Who Benefits Most from LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Screenshot 2015-03-24 11.27.36Who benefits most from LinkedIn Sales Navigator? I have been working with LinkedIn Sales Navigator for quite some time now and I’ve been consulting with decision makers who either have it now or are considering it for their firms and they ask this question.

Sales Navigator is a powerful sales tool plays very well in SOME parts of the LinkedIn user community, while being less important in many others. Let’s explore this here together.

Sales Navigator is a completely different universe than LinkedIn. Users are EITHER in LinkedIn OR they are in Sales Navigator. It is not an extension like a premium account. In fact, many users (myself included) pay for LinkedIn premium accounts IN ADDITION to paying for our Sales Navigator accounts.

Fundamentally these are the most important features of Sales Navigator:

  • Search for new prospects (companies and people) on LinkedIn using Lead Builder. This is akin to Advanced Search. The results can be saved as Leads.
  • With LinkedIn’s help, find new decision makers within these firms and save them as Leads for follow-up.
  • Monitor the activity of your Leads and Accounts and engage them with a Like, Comment or Share. This collection of activity data is just not possible without Sales Navigator. The work to do this is simply too much for anyone.
  • Utilize InMails to reach out to people deeper in your network. A LinkedIn premium account can also do this.
  • Accounts in Salesforce.com can also appear in Sales Navigator.
  • The company can pay for and manage the Sales Navigator licenses.

The Top Feature of Sales Navigator

From my consulting with sales managers and VP’s of sales, the top feature seems to be the ability to uncover new decision makers in targeted accounts, especially LARGE accounts. If you call on smaller firms, it isn’t too hard to identify the decision maker. Large accounts are another animal all together.

It only takes finding one extra decision maker that makes one extra deal happen to make the entire LinkedIn Sales Navigator program worthwhile. It really solves some big headaches for hunters and farmers.

Big firms are really hard to sell to. They have lots of divisions, each with it’s own set of decision makers. More divisions means more upper management and these individuals, while ON LinkedIn, are generally less visible and can be hard to learn about.

Enter Sales Navigator to help uncover these additional decision makers for you. It will find them and suggest you save them as a Lead. It will then let you monitor their activity so you can engage them indirectly. When you like or comment on something they have posted, it gets noticed. When you send that InMail or reach out and call them later on, it is better received. 

So, who benefits the most from Sales Navigator?

Lots of people benefit from Sales Navigator, but it’s companies that call on large firms, perhaps those with over 5,000 employees, that really benefit the most. This tool helps them discover previously unknown decision makers and it provides a nifty system to engage with them. You might be a smaller firm calling on larger firms or you might be large firm as well. It’s the size of your CUSTOMERS that ultimately help you decide if LinkedIn Sales Navigator is right or you.

Many firms receive a simple training on Sales Navigator from LinkedIn. It’s a nice overview of what the menu options are. Integrated Alliances takes it MUCH FURTHER with a curriculum-based approach to implementing LinkedIn and Sales Navigator in sales teams. We’ve been training sales teams and consulting with marketing and sales management since 2006.

If you would like to discuss your team and how they can close more deals using LinkedIn, LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Social Selling, sign up for a free 30-minute call at www.ScheduleWithMike.com.

Mike O’Neil is the world’s first LinkedIn trainer and Integrated Alliances is the world’s first Social Media consulting firm. This tenure is unmatched and the insight it brings to the table is equally unmatched anywhere in the world.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Guidance

Get LinkedIn Sales Navigator Guidance that is below the radar right here. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the big daddy in the LinkedIn world and it’s for serious sales professionals. Individuals can use sales Navigator or sales teams can use it. It can connect to your Salesforce.com system (if you have one) and the company can even handle centralized billing with a purchase order.

Sales Navigator is a companion product to LinkedIn, not an upgrade. Users are either in Navigator I they are in LinkedIn. Many things that you already know need to be adjusted when you enter the new “toggle world” of Sales Navigator.

Moving between LinkedIn and Navigator often leads to additional windows opening up and this can be a bit troublesome. It’s just something you need to get used to. Most browsers have a capability to skip through the browser tabs and that really helps. In Chrome on a Mac, for example, it is done with Control-tab.

LinkedIn and Sales Navigator Components

Here is how the things you may know about LinkedIn match up to Sales Navigator.

LinkedIn                         Navigator

Your Profile                        N/A
Your Network                    Accounts, Leads
Advanced Search               Lead Builder
Companies                          Accounts
Company Page                   Company View
LinkedIn Inbox                  Navigator Inbox

 

Sales Navigator and Leads

Navigator helps you find additional “leads” at companies you are already targeting. The traditional communication tools are all there in Navigator. It also lets you engage prospects in new ways. For example, you can Find a profile in LinkedIn, View it in Navigator and then Save it as a Lead.

It brings the updates of companies (Accounts) and people (Leads) direct them to your Navigator area so you can engage them. This is very useful and it simply is not practical any other way. To visit hundreds of profiles and company pages looking for updates is not a good use of sales reps time.

Sales Navigator doesn’t really help you find NEW targets any more than LinkedIn does. Perhaps that capability will come. It might be like the Amazon.com principle – “people that looked at this book also liked these books”. Just replace the idea of a book with a company.

Sales Navigator and Salesforce.com

LinkedIn Sales Navigator elements have some counterparts with Salesforce.com. There is even some basic integration, called synchronization in “LinkedIn speak”. It’s really more of a copy or download than a sync since it only one way from Salesforce.com to Sales Navigator. This is the match up:

Salesforce.com              Sales Navigator

Leads                                     (no equivalent)
Contact                                  Syncs to Lead
Accounts                               Syncs to Accounts

 

Social Selling

This term has as many meanings as it does people that use it. Both words are equally responsible. Social can incorporate any one of 300+ social media platforms, at least in theory. Selling can incorporate business development, advertising, marketing, partnering and lots more.

The most effective social selling programs incorporate at leas the following:

  • LinkedIn – particularly premium accounts and Sales Navigator
  • CRM systems – most notably Salesforce.com, but including others
  • Tools – those that aid in the selling process, often marketing-related
  • Content – the “honeypot” designed to get their attention
  • Twitter – a tool to get the word out, especially content

There a number of other aspects that can come into play and many depend on the industry you are in and your target accounts.

Getting help

If you would like some help improving your sales operations with or without LinkedIn Sales Navigator, reach out to Mike at Training@IntegratedAlliances.com

Pre-Call Checklist for Sales

Pre-Call Checklist for SalesThis pre-call checklist for sales is a little technique that we use at Integrated Alliances. It’s also something that we teach in our social selling workshops and webinars. We actually only spend about 10 minutes on this topic, but it’s one of the most important parts of our program. It does assume you know how to do a few basic things on LinkedIn and on the web, so it takes place later in the social selling program.

While much of this procedure is common sense, making this a “best practice” part of your routine will help you guide the calls in a positive direction, make you look good and will keep you from saying things that you wish you hadn’t.

Think of it as a process or checklist to follow.

Outbound Calls

The checklist is great for sales reps to follow before contacting a new prospect. It works for non-sales calls as well.  In fact, it’s a good idea to follow parts of this before any call to freshen up your knowledge and get you “in the zone”.

Before you pick up the phone to call a prospect, spend just 3 – 5 minutes on a bit of research. This technique will:

  • Help guide your call
  • Prevent you from asking unnecessary questions
  • Allow you to prepare better questions
  • Make it easier to build rapport in the early stages

As you go through the checklist, try and find 5 – 6 things that would be good to bring up during the call to probe in the right areas.

Being better prepared and building an early rapport can have a potentially big payday. People will like you and will open up more. The net result is more sales with higher margins.

Preparation

This technique takes a little bit of preparation. I always keep at least one LinkedIn advanced search window open and ready AT ALL TIMES just for this.

This process is simple, like a calling script. Just work it into the routine you follow for each sales call and it will quickly become second nature. In fact, you will soon feel lost without it. Trust me.

The process is simply to look at the following items for key pieces of data to educate you about the prospect, to help guide the call and to make sure you don’t miss anything.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Read their summary – see how they describe themselves
  • Read their current job description – find out what they do
  • Note their work history – glance at this, don’t do a detailed review
  • Read their interests section – find out what seems to motivate them
    • You might bring this up in conversation
    • Consider PRINTING the profile out to make notes on during the call

 LinkedIn Company Page

  • Access it from the current position on the profile
  • Click on logo to get there
  • Make note of how many employees they have

Web Site & Blog

  • Look at their Web site – access it from the profile or the company page
  • Identify what do they do and who do they do it for
  • Visit their blog – access it from their web site (or from their profile)
  • See what are they blogging about
  • Determine if there is anything you might bring up in conversation

Twitter

  • See if they have a Twitter account
  • Access from their LinkedIn profile
  • Make note of what they are CURRENTLY tweeting about
  • Click on links in the tweets
  • Determine if there is anything you might want to bring up in conversation

Inbound Callers

If you are a multi-tasker, you can follow this script when you ANSWER the phone too.

When a call comes in, you can carefully note their name and company. Your caller ID may help.  Without letting on what you are doing, look them up on LinkedIn at the very outset. Be careful to tap the keyboard very lightly so you don’t make a sound.

In Summary

Having this information makes you look more intelligent and it guides the call in the right direction. However, it’s important to not get too distracted!  Make sure you pay attention to what they are saying WHILE you do this.

As you review this information, look for items that are interesting, prompt questions or that can help you build rapport with your prospect. It only takes a few minutes do to this research, but those few minutes can have a big impact!

LinkedIn Presence 10 Point Scoring System

10This LinkedIn presence 10 point scoring system may be just what you need to understand your team’s current LinkedIn abilities. One’s LinkedIn presence can be compared against a set of standards to give it a score. The profile is the centerpiece. This scoring process helps provide a status of the team, target focus specific areas and individuals for work and identify natural leaders. These questions are worth 1 point each, for a total of 10 points:

  1. Does their profile exist and does it have a headshot picture?
  2. Has the headline information been updated or improved from the LinkedIn default?
  3. Have they been posting status updates, ~1 per week or more?
  4. Do they have 500+ direct connections?
  5. Do they have a summary in place (anything at all)?
  6. Is the summary “built out” and worded in the 1st person?
  7. Do they list any contact information on the profile – phone, e-mail?
  8. Does the current job show and is it properly linked to the company page?
  9. Do they have 5 or more LinkedIn recommendations?
  10. Do they belong to 5 or more LinkedIn Groups?

This simple 1-10 system will help give you a baseline on where your team sits re: their LinkedIn presence. It is useful to assess the team PRIOR to a training and then again after the sessions is complete and the team has had time to act upon what they have learned.

This assessment is part of many of the LinkedIn and social selling programs that we deliver at Integrated Alliances. To learn more, call 303-683-9600 and we can discuss your team, your market and how we can help you score more business.

We work with BOTH sales and marketing in a fully “integrated approach” and that’s why we’re Integrated Alliances and have been since 2003.

Get more appointments using inexpensive online scheduling tools

Get more appointments using inexpensive online scheduling tools and save time too. It’s almost impossible to schedule a call with someone today, especially with prospects and customers. Vendors are the first to get dissed.

It’s classic – “Are you available for the call on Tuesday at 10am or Thursday at 2pm?” You block off both times and neither happens. Maybe they didn’t get the email or they forgot or ???. Where am I now?

It used to happen to me a lot and not it only happens a little. I adopted a tool for the majority of my scheduling. It’s inexpensive, slick, powerful and everyone wins.

By making my call scheduling process as convenient as possible for prospects I am able to create a warm relationship before I event talk to them. I ask everyone I schedule with about the tool and it gets rave reviews. Many have adopted it themselves or have at least signed for the free trial (more later).

I am scheduling 30-minute consultations with sales VP’s and they are really hard to get pinned down. Have you heard of that before?

There is help.

Todays online scheduling tools have this all figured out. They look at your real-time schedule (and your desires to be available) and let others pick from a “wall of times” to find the date and time that is most convenient for them. Sometimes people need to reschedule a call and the tools can handle that as well. They tie into your Google or Outlook calendars in real time and all this happens without bothering you one bit!

One such tool is Calendly. It is packed with extra features like adding buffers around your appointments so they don’t run into one another. I like to prepare for my calls and this is really helpful make sure I have that time. The tool lets me allow for calls to over as well.

I can send a link to schedule a 20-minute call, 30-minute call, 60-minute call, a lunch or even a happy hour. Behind the scenes, the software is mapping to my 4 Google calendars and I have one heck of a time saver that gives me more calls and makes me more money. I even offer select evenings and weekends or calls. They have been quite popular actually.

So instead of saying Tuesday at 10am or Thursday at 2pm say “let me send you a link to pick a date and time that is most convenient for you.” I block off both times and neither happens. Maybe they didn’t get the email or they forgot or???. Where am I now?

In marketing, I don’t send this link out unless asked to. My initial messages say something like “If you’re interested, reply back and I’ll send a link so you can pick a convenient time for you.”

Taking it one step further, I use an easy to remember domain name and redirect it to the scheduling link to make it even easier.

www.calendly.com/michaeloneil/30min becomes www.ScheduleWithMike.com

This is what it looks like to the person receiving the link. They pick a day and then a time. A conformation comes right away and a reminder comes whenever I have it setup to do so. In my case, it’s 24 yours ahead of the call. These reminders make sure that the person doesn’t just “have it on their schedule” but that they know about it.

Go ahead, find a date and time that works for you!

This is what it looks like to you:

Screenshot 2015-04-20 16.44.19

This is what it looks like to me:

Screenshot 2015-04-20 16.45.44

 

So you can probably see how a tool like this can get you more appointments, right? There are a number of good platforms, but I choose Calendly after looking at some of the others and I love it.