates with our prospects, making it easier to follow them up and maintain relationships.”

    7. Track job change notifications

    While LinkedIn Sales Navigator can alert you to a variety of notifications surrounding potential leads, AJ Alonzo at demandDrive recommends honing in on ones that let you know when someone changes their job. 

    Alonzo explains, “We use Sales Navigator like a pseudo intent data engine. Notifications around published articles, company updates, rounds of funding, hiring updates, etc. All of those help our sales development teams prioritize their outbound prospecting.

    Above everything else, however, the biggest benefit of Sales Navigator for us is job change notifications. We have a lot of success when talking with executives who have just changed jobs – typically they want to make a big splash at their new company, and evaluating new technology/services is high on their priority list. The conversations we have with these prospects convert at a higher rate than a typical cold message, and Sales Navigator makes it really easy to collect that information and deliver it to our sales team.”

    8. Build rapport

    No matter how great the product is, no one likes a pushy salesperson. LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help sales reps to build rapport with potential customers to build connections in a more natural way.

    For this, Liz Lisowski at Parlor.io recommends, “The most effective way we use Linkedin is to do in-depth research on companies/prospects in our target market and use personalization, pain, or mutual connections to build rapport. Rapport is extremely important! A successful SDR has the ability to translate what their company does without being wordy or pushy. The fewer words the better!”


    9. Use search filter to your advantage

    We mentioned above just how helpful the search function is within LinkedIn Sales Navigator. There were many responses going in-depth about the details it can unveil and how this information can help sales reps close more deals.

    Caroline Lee at CocoSign explains more about the advanced search to say, “With more than 40 different filters, this tool allows you to search on different types of prospects for the best-optimized results. Applying those filters on your search, focus on the specific needs to get the most accurate result for B2B prospecting expected from a Sales Navigator tool.”

    You can also use the advanced search function to find the people within specific organizations that are most likely to be the ones making key decisions. This is how Harriet Chan at CocoFinder uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Chan explains, “The ‘View similar’ dropdown button on a lead you have identified can help you find other similar prospects. The Sales Navigator enables you to see other people playing similar roles in various companies. The criteria can be based on their job titles as you identify the positions that make key decisions.

    It is an excellent criterion to find and reach out to untapped connections, extending your reach beyond your initial lead generation method.”

    Another fan of the advanced search feature is Miranda Yan at VinPit, who finds it to be the most effective way to find leads. “The feature allows you to conduct an advanced search on either leads or accounts, with the option of over 20 filters that you can apply to your search, with the keywords, title, and company fields allowing you to perform a comprehensive search,” explains Yan.

    Adding to this tip is Chana Charach at Income.ca, who is able to use it to boost their social selling strategy. Charach explains, “LinkedIn has changed the way more than 500 million business people in more than 200 countries communicate with one another, making it an extremely valuable resource for B2B companies. Getting started with social selling can be difficult, but it is critical to your B2B company’s success in today’s world.

    Although LinkedIn can be used for social selling to some extent, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has a lot more filters and tools that will help you narrow down your searches and find your ideal customer profile, create the perfect customer list, and greatly improve your conversion chances. You can segment your leads from millions to the most important for your market, transforming you into the social selling classic.”

    10. Make the most of shared connections

    Logan Mallory at Motivosity recommends utilizing LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find shared connections and turn them into prospects and future customers.

    To do this, Mallory shares, “I use TeamLink and Shared experiences functions to find shared connections and interests with prospects. People are typically wary about people pitching them on LinkedIn. By leverage on mutual connections or interests, you can get to know a prospect and build a relationship first. This makes it easier for you to find out more about a prospect’s pain point and then customize solutions for them.”

    11. Target active users

    Finally, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is great for pinpointing users of the platform who are the most active or who were most recently logged in.

    Nicolas Gagné at Win in Health recommends, “The most effective way I use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for prospecting is by targeting active users. This usually indicates that they are ready to enter the buying cycle or are at least open to having a conversation. By checking out what kind of language they use in their headline and summary, I get a great indicator of their business style and personality. It gives me a base on which to build our opening message.”

    Wrapping things up is Databox’s very own Rachael Bassey, who uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator to message those who have been online within the last 30 days. Bassey explains, “I’ve found LinkedIn sales navigator to be exceptionally useful for targeting leads in niche sectors. I also use the Sales Spotlight feature to better predict the likelihood of them connecting with me.

    For example, I don’t prospect to people that have not been active in the last 30 days. To go more specific, sometimes I also click to see those leads that follow my company’s LinkedIn page, or share certain experiences with me (the more we have in common, the higher the likelihood of them connecting with me).”

    Editor’s note: Use this Linkedin Demographics dashboard template to look at the followers on your company’s Linkedin and see what industries and roles have enjoyed your marketing message.

    LinkedIn Marketing Dashboard Template by Databox

    A Better Way to Find New Customers

    When used correctly, LinkedIn Sales Navigator could be the tool your sales reps need to take their prospecting and lead generation tactics up a notch or two.  After all, if you could use a new method to grow your contact base, all with minimal effort, wouldn’t you?

    Let LinkedIn Sales Navigator help you to do so!

    Author's avatar
    Article by
    Mara Calvello

    Mara is a freelance writer at Databox and a Content Marketing Manager at G2. In her spare time, she's either at the gym, reading a book from her overcrowded bookshelf, enjoying the great outdoors with her rescue dog Zeke, or right in the middle of a Netflix binge. Obsessions include the Chicago Cubs, Harry Potter, and all of the Italian food imaginable.

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