As a business development manager, I’m tasked with helping my firm grow relationships with previous clients as well as identify and develop new clients. Essentially, prospecting clients has become my breakfast, lunch and dinner. With that said, whenever a recruiter, colleague or sales rep starts to discuss lead generation with me it seems to always begin with a LinkedIn discussion promptly followed by, “Well, have you tried their Sales Navigator Membership Program?” Many wave it off and say that it’s not in their budget to provide this resource for their team. Or a rep will say it’s not worth it if their company won’t cover the cost. 9 out of 10 times I typically find out that most people have no idea what LinkedIn Sales Navigator is and, further, that they simply shut down the idea upon hearing the cost of upgrading their current subscription. The scenario played out again this morning while grabbing coffee.
So, the question remains: Is Sales Navigator worth it?
Three Reasons to Upgrade
First, let’s review the basic attributes of this upgraded subscription to LinkedIn. Sales Navigator combines keeping your pipeline constantly full, and contacting / staying up to date with your prospects, referrals, and current clientele with generating automated leads into one site. Basically, it gives you a faster way to find and maintain clientele relationships. This allows a user to greatly improve their time management skills. Instead of honing away for hours doing random searches via Google or shuffling through employee pages on LinkedIn, you can spend time improving your demos or making second step discovery calls from your freshly crafted list of ‘hot’ prospects.
Sales Navigator also allows a user to perform an unlimited number of searches - a dream for most people in the recruiting or sales fields. Gone are days of going onto the search tab to discover you’ve been “blackballed” and unable to do a simple search on a client or company due to exceeding your number of searches for the month. Another beautiful trait is LinkedIn partnering with a variety of CRM providers – including HubSpot and Salesforce – to sync the contents of your Sales Navigator to your company’s CRM. This allows you to better manage your time instead of having to put the exact information into two different platforms only to waste time researching where you put a needed tidbit of information. If you already have Sales Navigator and have yet to sync up your account with your company's platform, GET ON IT! It'll save you a world of multiple tabs and confusion. If you use HubSpot, I'll save you the Google search, just click here.
A third perk of this membership is having the TeamLink Filter. This allows you to tap into your team members’, first-degree connections’ AND second-degree connections’ network. According to LinkedIn, you’re five times more likely to land that demo appointment or discovery meeting with a prospect if you have a mutual personal connection. Even better, you’re able to use this feature to reach out to that connection about your prospect and perhaps ask for a warm introduction! If you have no connections with that prospect, fear not, because you’re also alerted when one of your team members connects with one of your prospects.
Finding Your Ideal Buyer Persona
While all of these features make my job more convenient and time efficient, my absolute favorite aspect is the ability to use advanced filters to identify an ideal buyer persona. My ideal buyer persona can alter with a variety of factors. Thankfully, with this membership I am constantly kept up to date with the ability to hone in on specific lead types.
The filters include:
- Company type
- Years in current position
- Years at current company
- Seniority level
- Headquarters location
- Years of experience
- Member since
- Posted content keywords
All These Features (and More) Are Mobile
With access to a database as large as LinkedIn, having the mobile app makes you almost lethal (currently available for iOS and Android). A vast majority in the sales industry spend a lot of time away from their desk. Whether in the field performing demos, or holding meetings and training programs, salespeople will thrive having real-time updates about prospects and current clients as well as having the ability to quickly reach out. There is also the handy feature of being able to save prospects. By having your account synced with your company's CRM, you no longer have to worry about getting to a computer to save your connection or record that you've had contact. For many sales reps, this could be the difference between you or a fellow team member getting a potential deal.
So, let’s rewind back to the initial question: "Is Sales Navigator worth it?”
Like any tool, it is more about whether you use it regularly to your advantage. If you plan on simply churning out the same sales pitch, copy and paste style, to 100 different strangers a day, then save yourself the $79.99 a month. In addition, if you plan on using that method you might as well cancel your LinkedIn account altogether, pull out the Yellow Pages and cold call people. That approach may be an equally effective technique!
If, however, utilizing even a fraction of the features in Sales Navigator could put you in the position of having leads asking YOU for demos and discovery meetings, isn't that worth about $80 each month?